story time

Kindergarten Story Time (2018)

Every year we have kindergarten story time to celebrate our little ones starting their official school journey. I love this story time. This year’s worked so well, I might keep using this format forever! Since I only do it once a year I feel like that’s acceptable …

First we discussed our kindergarten rules: Sit criss-cross applesauce, keep our hands to ourselves, and raise our hand (and be called on!) if we want to talk.

Book: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

pigeon

I know this isn’t exactly school-themed but bear with me. I handed out pigeon paddles to the kids and throughout the story I would ask them if they would let the pigeon drive the bus.

Pigeon paddles

Most of them held firm to their no’s but we did have a few yes’s. I based the paddle idea on this image from Pinterest. After I collected the paddles we talked about how everyone would get to school: car, bus or walk. (Hence, the Pigeon driving the bus.) We had mostly school bus travelers this year but we did have a couple walkers. No car goers at all!

We tracked them on a big sheet of paper with hashtags:

Hashtags--resized.jpg

And then I made a bar chart using our results:

Bar Chart--resized.jpg

I didn’t get a picture of the final bar chart unfortunately. We talked about which mode of transportation most of the kids were taking and which was the least.

Book: Dad’s First Day by Mike Wohnoutka

dad's first day

Dad is nervous for Oliver’s first day of school. Will he miss him? What will he do? Who will he play with? I loved how the case of nerves was reversed and Oliver’s dad had doubts, not new student Oliver.

Then we did our calendar and weather. I explained to the kids that they would probably start off their day with a circle time to discuss the day’s events and “check-in” with each other.

Calendar&Weather--resized.jpg

Forgive me. I can’t draw a straight line to save my life! But I think it turned out well.

Song: Days of the Week (to the tune of The Addams Family)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday,
There’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday,
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday,
And then there’s Saturday.
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
Source: Ms. Brown’s Classroom 

I had the kids clap instead of snap since not everyone is a strong snapper yet. We talked about what month it was, what day of the week it was, what number day it was, and what yesterday and tomorrow would be.

Then it was on to weather.

Song: What’s the Weather? (to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine)
What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it sunny? Is it windy?
Is it rainy? Is it cold?

What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it snowy? Is it cloudy?
Is it stormy? Is it hot?
Source: Pinterest

It was sunny and hot, hot, hot yesterday so weather was easy. The kids thought it was “warm” but the grown-ups and I thought it was “burning hot.” We compromised and put the clothespin on “hot.” I forget kids don’t feel heat like adults do!

I dug into our flannel collection for our weather pieces. I taped magnets onto the back of each piece and stuck them on the white board. Worked like a charm.

I got the idea for the thermometer here.

Book: Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? by Audrey Vernick; illustrated by Daniel Jennewein

is-your-buffalo-ready-for-kindergarten

If your buffalo is ready for kindergarten, then you definitely are!

Action Rhyme: Color Rhyme
If your clothes have any red,
Put your finger on your head.
If your clothes have any blue,
Put your finger on your shoe.
If you clothes have any green,
Wave your hand so that you’re seen.
If your clothes have any yellow,
Smile like a happy fellow.
If your clothes have any pink,
Pretend to take a drink.
If your clothes have any brown,
Turn your smile into a frown.
If your clothes have any black,
Put your hands behind your back.
If your clothes have any white,
stomp your feet with all your might!
Source: SurLaLune Storytime

Then I handed out some instruments and we did a little music session.

Song: Freeze Dance — Kids Dance Party

I was struggling to find songs or activities that weren’t too babyish. So I asked my mom (who taught kindergarten for years) if they would like dancing and instruments and she told me the music teachers used to do stuff like that all the time and the kids loved it. So I gave it a shot. Success! This Freeze Dance was a tough one too! It tricked me a couple times.

Book: Kindergarten Is Cool! by Linda Elovitz Marshall; illustrated by Chris Chatterton

kindergarten is cool.jpg

Rhyming book that sums up kindergarten activities and first day nerves. The perfect closer for our story time. I had 35 people attend and had very enthusiastic kids. I hope they come back and let me know how their first day went!

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