Monday, June 26, 2017
Pretty soon I will be posting a huge backlog of storytime write-ups. Because these are older storytime plans, I probably won't go into much detail about with how it went or about which books and songs on the list that I ended up using for each storytime. I just want to get them all written up and posted ASAP so I can get back on track with my blog updates. I might end up doing less extensive write-ups in the future too and just post a list of books, songs, and rhymes for each theme so I can get the posts up more quickly. Hopefully this still works well for anyone who follows me. I figured it's better to get shorter posts up than let a backlog of drafts languish while I work on write-ups!
I finally mustered up the courage to start playing ukulele during storytime and it was magical! I am by no means a great ukulele player, but children's songs are quite simple to play and the kids and caregivers enjoy it even if you aren't great. When I brought out my uke for the first time the kids were enthralled. I think we could have probably done this activity for the entire storytime if I had wanted to. They were that into it! If you have a ukulele and haven't used it for storytime yet, do it! If you don't have a ukulele I definitely recommend getting one. I have a ukulele beginner's guide that I wrote after buying my first ukulele to help get you started. The ukulele I bought for myself is not the one I use for storytimes though. I was fortunate enough to have some grant money left over to buy a ukulele to keep at the library. I bought a durable polycarbonate ukulele from Outdoor Ukulele for my in-house uke. I'll do a review of their ukuleles later!
I came up with a really fun way to get the kids involved in the ukulele activity beyond just singing. Eventually I will be making a song cube, but for now I put icons representing each song in a bowl and have the kids pull one out to decide what we should play. Almost all of the songs I chose to use are pretty ubiquitous children's songs. Because they were such familiar songs, the kids could easily tell what the song was just from the simple icon on the paper.
I chose six different songs to use for this activity, though I'll come up with more to use in the future to help keep things fresh! The songs I used are:
- Pop! goes the Berry
- You Are My Sunshine
- I'm a Little Teapot
- Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Mary Had a Little Lamb
All of these songs can be played with just three chords: C, F, and G
Fingering charts from Coustii
In all of these songs you can replace the G chord with the G7 chord if you prefer it. I used to find G7 much easier to play than G. Some of these songs had G7 instead of G when I looked up the chords, but after practicing other songs, I find G easier to transition to, so I switched it for my preference. Use whichever you are more comfortable with! There will be songs where you can't switch G and G7 and still have it sound right, but I have yet to find a children's song where this is the case!
For chord charts for six different songs, click read more!