Tag Archives: winter 2010

Christmas!

Last year, I presented a Christmas themed storytime (separate from our regular sessions) for families. By the time I had written everything about it up, it was January! So I saved it to post for this holiday season. So, here it is — in the old blog format — a Christmas storytime!

First up, I opened with “Bear Stays Up For Christmas” by Karma Wilson.

I love the Bear series! This story is very sweet, as Bear’s friends to try to keep him awake for Christmas. This led to a couple different reminders/discussions about how bears sleep for winter. The kids were very into trying to help keep Bear up — they really wanted him to see Christmas.

After, I read “I Love Christmas” by Anna Walker.

I love the simplicity in this book. There is one page spread in this one that refers to a nativity — I read it at my storytime, but my community is very Catholic, so be aware! This book was definitely a favorite of the group. It spurred many discussions on what their favorite parts of Christmas were. Next, I introduced our first song:

Action Song: “Let’s All Do a Little Clapping” (Tune: We Wish You a Merry Christmas)
Let’s all do a little clapping
Let’s all do a little clapping
Let’s all do a little clapping
And spread Christmas cheer.
(Jumping, bending, twirling)
Credit: Preschool Education

The kids really got into this song, there were tons of giggles during it and after. To settle them down again, I launched right into our fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Here is the Chimney”
Here is the chimney (Make fist, enclose thumb)
Here is the top (Palm of hand on top of fist)
Open the lid (Remove hand quickly)
And out Santa will pop (Pop up thumb)
Credit: Sunflower Storytime

And then it was time for our next book, “I’m Not Santa!” by Jonathan Allen.

Little Owl is a favorite character at my library. The kids just love learning what his “I’m not” saying is for the book and shouting it along with me. It was time for another fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Christmas Time”
See the snowflakes falling (Wiggle fingers down like snow)
See the candles glow (Hold up one finger)
See the wreaths upon the door (Make circle with hands)
It’s Christmas time, I know! (Clap)
Credit: The Holiday Zone

Next, we read “The Three Bears’ Christmas” by Kathy Duval.

This was a find from the shelf — when I was shelf-reading. It was a great read because it has a built-in guessing game and a pattern just like Goldilocks. The kids were so excited to tell me that Santa was coming, each and every page spread. Then it was time for a little traditional music with some motions for the kids:

Action Song: “Up on the Housetop”
Up on the housetop, reindeer pause (point up)
Out jumps good old Santa Claus (jump)
Down through the chimney with lots of toys (point down)
All for the little ones, Christmas joys
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go? (make Santa belly, shrug shoulders)
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go? (make Santa belly, shrug shoulders)
Up on the housetop, click, click, click (snap fingers)
Down through the chimney with good St. Nick (touch ground)
Credit: Sunflower Storytime

Our flannelboard: “Ten Little Snowmen” was an in-house flannel set. I used the version that is sung to “Michael Finnigan/Ten Little Indians.” Then our last book was “Jingle-Jangle” by Nicola Smee.

This is pretty much a Christmas version of “Clip-Clop” which is one of my very favorite storytime books. During this one, I bought out our jingle bell sets and pretty much let the kids shake them as I turned the page. At the end of the storytime, we sang “Jingle Bells” before starting our craft:

Scratch art is a favorite of everyone at the library and I really liked the gingerbread house!

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Mice!

I have a lot of posts to catch up on, but I am now on a four-week storytime break! Plenty of time to prepare for the next session of storytimes, and plenty of time to write-up the posts I’ve been remiss on.

I opened up storytime with “Busy, Busy Mouse” by Virginia Kroll.

I really enjoyed the storyline in this book — and so did the kids! I thought it was very clever to have the mouse and people each sleeping and being awake at different times. And the pictures are so warm and welcoming, too.

Next up, I improvised a quick “Where is Mousie?” (Where Is Thumbkin?) with two of the fingerpuppets from the Hickory Dickory Dock set from Manhattan Toy. (It came with a boy mouse and a girl mouse and it is positively adorable.) I’ve been doing a lot of adaptations of Thumbkin over this storytime session, and the kids are definitely recognizing it and humming along!

Next up, “Back to Bed, Ed!” by Sebastien Braun.

I wasn’t sure how this story was going to go because it’s a bit longer than my usual pick for a second book, but the kids were absolute angels during this one. I am going to have to try to pick longer books to mix things up if the kids continue to sit for them!

