Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Can't get enough of those chickens...

Okay. I apparently have a thing about chickens. I have posted chicken storytimes NOT ONCE, but twice before. And here I am again. I won't go on about more chicken books (although I will say that this time it was "Chickens and Eggs" and one of the books I added was First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, which is a fabulous book for spring time).

No, today I want to post about two of the "stretchers" that we included in this Chicken and Eggs storytime.

First, the activity that had us singing all week long and caused a couple of kids to exclaim "That was awesome!"

Egg shakers. It fit in perfectly with our theme. They were super easy and cheap to make (you can buy them, too, like these egg shakers from Lakeshore). And they were so much fun. We'll definitely use them again. To make them, I just used some plastic Easter eggs we already had (if you're shopping in the right season, you can also find them quite easily at your local Dollar Tree, grocery store, etc.). I filled each one with a small handful of beans, and put tape around the middle of the eggs. None of them broke open. They're not works of are, but they are colorful and they make noise.

We used the shakers with the song "I Know a Chicken" by Laurie Berkner, on her CD Whaddaya Think of That? It's a great song to use with shakers because in addition to just shaking on the beat, it gives explicit instructions (i.e. "Shake 'em fast!" "Shake 'em slow.", etc.). (Boy howdy, the kids loved shaking them fast. So did I.)

Here's the song (and I will warn you that it's been stuck in all of our heads all week long):



Along with all the great chicken books and the egg shaking, we also made this craft, which I completely stole from my good friend J at the Solon Public Library (and I also stole her photo):


Each child gets a paper plate which they color yellow (or whatever color they want - we had at least one green chicken) and then cut in half. Staple the two halves together so that they form a little basket, leaving the top open. Affix the google eyes, beak (you can staple it on, between the two plate halves, or tape it or glue it), draw a wing, and tape (or staple) two bent pipe cleaners to the inside of the plates for handles.

The kids quite enjoyed making it, and to my mind it was a good mix of things they could do on their own (coloring, gluing), things they could do with help (stapling), and things the parents had to do (taping the pipe cleaners to the inside was the trickiest part).

And now maybe I have posted about chicken storytimes enough. Once more and I'm going to have to start calling my blog The Chicken Librarian.