This week I chose to do a super silly storytime featuring books with nonsense words. I can’t remember how I came up with the idea to do a nonsense storytime, but once I had, I was committed. I HAD to do this storytime, even if it ended up as a disaster.
I began with the book Froodle by Antoinette Portis. This is the story of a bird who decides it would rather say something silly than continue saying “peep,” and changes the entire neighborhood when he does. I had so much laughter in the audience I could barely hear myself read. I can’t recommend this book enough!
Then we did this awesome rhyme I found from Sturdy for Common Things. I handed out scarves that we used as our hats, and I took requests for where we would wear our hats next. My favorite was “tummy.”
My Silly Hat
On my HEAD I wear a hat
It is such a silly hat
Wear it here and there and to and fro
Where else can my silly hat go?
(Foot, Elbow, Knee, Shoulder)
For my second book I decided to read The Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll with illustrations by Graeme Base. I really struggled with this decision, but after several discussion with various colleagues I chose to go for it. Right at the beginning I had a caregiver ask “Are we supposed to know what any of these words mean?” Which was a a perfect way for me to say, “no these are completely made-up words, but by looking at the pictures we can tell what the story is about.” I made sure to either ask or briefly describe what was happening, as we went along. It may have went a little over the kids heads, but i think it was a worthwhile read, and they at least enjoyed the beautiful illustrations.
After this we needed to move around a bit, so we sang “Apples and Bananas” by Raffi. This also allowed the kids to say some funny words themselves, and not just listen to me say them.
Finally, I brought out Bark George by Jules Feiffer. Though this one doesn’t have any made up words, it does feature I dog making the wrong animal noises, which is pretty nonsensical too. For this I attempted my very first prop story. We have this amazing garbage can dog, that I then fill with the different animals to be pulled out by the vet. I had a colleague read the narrative parts, while I played the part of George’s mother, George, and the vet. Anytime the story said “bark, George,” I had everybody say it. It was awesome! I can not wait to do more prop stories in future storytimes.
For the craft I had to get pretty creative. I couldn’t find anything on Pinterest (hard to believe, I know!), and with such an odd theme was struggling to come up with anything. Finally I decided to make coloring sheets, one featuring a bird and one featuring a dog, with large speech bubble added. I cut out a bunch of letters, that the kids could then glue into the speech bubble to make their animal say silly things. Despite its simplicity, the kids really enjoyed doing this craft.
So in the end, this storytime was not even remotely a disaster. It was a huge success, with tons of giggles and smiling faces. I’m so happy I went for it with this nonsense theme, because it was so worth it.