Welcome to this year’s A to Z Challenge! This year I’m talking Child Care. I’ll be blogging topics related to my many years in the family home daycare profession. I hope you can find a tidbit of information that is useful in caring for children whether you’re a parent, grand or another important person in a child’s life. And to end each post, I’ll share a bit of my creative side/relaxation time. Taking time for yourself is good for your health–both yours and your family’s 😉
Well you had to know I’d be going here with Letter L. Storytime is an all around favorite time of the day for the children. Especially if you use some of these tried and true techniques that I’ll share here. With a mixed age group, you have to keep in mind that not every story will interest every listener. But you can get them all interested for at least a brief time with some preparation.
One idea I have found very successful with a group of children is to prepare ahead of time a set of colored paper strips, tuck them between the pages randomly, and put the following ideas on each strip. Have a question, action to perform or choice of an item to hold during the story. Just the act of pulling out one of these paper strips is guaranteed to get them all in a sitting position.
Some items to hold during storytime: Paper characters from a story (just use your scanner, print and cut out). Letters, Shapes, Blocks (different colors), Beanie babies(I’m old school), farm animal figures, or whatever you decide to connect to the story. (and those paper characters turn into great paper dolls later on. Remember those from the old days??)
Today you’re getting a freebie idea. The story above is a Disney take on Jack and the Beanstalk. I have a handwritten sticky note attached to keep myself on track. It has a set of actions to ‘chant’ that are action words found in the story. One of the children (whoever is willing) is chosen to perform one of them while we all cheer them on. Actions can be repeated or added to in the event someone remembers another action we’ve missed. You can also do this as a group instead of individually. In case you can’t read my writing, it goes like this:
- Crawl Mickey Crawl
- Sleep Mickey Sleep
- Tiptoe Mickey Tiptoe
- Climb Mickey Climb
- Slide Mickey Slide
- Walk Mickey Walk
- Laugh Mickey Laugh
- Jump Mickey Jump
- Sneak Mickey Sneak
If you choose a special helper, leader of the day, or some other special title for one child, there will be eagerness as well when you give out Big Kid jobs. You can let them be the one to instruct where each child will sit, decide between which one of 2 books to read, let them choose who gets to speak when there are several raised hands, hold a microphone for someone to speak into, or even alert me if I’m not noticing an issue.
And did I mention a puppet mascot? The puppet can sit and whisper important things in my ear about children during storytime (finds the good always). Even the shyest child will warm to a soft, cuddly puppet who never speaks, but can be a hug recipient. In our post pandemic world, it will be so important that they can express how they are feeling. There’s going to be so much they won’t understand and we want them as ready to communicate as possible. I could make this another topic altogether but not today.
As a caregiver, parent, grandparent, please make reading to your child an important part of your day. They can have increased vocabulary, listening skills, better self expression, increased attention span and perception. They don’t care if you’re a poor reader or not. They just love hearing the sound of your voice, the nearness of you, and the smiles and laughter to draw on in days to come.
It turned cold here! I didn’t think I’d be wearing long sleeves again, but glad I saved a couple shirts from the winter stash. The wrap I made above was no trouble to get a photo of last night as the wind was Howling outside. Not sure I’ll let it go now. May be a great little item to ward off the morning chill this week.