Thursday, February 4, 2010

Picture Book Time: The Colors of Angst

Story times in all their many forms and names are my biggest challenge as a children's librarian. I stress out more about these than any other aspect of my job. I worry about what theme to choose, what books will work, what songs to sing, and what I should do for a craft or coloring project. It is totally friggin' ridiculous how much I worry about this!

It's also important to note my extreme aversion to felt boards and my general avoidance of puppets. I'm not saying I haven't or never will use puppets, but I generally don't bother. I'm a floating children's librarian, which means I never know if there will be puppets or what condition they'll be in, so they just haven't become a part of my planning.

And then the kids arrive and everything kicks into high gear and they have fun and I have fun and sometimes a pushy parent will tell me about a two-hour story time they enjoy attending at a different library or that another story time program provides manicures and pedicures or some other ridiculous complaint and then, suddenly, it's over and I'm putting away the glitter glue until next week.

This week I decided to do a Color-theme for my 3-5 year olds. Lately, this group has been skewing towards the five year olds, so I thought a slightly more involved craft would work. The joke was on me since I had an 18-month old, 2 two year olds, and 3 three year olds. None of my five year olds showed up at all!

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni
What can I say? Little Blue and Little Yellow is a classic and this was the perfect choice age-wise. Most already know their colors and the basic, colorful illustrations got and kept their attention. They also identify with the story of friendship between Little Blue and Little Yellow.

Sylvie by Jennifer Gordon Sattler
Sylvie is one of my favorite recent picture books. I've read it in story times before at different libraries with success. It's colorful and the title character is charming and relatable. There are also lots of opportunities for interaction while I read the story, as Sylvie changes color as she eats different items.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
Another classic that always serves me well. Except for the goldfish (It stumps them on the color. Is it yellow? Is it orange?) the kids love naming the colors and making the animal noises. When I change "Teacher" to "Librarian", hilarity ensues.

"Hello Song"
Sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell"

Hello my friends, hello
Hello my friends, hello
Hello my friends, hello my friends
Hello my friends, hello

"Now It’s Time!"
Sung to the tune of "London Bridges" (300 Three Minute Games by Jackie Silberg)

Now it’s time to touch our nose
Touch our nose, touch our nose
Now it’s time to touch our nose
My fair (child’s name)

-Now it’s time to blink our eyes
-Now it’s time to touch our toes
-Now it’s time to shake our feet
-Now it’s time to stand up tall
-Now it’s time to sit back down

"Itsy-Bitsy Spider"

The itsy bitsy spider
Climbed up the waterspout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out.
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
So the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again!


I did the Primary Colors Ice Cream Cone. This ended up being a bit too complicated for the younger kids. I printed black-and-white scoops, cones, and color labels. The kids colored, cut out, and glued in order to make an ice cream cone that was almost as tall as some of them! The end product was very cute, but I would either skip the color labels or color them myself in advance so the kids could color a scoop to "match" each color. The parents really had to step up and guide the kids with coloring and cutting. I am keeping this one in my arsenal for slightly older kids.

1 comment:

  1. You could always buy your own puppets and bring them with you--puppetmobile :)