Language Fun Story Time – May 21, 2015

On this very sunny Tuesday we shared Eric Carle’s classic ode to gluttony, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

bookMany of our kids were already familiar with the book, which really helped, because it is quite a long story with a lot of vocabulary.

Counting, days of the week, food vocabulary, cause and effect, sequencing and life cycles in the natural world – this book has it all!

Because The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the longer stories we share at LFST, we adapted the day’s format a little to accommodate our group. Instead of exploring the story three ways, we instead just retold the story twice, giving each child extra time to participate in the activities.

We do have quite a large group at LFST, with 10-12 children coming each week, and it can take a little while to explain and model an activity and then ensure that everyone has enough time to participate in the activity without feeling rushed or pressured. We always want to make sure that LFST is a fun, positive experience for the children, so rushing through an activity so that we can squeeze in another one isn’t all that beneficial for the children. Better to do two things well than three things poorly!

stuffieWe also had a very popular little caterpillar friend help us read the picture book as a group. The kids were particularly enthusiastic about this week’s story – it really does help when they’ve already experienced the book at home or at school, as it often gives them a bit of extra confidence. We dramatically munched and nom nom nommed our way through all the food in the story, and used our fingers to count out each meal.

Then it was time for the felt story!

Each child was given a different food item, and they were encouraged to tell the group which food they had, and how many pieces they had. They then fed their felt food to the felt caterpillar, with much enthusiasm. The creator of the felts somehow put the little caterpillar’s head on upside down, so he’s doing a bit of a funny wave, but the kids didn’t seem to notice. 🙂 felt

We had some great new vocabulary this week, including cocoon, and talked a bit about where butterflies come from.

Snack time fit in quite nicely with today’s theme! Then it was time for a stamp, and a copy of the book with some extension activities. I like to talk about the extension activities with the parents while the children are eating their snacks, and share other related activities parents can do with their children to build upon the vocabulary introduced in the story.

Being able to take home a copy of the book is such an important part of LFST, as it extends the learning experience for an entire week. Repetition at home really helps reinforce the vocabulary we practice at each session. For some kids, too, participating in a group setting can be intimidating or overwhelming, and they benefit from being able to explore the book in a more comfortable setting at their own pace. Everybody wins!

extensionThe group was feeling very jumpy towards the end of the program, so we sang our goodbye song with some full-body waving action, and then it was goodbye for another week. Only two more sessions to go!


Family Story Time – May 8, 2015

Well, that was interesting….


Today we implemented a new ticketing system to manage the size of our story times, which meant I had the smallest story time I think I’ve ever had – only 50 people (adults and children) in the big meeting room.

It was a bit of an adjustment, to say the least. What had worked with 40 or 50 children didn’t work as well with only about 25.There was so much space in the room that several of the children took to running around, and it was difficult to wrangle them back for our picture books. It was unlike any story time I’ve ever had in this branch, and my original plan simply didn’t stand a chance, so I had to do some last-minute rejigging to try and MacGyver something together.

I only have one session of story times before we take a break until July, so I only have to manage one more crazy story time before I can rethink my story time strategy to reflect the new reality of my set up.

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends

Book 1: The Very Hungry Caterpillar / Eric Carle

Hand Rhymes

  • I wake up my hands
  • Wiggle your fingers
  • The itsy bitsy spider
  • Open-shut them
  • Roly poly

Book 2: I Went Walking / Sue Williams


Action Songs

  • Zoom zoom
  • If you’re happy and you know it
  • Tick tock
  • Elevator song

Cool-down songs:

  • Mm-ah went the little green frog

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Friends!

Only one more week until we take a much-needed summer break!