I really wanted to do my “Mouse Paint” flannel, but I didn’t have enough to make it for storytime, so I pulled out my “Where is Maisy Mouse?” game for a second go-round instead. Immediately, I went into one of our fingerplays:

Fingerplay: “Baby Mice”
Where are the baby mice?
Squeak, squeak, squeak
I cannot see them
Peek, peek, peek
Here they come out of their hole! (bring your fist forward)
One, two, three, four, five, and that is all! (open your fingers one at a time)
Credit: Perry Public Library Storytime

And then I read “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff.

I am so happy when I get to share books that *I* read as a child with my storytime kids. And both this one, and “Squeak-A-Lot” are classics from my childhood. The kids loved guessing what would happened next, and I had a lot of kids who said, “He’ll want another cookie” to almost every question. So adorable.

Next, another book from Miss Katie’s childhood: “Squeak-a-Lot” by Martin Waddell.

When you read this book, encourage them to make the animal noises with you. Your storytime will be so much fun, and the kids will be really involved with the book. This next fingerplay/rhyme, I used for my Maisy Mouse program and I knew that I had to use it again, because the kids love boinging and squeaking.

Rhyme & Fingerplay: “Boing, Boing, Squeak”
Boing, boing, squeak
Boing, boing, squeak
A bouncing mouse is in my house
He’s been there for a week
He came from out of nowhere
He quickly settled in
I’m thankful that he came alone
I heard he had a twin
He bounces in the kitchen
He bounces in the den
He bounces in the living room
Look, there he goes again
The mouse just keeps on bouncing
Every minute of the day
He bounce, bounce, bounces
But he does not bounce away
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

Last up, “Cat and Mouse” by Ian Schoenherr.

What really sold me on choosing this book was the chance to use “Hickory Dickory Dock” without having the long-drawn extra verses. I also loved the addition of “Eeeny Meeny Miney Mo.” A great combination!

To close up, we sang “Hickory Dickory Dock” together before our goodbye song.

And as for craft, we made little mice finger puppets from KidsSoup.

A great way to close out the winter storytime session! I am looking forward to planning new storytimes for the first of two spring sessions during my break.

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Bathtime!

Another catch-up — a few weeks ago, I did bathtime storytime!

Started off storytime with “Squeaky Clean” by Simon Puttock.

This is a fabulous story about a Mama Pig who gets her three piglets clean, only to have them want to mess themselves up again — to take another bath! There’s also a cute twist where Mama Pig gets her own bath that had plenty of my adult attendees chuckling.

Next up, the book that inspired bathtime storytime — “Who’s In the Tub?” by Sylvie Jones.

I found book while shelf-reading one day, and was immediately in love with the concept. As it happens in many tub stories — the child’s imagination gets away from him and his bathtub toys are bought to life. But what makes this one extra special is the tiny pages/flaps that move the story along. The kids really liked this one, there were a lot of gigglers. Next up, our flannel:

Flannelboard: “Elephants in the Bathtub”
One elephant in the bathtub
Going for a swim
Knock, knock (clap twice)
Splash, splash (slap knees twice)
Come on in! (motion with both hands to come in)
Five elephants in the bathtub
Going for a swim
Knock, knock (clap twice)
Splash, splash (slap knees twice)
It all fell in! (knock the felt pieces down)
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

I think that I had to repeat this flannelboard four or five times before the kids were ready to move on. Utter hysterics, and pure anticipation. They LOVED this one. (I did another clip-art flannel for this one; I will make a post about it soon!) The next book was a favorite of mine: “Dog’s Colorful Day” by Emma Dodd.

My kids know this one, but love counting Dog’s messy spots and shouting out colors — this is one book that they never tire of. Dog’s messy actions led in perfectly to this action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “After My Bath”
After my bath…I try, try, try
To rub myself till I’m dry, dry, dry (pretend to rub body with a towel)
Hands to dry and fingers and toes (point to body parts)
Two wet legs and one shiny nose (point to body parts)
Just think how much less time it would take
If I were a dog and could shake, shake, shake! (shake whole body)
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

Afterwards, I led the kids in our session stretcher after this, “I’m a Little Teapot” before reading the next book “Scrubba Dub” by Nancy Van Laan.

