November 17 is National Homemade Bread Day. To celebrate we presented a Bread Baking Storytime
Because we don't have an oven at our library, I baked bread in a slow cooker, which is really easy: just line the bottom of the pot with parchment paper and put in your risen bread dough. A full loaf will take 3-4 hours. I used the "high" setting, and the bread was overcooked on one side of the bottom. A "low" setting might do a nicer job of baking.
By the time the families arrived for the story time, the room was filled with the aroma of baking bread.
After the story time the kids got to mix up their own batch of bread dough in a zipper bag. I found perfect instructions at Something Edible. Many thanks to the owner of the blog, Beau Dealy for his inspired recipe instructions.
For the story time I started with a great non-fiction book Bread Comes to Life, by George Levenson. Photographs and simple text explain the creation of bread from planting the seed to baking the dough.
I followed that with the familiar folktale of the The Little Red Hen. We have several versions of this in the library, I used Byron Barton's book because I really like his simple, straightforward illustrations.
I ended the story time by telling the story of The Gingerbread Man. We have several versions of this tale also, but none of them felt right to me. I was looking for the book I had owned when I was a child, with the chant,
"Run, run, as fast as you can,
you can't catch me,
I'm the gingerbread man.
I ran away from the little old woman,
I ran away from the little old man,
and I can run away from you,
I can, I can, I can!"
So I decided to tell the story, only I added a twist - yoga poses. For each character and some scenes, the kids and I adopted a yoga posture.This was a lot of fun, and really engaged the kids in the story. Many thanks to Dana Robinson of Sweet Feet Yoga for her yoga storytelling class at ILA this year, and to Sydney Solis for her great book, Storytime Yoga. Here are the poses I used for the story.