I have this really cute bunny felt set with 2 rhymes and a song to go with them, so since it was the beginning of Spring when we start to see baby bunnies appear and close to Easter I decided to do rabbits for my theme.
I started with my welcome song and introductions, and then realized I completely forgot to grab the non-fiction book I had intended to use in the introduction. I moved on to our story song and decided since it was a slightly older crowd than usual I would get to read one of the longer stories, Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming and G. Brian Karas, which I love.
In this story, Mr. McGreely finally plants the garden he's always dreamed of, but just when the fruits of his labor are ready to pick, 3 hungry bunnies sneak in and eat them. He tries everything to keep them out, but they still get in every time. There is a lot of repetition, plus an increasingly angry Mr. McGreely.
After that we did a counting down rhyme with the flannel board:
Five Little Bunnies
(modified from Let's Play Music)
Five little bunnies playing on the floor;
One hopped away, and then there were four.
Four little bunnies hiding behind a tree;
One climbed up, and then there were three.
Three little bunnies wondered what to do;
One went to sleep, and then there were two.
Two little bunnies looking for some fun;
One jumped down a hole, and then there was one.
One little bunny, alone in the sun;
He hopped home to his burrow, and then there was none.
[For the pattern and more ways to use this felt set, see my "Flannel Friday Five Little Bunnies" post.]
Then we read another favorite of mine, Everybunny Dance by Ellie Sandall. I love this book because it is is so interactive and incorporates movement. The audience can stand up and pretend to be one of the bunnies and act out the motions with them as they dance and twirl, clap their paws, bang a drum, toot a horn, and sing, until the fox shows up!
Then all the bunnies must run and hide, holding their breath and not making a sound. But as it turns out, the fox is only looking for an audience.
Despite these books always proving to be extremely engaging in the past, I was completely loosing my audience so I decided to call it quits, and went right to our closing song, then put out the materials for the optional craft.
I actually put out two options for the craft, one was making a simple paper headband with bunny ears. I cut paper strips for the headband, and printed out sheets with the bunny ears and let them cut them out, figuring they would be easier to color that way, and maybe the kids would get some practice with scissor skills.
For the second, I borrowed a cute idea from another children's librarian who was gracious enough to share her file with me, to make a Duck-Rabbit. If you look at it one way, it's a bunny, but if you flip it over, then it's a duck! I printed it out, and provided crayons, scissors, googly eyes, and cotton balls for tails. I also used feathers last time, but opted not to this time because they are so messy and irritating. I saw one bunny leaving that must've grown up near a nuclear waste dump site, because he had about a dozen eyes all over his body, LOL! This was my example:
How It Went
I have to say, this was a very disappointing and dissatisfying storytime, despite all the components having been extremely engaging and well-received in previous storytimes. My "cute little animals" themed outreach visit last week went much better.
This is the weekend all-ages family storytime, and we (the two children's librarians and two children's associates) each do it one weekend a month. It doesn't have a regular crowd like the weekly storytimes do, so you really have a different crowd each time, and you never know what ages you'll get.
I was at first pleasantly surprised when I saw it was a slightly older crowd than usual, which usually means they are more engaged and can do longer, more sophisticated books and they pay attention and participate more. Not this time. I don't know what it is, but people here often just will not sit close enough to me to really see and hear well. I keep encouraging them to move in close, and sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. This group just wouldn't; it was like they thought I had some terrible contagious disease. I even had one family sit behind me!
No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't keep them engaged, and there was too much chatting amongst themselves by both parents and kids, distractions from other stuff going on, and the parents weren't really doing anything to help keep the kids focused. I really though I'd have a lot of fun with this storytime, and ended up cutting it short instead. I find I'm enjoying my outreach visit more than this in-library storytime much of the time, but there are still days when I get a good group and it goes really well.