Sunday, September 6, 2009


Story time with your children can go beyond just reading a book with your children. You can expand on story time with our "enhancing story time"!

Today we are going to give you some suggestions on how to enhance story time with your children after you read the story Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

We would recommend that you purchase one of our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Felt Board Stories to use while reading the book with your child. The child can help you put the letters on the felt board and it will help create a multi-sensory experience while reading the book.

Practice reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom several times before presenting it to your children. Have the children practice saying to you, "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!" A natural rhythm will emerge as you read and the children will delight in saying their lines. Pause just before all the letters fall out of the tree, and tell the children to get ready. When you turn the page they should say their lines, "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!" At the end of circle time mention that the children should look closely at the way the illustrator changed the borders using bright citrus colors, and how each letter changed when it fell from the coconut tree!

For Art: Make Bright Citrus Borders

What the children will learn: To decorate the borders of their pictures by layering paper.
Materials you will need: Bright orange, yellow, and pink construction paper, pencil, ruler, hole puncher, glue or stapler, white paper, markers, scraps of construction paper.
What to do:

  • Draw a one-inch border around the bright orange, yellow, pink construction paper

  • Let the children punch holes at random between the margin lines and the edge of the paper.

  • Place contrasting color of construction paper behind the paper with the holes and secure in place with glue or staple sheets together

  • Ask the children to make a tropical scene by drawing on the white paper with pencils or markers. Some children may want to make a collage picture of a tropical scene by gluing on scraps of brightly colored construction paper.

  • Glue the tropical scene in the center of the construction paper leaving the exposed hole-punched margins as a frame.

Younger children will spend a great deal of their time just punching the holes. Older children can experiment more with creating bold graphics like in the book!

For Cooking & Snack Time: Coconut tasting party!

What the children will learn: To taste coconut in a variety of forms. (*Please make sure that the children who are participating are not allergic to nuts!*)
Materials you will need: Coconut in a shell, newspaper, hammer, teaspoons, knife, grater, bowls, cookie sheet, toaster oven, napkins, glasses, milk
What to do:
  • Purchase a coconut in the shell

  • Have the children hold it, feel how heavy it is, how rough the outside is and have them shake it to hear the milk inside

  • Wrap the coconut in newspaper, then hit it with the hammer so that it breaks open

  • Pour the milk from the coconut and let the children taste it. (*make sure your children do not have any nut allergies!*) Dip the teaspoons in the milk to coat them for a taste.

  • Slice off a small bit of the coconut meat for the children to taste

  • Peel the coconut and let the children help grate it into bowls. Remind them of how to hold the piece of coconut meat so that they do not grate their knuckles or fingers.

  • Toast the coconut on a cookie sheet in the oven

  • Let the children taste the toasted coconut

  • Serve coconut macaroon cookies with glasses of cold milk

If possible, make the coconut macaroons from the coconut the children grated

For Mathematics & Manipulative's: Counting and Sequencing Letters

What the children will learn: To count and sequence the letters of the alphabet.

Materials you will need: Magnetic alphabet letters and felt letters from your felt set.

What to do:

  • Ask the children to find as many sets of the alphabet as they can in your house or room. Look for magnetic letters, felt letters, alphabet blocks.

  • Have the children arrange the alphabet in order

  • Ask the children one at a time to say the letters of the alphabet while touching the letters, but pause after each letter. When the child pauses, the children count. For example, child says, "A" and the other children say, "1".

  • Repeat the exercise with all the alphabet sets

  • Let the children make their names from the alphabet letters, and as they say the letters of their names, the group will count.

Older children can take the phrases found in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and see how many words they can make from manipulating the letters.

For Music & Movement: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Up Our Coconut Tree

What the children will learn: To move in sequence while keeping the rhythm of the chant

Materials you will need: Masking tape, optional long sheets of butcher paper, markers

What to do:

  • Place a long, slightly sloping line of masking tape across the floor or make a long coconut tree by drawing a brown trunk on a sheet of butcher paper and taping it to the floor.

  • Assign each child a letter. When you reach Q R S and U V W and X Y Z, assign each set to a child

  • Tell the children that as you read you want them to move up the trunk of the coconut tree, keeping the rhythm of the chant. Then fall down. As you read their letters they should do the motions that go with the story, but so them keeping the rhythm.

  • Practice once and help any children who think of ways to show what their letters did.

  • Begin by having everyone get the beat of the chant by saying, "Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom!"

  • Do the movement activity several times and be prepared for lots of giggles and laughter. Enjoy the fun with the children.

This chant also can be done like the bunny hop with children attaching themselves to the line as they hop along. Have one adult lead the line while the other reads the book or uses the felt story.

We hope that you enjoy enhancing this story time with your children! For more wonderful felt stories please visit our website


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