Storytime: Fairy Tales!

Quacky may be wearing a birthday hat, but birthdays were not our theme this week (I’ll explain about the hats in a minute, I promise).  Our theme was fairy tales, and I originally didn’t have much planned for this storytime because I was having homeschoolers come in to act out some fractured fairy tales.  One of the homeschool mothers approached me with this idea last month.  She’s teaching a drama course with her two daughters and other homeschool children, and she wanted them to perform in front of an audience at the end of the month.  I was all for the idea!  I did pull a book and prepare Cinderella’s Rat just in case the homeschooler’s fractured fairy tales fell short time-wise, but I didn’t plan an entire storytime…until last week when the homeschool mother told me that they would not be able to make it in for our Tuesday session.  So I had to throw together a full storytime after all.  And here’s what we did on Tuesday:

Opening Song:  Open, Shut Them.

Book #1:  The Sunflower Sword by Mark Spearring

This is a lovely story about a little boy who wants a sword to fight dragons.  His mother gives him a sunflower instead and, when he’s faced with his first dragon, he brandishes the sunflower as though it’s a sword.  The dragon, however, sees the flower and is touched that the boy isn’t trying to slay him.  They become friends and set an example for the whole kingdom, where all the knights present sunflowers to the dragons they used to fight.  What I loved most about this book was the bright, beautiful illustrations.

Folder Story:  Cinderella’s Rat

You guys may remember this from a Flannel Friday I did a few weeks back.  I had the children wave their (pretend) magic wands as Nat was changing colors, and then they tried to guess what he was trying to blend into (orange = pumpkin carriage, green = grass, etc.).  They all seemed to really enjoy this one.

Book #2:  Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen

Normally I avoid princess stories because I do have a good number of boys in my storytimes.  However, I made an exception for this one because the princesses in this story like to play sports, fix things, fight monsters and get dirty.  I still think the girls enjoyed it a little more than the boys did, but I also don’t think the boys were bored or felt as if I was catering to the girls.

Activity #1:  Build a Castle

I absolutely loved the build a castle idea that appeared on Mel’s Desk a few months back, and I knew I had to use it in this storytime!  When making the pieces, however, I used laminated paper and Velcro so that the kids could put it on the board (I learned very early on that a bunch of children putting felt on the board means that pieces will definitely fall off…the Velcro helps keep everything in place.)  I had everyone stand in a line, and I would give them one piece of the castle for them to put on the board.  The final outcome looked nothing like a castle (the one in the picture is something I did myself), but we used our imaginations.

Book #3:  King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently

Another book about a boy fighting dragons!  But in this story, King Jack and his men build a fort and face imaginary dragons and beasts.  At the end of the day, giants (their parents) come to take Jack and his men home.

Activity #2:  Crowns Everywhere

I believe I got this idea from Storytime Magic?  I don’t have the book with me at the moment, so I can’t check, but I’m fairly certain that’s where I got it from.  Anyway, we were supposed to use crowns made out of yellow border paper, but I didn’t have any.  I did, however, have birthday hats!  So we used our imaginations and pretended that the birthday hats were our crowns (and the children got to take the hats home, which they were very happy about).  Anywho, we sang this song while putting our ‘crowns’ on various body parts:

Crowns Everywhere
[To the tune of "Spider on the Floor"]

I’ve got a crown on my head, on my head.
I’ve got a crown on my head, on my head.
Did you hear what I said?  I’ve got a crown on my head!
I’ve got a crown on my head, on my head.

…on my arm…it’s not doing any harm…
…on my knee…oh goodness gracious me…
…on my foot…it just can’t stay put…

(I added the foot verse myself because I felt that the song needed it.)

Closing Song:  Children, Children, Turn Around.

Note About Wednesday’s Program:  The homeschool kids did a good job of presenting their fairy tales, and the storytime kids were very good about listening and hardly wiggled!  I love it when older kids want to entertain and tell stories to the younger kids.

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