This month's SENSEational Story Time began with a few unexpected happy tears. We had a cozy little group of four kids and their caregivers on a snowy Saturday, who thanked me for these story times they have been coming to on a regular basis for the past two years. One of the moms thanked me for making such an impact on her child, who is now able to say her name when the story time ball comes to her, and... I was told she not only recognizes me but asks for "Ms. Jen" whenever they visit the library. As if that wasn't enough to make my day, one of my other kids, who has been mostly nonverbal, is now saying "all done" with us when we finish an activity and engaging more each time. This is also the first time she reached for the story time ball and rolled it back to me. These are just a few of the wonderful progressive steps I love observing and why we do sensory story time!
On to the story time! We explored things that look the same, things that are similar, and opposites that are completely different.
Here's the plan:
2. Welcome song: "The Story Time Ball"
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.)
3. Yoga pose: "Reclining twist" pose
We did this seated and then tried it lying down with help from our caregivers, placing our folded legs to one side and our arms to the opposite side, while our head faces in the same direction as our legs.
4. Flannel rhyme: "Six Little Ducks"
Six little ducks that I once knew,
fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too
but the one little duck with the feather on his back
he led the others with a quack, quack, quack.
Quack, quack, quack
quack, quack, quack
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack.
(repeat, pointing out the ducks that are the same, similar, and different)
5. Story: Black? White? Day? Night!: A Book of Opposites by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
6. Stretch band song: "The Elevator Song"
(Tune: "Do Your Ears Hang Low?")
Oh the city is great and the city is grand
There's a whole lot of people
on a little piece of land
And we live way up on the 57th floor
and this is what we do when we go out the door
We take the elevator up and the elevator down
Take the elevator up, take the elevator down
Take the elevator up and the elevator down
and we turn around.
7. Story: Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
I love this simple story of sheep that look the same, sheep that are different, and sheep that are doing opposite things. I placed a blue, red, and eventually a green flannel sheep on the board while reading the story. After the story, we played a little memory game on the flannel board. I placed a black flannel square over each of the sheep and then we recited: "Here is the blue sheep. (We uncovered the blue sheep.) Here is the red sheep. (We remembered where the red sheep was.) But where is the green sheep? Of course, the green sheep was the last one to uncover. I turned the board around the second time, mixing them up to see if we could find them after moving the sheep around. Then I had the kids find the green sheep I had "hidden" in low spots around the room and place them on the board. We found more green sheep that look the same!
8. Parachute activity: "Big and Little Clocks"
(This is a fun one for our sitters underneath the parachute!)
Big clocks tick so slowly,
tick-tock, tick-tock (say slowly while slowly walking in a circle, back and forth)
Little clocks tick faster,
tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock (say faster and walk faster)
Watches on your wrist fo even faster,
tick-a-tock-a, tick-a-tock-a, tick-a-tock-a, tick (say really fast while raising the parachute up and down fast)
9. 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.
10. Sensory craft and activity: We made our own green sheep to take home and hide/find by dipping cotton balls into green finger paint and blotting green onto our sheep outlines. While our sheep were drying, we explored causation and correlation on our colorful liquid floor tiles.