Boxed in at Story Time

This week our story time theme was Boxes.  This is a fun theme, and there are several books that go well with this theme.  I actually did 4 books (2 book form and 2 prop stories, more on that later) and there were others I liked but could not use.

Our letter of the day was B, I tried to get fancy with my letter of the day and it has a brown paper texture like the paper that sometimes comes in boxes.  The kids got the letter right away and we discussed some words starting with the letter B.  Now that they know the drill the like to jump ahead of me and yell out the next picture, I may have to change how I present it.
We had a fun discussion about boxes.  I asked them if a they had boxes at home or if they ever had one delivered to their house.  This led to all kinds of stories about what they have at home in boxes and they were very detailed about if they boxes were big or small.

Our discussion led very well into our first story.  We read Special delivery by Brigitte Weninger.  In this story a box is delivered to a child's house and it has a new vacuum for his mother.  A little while later mother discovers another package at the door.  This one is painted and addressed to 'mother.'  She makes a few guesses at what might be in the box and when she can take the suspense no more she opens it up for a fun surprise.  The kids enjoyed this one.  They kept trying to guess what was in the box, but none of them were close.  They did like the surprise at the end too.

After reading Special Delivery we danced around to the Hokey pokey from the Songs for wiggleworms album.  They had fun with this, it is the traditional song with an upbeat track.

The next story we did a somewhat prop story version of Dee Lillegard's Sitting in my box.  I found stuffed versions of all of the creatures mentioned in the story (our baboon became a monkey) and grabbed a box that they would all just barely fit in.  In the story a boy (or in our case a princess puppet) is sitting in a box and reading a book when a giraffe knocks and wants to come in.  The giraffe is followed by an elephant, lion, monkey, and hippo.  They are all so squished that they have to stand and decide that someone needs to leave the box, but all of them say 'not me.'  Then a flea comes in and bites them one by one causing them to run out of the box (or in our case be thrown out of the box and through the air) until the boy is once again alone with his book.  The book has good repetition and made a very fun prop story.  With a really small group kids could put the animals in, but we had too many for that.  And, to help myself out, I printed out the words of the story and taped them to the back of the box just in case I needed them.
We followed Sitting in my box with Carole Peterson's Ring those bells.  Each of the kids got bells and rang them to the song as well spun around, touched our toes, jumped up high, etc.  They do repeat the phrase 'for winter time is here.'  We waved the bells in the air for that part.

I decided to squeeze in the book Dear zoo by Rod Campbell here.  I had another prop story to use, but we were doing good on timing and the kids were sitting well, so I threw it in.  In this classic book the narrator writes to the zoo looking for a pet.  The zoo sends various animals (in boxes or crates) but most are not suitable pets.  Each crate lifts up to reveal an animal such as a lion, elephant, giraffe, snake etc.  I let the kids name the animal and then asked them if they wanted it for pet and why it might not make a good pet (though one little girl was very insistent that a camel would make a great pet).  I have also done this one as a flannel board.

Next we danced to Dance, freeze, melt by the Learning Groove.  This is a fun one where they obviously dance, then freeze, then melt to the floor.  Each action is done to a count of 8, so you can count along as you go.  In subsequent verses the dance action is replaced with twirling, jumping, and running (in place).

Our last story was another prop story, this one from Antionette Portis' Not a box.  I saw this idea several years ago(I think Flannel Friday's Pinterest account has it somewhere, maybe the prop stories board? **Nope, checked, it wasn't there, but take a look anyway!**) and have wanted to try it ever since.  I took a box and cut pieces of cardboard slightly smaller than the 'front' of your box (you could probably use light brown paper or cardstock instead).  Note: if you cut them the same size - aka tracing the side of the box you are using - they will end up too big.  I learned that the hard way.  Next, draw pictures on the cardboard pieces like those in the story.  Then, punch holes in the same spot on all the pieces and the front of the box (I moved the punches on a 3 hole punch to work where I needed holes) and use binder rings to hold them all together.  I wrote some of the words to the story on the back of the cardboard pieces to help me.  Then, to tell the story use a puppet that fits in the box and flip the cardboard pieces and have the kids tell you what he is pretending the box is.

We put out materials for kids to make a 'Box Monster' or to just decorate a box if they wanted.  We had pictures of Box Monsters from Pinterest if they needed a guide.  We collected several tissue boxes and for decoration just pulled out anything from the craft cabinet that might be fun to use.  There were feathers, pipe cleaners, foam stickers, construction paper, sticky felt, and a few other random things to use.
For play time we put out lots of boxes for them to stack or play with.  My co-worker cut a few that could be used as tunnels, houses, etc.  The kids used them more for putting things in.  I was expecting tall towers and buildings but they enjoyed hiding the toys in the boxes instead.
As an activity sheet I made up a 'Not a box' coloring page.  This was really easy as you can see below :)  The idea is that they will draw something incorporating the box.  Or, as one girl did, just write box all over it.  She was practicing writing, so that is fine with me!

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