A day at the Fair

Week 2 of fall story times brought the fun of fairs into the library.  However, due to life stuff, I only got to do one of my usual four story times.  Thankfully my wonderful co-workers were able to step in for me, but I don't feel that I performed the books and songs enough to have a good idea of how they all went over with the kids.  The only story time that I did was my Tuesday evening story time and those kids are always well behaved and receptive - partly because they tend to be a little older (4 - 5) and partly because they and their parents are awesome.  So, whatever I do on Tuesday nights seems to go well.

Anyway, our theme for week 2 was the Fair featuring the letter F.  This theme was very much inspired by Ms. Monica at Ram Sam Story Time who posted a flannel board about food on a stick.  Being a fan of food on a stick I knew instantly that this was a theme I wanted to use.

Our first book was I know a wee piggy by Kim Norman.  This is a cute story about a piggy who runs hog-wild all around the fair.  At each stop piggy acquires a new form of color, be it mud, paint, clay, cotton candy, this piggy becomes a mess!  The story is actually cumulative like I know and old lady, but I skipped the accumulating verse on each page and the rhyme still worked really well and left the story short enough to keep the attention of young children. 

The second book that we read was Janet Morgan Stoeke's Minerva Lousie at the fair.  I changed this book from a different one for the Tuesday evening crowd because it has some silliness that might be above the realms of a 2 or 3 year old.  Minerva is spending the night on her farm when she is drawn by some bright lights down to the local fair.  She gets rather confused by all of the fair stuff, she thinks the ferris wheel is an odd bulldozer, the carousel a horse barn, and the rabbit hutches.  The older kids were able to pick up on Minerva's mistakes making the book fun of the older kids.

Our flannel story was modified from Ram Sam Story Time.  Ms. Monica created a rhyme for her flannel board that I discovered could by sung with a little tweaking.  You can read her original version here.  I modified it to be sung to the tune of Animal Fair.  It goes:

I went to the county fair.
The pigs and the sheep were there.
When food I demanded,
We went to a stand
And got ______ on a stick to share!

Then I would whip out various foods on my stick to insert into the song.  Some were foods that could work, some were silly foods, and some weren't foods at all!  You can read more about my version here.

We used some fun songs in between our books.  Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael have one called Wiggledy Woo where you do a lot of wiggling.

Carole Peterson has a great finger play song called Tommy Thumb is up.  It is a twist on Where it thumbkin but uses the easier thumb, pointer, and baby fingers before getting all of the fingers into the mix.

We pulled out the shaker eggs for Angela Russ's Shake your boom boom.  This is a fun, upbeat shaker song.  She notes that you can use anything for a boom boom, I like shaker eggs.  We may be getting some boom whackers, so that could be fun with this song.

Sue Schnitzer's All the fish is a very popular song with the 2 and 3 year old set.  So much so that many of my friends have 2 year old kids who walk around singing it thanks to our church's Sunday school.
Because all of the Fair themed crafts that I could find were far beyond what I deem appropriate for story time I decided to have the kids make their own puppet show for the Three Little Pigs.  Pigs are a big part of the fair, so this isn't too far of a stretch, right?  The craft was basic, each kid had 3 pigs, 3 houses, and 1 wolf to color.  They got a stick for each pig and wolf and then the houses were attached to a cut paper bag.  This way as they told the story they could turn from house to house.  If you set the bag on a flat surface you could also have the wolf blow it away.  And, added bonus for the parents, all the puppet pieces could be carried home in the bag.  I was also able to put all the pieces into the bag before story time so they were ready to go drafts.  Also, I put some sheets with the story printed out on the craft tables just in case someone need it.

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