Wednesday, October 18, 2017

SENSEational Story Time: "Fall for Change"

Last Saturday we explored the changes that we might see in the fall: What are some changes that you like (leaves changing colors, cooler weather, fall holidays)? Are you dressing up for Halloween? Are you sometimes scared of changes you see at Halloween (costumes, scary sounds and decorations)?

This will also go down as one of my favorite story times because one of my regular sensory story time attendees, who has been working on developing her speech for a while, said her first words during our welcome song. Her grandma and I couldn't decide whether to cry or scream with joy, but we both did a little inner squee!

Here is the plan:

Welcome song: "The Story Time Ball" (updated version!)
Tune: "Wheels on the Bus"
(Roll ball back and forth to each child)
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
Let's see who it found. Hi ______!
Now roll it back to me.
(Keep rolling back and forth until each child has said their name.)

Crossing-the-Midline exercise: "Apple picking"
Pretend you are picking apples off the tree, reaching up and over (your midline) for those high apples and crossing arms over to reach low for those apples on the ground that fell off the tree.

Flannel rhyme: "I'm a Little Pumpkin"
Tune: "I'm a Little Teapot"
I'm a little pumpkin,
Orange and round.
When I'm sad,
My face wears a frown.
(place mouth upside down)
But when I'm happy,
All aglow,
Watch my smile
Just grow and grow.
(place mouth right side up)

Story: Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
The simple di-cut illustrations are a wonderful introduction to change and how we can control some of those changes by turning the page and adding or removing parts of the monster's face. After reading the story, we added the parts onto our green monster puppet and then took the parts away so it didn't seem so scary anymore.

Scarf rhyme: "Autumn Leaves"
(We each picked out our favorite colored scarf "leaves," following the movements in the song.)
Tune: "London Bridge is Falling Down"
Autumn leaves are falling down,
falling down, falling down.
Autumn leaves are falling down,
all over town.

Watch them as they whirl and swirl,
whirl and swirl, whirl and swirl.
Watch them as they whirl and swirl,
all over town.

They fall gently to the ground,
to the ground, to the ground.
They fall gently to the ground,
all over town.

Multi-sensory story: In the Fiddle is a Song by Durga Bernhard
I love this beautiful lift-the-flap story that very simply depicts the process of change (i.e. an acorn to a tree, clay to a pot, yarn to a blanket, wheat to bread) I also included some tactile manipulatives of these items as I was reading. (I had them feel and squish a piece of clay and then pass around a pot made from clay. The kids could feel a ball of yarn and then a knit blanket.)

Parachute activity: "Wheels on the Bus" (Another change in the fall: We see the school bus again!)
I love using the parachute, because it is so adaptable. Kids can either hold on and walk around with us or sit under the parachute (still participating, but easier for kids with mobile disabilities).
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
round and round, round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
all over town.
(parachute goes around)

The doors on the bus go open and shut...
(parachute goes in and out)
The windows on the bus go up and down...
(parachute goes up and down)
The people on the bus go bumpity bump...
(Shake that parachute!)

Goodbye song and stretch: "Tickle the Clouds"
Tickle the clouds.
Tickle your toes.
Turn around and tickle your nose.
Reach down low.
Reach up high.
Story time's over.
Wave goodbye!

Sensory activity: Fall Scavenger Hunt
I originally wanted to do this activity on our Youth Terrace outside our story room, but Mother Nature was not cooperating that day... So we did it inside our large discovery bin! This fall sensory mix was put together by my colleague Andy. She added a couple different di-cut leaf shapes, using a variety of different textured papers, mixed raffia, Indian corn, metal acorns with small bells inside (to add a sound sensory experience), and di-cut pumpkins. I supplied a simple list of things to find and jumbo tweezers to pick them out, practicing those fine motor skills.