Friday, September 22, 2017

1, 2, 3 Read With Me - Preschool Numbers Storytime

I skipped this theme on the Storytime Bus last year because the first time I did it, I found it rather monotonous during the course of about 25 storytimes over two weeks. But since then I've added some books that were more fun and had a bit of a story, rather than just straightforward counting books. As always, we started with a brief introduction by asking who could count to 10, 20, or 100, sometimes doing a brief counting of how many of us their were and kids vs. grownups, or boys vs girls, followed by our letter-of-the-day (Nn) and our story song.

The Books 

Counting stories, numbers storytime
(Please excuse the poor quality, PicMonkey pulled a bait & switch, and now you cannot save anything unless you pay for a membership, which they don't tell you until AFTER you've spent time creating something, so I had to take a screenshot instead.)

  • Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh, the hungry snake learns a lesson in greed, and the mice learn a lesson on keeping watch.
  • Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin & James Dean, counts down from 4 to 0, and shows equations, also good for colors
  • Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 by Bill Martin, Jr., Michael Sampson, & Lois Ehlert, counts to 20, then skip counts by tens to 100.
  • Little Quack by Lauren Thompson & Derek Anderson, will Little Quack and his 4 siblings get over their fear and join Mama in the water?
  • 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle. Count the animals on the zoo train & imitate their sounds, spot the mouse on each page.
  • Chooky-Doodle-Doo by Jan Whiten & Sinead Hanley, how many chicks does it take to pull this worm? Counting, cooperation, and a surprise ending.
  • 10 Little Ninjas by Miranda Paul & Nate Wragg, children pretend to be everything from ninjas to alligators as the parents try to get them ready for bed.
  • Doggone Dogs! by Karen Beaumont & David Catrew, ten mischievous dogs lead their owner on a wild chase.
  • One Blue Fish by Charles Reasoner, bold simple graphics & lift-a-flaps to work on counting, number recognition, and colors.
  • Counting by David A. Carter, simple pop-up butterflies to count.
  • Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton, Russell can't sleep and tries counting things to help him get to sleep.
  • Ten Dirty Pigs/Ten Clean Pigs by Carol Roth & Pamela Paparone, two books in one!

The Activities

I used a few miscellanous Five- and Ten Little somethings songs and rhymes, but the one I used the most, because it had more movement and the kids really like it, is this "Ten Little Bubbles" song I made up:

Ten Little Bubbles

One little, two little, three little bubbles;
Four little, five little, six little bubbles;
Seven little, eight little, nine little bubbles;
Ten little bubbles to POP! (clap hands)

Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop those bubbles;
Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop those bubbles;
Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop those bubbles;
All the little bubbles go POP! (Clap)

Ten little, nine little, eight little bubbles;
Seven little, six little, five little bubbles;
Four little, three little, two little bubbles;
And one little bubble goes POP! (clap)

We just have pretend bubbles due to the small space we're in, but real bubbles during the middle verse would be so much more fun! I do have them use their fingers for counting, and counting down is much more difficult, so I go slower on the last verse, but it is very good practice for fine motor skills since they aren't used to doing it that way and don't have the same muscle memory, so it requires more concentration. 

When I do "Five Little" somethings, I have them repeat it, using their other hand the second time, so the non-dominant hand gets a workout, too. All the 5 & 10 little rhymes may seem monotonous, but they are really good for their fine motor skills when done this way.

We also did various counting and grouping activities, using ourselves as props, and a measuring activity I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of. We are in the middle of horse country, and in case you aren't aware, horse height is measured in terms of how many "hands" high. So I put a vertical column of cut-out handprints on the wall for measuring height. I would have the kids make predictions about who was the shortest in the class, the tallest in the class, how many hands tall they would be, etc., and then we would have them stand by the column of hands and measure in terms of hands and fingers, instead of feet and inches.

At the end, we gave everyone handprint stickers, to represent our counting fingers, and our measuring in hands activity.

How It Went

This theme worked much better than last year with the addition of a few books that had a bit of a story, or unusual things to count, and it did not seem too monotonous this time. I would say as expected, Pete the Cat was the biggest hit, but all the others worked really well, except for maybe Russell the Sheep; the kids just didn't really seem very engaged with that one. My personal favorites were Little Quack; 1, 2, 3, to the Zoo; and Mouse Count. I did have one unexpected response with Mouse Count; usually the kids are really relieved and happy the mice got away and did not get eaten by the snake, but there was one little girl who really felt sorry for the poor hungry snake not having any dinner!

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