Based in San Francisco, iteachkids.org is an early childhood education blog by Tiva Lee Samaru. HER posts explore; through videos and other resources - original early childhood education curricula and ideas for enrichment classes, as well as, tips and tricks for classroom management and general childcare.

Story time activities

Story time activities

A storytime class is one that allows a mix of elements.

Dance or musical elements come to mind and tends to naturally flow into this type of class. Additionally, their inclusion offers a variety of activities and different ways to relay information about whatever theme you are exploring. Not to mention, it gives you a chance to diversify the class vibe. Children love to move around, after all, they are still learning and exploring, so switching things up with an upbeat movement song helps keep them engaged and breaks the stagnation that comes with sitting in one place for too long.

Remember, a story time class doesn’t always mean reading books and singing simple rhymes. Movement and music are excellent storytelling elements on their own and using them as an extension of your theme provides sensory and kinetic association.

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With a strong love for storytelling primarily because of my performance art background, I find ease with creating storytime activities, particularly ones which utilize my handmade props!

Consequentially, I’m more observant of this planet we inhabit. For instance, when it’s raining, I pay attention to everything that’s happening at times observing raindrops as they slide down a window pane. Sometimes I open my hand and catch one in my palm or watch it dance down the side of my rain boots. These observations tend to influence curriculum creation and provide my students with a foundation for their own keen observation of our planet.

I’ve also wondered how it must feel to be a raindrop. To free fall from above must be such a magical thing. This thought played a significant role in the following activity which uses some Raindrops I made for iteachkids’ Arts & Crafts segment. These simple paper raindrops, though delicate, achieved the main focus of my thought, which was replicating the movement of falling raindrops - their freedom and constant motion as well. To increase kinetic awareness, I combined simple body movement and fused a musical element in there too.

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HOW DID IT GO?

My students loved the raindrops in all their simplicity. I asked them to "be gentle", as some started enthusiastically swinging the raindrops around, which at times didn't really work in their favor! Needless to say, the activity was a focused one. Students, with instruction, moved their raindrops up and down while singing the complementary vocal activity. Because this activity was modest, it was easy for them to pay attention to the movement of the raindrop while exercising a certain level of caution and care. They were also able to concentrate on the timing of the vocal phrase in relation to the movement, singing raindrop as the raindrop was up and splash as the raindrop hit the ground.

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Although the activity was very successful, I still have some suggestions to make it incident free, particularly for the raindrops - if you decide to go with delicate ones as I did!

Ask your students to stay seated while you hand out the raindrops reiterating how delicate they are and how gentle they should be with them. Show them what gentle means so they know what your expectations are. Introduce the thought of the delicate nature of real raindrops that way they can compare this raindrop prop a real one and treat it as such. Lastly, introduce the activity before beginning. Demonstrate beforehand so they know exactly what to do and once they have that foundation, then exploration of or during the activity will be easier.


Take a look!

If you are looking for a really simple yet effective rain themed storytime activity then watch the video. You will see how the raindrops were used and listen to or learn the vocal accompaniment.

Raindrop Splash,

Tiva

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