Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Storytime: Aaaah!!! Last Minute, Big Surprise!

Whew! I just had a last minute SURPRISE storytime handed to me after a four day weekend! Can you say: "PANIC!!" ?!!??

Who ever said being a children's librarian is easy? One thing is for sure ~ they've never worked at my library! 

While doing desk duty at the Children's Desk this morning, I received a phone call at around 9:30. 

"Good Morning! This is Ms. So-and-So from the school across the street. We are headed over with our preschool classes for our storytime this morning."


My mind and heart start racing!

I'm thinking, "There is no storytime scheduled for this morning. It is scheduled for next Tuesday. It says so here on the calendar." "How can I say no when they have at least 25 preschoolers bundled and ready to walk across the street?" "Aaaaahhh!!! What storytime can I do??"

While my mind and heart are racing, I mouth is saying, " What time will you be here? Okay, see you in 10 minutes."

As soon as the phone hits the cradle, I am on a search for someone to cover my desk time so I can pull together a quick storytime. It will have to be a Snow Storytime since that is what I did last Thursday. But do I still have enough things laying out that I can grab quickly?

Thank goodness! I think I do.

This is what we ended up doing for our storytime:

Intro. music playing as they entered the room: "Let It Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow" from Drew's Famous Let It Snow CD.

I welcomed them to the library and we talked about the stories we would be sharing for our Snow Theme. We also talked a little about snow.

"Let's make it snow in the library, okay? Where does snow come from? The sky? Let me see two snowflakes way up high above your head." (We all count 1-2 as we put our hands above our heads and we do our first fingerplay.)

Snowing All Around

"Now that we have snow, I am wondering who is happy to be here for storytime? You are? Well, let's see you show me how happy you are to be here." (This is my lead-in to my beginning songs and activities that we always do to start our storytimes.)

If You're Happy and You Know It

"Now that I know how happy you are, let's do a fun activity that wakes our brains up and gets us ready to share a book. Don't forget! Put on your listening ears and follow directions!"

The Turning Song

"We're ready for the bus to take us to a c-c-cold place where we can find lots of snow. Ready?"

The Wheels on the Bus

I hold our first book, Millions of Snowflakes, by Mary McKenna Siddals. I ask how we can tell if we have found the cold and snow. We discuss what we see on the cover... snowflakes, mittens, scarf, etc. I read the title and ask if the storytime friends think we can count to a million.

"Let's try. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-are we there yet? Hmmm... I think it would take us a very long time to count to a million, don't you? Do you know what we have to start with if we want a million snowflakes? Yep, just 1! Show me your first snowflake. (Hold up one finger.) Well, that is where this story starts..."

"That was fun! Why don't we make it snow some more!"
It Is Snowing

"It looks like we have enough snow for a snowman, but what happens when the sun comes out?"
Do fingerplay:

A Snowy Day

"What do you think snowmen do if it stays cold all day and they don't melt away?  What do they do at night? Let's find out in our next book, Snowmen at Night, by Caralyn Buehner."

"That was fun! The snowmen do a lot things at night, don't they? Let's all stand up and have some fun with a very special snowflake. Everyone gets one." ( I passed out snowflakes that I had punched out for an unpcoming craft. The colors went perfectly with our first book's illustrations and. luckily, I had enough snowflakes for everyone. Whew!)

We did a Creative movement actitivity with the snowflakes:

Snowflake, Snowflake, Dance with Me

"Let's have some more snowflake fun with this song. Everyone stand up with your snowflake."

We did a song from our Seasonal Songs CD:


(This song had the children whirling and twirling like snowflakes but at the end, they "Softly land" so they were sitting down again.)

"Are you ready to build a snowman with me? What do we start with? Snowflakes! Let see how many we have."

Do this magnetic board count-up activity:

Once the snowflakes were on the board, we started to build our snowman. I used my snow version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear to build our snowman together.

Snowflakes, Snowflakes, What Do You See?

"This is an awesome snowman! Did you know that he always has fun wherever he goes? But the other day, he had something strange happen to him. Would you like to hear about it?"

We did the fingerplay:

A Chubby Little Snowman

 "Wow! We had a lot of fun today, didn't we? Thank you for being such good listeners! You can take your snowflakes home with you so that you can share them with your grown-ups and tell them all about storytime. I also have a snowman sticker and a snowball cookie for each of you. But first, let's do our goodbye song and thank you's."

Children form a circle and we sing our usual goodbye song:

The More We Get Together

And then we went right into our "Thank you" poem:

:My Hands Say, "Thank You!"

As CRAZY as it was to pull this storytime together at the last minute, I really enjoyed the children. Their smiling faces made all the rush and craziness well worth the effort!

I will be back as soon as possible to add more pictures and to tweak my grammar and to, hopefully, add links to my songs and fingerplays.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed our last-minute, SURPRISE storytime!


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