Holiday Family Story Time

I have to say that the Holiday story time is the one that I dread most each year.  Mostly because I worry SO much about offending someone.  Also because we get such a wide range of kids and I never know how many to plan for.  Plus, it is on a Tuesday night near the holidays and there can be so many other things going on.  So, this year I went with what seemed fun, and I think it worked out well.

We had about 75 people attend this year's holiday time.  The only other time we had more was when the Grinch made an appearance.  It was crazy, but it seemed that most people had a good time.

I started with the song 'If it's Christmas and you know it.'  We sang:
If it's Christmas and you know it clap your hands,
If it's Christmas and you know it clap your hands,
If it's Christmas and you know it then you really want to show it,
If it's Christmas and you know it clap your hands.
We repeated with:
Shouting Hooray
Jumping up and down

After the fact I think that we needed to do another song.  Lots of people came in late and it really seemed to disrupt our first book which was If you take a mouse to the movies by Laura Numeroff.  These books are generally crowd pleasers, but with people coming in late and taking off coats many kids were distracted.  There were also quite a few who said they had this book at home.  I tried to get them to read along with me, but instead they observed the late comers.

The second story went over much better.  I did my Crazy, confused Christmas that I wrote for last weeks Flannel Friday.  You can read the story here.  They really liked this one.  I kept turning the tree wrong as they yelled how to put it.  I drug that out for awhile, but they were happily trying to correct me.  They also really liked the crazy trees and seemed to enjoy yelling that the tree was wrong.

The last book I read was David Shannon's It's Christmas, David!  They LOVED this book.  I think both the parents and kids could relate to this one.  I was a little worried about the page where he pees his name in the snow, but I could hear parents laughing and telling their kids what David had done.

Christmas songs with action were very hard to find.  I think that I may need to go write some.  I found enough for my program, but none were super exciting.  And the best action songs were not from cds so we had no background music.  I found a version of We wish you a Merry Christmas from PreschoolEducation.com here that goes:

We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year.

Repeat with:
Now let's all do a little clapping…
Now let's all do a little jumping …
Now let's all do a little waving…

From a great Flannel Friday blog I got a song called Santa had a Christmas Tree.  You can find the original post at Abby the Librarian.  I was really excited because the flannels for this song fit great with the tree I had already made for the Crazy, confused Christmas story.  The tree already had the star and lights, so I added a bell, presents, and cookies.  The song goes to the tune of Old MacDonald:

Santa had a Christmas tree
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho
And on that tree he had a star
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho
With a twinkle, twinkle here
And a twinkle, twinkle there
Here a twinkle, there a twinkle
Everywhere a twinkle, twinkle
Santa had a Christmas tree
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!

Repeat with:
On that tree he had a light... with a sparkle, sparkle here
On that tree he had a bell... with a jingle, jingle here
Under his tree he had a gift... with a rattle, rattle here
Next to his tree he had some cookies…with a crunch
crunch, here

We did break out the bells to sing Jingle Bell Rock.  I used the Sugar Beats version on the Sugar Beats Christmas album.  That seemed to go well.  I told them to shake their bells up, down, around, whatever as we danced to the song.
We ended with the Reindeer Pokey that I also found at PreschoolEducation.com.  (It is on the same page as the link above for the We wish you a Merry Christmas song.)  To do the 'Reindeer Pokey' we made antlers on our head as we spun around.

Since this was a more special program I ended with a viewing of Super Why's T'was the Night Before Christmas.  This show is great for pre-reading skills so I figured that it fit well with story time.  I set up three crafts in a different area of the library so people had the choice of staying for the movie or just doing the crafts.  Not many stayed for the movie which was disappointing.  Last year I showed the Charlie Brown Christmas and only a few watched that, so I thought I would go less traditional this year.  It worked at Halloween with Word World, oh well.

I had three crafts I put out.  The first two I found pictures of by googling images of Christmas crafts.  The third is a version of something we did in the past.


