Flying High In Story Time Adding parachute play and movement to traditional story time Sara Figueroa Children’s Librarian Indian Valley Public Library Telford, PA
Traditional Story Times Promote:
Print motivation means having an interest in and enjoying books. It is one of the 6 skills researchers say are important for children to know before they can learn to read. We do this in story time by involving children in the story, choosing books that are fun to read, repeating books, phrases and songs (repetition facilitates learning), and creating positive, fun feelings surrounding reading.
Phonological awareness is also one of the 6 skills. This is the ability to hear and understand the smaller sounds in words, like rhyming, playing with syllables, or hearing beginning sounds of words. It involves understanding words are made up of smaller sounds. In story time we practice this skill by using nursery rhymes, rhyming text in books, songs, and practicing animal sounds.
Vocabulary involves knowing the names of things, feelings, concepts and ideas. In story time we choose books with words a child might not understand and we talk about what they mean. We also talk about what pictures mean and describe what’s happening in illustrations.
This is the ability to describe things, talk about events, and tell stories. Narrative skill involve being able to retell stories and use expressive language. This skill helps a child understand what they have read. We use expressive language and ask questions throughout story time to help with this skill.
Print awareness is noticing the print not only in a book, but all around us and recognizing that it has meaning. Recognizing that words represent things is also one of the 6 skills needed before a child can read. In story time we often point to words in books and use our finger to follow along.
This involves knowing the names of letters, that letters make sounds and the same letter can make different sounds. In story time we point out letters and sounds as we read books. We also focus on learning shapes, which can help children learn how to write their letters in the future.
Story time is a great time for children to learn how to interact with each other and as part of group. We practice following directions, sharing, taking turns and playing pretend.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Finger plays and action rhymes help develop the muscles children need for writing, coloring, using scissors and other movements. We also practice jumping and strengthening our muscles, helping us to have healthier lives.
Circle Time Agenda
Opening: Have children sit on floor around parachute with legs underneath
Parachute Play: Sing where is thumbkin. Get up on your knees, 123 GOOD MORNING
Up on your feet, 123 Good Morning!
While standing with parachute, practice the parachute wave. Lift the parachute up and down with your arms.
Finger Play: open shut them
Book: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Parachute Game: Head, Shoulders, Knees and toes with parachute. Bring parachute head level, shoulder level, knee level, and toe level. During eyes, ears, mouth etc. stick head under the parachute. Repeat quickly, then really slowly
Finger play: 10 Little Fingers
Book: Stretch by Doreen Cronin
Parachute Game: counting with soft balls while practicing the wave. Wave slowly with balls and lets count how long it takes the balls to fall off.
Finger Play: 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed.
Book: Playground Day by Jennifer Merz
Ok stretch your arms and fingers and get ready to do some jumping
Parachute Play Cd. Song #1 Bumpin the Parachute. Follow directions on song for jumping and waving the parachute.
Finger Play Clap hands fast/slow
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear Turn Around…touch the ground…reach up high…make the parachute fly (do really fast waves)…drop the parachute…show your boot…touch the sky…wave bye bye.
No over crowding
Get rid of the parachute handles
Few week sessions
Repeat directions constantly
Emphasize that this is a transitional story time
Leave children room for error
Use active stories
Necessary for healthy child development
“ We can’t overemphasize how important this active play is. To encourage it in your toddler, you should be discouraging him from watching TV. The AAP believes strongly that children up to 2 years should not be watching any TV, choosing instead to participate in supervised physical activity outdoors and indoors.”
-American Academy of Pediatrics ( http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/fitness/pages/The-Active-Toddler.aspx )
Help Children to lead healthy lives and help them get into the habit of moving regularly.
PA Early Learning Standard 10.4 Physical Activity.
“ Big Idea: Children gain control over their bodies and body movements through active experiences and exploration.”
Parachute time helps “Control and coordinate movement of arms, legs and neck”
“ Combine and coordinate arm and leg movements when engaged in activity”
- PA Early Learning standards
Movement can foster cognitive development as well.
Learning things and then doing them
“ When they’re [Children] given the opportunity to physically demonstrate such action words as stomp, pounce, stalk , or slither – or descriptive words like smooth, strong, gentle, or enormous – word comprehension is immediate and long lasting. The words are in context , as opposed to being a mere collection of letters. This is what promotes emergent literacy and a love of language.” –Rae Pica from In Defense of Active Learning
” Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.”
