This week's story time theme was peas and who knew there are so many activities and books to go along with this theme. My toddler group seemed to have fun with it, though they are young and obsessed with the toy closet - they know it is there but how to get in?
The princess and the pea by Rachel Isadora: this was a good version of the classic tale for the younger crowd. The text is fairly simple and the illustrations are bright and colorful. The kids seemed to enjoy this one. It was the first book we did, so it did hold their attention.
Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: this is a smaller book, so not great for a large crowd, but perfect for my small group. Little pea loves doing all pea things, except for eating candy! Candy every day is what a pea has to eat. This one actually grabbed the attention of the wanderers - the mention of candy will do that. they all loved the ending where we found out what peas like for dessert.
Little green peas by Keith Baker: Baker has several pea themed books. I picked this one as it features colors, something my young crowd can help me identify, and it repeats the phrase 'little green peas' several times. For the repeating phrase I gave all of the kids a stick with a photo of a pea taped to the end of it. They were told to wave it each time we said 'little green peas.' Most of them enjoyed doing this.
Work your body by Angela Russ from Smart Moves 1. This is a great movement song. I use it frequently at the preschool I visit. Kids do lots of stretching and bending movements along with the music.
Pass the bean bag by Georgiana Stewart from Bean bag activities. For this song I used 3 stuffed peas and had the kids pass them around. This required LOTS of parental help for these little guys. It was a bit rough going at first, but they did get the hang of it and got better about passing the pea along instead of trying to keep it.
Shake your boom boom by Angela Russ. I love this one and use it quite a bit. The boom boom could be any object, today it was shaker eggs. They move them around as instructed by the music. This group is not a 'dance-y' as other groups I have had, but this one did get them up and moving.
5 plump peas: I have seen this many places. I tried to get them to do the motions with me, but they mostly watched:
5 plump peas in a pea pod pressed (make a fist)
1 grew (1 finger up)
2 grew (2 fingers up)
And so did all the rest. (All fingers up)
They grew, and they grew and they grew and never stopped. (Grow up from ground)
The grew so big the pea pod POPPED! (Clap hands on popped)
Pea Soup: I have seen this in many places too, however at Fun with friends at Storytime I saw a cute version with pom pom peas that are thrown into the air at the end. I thought this would be fun for the kids to do themselves with pom poms in a bowl. I rounded up all the green (and a few yellow to be sure there were enough) pom poms and gave each kid 5 in a small paper bowl. They were instructed to put the peas next to the bowl and add one at a time as we did the rhyme:
1 little pea hopped into the pot and waited and waited for the soup to get hot.
2 little peas...
3 little peas...
And the soup got so hot that all the little peas hopped out of the pot! (Throw them in the air here.)
I thought it would be great fun, but the kids today were more interested in moving pom poms from floor to bowl, to my bowl, out of my bowl, to the floor, to their bowl, back to my bowl, out of my bowl...
Oh well. At least moving those little pom poms worked their pincher grasp. and maybe they picked up on some counting?
I had so many different ideas planned that I never even got to show my lovely pea flannel board that I made. Guess I will save it for a different time. It goes with the story The Little Pea by Eric Battut. The illustrations for this story are cute but rather small. My co-worker planned to do it as a draw and tell, but I could envision my group happily wiping away the story.
The story begins in a pea patch where all of the happy peas are in their pods looking very much alike.
Little Pea however does not want to be like all of the other peas, so he pops out of his pod and heads off into the world.
He meets a peacocks and ties a beautiful feather to himself.
He meets a tiger and paints stripes all over his body.
He meet an elephant and constructs a large nose from a blade of grass.
He returns home where all of the other peas laugh at him.
No matter. He is a seed so he digs himself a hole.
And a new plant grows from the colorful little pea.
Check out the book for the full story.