Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Rhyme Time

When children arrive for our storytelling sessions they are usually excited for the session, displaying lots of energy whilst exploring their new surroundings. For this reason, I always like to begin my sessions with a few lively songs to bring the children together and release a bit of their energy before settling down to our stories. Bookstart have a great little CD full of traditional songs to sing aloud, including a great ' hello' song to get everybody in the mood. After a few songs from the rhyme times CD it is time to settle down on out storytelling blankets and cushions and dip into the nursery rhyme sack!

The nursery rhyme sack consists of these great finger puppets by The Puppet Company, placed in a simple drawstring tote bag. The bag is a great way to ensure that all children are actively involved in storytelling sessions, with each child taking a turn to take a puppet out of the bag.  Having puppets to choose and hold on to is a great way of drawing children back into a storytelling session, if their attention has been lost. It is lovely to see the surprise on each child's face as they discover what puppet they have and what songs they can sing.

The puppets in The Puppet Company set  come with a book of old favourites;  ' Twinkle Twinkle ', 'Humpty Dumpty', 'Hickory Dickory Dock', 'Baa Baa Black Sheep', ' Incy Wincy spider ' and ' once I caught a fish alive '. I have added extra puppets to cater for a large group and to add a bit of variety. You can either buy extra puppets or just use dolls or toys that you have around the house, as long as you can think of a song to match the item.

It is great to see children interacting with the puppets, chatting away to them to involve them in the session. If the child's is distracted or starts to wander, then you can encourage her to come back into the story by by speaking to the puppet and asking her to question the puppet, i.e " what does the mouse want to do next " or " does Incy Wincy want to come and sit on the Mat ".  Of course, if a child really wants to roam about then that is fine, they can jump in and out when they can, if they are curious about checking out their surroundings. If there are a lot of children up on their feet and wanting to have a little wiggle about, I like to play a few action songs, such as ' If you are happy and you know it ' or ' The Hokey Cokey '. Once all of our voices are exercised and the little legs are ready for a rest, it is time to settle down for a story and prepare for other surprises!

Pictures are courtesy of Lisa Green Photography, a wonderful family friendly photographer based in the North West, from her shots taken at the fabulous Big You, Little You open day in Liverpool.

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