-Ginsburg, Kenneth MD.
Learning depends on our senses processing the information around us
Kinesthetic learning is a learning style in which learning occurs by the student actually carrying out a physical activity, rather than listening to a lecture or merely watching a demonstration. It is also referred to as tactile learning.
Learn through exploration.
Uses more of the five senses including touch to help this type of learner.
Music is good for you!
“ Music is a great way to engage young children because it is a natural and enjoyable part of their everyday lives.”
“ Music helps many children break information down into easily remembered pieces or associate it with previously known information, such as a familiar song.”
“ Music supports self-expression, cooperative play, creativity, emotional well being, and development of social, cognitive, communication, and motor skills.”
“ Music as a Teaching Tool: Creating Story Songs”
“ Music and music experiences also support the formation of important brain connections that are being established over the first three years of life” (Carlton 2000).
Music and rhymes are excellent to transition!
Dr. Jean Feldman’s noteworthy educational career has spanned more than 40 years. She has served as a classroom teacher, instructor of adults, author, and consultant. She is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Kindergarten Alliance, and the International Reading Association. Dr. Feldman’s list of degrees include a B.A. from the University of Georgia, a D.A.S.T. from Emory University, and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia State University. Dr. Feldman inspires teachers across the country with her engaging songs and creative activities that help make teaching and learning FUN! -www.drjean.org
Parachute time is fun!
Why do we need fun?
Does Early Education Work?
According to a 2009 report from the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Childhood, kindergartners are being taught to comply with state and national standards, which takes away from creative play-time known to be important to early childhood development .
“ These practices, which are not well grounded in research, violate long-established principles of child development and good teaching. It is increasingly clear they are compromising children’s health and long-term prospects for success in school,” according to the report.
The report, called “Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in Schools,” was based on nine studies of public school classrooms and showed that kindergartners spent four to six times as much of the school day focused on reading and math as they did playing.
- from Does Early Education Work by Betsy Yagla New Haven Advocate October 20, 2010
“ Playtime is special. Not only is it fun, but it is critical to children's development. Play is their "work" and their way of learning about the world around them. Through play, babies and toddlers try out new skills, explore their imagination and creativity, and learn about relationships with other people.”
Playing and fun is important!
“ Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.”
- Kenneth R. Ginsburg, MD, MSEd, and the Committee on Communications
and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health.
The parachute specifically helps children increase their ability to:
Join group activities
Develop small muscle control
Strengthen large muscles
Remain in control during very active play
What has it done for us?
Patrons are happy!
We have made active children feel like they have a place in the library.
Lots of people sign up for our story time.
More people mean more books going out.
Gateway story time- we draw people in with parachute time and they tend to join other programs later on.
How can you do it?
Buy a Parachute
Use your existing knowledge. Add a song, extra movement, or parachute activity to your regular story time.
Ask you friends, neighbors, parents, teachers, patrons, etc for help.
4. Be ready to relax a little bit of control and let some rules and rigid structure slip.
Some Great Ideas
Row, row, row your boat
Head and shoulders (goes great with From Head to Toe with Eric Carle).
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear
Stretch by Doreen Cronin
Popcorn with Popcorn by Frank Asch
What are some of your ideas?
2 Things you think you can use
2 People: tell 2 people you are going to use them
2 Weeks: implement the two new things in the next two weeks
American Academy of Pediatrics. www.healthychildren.org
Carlton, E.B. 2000. Learning through music: The support of brain
research. Child Care Exchange 133 (May/June): 53–56.
Ginsburg, Kenneth R., M.D., MSEd. The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds . PEDIATRICS, January 2007.
PA Early Learning Standards. http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/PartnersProviders/ChildCareEarlyEd/003675755.htm
Pica, Rae. A Running Start (New York: Marlowe & Company, 2006). Rae has been a children’s physical activity specialist for 26 years and is the author of 15 other books, including the textbook Experiences in Movement (3rd edition) and the award-winning Great Games for Young Children .
Ringgenberg, Shelly. "Music as a Teaching Tool: Creating Story Songs." NAEYC journal, Young Children