One of my favorite programs of the year that I do with a local group is when our Early On program sets up a special story time at the library. I find this one especially rewarding as these kids and families really need us and are very appreciative for anything we do with them. This makes me want to add extra to their program! I run the program similarly to how I do my 2-year old story times, but add in a craft or 2 to take home. If I can, I add in some sensory story time elements.
As people come into the room, I have a couple of our flyers out for them to take including our current calendar of events, early literacy calendar, and 100 Books to Read Before Kindergarten booklist.
I have the crafts set up on tables in the back as we tend to get a lot of kids for this event and I am the only staff member in the room with them. Set-up looks like this:
This year's theme was farm. The Early On coordinator gives me a theme when we set up the program and this helps her to advertise to her families. We read some of my favorite books.
We also sang "When the Ducks Get Up in the Morning" with puppets. This added my sensory part as some of the kids liked to touch the puppets and they all have different textures. We used a cow, a pig, a duck, and a sheep.
I had two magnetboard rhymes along. If you ever don't have a magnetboard and need one in a jiffy, the tray for your AccuCut machine works just great!
Then we sang Old MacDonald using one of our craft samples. This helped to show the kids what to do. While it looks like a barn on the outside, there are clip art animals inside the bag that we had kids pick to choose our next animal in the song.
We also made paper bag animal puppets. All of the pieces were precut so kids just had to color and glue their pieces onto their puppet.
The Early On coordinator brought milk and cookies for all of the kids so they each had a snack when they finished their crafts.
This program is so popular that they have asked if they can come more than once a year! My answer was "Yes, please!"