Family Fun Day: storytime + dance party

Last month I hosted a family fun event for our Early Head Start program. I tweaked the program based on what worked well last time and to better fit the younger audience. Here is what I came up with:

Bubbles. As kids finished eating (lunch provided by EHS) I had out a few quiet toys and blew a bajillion bubbles to engage the kids while grownups finished eating and got cleaned up.

Welcome. I welcomed the families, explained what we were going to do, and gave a version of my storytime spiel inviting grownups to participate and sing along with us.

Storytime songs. We started with a few of my favorite songs and rhymes, including the elevator song, bubble bubble pop, and zoom, zoom, zoom. This group including infants through 4 year olds, so for each song I shared how to interact with a baby while singing and also how the older kids could do it too.

Music and movement. I created a mini music and movement playlist, and we danced with shakers for about 20 minutes. This was by far the most popular part, and almost all of the grownups participated, which I was so happy to see. One reason I love shakers (or any prop really) is that they work magic to get adults participating. I remind kids to, “take a shaker to your grownup!” but I also pass them out to adults who are standing on the sidelines.

Free play. I dumped out a bunch of different building toys, sorting toys, and balls and let the kids and grownups play together. This started out well, but after about 15 minutes most grownups lost interest.

Choral reading. We gathered back together for a choral reading of My Family and I/Mi familia y yo by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza.

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