We took a break from regular storytimes at the end of May, and that meant I didn't get to do my usual weekend family storytime. Fortunately, I still had my monthly outreach visit, which just happened to fall on June 3rd, the exact day Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar was released 50 years ago!
Since I did a caterpillar theme last month, I decided to do an Eric Carle-themed storytime this time. His books cover a nice range as far as length/amount of text, which would work nicely for the broad range of ages I see on my visit (18 months - 5 years). I pulled several different books to take:
(click to see larger)
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book - the star of the show!
- 1, 2, 3, to the Zoo - Short and simple, good for younger kids, with counting and animal identification as animals ride a train to their new home at the zoo.
- From Head to Toe - Another short and simple one that's great for younger kids, animals & colors, movement (I'd advise skipping the donkey kick page).
- The Very Busy Spider - Slightly longer, but repetitive
- Hugs & Kisses for the Grouchy Ladybug - one of the newer ones, feelings and animals
I ended up using only two of them as I did not see all four classes due to scheduling conflicts and misunderstandings at the preschool. I was able to see the toddler class, and the 3-year old class.
I started with my "Hello" song, and then we sung "The Wheels On The Bus" which they really got into, and used the same tune to sing a song about different animal sounds/movements with miscellaneous animals (I took inspiration from what was on their shirts).
Then I read From Head To Toe, which proved too long for some of them, but I did have a few who stuck with me until the very end. This is such a challenging age to do, especially in a day care setting! I ended with my "Hands Go Up" closing song, then explained our summer reading program to the teachers and gave them a class reading chart.
As I left several said "bye" and one little boy said "Bye, see you tomorrow". They are so adorable, and really participated well today.
3-year old Class
This class increased by at least 50% last month, and with so many newcomers and such a large class, I had a lot of trouble with them last month and never could get them to settle down and ended up cutting it short. So I was kinda dreading them this time around, but they did much better; still need a little work, but better!
They were overly chatty and not listening at first, but after I did the "if you can hear my voice, clap one time; if you can hear my voice, clap two times; if you can hear my voice, clap three times" thing, getting lower each time, they finally settled down. I explained the summer reading program, then I explained that it was The Very Hungry Caterpillar's 50th birthday, and showed them my pop-up book, which kept their attention. Most of them were familiar with the story, and those that weren't quickly caught on, and they would say the "he was still hungry" part each time, and name the foods. I also explained how it should be a chrysalis instead of a cocoon (moths come from cocoons, not butterflies).
Our time was up, but since I had to cut them short last time and they were being good, I went ahead and read one more, again selecting From Head to Toe to give them a chance to move around. I ended with a closing song, and then got mob hugged in an attempt to keep me from leaving, because they wanted me to stay and read more stories. A much better outcome than last time!