This book has a lot of adorable sounds to make as you read aloud this story about a momma bunny washing her baby bunny. The only sad thing is that it is kind of small, which means a lot of panning during storytime. Next up, a favorite song from childhood:

Song: “Rubber Duckie” (Yep, you know where this one is from, but I’m not printing the lyrics due to copyright.)

Followed by the last book, “Big Red Tub” by Julia Jarman.

I love this book, and it was a great way to end storytime for the week. A quick action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “Rub-A-Dub-Dub”
Rub-a-dub-dub, one child in the tub (hold up one finger)
Tell me what you see. (point to eyes)
One foot with toes, (point to body parts)
A hand, a nose,
As clean as they can be. (rub hands together)
Rub-a-dub-dub, one child in the tub (hold up one finger)
Tell me what you see. (point to eyes)
Leg, and arms (shake legs and arms)
So clean and warm,
Do they have a hug for me? (hug yourself)
Credit: Perry Public Library — Bathtime Storytime

And storytime was over! Our craft was a simple paper craft, gluing things on the page. My teen volunteers cut everything out, and punched a million bubble circles using a craft punch for the kids to really go crazy with. I had some kids who didn’t glue any bubbles, and I had some cover their page in nothing but bubbles.

(I’m proud to say that I came up with this one on my own! And that the kids REALLY enjoyed it!)

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Bears!

This winter, I definitely wanted to revisit bears as a theme and I knew that I could shake things up enough that kids who were around last year wouldn’t be bored this session.

I had to start off with my favorite storytime book, period — “Old Bear” by Kevin Henkes.

I really like reading this for all the different seasons, especially when the kids get so excited when the season we’re in shows up — and the winter spread is my favorite of the four. (Even though winter is my least favorite season!) Next up, an action rhyme to get the kids pumped:

Action Rhyme: “Bears Eat Honey”
A bear eats honey (pretend to eat)
He thinks it’s yummy
In his tummy (rub tummy)
But the bees don’t think it’s funny!
Buzzzzzzzzzzzz! (make buzzing noise)
Credit: King County Library System

Next up, “Bears on Chairs” by Shirley Parenteau.

My kids love ANYTHING that has counting involved, so needless to say — they were HUGE fans of this one. Afterward, I brought out a special friend (read: bear puppet) to help me do the next song:

Song & Puppet: “Sleepy Bear” (Tune: “Thumbkin”)
Where is bear? Where is bear?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you this winter?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep. Go to sleep.
(Have kids shout “WAKE UP BEAR” to do the song again.)
Credit: Preschool Education Music & Songs : Animals > Winter

I’ve been doing a lot of “Thumbkin” twists this storytime session, and the kids are really responding to the familiar tune at this point — definitely have some kids humming with me. This song/puppet works out great. Our bear puppet is pretty big, and really expressive, so I pull in his snout and curl him on my knee when he “sleeps” and ask the kids, “Should we wake him to sing again?” We sang this four or five times until one of my little boys said, “LET HIM SLEEP.” So cute!

Next, a book that I invite the kids to read with me — “Orange Pear Apple Bear” by Emily Gravett.

Before I start reading, using the cover, I teach them the four words and what letters that the words start with — and then I go into the books, pointing at the beginning letters to help them figure out which word they should be saying. Sometimes, I wind up with a chorus of answers, sometimes I’m the only one reading. (Especially as the fruits change their colors — trips some of my little guys up.) I followed this book up with the flannel of the day.

Flannelboard: “Ten Teddy Bears Sleeping in the Bed”
Ten little teddy bears sleeping in the bed,
Five at the foot and five at the head.
One little teddy said, “This bed is TOO full!”
So he grabbed the blanket and started to pull.
He pulled and he pulled and he pulled some more,
Until two little teddies went BOOM to the floor!
(Make pulling motions with PULL and clap with the BOOM)

(Count down until…)

One little teddy bear sleeping in the bed,
Zero at the foot and one at the head.
This little teddy said, “This is not right!
I don’t want to sleep alone tonight!”

So…
One little teddy bear sleeping in the bed,
Zero at the foot and one at the head.
This teddy said, “This bed is NOT full!”
So he put out his paw and started to pull.
He pulled and he pulled and he pulled some more,
Until four little teddies climbed up from the floor!

