Fall two-fer

We’re back into storytime, full swing, and full into fall!

My first week back I did Apples as I thought it tied in nicely with the season and with back to school. This post will talk about the two following themes as I kind of tied them all together, or tried to.

First off was fall leaves. One of my coworkers and I had been chatting about our upcoming themes and realized we had both been planning on doing an apple and a fall leaf theme so one of us planned one, the other planned the other and we switched off and made adjustments as needed. She planned the Fall Leaves storytime / craft and I the Apples storytime / craft. I am not sure which books she read for each, but below are the books I read and activities I did for my fall storytime.

Our first book was “Fletcher and the Falling Leaves” by Julia Rawlinson good gracious, this book is adorable! I was a TAD nervous that it would be too long or involved but as I was reading, I realized that was NOT the case, the kids quite liked it! I’ll admit, the sparkly ice tree reveal at the end (spoilers, sorry) didn’t get as big of a reaction as I’d hoped, but oh well!

After our first book we did our first rhyme, Way Up High in the Autumn Tree, which is a shamelessly converted version of Way Up High in the Apple Tree. hah I did this with 4 verses and picked 2 places for the leaf to land and then asked the kids for other suggestions, you can do this with as many verses and places to land as you can think of!

Way up high in the Autumn tree

Way up high in an Autumn tree   (Stretch arms and scarves in air)
Four fall leaves smiled at me (hold scarf in a smile)
I shook the tree as hard as I could   (Shake arms and scarves in air)
1 leaf came down   (flutter hands/scarves down)
And landed on my foot!   (tap foot)

Way up high in an Autumn tree   (Stretch arms and scarves in air)
Three fall leaves smiled at me (hold scarf in a smile)
I shook the tree as hard as I could   (Shake arms and scarves in air)
1 leaf came down   (flutter hands/scarves down)
And landed on my nose!   (tap nose)

After that, we moved on to our second book, “Penguin and Pumpkin”, by Salina Yoon. I quite liked this book, the illustrations are adorable, and the story is quite sweet. However, for some weird reason, I had a hard time reading it aloud in both of my sessions. I found myself getting tongue tied or losing my place a few times and I really don’t know why. Maybe it was just an off week. *shrug*

Our third book was “Fall Leaves, Fall” by Zoe Hall. I really love the illustration style of this book with the bright, bold colors.

One of the books I REALLY wanted to read with a corresponding flannel was “Fall is Not Easy” by Marty Kelley

I have seen SO MANY adorable examples of flannel versions of this and will hopefully, SOMEDAY get around to making my own.

Our craft for the fall leaf theme was a fall leaf wreath! Ok, I’ll admit, we ordered about 9406745 paper plates for a program that we’d done before and had 273562943 people attend but this year after making sure we wouldn’t run out of plates, we of course had a much, much smaller crowd…so ya, plates are getting used for many many storytimes. 😛

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We simply photocopied a handful of different leaf pictures onto fall leaf colored paper and cut them out. The kids used the leaves, glue, a paper plate sans middle, and string to create their wreaths. Hilariously, many of the kids then proceeded to string them on like a necklace and all I could think was that I had a room full of tiny little Autumn Flava Flavs.

do you like my wreath?!

 

Our sign language word we learned was “Leaf”

Leaf sign language

LEAF

 

PUMPKINS

 

The first pumpkin book we read for our Pumpkin storytime was “Mystery Vine” by Cathryn FalwellI had hoped that I’d be able to get through at least most, if not all of the book before one of the kids guessed it was a pumpkin, but we had one older sibling in for this session and they were a bit ahead of the rest of the gang so we didn’t last very long. 😛  Even with the early spoiler, we still enjoyed the book. It’s a cute story with racially ambiguous characters and it’s even a little educational! I’m all for diversity in books, especially since the majority of families that I have in my storytimes are not Caucasian Americans; you don’t want to present nothing but books with characters that the attendees / readers may not be able to relate to.

Between our first and second books we did our first active rhyme. I’ve seen this rhyme floating around and I like it but I wanted to incorporate some manipulatives or shakers or something so I incorporated scarves and made up some actions to go along.

Pumpkin Pumpkin

Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (bend down touch ground)
How’d you get so big and round?
(pop up spin scarf in circle)
Once you were a seed so small
(ball up scarf)
Now you are a great big ball!
(stretch scarf and arms out into circle)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground
(bend down touch ground)
How’d you get so big and round?
(pop up spin scarf in circle)

As always, including actions that go along with the words will help retain information and build stronger connections. It also ups the fun factor, so why not, right?!

Our second pumpkin book was “It’s Pumpkin Time” by Zoe Hall Once again, the illustration is that kind of torn paper collage style and I just really enjoy it. I am apparently a fan of the Zoe Hall + Shari Halpern dream team I guess. hah

After book 2 comes rhyme 2. This is probably the 34328th time I’ve done this and the 32142nd version of the Jack and Jill rhyme, but I feel like this never gets old!

Two Little Pumpkins

Two little pumpkins sitting on a hill
One named Jack, the other named Jill
Roll away Jack, roll away Jill
Come back, Jack, come back Jill

Two little pumpkins balanced on my toe!
One rolls fast, the other rolls slow
Roll away fast, roll away slow
Come back, fast, come back slow

Two little pumpkins wearing silly hats
One was round, the other was flat
Roll away round, roll away flat
Come back, round, come back flat

 

Our third and final book was “It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse!” by Laura NumeroffI had a blast with this book! It features Mouse from “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” as he decorates pumpkins in different ways. He makes different faces like angry, or sad, or silly and it works super well for having the kids play along and make their own faces. The book was actually a board book which would normally be a bit young for my crowd of preschoolers, but this one encourages a lot of discussion and worked really well for being interactive.

 

So…. because I can’t math, I counted the weeks wrong and scheduled my fall / halloween themes a week earlier than I meant to. Oops.

 

So looks like I have a renegade week and it’s gonna be SPAACCCEEEE.

Grab your spacesuits!

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