Last Saturday’s storytime was all about HENS! We even allowed our puppet hen, Henrietta, to find a safe place to lay her egg during storytime. Just as we started to sing our closing songs, we heard a big CLUCK coming from the back of the room. It was Henrietta! She was sitting in a wicker basket, looking ever so pleased. We looked underneath her, making sure to be gentle, and we found a perfect egg. Some of the children asked if she could lay a blue or purple or pink egg next time. She’s still trying…
(Poor Henrietta – she has her work cut out for her!)
Here are a few of the stories & activities we shared:
In Mama Hen’s Big Day, Mama Hen is desperate to find the perfect place to lay her VERY FIRST EGG! She rushes from place to place, encountering a snake in a cave, a cat in the meadow, a porcupine in the leaves and a red fox in the tall grass. Since all of those places are taken, she frets that she’ll never find the best spot for her to lay her egg! Finally she starts going round and round, higher and higher, until she reaches the top of the tallest mountain (actually more like a tall mound) and PLOP…she lays her egg! The story ends with Mama Hen hugging her new baby chick as she realizes that the best place to lay her egg is “wherever Mama is!” Colorful, eye-catching illustrations and a slow, steady build up to the story’s conclusion make this a winner for preschoolers.
Keiko Kasza is a master of suspense for the younger set. Wolf’s Chicken Stew is an old favorite and I never tire of reading it aloud. It starts with a very hungry wolf trying to decide what to eat next…the wolf is obsessed with planning his meals – as soon as he finishes one meal, he begins thinking about what he’ll eat at his next meal. This ultimate predator decides upon “chicken stew” and begins to look for his prey; ultimately he spies a lovely hen and starts to follow her. Just as he is about to pounce… he gets a marvelous idea. He decides his chicken stew will be all the more delicious if he fattens the hen up first. The story continues with the wolf in his kitchen making 100 pancakes, 100 donuts and finally, a 100-pound cake! On three consecutive nights, he wolf leaves each batch of goodies on the chicken’s porch. It is on the fourth night that he sneaks over to snatch the chicken, but as he peers through the door he is met with a BIG surprise!!! Hilarity ensues as we discover that the wolf has a soft spot and is no match for the hen and her sweet, little chicks.
Scary Mary is not for the faint of heart! Mary is a hen who does NOT like to share anything – not her space, not her time, not her food, NOTHING! She practices making scary faces to make sure none of the other barnyard animals get the idea that they are welcome anywhere near her. She also puts up signs (KEEP OUT & GO AWAY), builds gates and has horrific squawking tantrums to discourage any contact. Finally, she is ALONE – she has the barnyard and everything in it to herself. Of course, after some time, she feels very, very lonely and timidly approaches the other animals to ask, “Can I play too?” They answer with a resounding “Yes!” The moral of the story: It is “much more fun to do things…together!
Our flannel board:
Five Little Chicks
Five little chicks went out to play
In the barnyard one fine day
Mother hen went cluck, cluck, cluck
But only four little chicks came back
(three, two, one, none…)
No little chicks went out to play
In the barnyard one fine day
Mother hen went BAWK, BAWK, BAWK
And all five little chicks came back
More stories about hens & chicks to share at home…