(Count up until…)

Ten little teddy bears sleeping in the bed,
Five at the foot and five at the head.
One little teddy said, “This is JUST right!”
So ten little teddy bears said, “Good Night!”
Susan Pflug, Copyright 1990
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

Then I had the kids do “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” until I got them to sit down for the next story, “Bear In the Air” by Susan Meyers.

This one is on the longer side, and I wasn’t sure that it would hold their attention so late in the storytime. But, I had nothing to fear as usual — the kids were very worried about what was happening to Bear, and were very patient to find out the answer. One last song:

Song: “If You’re a Bear and You Know It”
If you’re a panda bear and you know it, clap your paws
If you’re a polar bear and you know it, show your teeth
If you’re a grizzly bear and you know it, growl real loud
Credit: Childhood

And our last book — “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Eric Carle.

My library has multiple board books copies of this one in the storytime collection — so each child and caregiver got a copy to read along with me reading our big-book copy. Our parents love when we do this, and I think it serves such a great literacy skills purpose (teaching both print motivation and print awareness!) that the minor cost (about $75-100 for each set) is worth it.

Our craft was once again from KidsSoup and was very well received.

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Friends!

Two weeks ago, I did friends storytime before rushing off to San Diego for ALA’s Midwinter meeting. (Loads of fun!) This is the first time I’ve had a moment to breathe since coming back, and that means finally catching up on the blog — here we go!

I started off with one of my favorite storytime books, “A Splendid Friend Indeed” by Suzanne Bloom.

This story is so simple, and the ending makes my heart melt. The kids also enjoyed this one, proudly proclaiming at the end of the book, “They’re friends!” (This will be a trend throughout the post, by the way.)

Fingerplay: “Where Is Thumbkin?”
Where is thumbkin? Where is thumbkin? (put hands behind back)
Here I am! Here I am! (bring hands around from behind the back)
How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you! (wiggle thumbs, one at a time)
Run away, run away! (hide hands behind back again)
(Repeat for each finger; I did leave out middle finger. It was too early in the morning and I feared I would burst into giggles.)
Credit: Childhood

Next book, “Katie Loves the Kittens” by John Himmelman.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and I kept asking as I went “Do the kittens like Katie?” and the kids went, “NOOOO!” until we got to the end where several of them shouted in unison, “They’re friends!” This storytime had amazing participation. Which worked *great* for the flannel I had planned: “Friends Match.” I had laminated popular book character pairs (Arthur and D.W.; Max and Ruby; Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat; Dora and Diego; Elmo and Big Bird; and Clifford and Emily Elizabeth) and the kids matched the pairs of friends on the flannelboard. Super cute, super easy to make.

Next, I read “Bear’s New Friend” by Karma Wilson.

This book is a little on the older side, but my storytime is pretty skewed towards 4/5s this session. Afterwards, the kids needed to move around so we did our movement activity:

“Let’s Be Friends” (Tune: London Bridge)
Let’s be friends with one another
One another, one another
Let’s be friends with one another
Let’s be friends today
(You can sing with a friend, you can shout with a friend, you can hum with a friend, you can jump with a friend, you can clap with a friend, you can hop with a friend)
Credit: Step By Step – Friendship Theme

A quick book that I share at many of my storytimes, “Pepo and Lolo Are Friends” by Ana Martín Larrañaga.

Everyone loves this book with its bright, colorful pictures and simple text. A great pick for friends storytime. Our fingerplay was super simple and we did it several times for effect:

Fingerplay: “Two Little Friends” (hold up fingers as you go)
Two little friends are better than one,
And three are better than two
And four are much better still
Just think! What four little friends can do!
Credit: King County Library System

Next up, I read the book “Will You Be My Friend?” by Nancy Tafuri.

I really liked this book, and the kids were very attentive during it. It was a great closer to the storytime. And that was left was our craft, which I got again from KidsSoup.

(That’s my best friend Jessica and me.)

The kids LOVED this craft and went craft gluing tissue paper squares to make their friends. A very successful craft and a very successful storytime theme!

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Penguins!

Weeks ago, I did a penguin storytime for the kids. I just got a little behind on posting my summaries because my library has been closed for the past three Fridays (typically when I have time to write up my summaries). Anyway, here it is!

I started off storytime with “Playful Little Penguins” by Tony Mitton.

