Sunny Day

Now that we are done with our Summer Library Program, and on a storytime break, I have time to catch up on some back posts!

Some of you may know because you live in the area, and other may have heard on the news about the freak flash flooding we had recently in the Detroit area, well as much as I enjoy a good rainstorm, it’s never fun when it gets out of hand so on the other end of the spectrum, I thought I should post about a storytime I did recently about the sun and clouds. I had done a space/moon/rocket ship themed StoryTech recently and decided to continue with a similar theme that also went with the season as well. I kinda love themes and tying them all together. I know I’ve mentioned it before; I also know that probably nobody in the storytime audience notices but I amuse myself with it and that’s all that really matters, right?  right.   😉

Anywho, since we did some fun night time sky stuff books last time, this time it was daytime sky stuff books.

The books I read were:

The Sun is my Favorite Star by Frank Asch

Little Cloud by Eric Carle

Why the Sun and the Moon live in the Sky
(there are many versions of this book as it is an old folktale, I used the version by Elphinstone Dayrell and Blair Lent)

 

I had a great response to this storytime theme! Lots of people asked for the books (on Thursday I can just give them out, but Monday can sometimes be hard because if I only have one copy of a title, I can’t give it away since I need it for my Thursday session as well.)

I was quite excited with the variety of books I was able to find and use for this storytime because it isn’t often that I find a fairytale/folktale or non-fiction title that will work well for storytime, but this week I was able to find one of each and they went over swimmingly. 🙂

Little cloud is aways fun to read because even though it is a pretty basic book, you can read it many different ways. With my preschool group being a bit older, I chose to read it as a very interactive guessing game. I would read the text and then take a peek to myself on the next page at what the cloud had turned into and then give them clues or hints or whatever, they would guess, sometimes I would just take a peek and laugh or gasp, the kids really enjoyed that book.

 

Aside from the stories, we also did this action rhyme a few times:

 

 

Big Round Sun

The big round sun in the springtime sky
(form large circle with arms)

Waved at a cloud that was passing by.  
(wave)

The little cloud laughed as it scattered rain,
(flutter fingers downward)

Then out came the big round sun again.
(form large circle with arms)

 

I also asked the kids if they were a c loud, what they would turn into and then let them demonstrate if they could, tons of fun and giggles! 😀

 

We did a very easy craft after which consisted of grabbing big blue sheets of construction paper, white crayons, yellow die-cut sun shapes, and cotton balls. I had the kids draw some cloud shapes then fill them in.

One of the kids even gave their sky two suns  😉

 

I really enjoyed this theme and had a TON of books I could have used so I’m sure I’ll do it again to try 0out some other titles!

Summertime and the living’s easy

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Last week was a very summery storytime! After doing a 4th of July storytime, I thought I’d celebrate some other summery things. I read 3 books this week and did two active rhymes as well as a flannel board and craft, we were busy busy!

The books we read were

Summery Saturday Morning by Margaret Mahy

Happy Dog Sizzles by Lisa Gruff

It’s Summer! by Linda Glaser
I really liked the rhythm of Summery Saturday Morning but wished the book was a bit bigger or the images were brighter or more eye catching, it felt like a better book to read to a small group or just one on one, not sure why. The story is cute though and it moves quickly so it keeps interest pretty well and because each page repeats the line “On a summery saturday morning.” I did noticed some kids mouthing out the line as we got to it which is great!
I LOVED Happy Dog Sizzles! It was a really cute and fun read about a dog and a cat that are super hot and trying to cool down but in the process see a contest for the best walla-pa-do; I wanted to act parts out and wished that I had more time to think up a craft because I would have tried to have them make their own”Walla-pa-doos” It’s a fun guessing book and the illustrations are super bright and colorful and very unique, I really dug it.
We also did a flannel board version of the board book “Mouse’s First Summer” by Lauren ThompsonThis was fun because it’s very self explanatory in that the whole story is basically Mouse and Minka running into summery things and wondering what they are so I basically had the flannel pieces in order and just kinda fed off the kids and ad-libbed.

