COOKIES! The Cookie Monster in me was really happy this week, so were all of my story time friends who I got to share cookies with. So, of course, our letter of the day was C and our NYPL booklist book was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
I do have to say, I feel badly for my Monday group. I do 3 story times each week and the poor Monday kids are always my test subjects. Usually, I don't change much, only things that really don't go over well and even then I may not change it if they are a really young group. This week though, I changed a whole book and the order of all the books because they were just so wiggly.
I had built this story time around an idea that a professor of mine, Dr. Brodie, presented in one of my library school classes. She talked about reading the book The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins while having cookies bake in an Easybake Oven. She said that the smell got the kids attention as she was reading. Well, recently someone passed along an Easybake Oven to my daughter and I figured why not use it in story time? So, I practiced with the oven (I found that it cooks refrigerated cookie dough rather nicely) and prepared an elaborate production. Instead of a flannel story this week, I made 'ingredients' out of craft foam and passed them out to the kids. Then I asked for different things and they brought them to my bowl (or they all bombarded me whether I asked for what they had or not). We mixed them a little and then Sparky 'put them in the oven.' I had the Easybake hidden behind my cart so I quickly slid the dough into the oven and read the last story. This was the last book and I think The Doorbell Rang was just a little too long for my group. So, for the other groups I switched to the book Who Ate All the Cookie Dough, which is shorter and worked much better! Then, we pulled the cookies out of the oven and Sparky gave them all some cookies to eat! (I should remind you here to turn your oven off - I remembered that the first two times I did this, but the third time I slid the cookies back in because they didn't look done and then forgot! Luckily one mother noticed and we got it turned off, but I had some charcoal cookies and the entire library smelled like burned cookies. Thankfully no smoke alarms went off!) Anyway, here are the other things we did (in the order that worked better):
The first book we read was If you give a mouse a cookie by Laura Numeroff. This was the book from the 100 picturebooks everyone should know list and of course it is a classic. I was a little surprised that not more of the kids seemed to know this story, but I guess that it is good I got to share it with them. I just love how the little mouse in this story is just like a toddler in that each little activity leads to another and they all lead him back to cookies!
Our second book I added after changing things around. I don't know how I missed it initially, but The cow loves cookies by Karma Wilson is perfect for a cookie story time. It talks about what all the other animals on the farm eat, but the cow loves cookies! I had them help me with this one. The word 'cookies' pops up several times, so when we got to that word I held up a spatula and everyone shouted 'cookies!' It added some fun to the book and helped keep the kids (and parents) involved.
The third book we read was Karen Beaumont's Who are all the cookie dough? This is a cute rhyming story about a kangaroo who is trying to bake cookies but all the dough has disappeared. (Very appropriate to read after having 'made' our own cookie dough.) This is a shorter one, but it has great repetition for the younger kids. I even heard some parents and kids reading along with me.
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins was originally part of my list, but, as mentioned above, the Monday crowd did not go for it. It is a classic story and has the repetition that the kids usually go for, they just did not care for this one. I think that maybe with an older crowd it would do better. I also think that it could make a good flannel story and you could keep redistributing the cookies (in the story mama passes out some cookies, but the doorbell keeps ringing and as other kids come in they have to reallocate cookies so that everyone can have some).
Our songs were not cookie, or even food related, but they were good movement songs. We did Clap your hands from the album Wiggleworms Love You. This song has the kid clapping, stomping, brushing their teeth, and touching their nose.
We also sang Tommy Thumb is up by Carole Peterson. This is a great fingerplay song that I use quite a bit. It is along the lines of Where is Thumbkin but the kids use their thumb, index finger, pinkie finger, and all of the fingers together. I think leaving the two middle ones out is good for the little kids as they can't really get those ones up anyway.
I had planned for the song Peanut butter from the Where is Thumbkin album, but we did not have time for it this week. It is the song about making peanut butter and jelly. This was the most upbeat version I could find.
Our craft for the week was my proven crowd pleaser - food! I gave each kid a bag with a chocolate chip cookie and a sugar cookie. Then they had a dollop of icing and a craft stick to spread it onto the cookie with. I also gave them a cookie monster coloring page to take home.