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Oh, snap!

20 Jan

Me, reading Ella Sarah Gets Dressed: “No! I want to wear my pink polka-dot pants, my dress with orange-and-green flowers,  my purple and blue striped socks, my yellow shoes, and my red hat!”

Preschooler: “What’s with the attitude?”

The Long Arm of the Preschooler

14 Jan

Check out the ears!

We had just finished reading Llama Llama Mad At Mama, the one in which Little Llama throws a hissy fit in the grocery store (throwing things out of the cart), when a young man said that HE would never do that while shopping.

“That’s good,” I replied, thinking he was referring to his good behavior.

“Because my arms aren’t long enough,” he finished.

So, what you’re saying is, if you had longer arms you WOULD throw a hissy fit?  That explains why bunnies are such quiet creatures while monkeys are all over the place.

Kids today. Really.

4 Dec

Kids today.  They’re so down with the current lingo.  My nose is pierced by a little sparkly stud.  A preschooler asked me what it was.  Not being able to come up with the right term (piercing? ring?) that she might understand, I said it was my nose…. um……  Before I could finish my sentence, she asked: “is it your bling?”

Oh yeah, THAT’S the word I was looking for!  My nose bling!

While you wait, a few more definitions:

18 Nov

I have several new books that I really love and would like to write about here, but [sing as if you’re Mick Jagger] ti-i-i-i-me hasn’t been on my side lately so I hereby offer you these choice kid definitions I’ve heard in the last two days:

Me: “What color is this?” [pointing to a gray spot]

Kid: “concrete.”

Me: “What does ‘soggy’ mean?”

Another kid: “gooey.”

Yet another kid: “When your food gets old, it gets soggy.”

Me: “How is an oval different from a circle?”

Still another kid: “It’s a circle laying down.”

Kids have THE BEST ways to explain things.

Your completely random comment for today.

20 Oct

Today during storytime, in the middle of a sentence, a boy, distressed, blurted this out:

“My sock is on backwards!”

I told him we’d fix it later.

She has a point.

28 Sep

Today I shared Mo Willems’ wonderful Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus with the kids.  When I got to the page where the pigeon pouts, “I never get to do anything!”, one girl responded with this oh-so-true statement: “You can fly!”

I mean, really.  Leave it to a preschooler to point out the obvious flaw in the pigeon’s logic.

When caring for books, hold the fruit.

16 Sep

At the start of each school year, I begin my first storytime with each class by talking about how we take care of our books.  I try to make it fun and interactive, and not just me “lecturing” the kids, because even I would get bored listening to that.  This year my blue-haired puppet Zeke is introducing the subject by taking out his favorite book, a miniature copy of How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food,  that he keeps in his sweatshirt (it’s to big for his pocket).  He tells us that he takes good care of his book, because he wants to be able to read it forever (and ever and ever and ever and ever).  He then tells us HOW he takes care of his book: He doesn’t bend it, or rip the pages, or color in it with his crayons.  He gets upset when I pretend to put it in my mouth, and he and the kids tell me why it’s not okay to do that.  I ask if we’re allowed to sit on or stand on our books (“Nooooooo!!!!”), or throw them at our friends (“you might break something!” or “you might hit someone in the eye!”).  I think the message is a lot more effective if the kids can take ownership of it, and tell ME how we take care of our books.

Today, when Zeke metioned that he doesn’t color in his book with crayons, the kids started yelling out other things we don’t use to color in books:  “paint!”  “pencils!” “markers!”  “pineapple!”


Okay, technically, she’s right, we don’t want to get food on our books, but what made her think of PINEAPPLE??

Apropos of nothing.

15 Sep

I love the fact that little kids completely lack filters on their brains.  They think something, they say it — it’s as simple as that.  And they don’t always say it at the most appropriate times.  Some of the questions/statements I’ve been interrupted with in the middle of storytime:

  • “Where’s your bedroom?” (I got that one today)
  • “Where’s your boyfriend?”
  • “Where do you live?”
  • “Why do you have red hair?”
  • “I like your hair,” closely followed by another voice: “I don’t.”
  • And the litany of make-me-feel-so-good affirmations: “I like your dress,” “I like your earrings”, “I like your shoes,” and my personal favorite, “You look pretty!” (awww, thanks!)

I generally ignore most of these kinds of interruptions during storytime, or tell the kids we’ll talk about it after stories (by which time they will have forgotten their question).  But I just love how their minds work.  The gears are always turning…

What have you been asked/heard in storytime?

An elephant the size of my palm.

9 Sep

Today, during animal storytime, we were talking about baby elephants. One young man told us he had held one. “Really?” I asked. “Even baby elephants are pretty big.” But he insisted that yes, he HAD picked up and held a baby elephant.

That is either one strong preschooler or one vivid imagination. Either way, rock on, little dude!

5 little ducks (and a penguin).

5 Sep

I was preparing for my animals-themed storytime, and planning to use the “5 little ducks” song/fingerplay.  So naturally, I went looking in my office for the ducks.  I have a set of folkmanis’ baby duck finger puppets, very fluffy and cute (they generally elicit lots of “aahhhhs”, especially from the teachers).  I found 1, 2, 3…. only 3 baby ducks.  Now, you can’t very well sing “5 little ducks” with only 3 ducks.  Something’s fundamentally wrong with that.  What to do?  I looked in my fingerpuppet bag again and pulled out a penguin and a rooster.  They would have to do.  At least they’re birds, right?

Turns out, the escape of the extra ducks has been a good thing!  The kids think it’s quite funny when I pull out a penguin and announce he’s duck #4.  They enjoy correcting me, I feign disbelief, and then they magnanimously agree to pretend with me that the penguin is a duck.   We play out the scene again with the rooster, and then, with all 5 “ducks” in place, we go on to sing the song.

I may let those extra ducks stay missing!  I’ve never had such excellent participation in a sing-along fingerplay!

Wherever those ducks have waddled to, I hope they’re having fun.  I know that we are.

By the way, here’s the rest of my animals storytime.  It’s a great one for the beginning of the school year, when lots of the kids are new to school, some are only barely 3 years old, and attention spans are short.  There’s lots of group participation, and most of the stories are short and not heavy on text.  I don’t read all of these books every time, but I like to have options so I can modify things as necessary based on the crowd, time, etc.  I do bilingual (Spanish/English) storytimes, so I’ve indicated which books are available in Spanish too.

Campbell, Rod.  Dear Zoo.  The kids guess what may be inside, and I read the words on some of the boxes as a clue (running my finger under the word to build print awareness).

Carle, Eric. From Head to Toe=De la cabeza a los pies.  The kids do the animal motions, but we skip the donkey kick page.  To much potential for disaster in small spaces.

Hill, Eric.  Where’s Spot?=Dónde está Spot?.  A perennial favorite.

Butler, Jon.  If You See a Kitten.  Lots of opportunities for making noise.

Staake, Bob.  Pets go Pop! Not much of a story, but it’s a pop-up book, so I’ve had requests to “read it again!”

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