Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Program: Family Storytime

At the end of March, I hosted a Family Storytime with a circus theme. Let me once again bemoan the small amount of suitable titles for this theme. I had a very difficult time finding anything I really liked. Here's what I ended up with:

Welcome, introductions and reminders: I don't think anyone even listens to this part, but I do it just in case.

Opening: Open Shut Them - for some reason, I forgot where I was going with this and ended it really awkwardly. That makes me sound really dumb because there's only like 10 words to the whole rhyme.

Book: Tree Ring Circus by Adam Rex -  this was one that I wasn't sure would really work for storytime but I included because I just love the author too much not to include his book that happened to fit the theme (sort of). It's not really about a circus, but there is a circus clown and some escaped circus animals, so whatever. Nobody really seemed that into it until the elephant showed up, but I probably could have predicted that.

Flannel: "Under the Big Top" - I've said it before, I'll say it again: I am not really a fan of flannels. They never seem that exciting to me, but I guess I'm not a child aged 0-5. This one was better than some of the others I've looked at - you put up a little "big top" at the top of the flannel board and then a stack of creatures you'd find at the circus underneath. The creatures are placed on top of each other so that the next one is hidden underneath the one before. It starts with an elephant, followed by a bear, then a lion, and finally a seal. Actually, there's supposed to be a clown after the seal but ours was missing, so I just ended it at the seal. Here are the words for the curious:

"Under the big top, what will I see?
Look there's an elephant smiling at me.
Behind the elephant, what will I see?
Look there's a bear dancing for me.
Behind the bear, what will I see?
Look a wild lion is roaring at me.
Behind the lion, what will I see?
A little seal doing tricks for me."

Book: The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen - yet another example of stubborn Sarah including a book that's probably too long for storytime simply because she loves it so. To me, this is an exciting, rhyming, funny story of a circus ship that crashes and the animals that seek refuge on a small island in Maine (which is apparently based partly on true events). I love Van Dusen's books - the illustrations are so bright and vibrant and detailed and the stories are interesting and funny and full of interesting words and rhymes. They seemed a little more engrossed with this book than the first - I paused a few times and asked them to identify the animals on the pages for me.

Song: "Silly Dance Contest" by Jim Gill - my idea was to have them make silly clown faces/poses when they were supposed to freeze. Some of them did this, but most of them just watched me do it and laughed uproariously at the silly librarian making faces in front of them.

Book: The Fabulous Flying Fandinis by Isabel Slyder - I picked this one at the last minute because I wasn't really too keen on doing Olivia Saves the Circus, but I don't know if this one was really any better. It's about a circus family moving in down the street from a shy boy who is a little afraid of trying new things. It shows some of the different things people do in the circus - ride standing atop horses, walk the tightrope, fly through the air on the trapeze, etc. I don't think anyone really cared about this.

Rhyme: "The Elephant Goes Like This" - I couldn't find a good circus-related song and I didn't really love any of the other flannels we had, so my supervisor suggested this little rhyme to me. I want to note that I make the most pathetic elephant noise in the history of storytimes, though.

The elephant goes Like this, like that (Swaying side to side)
He's terribly big, (Standing up, reach arms high)
And he's terribly fat. (Stretch arms out to the sides to show how fat elephant is)
He has no fingers, (Fisted hands, hiding fingers)
He has no toes, (Wiggle toes)
But goodness gracious, What a nose! (Use arms to make a trunk and trumpet noise)
Closing: "Wave Goodbye" by Rob Reid - as stated before, this is going to be my de facto closing rhyme because everyone loves it so much. They absolutely love waving their bellies!

And that was my Circus Family Storytime!

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