Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Toddler Story Time - Welcome Spring!

I waited a little bit to do a spring story time this year because, well, it hasn't felt like spring!  But, I felt like I couldn't wait any longer, so on a cold, rainy morning we celebrated spring!  (April showers bring May flowers?)  I have really been looking forward to starting some warmer weather themes in story time.  This week, I even printed my handout on pretty yellow paper.  So springy.

We started off story time with the rhyme, During the Spring from Storytime Katie.  The little ones really liked becoming flowers at the end!

During the Spring
During the spring, it often showers (flutter fingers down)
Or the sun shines for many hours  (form circle in the air with arms)
Both are good for the flowers!  (cup hands and extend arms like a flower)

Because the week had been so raining, I decided to add a book and rhyme at the last minute.  I read Split! Splat! by Amy Gibson.  Such a cute book full of crazy sounds!  Super fun read aloud.  
We also did the fun action rhyme, The Rain is Falling Down from Storytime Katie.

The Rain is Falling Down
The rain is falling down,  (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH  (clap loudly once)
The rain is falling down,  (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH  (clap loudly once)
Pitter patter pitter patter
The rain is falling down,  (flutter fingers doen)
SPLASH  (clap loudly once)

This was a fun addition to my story time theme.  Now back to spring!

The first spring book I read was Wake Up, It's Spring! by Lisa Campbell Ernst.  Such a sweet book!  We added sound effects to the different things waking up so it was even more fun!  
After the book, we pretended to bloom with the finger play, Watch It Bloom from Perry Public Library Storytime.  This rhyme was so sweet.  The little ones looked so cute making their tiny little buds.  We did this one twice!

Watch It Bloom
Here is a green leaf  (hold out one palm)
And here is a green leaf  (hold out other palm)
That, you see, makes two  (hold up two fingers)
Here is a bud  (cup hands together)
That makes it a flower  (slowly open hands)
Watch it bloom for you  (slowly open hands)

For a fun musical interlude, I chose the song Over in the Meadow from Raffi's cd Animal Songs.  I played this song while the little ones still had their egg shakers from singing their ABCs.  We shook the shakers throughout the song, and made the animal noises.  This song also includes counting to five, so it is a great song for story times!  

Before we sat down for another book, we pretended to garden with the song, Planting Time (to the tune of Rown, Row, Row Your Boat) from Perry Public Library Storytime.  This song was a big hit, so we sang it twice!

Planting Time
Dig, dig, dig the earth  (pretend to dig)
Then you plant your seeds  (pretend to plant)
A gentle rain  (fingers flutter down)
The bright sunshine  (arms circle overhead)
And flowers you will see  (open arms wide)

The second spring book I chose was Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson.  I almost always choose a Mouse book if it can relate to the theme I am doing.  Love these books!  This time, Mouse and Momma are exploring a spring day.  In the end, Mouse finds his Momma and gets a hug and a kiss.  My grown ups love books that give them a chance to hug their little ones!
I knew I wanted to include The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle in my story times as soon as Miss Kristen told me how much the babies loved the pop up version we have.  This pop up is amazing!  The pages are beautiful and the little ones loved them!  It is a little difficult to hold and read, so this would be a good book to memorize beforehand.   
Before I read the book, we sang the song, Little Caterpillar, (to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot).  I found this song on YouTube here.  I just recently discovered that there are a lot of great people on YouTube sharing their ideas.  It is a great place to go to hear songs and flannel stories!  The video included the signs for caterpillar, hide, rest/sleep, and butterfly.  It was fun to teach it to the little ones and use those as the motions to this song!

Little Caterpillar
I'm a little caterpillar crawling by
I make a cocoon to go and hide
I rest for a while and sleep inside
When I come out, I'm a butterfly!

After the book, we finished our spring story time with the song, Flutter, Flutter, Butterfly (to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star) from Storytime Katie.  This was such a nice song to end a great spring story time with.  We all flapped our "butterfly wings" and said good bye.

Flutter, Flutter, Butterfly
Flutter, flutter, butterfly
Floating in the spring sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the spring sky 

Everyone made their very own spring flower to take home with them.  I had seen on the Internet people making flowers with cupcake wrappers.  We didn't have any, but we did have coffee filters!  Little ones used the dobbers to add color to their flower (Ink goes right through the filters!  Put down newspaper!)  Then, they glued precut stems, leaves, and their flower to a piece of cardstock.  So simple a cute.  You could even add multiple coffee filters to make a puffy flower.
And because great minds think alike, Miss Sue also used Eric Carle's pop up version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar in her Letter C Story Time!  You can check it out here!

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