I was the coordinator for the Teen Summer Reading Program at my small public library. Due to circumstances, I also ended up planning and presenting programs for 2 other age groups (preschool and school age [6-11]). The only way I could do this was to have the programs on the same day. Thus, I had preschool story time at 10:15am, Ages 6-11 Activity Time at 11:00am, and Teen Time at 1:00pm
This is the first of three planned reflections on my program experience. Today, we'll be talking about my preschool story times. The links are to the program plans on my wiki.
Story Time #1 (Fish)
These kids didn't know me, so they were a bit rowdy. I need to share more protocols next time (criss cross applesauce, bubble in mouth, etc.) I also didn't have any access to music. Some dancing would have been good to get their wiggles out. The game needs to be played either at the beginning or end. Playing it in the middle made it hard to get the kids settled down again. The craft was a success, not too messy and easy enough for the littlest kids. We did have some time issues. As the next program started at 11:00, I needed to be finished with the preschoolers at 10:45.
Story Time #2 (Boats)
The attendance was very low (1 child), but that's not unexpected in the summer when families go camping or on vacation. I had a song planned (a story time version of "If you're happy and you know it" that I picked up in grad school), but as there was just one child, I skipped it. I introduced a story time blanket and it seemed to help. She liked the craft, although she can't stand the smell of play dough. The toy boat craft was okay. I used it in another program and the kids had problems with their masts falling down.
Story Time #3 (Pirates)
We had some latecomers so I feel that I needed another book and perhaps a few more opening activities. We should have played a game, but I was using Pin the Parrot on the Pirate for the Pirate Party. Maybe pin the treasure on the map or pin the ship on the globe. The pirate vocabulary was a hit. The kids loved practicing their new words. If I present this story time again, I want to add some pirate jokes and rhymes to it. The craft was simple. Some of the older kids wanted to cut their clothes out, but the library doesn't have supplies for children's program yet.
Story Time #4 (Puppet Play)
The kids loved the puppet play! My teen volunteers loved it. They want to do more puppet plays. (We'll probably do one during out winter carnival.) My teens did a great job, but they needed a little more practice with projecting their voices and speaking clearly in a moderately paced voice. We needed a little music and either scene cards or scene pauses. We also need to work on our curtain. It kept falling down in the middle.
Raffling off the puppets was a great idea especially if you're not going to use them again. The kids loved taking one of the puppets home. Interestingly, the shark was the most popular. The kids really liked making their own fish puppets. I wish I had thought to have a few shark puppets as well. I really learned how necessary a tablecloth is when kids are coloring on a wooden table. Thank goodness for Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer.
Story Time #5 (Ponds)
Despite low attendance (2 children), this story time went really well. The children liked using frog puppets to help me with the rhymes. They didn't really like the coloring sheet. If i repeat this program, I'll find a better craft. Learning about Tulip, our library dog who happens to be a Labrador retriever was great. We all learned a lot.