At San Diego Children's Discovery Museum, we offer many Daily Programs that are available to the public each day! As a self-proclaimed literacy nut, Storytime is absolutely one of my favorite times of the day. We offer a twice daily Storytime that caters to children of all ages. SDCDM prioritizes 3 major areas, Art, Science and World Cultures. SDCDM alternates Storytime each month between science and world culture-themed stories. This month, August 2017, is a celebration of the countries of East Africa!
I LOVE to read with children. There are infinite benefits to engaging groups of children in stories! Reading aloud introduces our youngest learners to the basics of print concepts, helps enhance language proficiency, and provides an introduction to academic learning expectations! (The former kindergarten teacher in me LOVES friends who have had exposure to “waiting your turn” skills!) By including world culture as an over-arching theme for our monthly Storytimes, we provide the additional benefit of introducing children to diverse cultures.
East Africa has proven to be a fascinatingly challenging and exciting theme to create. Below you can see our Storytime schedule as well as each week’s connected activity!
The Princess and the Pea is a retelling of the familiar story. The author, Rachel Isadora, places this version of the story in Africa. Retelling familiar stories is not only engaging for children, but it allows them to engage with the text in a different way, (not to mention it is a Common Core State Standard!).
In addition to each week’s story, a developmentally appropriate craft is created to coincide with Storytime. Our Princess and the Pea craft uniquely pairs the story with not only art skills but also MATH skills! This craft encourages children to develop fine motor skills using different art mediums including crayons and paint brushes for watercolors. It also introduces basic math skills through shapes and counting. With this activity, children are asked to draw 20 rectangular mattresses! Math and art go hand in hand! If drawing 20 mattresses is too difficult, families can support the drawing of the rectangles, then have children practice one-to-one correspondence by counting them.
The Perfect Orange tells the story of a little girl who takes an orange as a gift for the king. The story itself is a folktale from Ethiopia. It exposes children to the benefits of sharing and generosity. To provide children with an opportunity to further engage with the story, we encourage children to create a paper orange as a symbol of kindness. This craft provides a plethora of opportunities for development. We ask children to identify circles as well as triangles. We also aim to encourage the development of fine motor skills through the use of cutting and gluing.
Rachel Isadora contributed a few books to August’s Storytime. In the story of the 12 Dancing Princesses, children are invited to engage with vivid illustrations as well as continue to develop their sense of basic print concepts. The activity of the week is two-fold. Not only do children have the opportunity to continue practicing those fine motor skills through cutting and pasting, children are also invited to invoke their creativity by selecting images from magazines to create their own “Dancing Shoe!” As children are working, our Indoor Classroom will be playing music inspired by Africa. Children are encouraged to create a dancing shoe that inspires them to dance!
A Thirst For Home provides insight into the life of a child who has lived across multiple continents. The young girl moves from her home in Africa to a new home in the United States. Children can connect to the story by comparing and contrasting the young girl’s life in both locations as well as their own lives. This text brings home the message that as global citizens, we are all connected, especially through our world’s water. This week’s project utilizes the themes of water and connectedness by encouraging children to create their own finger-painted water art! Sensory play has many benefits to child development and can easily be included in a variety of art projects. This activity asks children to use their fingers to create water-like images on a piece of tin foil.
San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum strives to teach children about cultural understanding and appreciation through the use of Storytime and Art Activities. Join us daily in the month of August at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm to hear stories about East African Culture!