Saturday, November 6, 2021

ABC's & 123's - Family Storytime


ABC's and 123's storytime, alphabet and counting storytime

I did this storytime back in August, but just now got around to writing it up. I haven't been writing up every storytime anymore because (1) I just don't have the time, and (2) at this point in my career I have done so many that it's becoming repetitive. So now I just write them up if it was a theme I haven't already covered multiple times, or I used new books I want to highlight. 

I started out with a brief "Hello" song, introductions and expectations, and then did our warm-up song, which for this month was "The Wheels On The Bus". Then I settled them down for the first book with my lead-in song, "If You're Ready for a Story".

alphabet storytime, ABC's and 123's storytime,
For the "ABC's" portion of our storytime I chose the classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr., John Archambault, and Lois Ehlert because it has great rhyme and rhythm for reading aloud, bright illustrations, and manages to cover all 26 letters while still being short and engaging enough to hold the kids' attention. I have found that traditional alphabet books just don't work well for storytime; no matter how cute or exciting the theme is, the kids get bored before you can get past the middle.

I normally like to use the coconut tree and letters props to have the kids help retell the story after reading it, but unfortunately this library didn't have one.

Next, we sang our ABC's, first to the traditional tune (which is the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"), but then I added the more challenging twist of singing it to different tunes in order to (1) emphasize different letters so that L-M-N-O-P don't always get squished together, and (2) to engage their brains differently so they are more mindful of what they are doing and saying, rather than relying on muscle memory. We tried the tunes of "Mary Had a Little Lamb", "This Old Man", and "London Bridges". I encouraged them to try this at home, and see if they can find other tunes that work, such as "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" and "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes".

ABC's and 123's storytime, counting book, dinosaur counting book
Then it was time to move on to our 1,2,3's with a cute new counting book, One-osaurus, Two-osaurus by Kim Norman and Pierre Collet-Derby. This is a great storytime time book! It has a great cadence for reading aloud, absolutely adorable illustrations, lots of counting practice, dinosaurs, and roaring. 

Ten little dinosaurs are playing hide-and-seek, with the text patterned after the classic "One potato, two potato..." chant. After all the dinosaurs are found, they go off to play another game, "Dinosaurus Says" (hmm, could there be a sequel?).

I followed that with a bubble counting song. I sang the first verse, modeling counting on my fingers, then as we did the rest of the song I would pause and blow bubbles for them to pop after each line. They were having so much fun, we went through the whole song twice. Popping bubbles is not only fun, but great for developing tracking, eye-hand coordination, bilateral coordination, and crossing midline.

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 go POP!

Pop, pop, pop go all the bubbles;
Pop, pop, pop go all the bubbles;
Pop, pop, pop go all the bubbles;
All the little bubbles go POP!

Ten little, nine little, eight little bubbles;
Seven little, six little, five little bubbles;
Four little, three little, two little bubbles;
One little bubble goes POP!

After that I passed out the take-home activity (we are having storytime outside), and we sang a good-bye song.

Take-Home Activities  

alphabet craft, coconut tree craft, chicka chicka boom boom craft
The craft was making their own coconut tree. I gave them a sheet of blue construction paper and a tree trunk, several leaves, and three coconuts already cut out to glue on. 

Then I found a cute alphabet printable online, and encouraged them to use the letters however they wished, and gave two sets in case they wanted to do their name as I had and needed multiples of some letters. 

I also included some kind of dinosaur counting activity sheet, but at this point I've forgotten exactly what it was and where I found it.

I really don't like doing cookie-cutter paper crafts and activity sheets, I'd prefer more open-ended activities, but due to time-constraints and having to do take-home kits this is what works best for now and people do seem to like them.

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