Summer!

Afternoon storytime update! I did a summer theme with my 3-7 year-olds about three weeks ago at this point! (Between power outages and ALA’s Annual Conference, I took a much needed blog break!)

Started off storytime with “Mouse’s First Summer” by Lauren Thompson.

I swear, every single seasonal storytime that I do involves a “Mouse’s First” book. I absolutely plan on using this series to prime my crowd. Most of the kids know the names of seasons and that the weather changes, but this series lets them get some concrete images to associate with the season!

Afterwards, I led them in a cheerful rendition of “Mr. Sun.” I used this song as my opening song last summer session, and I was pleased that some of my regulars launched right into it with me!

Then, I read “It’s Vacation Time” by Lerryn Korda.

This was a book that inspired me to do a vacation storytime! However, I could not find enough material to do a successful storytime. So, I put this one into my summer storytime instead. The book ends with the group taking a vacation at home in their backyard.

Since the biggest problem in “It’s Vacation Time” is when the group forgets to pack their boat, this next song was a great fit right after:

Action Song: “Splashin’ Up and Down” (bounce up and down)
Splashin’ up and down in my little red rowboat
Splashin’ up and down in my little red rowboat
Splashin’ up and down in my little red rowboat
Won’t you be my darling?
(Additional Verses: lookin’ out to sea (shade eyes); wavin’ to a whale (wave), don’t stand up or you might tip over (lean to right or left)
Credit: Mel’s Desk

And then I got to use my new “Summer Shapes” flannelboard.

My next book was “Playground Day” by Jennifer Merz.

This was a great book for the crowd that I had at storytime. They were overjoyed to guess which animal was coming next. A lot of the kids figured out the trick (there’s a small animal hidden on each page as a clue to the next page) and said the animal’s name before I prompted them.

Before launching into my next song, we talked about different places that we went in the summertime (library, park) and it wasn’t long before someone called out pool, which took me straight to our flannelboard song:

Flannelboard Song: “If You’re Going” (Tune: If You’re Happy)
If you’re going to the pool, wear your suit,
If you’re going to the pool, wear your suit,
If you’re going to the pool, then a suit will keep you cool
If you’re going to the pool, wear your suit.
(Additional verses: hat, flip flops, sunglasses)
Credit: Mel’s Desk

This was a big hit. Some of my girls kept wanting to do the “shorts” verse because I had a picture of swim trunks up next to their swimsuit. That led me to an unexpected conversation about how boys and girls wear different clothes to swim in. My parents were cracking up in the background. “But why, Miss Katie? Why don’t boys wear bikinis?”

Going away from the bikini conversation, I asked the kids where else they could swim and thankfully a child shouted out about the ocean. Which led us to reading “Beach Day” by Karen Roosa.

I used this one last summer during beach storytime, and I didn’t re-read the book. One of the pages had been ripped out since the last time I did storytime. Sad face! I improvised, but it taught me a valuable lesson — always, always pre-read even if you know the story! I re-used this rhyme from last year, which was great after a beach book.

Action Rhyme: “Swimming”
Swimming in the water cool and bright (pretend to swim)
I kick my feet with all y might (kick feet)
And when I’m tired I turn and float (spin and hold arms out)
Pretending that I’m a boat! (rock hands)
I like to hold my breath and dive (take a breath and bend down)
I swim beneath the water and count to five (count to five)
Wow! What a dive!
Credit: Hummingbird Educational Resources

And then, I brought out “Jump” by Scott Fischer.

I chose “Jump” as my last book because it ends with a splash! It’s just a really fun animal book that was a great cap to the storytime. Then, for our craft we made a summer picture frame.

This was an Oriental Trading purchase and it was pretty successful. I wound up using Glue Dots for this project, and really, REALLY wish everything came self-stick these days!

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