Flannel Friday: A Crazy, Confused Christmas

So, this week I ended up writing my own Flannel Story.  I just wasn't finding much that I really wanted to 'flannelize' for a holiday story time, so I made up my own.  It is just a silly story - kind of Dumb Bunnies-ish - about a family that has a little trouble decorating the Christmas tree.

Feel free to change the script to fit your needs.  I am not for memorizing stories.  I find that it is just too hard to memorize a script word for word.  If you mess up any word you get lost, tongue-tied, blank out, whatever.  My advice, and what I do, is to know the story really well and then ad-lib as you go.  This also allows you to play to the crowd, or not if they aren't going for that.  I will repeat a refrain if it is relevant, but in general I just make sure I know the story and put all the flannel pieces in the order needed to be my prompts.  Ok, end of advice, here is my story:

It is finally December and time for the Dippies to put up the tree.  Father Dippie brought it up from the basement and proudly set it up in the living room.

'Oh dear,' said Mother Dippie, 'something is not quite right.'
So, Father Dippe twisted and turned, as set the tree up again.

'Hmmm, still not quite right,' said Mother Dippie.
So, Father Dippie twisted and turned some more and...
 I forgot to take a picture of the upright, bare tree, but I'm sure you get the idea of what it should look like here ;)
'Just right!' said Mother Dippie.  'Now, we must decorate the tree!  Who has the ornament box?'
'I do!' said Sister Dippie.  And she quickly decorated the tree.
'Oh my,' said Mother Dippie, 'something is not quite right.'
'I'll fix it,' said Brother Dippie.  And he took off the socks and re-decorated the tree.
'Good grief!' cried Mother Dippie.  'Not your briefs, we need the fancy Christmas balls.'
'I'll get them,' said Father Dippie.  He removed the underpants and put up the balls.
'Hmmm,' said Mother Dippie, 'something is still not quite right.  Santa will want to play if he sees that tree.'
'Santa!' Brother and Sister exclaimed.  They rushed off and came back to decorate the tree once more.
'Well, said Mother Dippie, 'that does look more festive, but something is not quite right.'  The family put their heads together, searched the house, and finally finished the tree.

'It's beautiful,' the all agreed.  'But,' said Mother Dippie, 'something is still, not quite right.  The tree needs light!'  So, the Dippies, clapped, and clapped their hands.  (Clap your hands.)  Nothing happened, so the clapped some more.  (Clap again.)  Still nothing happened.  They need your help.  Clap as loudly as you can.  Clap, clap.  Then...
'Yay!!!!!' cried the Dippies.  'The perfect tree at last.'
'But you know,' said Brother Dippie, 'I like this tree best of all!'

The green tree is made from craft foam and then I used transparency sheets to lay on top of the tree.  There is a pieces of fuzzy velcro at the top of the tree and a 'sticky' pieces on the back of each transparency sheet.  I made sure that they were hidden by the tree topper.
Also, the 'final' tree has a strand of lights that light up.  I found these at Hobby Lobby, but I am sure you could find them many places.  It is meant to be a necklace and I bought them to put on t-shirts for my kids.  So. I borrowed one for story time.  If you can't find one, you could just leave off the clapping part, or have them clap at the success of the Dippies.

Can you tell that I need to do laundry at my house?  The sock tree (and probably the whole story) was actually inspired by my kids who put their socks on my Christmas tree this week.  Ironically they were Christmas socks, but they were also used socks.  The good news is that I am officially done with my MLIS coursework and I get to graduate!  YAY!!!!!!!  (I just got the e-mail from my advisor today so I am a bit giddy.)  So, now there will be more time for laundry.

If you are looking for this week's Holiday Flannel Extravaganza, you can find it at Loons and Quines.  Past Round-Ups are at SoTomorrow, or you can click the Flannel Friday button to the right to see all the posts on Pinterest.