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Spring Cleaning

April 17, 2012             With the beautiful weather ahead of us, lots of families are sprucing up around home; raking, pruning, sweeping and cleaning out all the winter dust.  Young children are especially eager to be included and to show that they are responsible members of the family entity.  They love to imitate what the people they love are doing.  If you sweep, they want to sweep.  If you dry dishes, they want to help.  If they see you reading for pleasure, that too will be something they yearn to imitate.  It’s all a learning process and you can do it together!

We first read the classic The Man Who Didn’t Wash His Dishes by Phyllis Krasilovsky and illustrated by Barbara Cooney. First published in 1950, this book is one of those picture books like Blueberries for Sal that never goes out of favor.  I read it as a child (in a much later edition, of course!) and loved it and the children who listened to it this week, loved it also.  The pictures are antiquated of course, the bathtub has claw feet, and the kitchen sink has legs, as does the enameled stove.  The illustrations painted long before the gorgeous multi inked illustrations of today are two colored, green and black!  It’s the story itself that is so enthralling for the children.  With a little editing of the text to remove the references to ashtrays, it rang as true today as sixty years ago when it was first written.  The children loved the silliness of a man who refused to wash dishes and the trouble he found himself emeshed in. They also appreciated his quick witted solution and the obvious moral implied.  It was great fun.

The memory box is getting fuller and fuller each storytime as we recall the stories from previous weeks; Sylvia in particular remembers each item vividly!  Any little memory game like this is a great way to exercise your child’s brain!

We read Another Fine Mess by Bonning which was a little long for a group reading, but the children immediately commented on the lack of proper garbage disposal!  It is amazing how much environmental education they have already accumulated. 

Couldn’t resist rereading and singing Litwin’s Pete the Cat, I love my white shoes.  It is always a hit and was especially fun since every child was able to participate in singing, since they had the whole book memorized! Click here for a link to Harper Collins' Webpage with activities for Pete the Cat.

 Mrs. McNosh hangs up her wash by Sarah Weeks  is a great book to tell in a clothesline fashion, especially since it is about hanging clothes!  We strung a grosgrain ribbon, which works better for little fingers, from one chair to another and each child was given an illustration of one of the items that Mrs. McNosh hangs on her line.  Then we practiced opening and closing the pins before we began to read.  The children enjoyed waiting for their item to be called out and then progressively pinning it to the line.    I love to engage the children actively in the story whenever possible; it reinforces the literary experience, engages their comprehension and promotes those narrative skills so essential to reading.

This week we made pictures of spring flowers at craft time.  Although it was a simple project, they came out so pretty.  We used water colors and made fingerprint petals up and down a predrawn stem.  With a couple of construction leaves pasted on, they were lovely.

See you next week!

Storytime Supplement

 Colleen Swider