The whole thing went along the lines of “Mouse looked to her right and spied something new! it was (insert description of item here). “What’s that?!” said Minka!” and then the kids would either shout out their guesses or I’d try to help them before I’d put the item on the flannel board. I also used it as a memory game, as I often do with my flannel boards, and asked them questions like “What did Mouse and Minka see that way juicy and sweet?” and then I’ll give them more clues if they get stuck, it’s nice and interactive.
The two active rhymes we did were:

I’m a Little Sunflower

Tune:  I’m a Little Teapot
I’m a little sunflower look and see (stand up straight and tall)
Here is my stem and here are my leaves. (put arms to side then raise out like leaves)
When the sun comes up, I turn my head. (raise arms above head in arch and look up)
When the sun goes down I go to bed. (swing arms down then pretend to sleep)

And then I took “Two Little Black Bears” and made it into “Two Little Sunshines”

Two little sunshines

Two Little sunshines
Two little sunshines shining on a hill
One named Jack and the other named Jill
Run away Jack, run away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill

Two little sunshines shining on the snow
One shines fast and the other shines slow
Run away fast, run away slow
Come back fast, come back slow

Two little sunshines feeling very proud
One shines quiet and the other shines loud
Run away quiet, run away loud
Come back quiet, come back loud

Two little sunshines bouncing with a ball
One bounced short and the other bounced tall
Bounce away short, bounce away tall
Come back short come back tall

For that rhyme I wore yellow ribbon danglers bracelets and had two little die cut paper sun “puppets” that I used to demonstrate. The kids LOVE that rhyme regardless of if it’s bears or suns or whatever, they just love the motions involved and often come up with their own great ones. This time when I asked if the had any other things for the sunshines to do, one suggested “TICKLE!” so I made a verse

Two little sunshines tickling the green grass
One tickles slow and the other tickles fast
Tickle away slow, tickle away fast
Come back slow, come back fast

I think the slow fast verses are their favorites. hah. This rhyme would be great for an “opposites” themed storytime and I’m sure I’ll use it for that eventually.

I then ended with our last book, It’s Summer! because it led right into my craft. The book is part of a 4 book series about seasons and this one talks about different things one sees in the summer. I love the illustrations as they are full of dimension and it is also a book where the main character happens to be ethnically diverse. The book mentions sunflowers a couple of times and has an excellent image at the end of great big sunflowers.
The craft that we did was paper plate sunflowers. I had paper plates with the center cut out, then squares of brown paper, and strips of yellow and gold paper that I put out with brown crayons and glue. The premise was to color some seeds on the brown square then glue it the the inside of the plate, then glue the strips of yellow/gold paper around so that when you flipped it over, you had a great big sunflower! I also put out some flower stickers for them to use because who doesn’t love stickers?  I actually really loved this project because it was full of big bold shapes and colors which prompts great talks and give them a chance to use a variety of the fine and gross motor skills; then, in the end, they come out with a HUGE sunflower that was super simple to make!

 

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The youth department was so cheery with all the sunflowers floating around after storytime. 🙂

Next week I’ll continue my summery theme because there are just so many fun things to use and then after that is my second StoryTech! I STILL haven’t written about the first one so I think I’ll just hold off and combine the two.

http://cdn.blogs.sheknows.com/gardening.sheknows.com/2011/06/sunflowers.jpg

Spring has sprung!

Sort of.

Well, technically it has, thought I’m still not feeling very springy what with the cold still here. BUT! Snow is melting and the sun is peeking out more and more often so it’s a good sign! I chose to do a spring storytime this week not only because it’s now officially spring, but in hopes that maybe it’ll encourage mother nature to get with the program and show us some April showers and May flowers.  (fingers crossed!)

This week I decided to start my storytime with an action rhyme instead of a book. I usually like to start chatting after our welcome rhyme about things that relate to the week’s theme, but this time I thought that instead of just chatting, I’d do a rhyme to give them some hints about the theme. On Monday I did “Tiny Little Seeds” first, but then on Thursday, I switched it up a bit and did “The Rain” I found the “Tiny Little Seeds” here and modified it ever so slightly for my use. and “The Rain” I have seen in many places with some slightly different versions. The versions I used are below.

