Friday, May 15, 2015

Books n Play for Pre-K 5/13/15

A few days ago I had my first week in a new session of one of my favorite weekly programs: Books n Play for Pre-K! I do this program about every other month in three or four weekly sessions, each 45-minutes long. The kids are ages 3-5 and I do a different theme with them each week. Generally, the time is broken down like this:

~15-20 minutes: Hello song, two books/three books, two/three songs
~15-20 minutes: Open play with toy table + craft/coloring table (with music)
~5-10 minutes: One more book or song, Goodbye song

This week, I decided to make bugs the theme even though I'm not exactly a fan of bugs. However there are just so many great bug books that it would be a shame to pass them over! Plus we happen to have a small supply of awesome buggy-type toys floating around the library, allowing bugs to be a really good and fleshed-out storytime theme.

My books were:
1. The Very HungryCaterpillar by Eric Carle (with this activity kit)
2. Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug! by Mem Fox
3. Big Bug, Little Bug by Paul Stickland

If you've never read Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug!, it's a super-fun book for kids of this age. Here's a page from it.  It's like Where's Waldo for storytime! Can you find the ladybug?

It's a challenge even for adults! (Hint: She's in a yellow car.)
This book mesmerizes the kids as they stare at the spreads, searching for that tiny, red ladybug. It's so cool and kind of under-appreciated in the library-world (but may not work with a group of more than ten kids).

We also played shakers to Laurie Berkner's "Bumblebee" and then the kids broke off to play at the toy table at the craft table. Here's what was there:

Craft table:
1. Pre-cut butterflies folded in half with the bottom glued to yellow paper. This allowed the kids to finger paint one side and then fold in half to create symmetry (See below).
2. These cute ladybug counting and number writing practice sheets from Child Care Lounge.
3. These Very Hungry Caterpillar coloring sheets from

This is the pre-cut butterfly for finger paint symmetry:

And for the toy table (such good stuff this week!):
1. Kiddie microscopes with bug viewing-blocks (See below).
2.  This Bee Hive sorting game, which is good for sorting and fine motor skills and fun to boot!
4. Bugs-eye-view kaleidoscopes (See below). 

As I'd predicted, the kids really liked the microscopes:

And here's a symmetry butterfly and a ladybug counting worksheet:

What worked best: The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity kit. I gave the giant drawings of fruit out to the kids and I kept the caterpillar puppet for myself. When I got to the part about the caterpillar eating through each piece of fruit in the story, I took the puppet and "chomped" through the holes as the kids held them out, half scaring/half tickling each kid. They all loved this! They all shrieked with glee! Then I collected the fruit pictures back as I went along. I will totally be doing The Very Hungry Caterpillar with this kit again.

What worked least: Me trying to explain the concept of opposites (for Big Bug, Little Bug) without planning out what I'd say ahead of time. It's not that easy! I hate awkwardly stumbling!

Like I said in an older post about Books n Play For Pre-K, this is the kind of program that almost 100% depends on the kids who sign up. The group is usually on the smaller side (5-10 kids) so each child really helps create the mood and vibe of the room. It's always a good time though! What are your favorite buggy books for pre-k?


  1. "I Love Bugs" by Emma Dodd, and "In the Tall Tall Grass" and "Beetle Bop" by Denise Fleming are fun books for buggy story times. :)

  2. For an interactive book try some of the Bug books by David A. Carter. An older title that I like is The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent. And one more fun one for storytime that is interactive is Giant Pop-out bugs : A Pop-out surprise book. Looks like a fun storytime.