I made a boo-boo this week. I was supposed to do an "Eggs" theme, since most of the kids probably did an Easter egg hunt last week, but I failed to request the books in time. So "Eggs" will be next week instead.
I decided to do a storytime on "Threes" this week to take its place. I've had this in mind for a while. Have you ever noticed how many old fables or fairy tales have threes in them? Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Three Little Kittens, even The Three Musketeers. Then there are the wonderful variations of these famous stories. I picked a few of my favorites (let me know if you have a different favorite) and shared them with the kids.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, by James Marshall. It's the traditional story, but told with his trademark wit.
Somebody and the Three Blairs, by Marilyn Tolhurst. I have a tape of this one, told well and with fun sound effects.
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig, by Eugene Trivizas. I think this book is hysterical. Maybe more than the kids do, but they were pretty entertained by it too.
The Three Little Kittens, by Lorianne Siomades. A slightly simplified version, but with cute illustrations.
I wanted to do the Three Billy Goats Gruff, but the other stories are long and I ran out of time.
Part of the goal of the theme was to stretch the kids critical thinking by having them think about the original story (I quickly told the traditional story of the Three Little Pigs before I read The Three Little Wolves), and then compare it to a variation. I must say they sat very attentively through these long books. Usually there's some rug-rolling going on when one story goes particularly long, but they were fascinated.
One writing technique that also holds the kids' interest in these stories is the repetitive language. "Too hot...too cold...just right." "Somebody went into the house...Somebody looked for something to eat." "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!" "Not for all the tea leaves in my china teapot!"
We also did the "Three Little Kittens" fingerplay with the puppies creeping up to the kittens. You can find the words to it in the labels to the right.
I just love seeng the children grow and develop from the littlest, rather overwhelmed, still unsteady on the feet toddlers, to almost-four year olds who know all the songs and fingerplays and race into the room to show me their new shoes and can tell me what comes next in "If You're Happy and You Know It".
Our stories this week were:
The Three Little Kittens, by Lorianne Siomades. Bright simple pictures are very attractive to toddlers.
Daisy's Hide and Seek, by Jane Simmons. The suspense just kills them!
We have a contingent that's been coming for several months and the little infants are looking more and more like little boys and girls now! Please spread the word among your friends that this is a great place to make friends, teach your babies and get great tips. Older siblings are welcome too!