 


 

Tiny Little Seeds

Tiny little seeds so small and round, (show how small with your fingers)
Are sleeping quietly under ground. (pretend to sleep)
Down come the raindrops  
sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle.  (sprinkle your fingers like rain)
Out comes the rainbow,  (move arms in arch like a rainbow)
twinkle, twinkle, twinkle.  (twinkle your fingers)
Little brown seeds way down below,  (squat down and make yourself small)
Up through the earth they grow, grow, grow.  (wiggle upwards)
Little green leaves come one by one.  (poke arms and hands out as leaves)
They hold up their heads and look at the sun. (look upwards at the sun) 


The Rain

Pitter patter raindrops falling from the sky (flutter fingers down like rain)
Here is my umbrella (cup one hand over pointer finger from your other hand)
to keep me warm and dry (hold over head)
When the rain is over, the sun begins to glow (make a big circle with arms)
And Little flowers begin to bud (cup hands together)
And  grow and grow and grow! (move arms up and spread hands apart slowly)


After our first rhyme I started in with the books. I had so many good ones to pick from that even after narrowing it down, I still ended up with four! Since the rhyme on Monday transitioned pretty well into the story, I first read “One Little Seed” by Eric Greenstein. It’s a pretty short book, and quite small, but it’s still pretty cute.  It reminds me of an active rhyme and I guess a few of the kids thought so too because I caught them acting out some of the words as I read them and then read “999 Frogs Wake Up” by Ken Kimura next. On Thursday, I reversed the order. I’ve always known that not only do the books and rhymes that you pick make a difference, but the order in which you do them can drastically change the feel and flow and that an order that works for one group might work differently for another. You’d think that that is pretty common sense, but I was surprised at just how drastically it can change things.

 


Five Spring Flowers

5 spring flowers, all in a row. (hold up 5 fingers)
The first one says (hold up 1 finger)
“we need rain to grow” (use fingers to show rain)
The second one says (hold up 2 fingers)
“oh yes, we need water” (nod head yes)
The third one says (hold up 3 fingers)
“it’s getting hotter!” (fan face with hand)
The fourth one says (hold up 4 fingers)
“I see clouds in the sky!” (point up)
The fifth one says (hold up 5 fingers)
“I wonder why!” (shrug shoulders and hold up hands questioningly)
Then…BOOM! went the thunder (add cloud to board)
And CRASH! went the lightning (add lightning bolt)
That springtime storm was very frightening (hug self as if scared)
But the flowers weren’t worried, oh no, no, no! (shake head)
Because the rain helped them to grow, grow, grow! (raise arms as if growing)

via Miss Mary Liberry


After the flannel board, I read“Fran’s Flower” by Lisa Bruce. I really liked this story because it’s cute and silly and the kids really got into it. Fran tries to make a flower grow by giving it her favorite foods like ice cream and pizza, and a cheeseburger. Obviously those things don’t work and the kids were giggling and shaking their heads at Fran’s silliness. In both my Monday and Thursday sessions, the kids all gasped when we got to the last page and saw the giant flower. Very cute read.

The last book I read was “Flowers and Showers A Spring Counting Book” by Rebecca Fjelland DavisThis one was also lots of fun. The kids got pretty into it and helped count out loud and liked taking guesses at what we’d count on the next page. It’s a very engaging read that’s also quick and easy.

When we finished reading we moved on to craft time! I think I have to cave and do a craft with each storytime. I love it, the parents love it, why not? My main reason for not doing a craft every time had been that I didn’t want it to end up as fluff material but I was also concerned that I wouldn’t be able to fit all the reading activities I wanted to do AND a craft into each session and I didn’t want to have to cut the books or rhymes to make room. What I’ve been doing lately though is just planning a regular length storytime and adding the craft to the end and though it does make it longer, it hasn’t seemed to have had a negative impact and we often have people come in after just for the craft which is totally fine too!

I’m looking forward to incorporating other extension activities that aren’t just crafts as well. I’m hoping to be able to do some sensory tubs but that will take some planning and require some supplies that we don’t already have so I just have to wait and see how that pans out.