Lots of stories and songs with animals have been a favorite at Family Day Cares lately. The smaller group often allows for some different kinds of activities and games, allowing the children to practice sharing and turn taking.
This past month I used a big poster with a farm on it and the children all got to pick an animal to velcro up onto the chart as we sang “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” The children identify the animals and the sounds they make and then patiently wait their turn to add their animal to the chart.
Some of the stories that were read and enjoyed include the following.
Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen is a story in which the reader is invited to guess who causes the boat to sink when five animals of varying sizes decide to go for a row. Some children are amazed at the ending and others say “I knew that was going to happen!”
This favorite story, Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean shares another adventure with Pete, the cat, as he discovers that he (and his animal friends) do not really need to wear “cool blue magic sunglasses” to be in a good mood!
I also brought out a favorite and classic, Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr., with pictures by Eric Carle. Children always seem to enjoy familiar stories as they join in to help read the story. Following this book, the children were able to work with puzzle cards to make each animal in the book. At one house, we made silly animals, like a red bird’s head and a blue horse’s legs.