Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sock Hop!

I always like doing themes that are part of kids' everyday world, and what is more basic than shoes and socks? In fact, one of my little "time-wasters" at the beginning of storytime is to talk about what kind of shoes kids are wearing. (A "time-waster" is something to fill up a bit of time while we wait for more kids to arrive.)

Now I have a new way to look at shoes. Today we sang about pink shoes, flip-flops, and light-up shoes:

Old shoes, new shoes,  ______ is wearing _______ shoes,
One, two, three, four -- now I stomp them on the floor.

Lots of stomping with that one. All the rest of storytime was all about socks. We read:

  Have You Seen My New Blue Socks, by Eve Bunting, with illustrations by Sergio Ruzzier.  This is a new 2013 book, with a rhyming text reminiscent of Fox in Socks. Duck can't find his new blue socks. Who can help him? Fox, Ox, or the Peacocks?

Socks Heaven, by Pauline Young, illustrated by Benny Lau.  This book is from 2003 and probably not easy to find. I got my copy at a Reading the World conference in San Francisco several years ago.

Sam has a super selection of socks, but two of them are missing. In his dreams he travels to Socks Heaven, where everything---the trees, the birds, the swimming pool---are in the shape of socks. It's a colorful story that any child (or mom) can relate to.

We sang:

Hickory dickory dock
Let's put on our socks
We'll walk around without a sound
When we put on our socks.

Some of the kids had socks on, and some didn't, but we took off our shoes, pretended to put on socks, and walked around without a sound. We also tried "hop around," "slide around," and "dance around."

I am trying to build a library of flannelboard stories that includes more interactive sets. A sock theme is ideal for a matching game. I made a dozen pairs of felt socks in a variety of colors and patterns. I handed out one sock of pair to each child. (Luckily I didn't have more than a dozen children.)

We sang:

Oh where, oh where did my yellow sock go?
Oh where, oh where can it be?
It has green triangles all over it,
Oh where, oh where can it be?

Each time I put up a sock, and sang about it, and then the child with the matching sock brought it up and put it on the board.

This was a lot of fun, and it not only teaches colors and shapes, but good vocabulary words like stripes, zig-zags, dots, and squiggles. My socks are about 5 inches high heel to top. If you cut them a little smaller, you could fit them more easily on the board. On the other hand, if the socks are smaller, the decorations will have to be smaller too, and that might mean some very fiddly cutting.

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