Sunday, January 30, 2011

Elephant Stretching

Book: Babar’s Yoga for Elephants
Equipment: Scanner, Projector
Presenters: One
Audience: Mostly 3-6

Our weekly Family Storytimes typically feature three stories, with “in-betweeners” mixed in, as well as an opening and closing song. We choose stories by theme, but don’t worry about that with the in-betweeners. We need activities that are active, fun, and easy to follow, since our crowds are large and mixed in terms of age. For our “Elephants” theme, though, I thought of one that would fit nicely and be a bit different from the standards we usually use.

I’m not sure how Babar’s Yoga for Elephants by Laurent de Brunhoff compares to the other child yoga books out there, but in this case it had what we needed: at least two poses that were simple enough for preschool ages and for a not-so-flexible middle aged librarian; and an elephant character demonstrating them. We scanned each step of the illustrations that demonstrated two poses: “The Inverted Triangle” and “The Happy Warrior.” Clicking on the remote revealed the stages of the poses. Some of the kids did quite well, others were vaguely on track with the pictures, but all seemed to get a good stretch. Plus I got to remind them about Babar books even though we didn’t use one for our stories (but we did have plenty on display for checkout). And another nice thing about yoga for stretches is that you can introduce it by reminding all that “yoga is a very quiet and peaceful activity,” which does settle the group down some.

We also used yoga as a stretching activity for our January “K-2 Book Adventures” program, “Bug Tales.” We got the idea from our volunteer Sam, who pointed out that some yoga poses have buggish names (“The Dead Bug Pose” was our favorite) and others suggest bug poses even when the name doesn’t match (so we did “Child’s Pose” and said: “but we like to think of it as The Roly Poly Pose.”) It made a nice break in a packed program, which also included Elephants Can Paint Too by Katya Arnold and Watch Me Throw the Ball by Mo Willems, with details in separate posts.

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