Pretending at Story Time

This week our story time theme was Pretend to kind of go along with Halloween.  Sometimes I will embrace a holiday and plan a story time around it, other times I will pick a theme that kind of goes with aspects of the holiday (i.e. pretend or dress up for Halloween, gifts or toys for Christmas etc.).

So, our letter of the day was P for Pretend.  This was little harder of a concept.  For the letter of the day I have been printing of a very large letter and putting it up with a picture that goes with our theme (like a big A and a picture of an Apple).  Most weeks, they can get the letter and the word easily with the picture.  Today many of them knew the letter 'P,' but we got to have a little chat about what it means to pretend.  They liked this part because they got to tell me what they were pretending to be today (I had told them all to come in costume).

  The first book that we read was You're a lion: and other fun yoga poses by Taeeun Yoo.  This books was a LOT of fun for the kids.  It goes through different animal yoga poses.  The poses are simple enough for all of the toddlers to do (and for me to do whilst holding a book).  I really like that the directions for the pose are given on one page and then you turn the page to find out what animal you are.  This allowed the kids to guess what they thought it was and then yell out the answer when they saw the pictures.  Then, when appropriate, we made the animal sounds.  This was a super fun book that would be great for any animal, pretend, yoga, exercise, movement etc. theme.

Our second book was Anne Margaret Lewis' Fly blanky fly.  In this story a little boy pretends his blanky is all sorts of things, such a a rocket, camel, whale, airplane, and snake.  For this book I passed out our scarves and told the kids to pretend that the scarves were their blankies.  During the story they used the scarves to do the motions of the blanky swooping, wooshing, marching, etc.

The last story that we did was a flannel board that I made for Halloween based on Pete the Cat: I love my white shoes by Eric Litwin.  In my story Pete goes out to trick or treat and meets some 'scary' charaters.  But, he is not scared as he knows that they are just other cats dressing up in costume.  But, what happens when he comes across a pumpkin dog?  You can read the full story here.

To go with the Halloween side of the theme this week we did my favorite monster songs.  First was Laurie Berkner's Monster boogie where the monsters boogie and wiggle around the room.

We also sang The Learning Groove's We are monsters where the monsters stomp, clap, shake, and roar around the room.

Since Halloween is a few days away and we all have candy on the brain we ended story time with a little parade though the library and a very quick trick or treat where the kids got to pick one piece of candy and a pouch of fruit snacks.

Our craft this week was a simple mask.  The kids got a white card stock mask that they could decorate with feathers, markers, and foamie stickers.  Then, they could tape the mask onto a jumbo craft stick to hold it up to their face.

In addition to the craft we had a few activities.  I did a Halloween party for a family program last week and my son (who my mom brings to my toddler time) really wanted to do the games.  So, we had a few games added to our play portion of toddler time.
Spider ring toss: I wrapped white yarn around an empty picture frame.  The kid threw spider rings at the web and tried to get them to stick.

Ghost bowling: I added white tissue paper to our bowling set to make the pins ghosts.

Pumpkin bean bag toss: We happened to have three of these plastic pumpkins so we tried to throw the bean bags into them.

I also set up a Spider Web Walking game that I found via Pinterest from the notimeforflashcards blog.  You can click on the link to see how the original poster set her game up.  Mine was a little simpler, there was a web and I taped spiders at various spots.  The kids were supposed to walk along the web and hop over the spiders when they got to them.  Although, a few kids used the bean bags and tried to toss the bean bags onto the spiders, so that game was fun too!


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