Preschool Story Time: Superheroes

Date presented:  Thursday, June 21, 2015

Even though I love doing story times for all ages, preschool story time is my favorite group.  For the summer, our library is transitioning from two sessions per week to a single session on Thursday mornings.  When I plan each week, the preschool and the toddler groups have the same theme, but they generally have different books and different activities.  Our preschool group also does a craft at the end of story time each week instead of the parachute activities and free play that we do with the toddlers.  I’ve already written about the toddler superhero story time, so here are some notes from the preschool group.

Introduction

I don’t have much of an introduction to my preschool story time.  Since parents tend to be running late, I spend the first five minutes of story time talking to the kids and parents as they come in, and sometimes teasing what we are doing in story time this week.

Welcome Song

We use the same welcome song in preschool story times as we do in the toddler story times:

Welcome, welcome, everyone.

Now we’re here, let’s have some fun.

First we’ll clap our hands just so.

Then we’ll reach and touch our toes.

Welcome, welcome, everyone.

Now we’re here, let’s have some fun!

Letter of the Day

We do the same Letter of the Day concept in preschool story time as we use in toddler story time.  However, for my preschool groups, I will give them an introduction to the topic that we are going to do and hint about important words before asking them to guess the letter.  Some weeks the kids guess the letter on the first try, and some weeks we spend a little more time trying to figure out what the letter might be.  And, like with toddler story time, we include how to make the letter in sign language.  I am also considering adding in a simple sign language word that encompasses our letter of the day, but we haven’t tried that yet.  This week was, of course, S for Superhero.

iPad Technology

I mentioned in my toddler post that I was was hoping to incorporate technology into story time with our iPads.  I planned on using the StoryBots “Say Yes to S” video, but our group was so rambunctious that I decided to skip technology this week in favor of getting story time started.

Story Box

This summer, I decided to introduce something a little bit different for preschool story time.  Instead of having the books and activities in a particular order, which is how I normally do story time, I wanted to make it a more interactive experience.  So, I created the Ms. Jaime’s Story Box (pictures to come, I promise).  Basically, it’s a wooden box with a latch that I found at Hobby Lobby and stained.  I glued letters on the outside to label the box, and inside, I put everything that we might need for story time.  This week, I put in all three of our books and my flannel stories.  I also have three painted wooden music notes that represent songs.  The goal is for one of the children to pick something out of the box, and that is where we will start our story time.

1st Book

Our first book was Mighty Max! by Harriet Ziefert.  This is a cute story about a little boy who sits still…but not for long!  He is off to save the world on a variety of adventures.  It’s a cute story, but it didn’t really catch the attention of my group this week.  I think it was just a little too long for them.

Song/Rhyme/Activity

At this point, although my group was very enthusiastic about picking the next thing out of the story box, I wanted to give them a chance for some movement.  So, I did a little prompting to help a music note get pulled from the box.  We did our “Clap Your Hands” song, which gives everyone a chance to do some moving and get some energy out.  It’s something I inherited from the previous children’s librarian, but it’s such a hit that it’s impossible not to use it.

Clap, clap, clap your hands,

Clap your hands together.

Clap, clap, clap your hands,

Clap your hands together.

Clap a little faster now,

Clap along with me.

Clap a little slower now,

Clap along with me.

Continue with:  nod your heads, shake your heads, stomp your feet, and (sometimes), save your hands

Source:  Modified from KIDiddles:  http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/c119.html

2nd Book

The second book that was selected from the box was Do Superheroes Have Teddy Bears? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle.  Originally, I had planned to use Kapow! by George O’Connor, but after using this book in toddler story time the previous day, I thought it was too adorable to pass up sharing with the preschool group.  I don’t regret doing this one at all, because the comments were hilarious!  We decided that superheroes don’t have teddy bears because they’re grown men (and that would just be silly), and they aren’t afraid of the dark because they fly at night, and obviously it’s dark at night.

Flannel Story

Even though I let them pick what we were doing next, I guided them to selecting our flannel story for this week.  In honor of our superhero theme, we did the Ready for Action rhyme from the CLSP Children’s Manual.  I made a boy and a girl set, which gave me more pieces for helpers.  While the set turned out adorable, this did not go as planned.  The kids were super excited to help dress the superheroes, but they never calmed down enough to actually hear the rhyme and dress the superhero in order.  This turned out to be more of a superhero stampede instead.

Song/Rhyme/Activity

I originally planned to do another song here, but since the group was very wired, I decided to skip it in favor of moving on to our third book.

3rd Book

Our final book was Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod.  The kids liked the different pictures of the superheroes, and ended up picking some of the featured superheroes as their identity for their craft.  In hindsight, I probably should have skipped this one since the group was antsy and ready to wrap up, but the kids who did want another book were still interested.

Goodbye Song

We ended story time, as usual, with our goodbye song.  We always sing The More We Get Together and then move to the craft table for the craft.

Craft

We hosted a community carnival event back in the fall, which ended up having much less attendance than we anticipated.  As a result, we had leftover craft supplies.  One of the activities was creating masks, so I used the leftover masks to let the kids create their own superhero masks and identities.  I used this template from Au Pair Buzz, printed on cardstock so they would be a little sturdier.

How It Went:

I was really excited to be back for story times for the summer, and this group was very enthusiastic.  I had several new faces for the summer, which made it fun as well.  The story box was a hit, and I am looking forward to using it for the rest of the summer.  This was the largest group that I have done story time for (48 people!), but because of that, it was also a little crazy.  I’m definitely rethinking having a volunteer for preschool story times.  I think this summer is going to be great!

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