In order to not get cabin fever in the winter, I find it very necessary to get out of the house. Every. Single. Day.
Usually picking up the T-Rex from kindergarten easily serves this purpose. But when colds, coughs, and other even less desirable bugs plant a train wreck in those plans, you’ve got to get creative.
I recently found out there’s a library in my city. Fancy that. And it has a kid’s section. Nice. And story time. Even better. In English! Whoa, buddy, now that is some good news.
Yesterday, we re-socialized the recovering T-Rex by taking him to said story hour. It occurred to me on the way to the library that I might do some socializing myself and expand my real-life friend list at this weekly gathering. Ha – lofty, noble thought. I spent most of the time chasing two very active boys who have this annoying tendency to run in exactly opposite directions.
And may I ask oh why oh why oh why does one put a staircase in the middle of the children’s section? But, back to the actual events…
The hour beings with a “hello” song. The kids (and parents) hold hands and sing the “this is how we say hello when we’re learning English” song. Kind of cheeseball, but the kids like it.
The storyteller gathers the boys and girls and makes them sit and stay. I wonder if this guy is for hire…
He reads a (very simple) book or two and explains the pictures as well. Occasionally, he has the kids point to things in the room that relate to the story (floor, window, etc).
To bite back at boredom, he interjects songs in the program. The “new one” for the day was “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” My T-Rex is not a performer and though he knows the song, he barely followed along. He would rather observe the other kids.
Next, the flash cards come out. The cards show animals doing things like brushing their teeth, swimming, and eating. The kids then imitate the animals while the storyteller repeats the words several times.
Silliness is not forgotten; there are interludes of laughter in the learning. Little ones must get up and sit down verrrrry slooooowly and then rrrrrreally fast! And then slow! And then FAST!
Finally, the leader passes out pictures to color. I’m not sure what this has to do with English, but the helper does count, “one, two, three,” as she passes out the crayons.
The coloring is followed by a goodbye song and, well, chaos. Boys and girls running to and fro. Screech doing some serious damage to the cassette tape collection. I mean, I know they’re not from his decade, but boy, he sure did not go easy on the antiques. Anyway…
So maybe this isn’t exciting to you, but I’m totally thrilled to have a FREE activity that I can understand and take my kids to. Rock on.
What’s your favorite free activity – kids or no kids?