Thursday, 13 March 2014

Storytime: Ladybirds

'Oink!' said the cats ...With all the MOOing and HISSing and BAAAing and CLUCKing, the farmyard is full of noise. But when Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len hatch a plot to steal the fine prize cow, it's the quietest animal of all who saves the day! ' What the Ladybird Heard is a Julia Donaldson classic that entertains children and adults alike. A book that is full of fabulous alliteration and fun rhymes, that makes it a perfect for reading aloud to toddlers and young children. 

The vibrant images are engaging and are simple enough so that toddlers can recognise the different animals. As we meet each animal, there are opportunities for children to interact with the story by making different animal sounds or, if there is a lot of energy in the room, you can stand up and act out the animal movements. The repetition in the book allows for children to have lots of chances to act out the noises, have a sing song and really step inside the story, anticipating what comes next.

We were prompted to use this book for a story time session after seeing a wonderful production at our local theatre, inspired by the book. With lots of singing, dancing and audience participation, it really made us chuckle. It also reminded me of our lovely ladybird puppet that has been hidden in our storytelling box since last summer. Spring is a great time of year to explore books and rhymes about animals and nature, so I think out little ladybird will be hanging out with us a lot now the sun has come out. This puppet is a great when used alongside the book, especially as it is a glove puppet that can dance around as he children imagine what is says to the other animals.

Once you have read the book once, you be eager to read again and again as the infectious rhyme plays over in your head. If you are brave enough to show of that wonderful voice of yours then take inspiration from Julia Donaldson herself and hold a little sing along session, once you have finished reading the book. If you are not so brave, just play the song!

We always like to incorporate a craft activity in to our storytelling sessions. This simple twirling ladybird allows children to bring a little of the story to life, whilst getting all of their creative energy. All you need is two paper plates, glittery red paint, paper spots, googly or paper eyes and string plus little messy hands to put it all together. Simply cut out two semi-circles out of black paper ( for the face), along with lots of small black circles to stick on the body of the paper plate, once you have covered it in red paint. You will need a little glue to stick on your eyes and once the paint and glue have dried, cut halfway through each plate, on opposite sides, then slot one plate inside the other to make your twirly ladybird. Add string and hang from the ceiling and there you go, your very own glittery ladybird that can hang about in your room and potentially save your day! Once you are done making your ladybird, you are sure to want another rendition of the song. Soooo…… the hen said cluck…………but the ladybird said, never a word.

I couldn't resist ending this post with a cute picture of our little ladybird! Hope you all have lots of spring fun!

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