A rhyming story with bright pictures, this was a great book to start off with. Mitton’s penguins are cute and expressive — the kids were really able to follow the story easily. Next up, “If You Were a Penguin” by Wendell & Florence Minor.

This was a great switch into realistic looking penguins — and the text is nice and short for a quick read before our first extension activity:

Action Song & Puppet: “Did You Ever See a Penguin?”
Did you ever see a penguin, a penguin, a penguin?
Did you ever see a penguin waddle this way and that?
Waddle this way and that way, waddle this way and that way
Did you ever see a penguin waddle this way and that?
Credit: Childhood

I paired our song with a really cute penguin puppet, and had the kids hold up their make-believe penguins with me. Next, I found a version of our session song — “I’m a Little Teapot” — with an arctic twist.

Action Song: “I’m A Little Penguin”
I’m a Little Penguin
In the sea.
I can swim as fast as can be!
When I catch a fish, just look at me.
I’m as proud as I can be.
Credit: Step by Step — Penguin Theme

After the kids sat down again, I pulled out “I Like It When…” by Mary Murphy.

This turned out to be a super quiet read, and some of the kids wound up laying down during the book. That led me straight into our flannelboard this week, which turned out to be a big hit!

Flannelboard Song: “Penguin Went Over the Iceberg”
The penguin went over the iceberg,
The penguin went over the iceberg,
The penguin went over the iceberg,
To see what he could see,
To see what he could see,
The penguin went over the iceberg,
The penguin went over the iceberg,
The penguin went over the iceberg
To see what he could see.
The other side of the iceberg,
The other side of the iceberg,
The other side of the iceberg,
Was all that he could see,
Was all that he could see,
The other side of the iceberg,
The other side of the iceberg,
The other side of the iceberg,
Was all that he could see.
Credit: The Best Kids Book Site

The kids could not get enough of the penguin, and I sang this song three times.

Lastly, “10 Little Penguins” by Jean-Luc Fromental.

This is a very small pop-up book. I thought that it might be a big problem because of its size — but the kids were okay as I panned back and forth. The only problem with the book was that I had one little boy who kept trying to help me move the penguins around. I had to repeatedly tell him to sit down, but because of the size of the book I couldn’t hold it any higher to get him away! Last fingerplay before craft:

Fingerplay: “Two Little Penguins”
Two little penguins sitting on the ice (hold up two fingers)
One bows once, the other bows twice (made index fingers bow)
Waddle little penguins. Waddle away. (put fingers behind back)
Come back penguins. Time to play! (bring fingers to the front)
Credit: King County Library System

And the most adorable craft ever – penguin puppet.

This is another one from KidsSoup. Teen volunteers cut everything out, and pre-glued the puppet down so that the kids could immediately slip their hands into their puppets. Super cute craft.

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Shapes!

I had a second successful storytime! My numbers were consistent for a second week — I am as shocked as you are! Especially given Chicago’s *freezing* temperatures this week. And it snowed yesterday night, causing more chaos! Anyway, this week I tackled shapes in my storytime. This turned out to be such a great storytime — both material wise and kid wise.

I started off with “Dog’s Colorful Day” by Emma Dodd.

A great book about counting, and colors that can easily be used in a shapes theme. Before I started the book (but after I had told the kids the title and author), I pulled out my circle shape from my flannelboard, and asked the kids what shape I had. After they told me it was a circle (yay!), I said that we were going to read a book about a lot of circles making a dog very messy.

This one is always a great read-aloud, and a definite success in shapes storytime. Next up, a cute song!

Song: “I Can See Shapes” (Tune: London Bridge)
I can see a circle shape, circle shape, circle shape
I can see a circle shape, how about you?
(Little square, triangle, rectangle, diamond)
Credit: The Story Place

When each shape came up, I put it on the flannelboard, leaving all the shapes up. I asked the kids to tell me the color the shape after each verse. (Really, this could have been a color & shapes storytime.)

Then, I read “Color Zoo” by Lois Ehlert.

(Side story: This is the first book that I remember hearing read to me in a library, in kindergarten.)

Since this is a super simple book (just animal names, and shape names), I did elaborate by saying, “Take the square away and we get…a…” and waited for the kids to shout out the animal names. Huge success, I had one little boy ask me to read it again, right away. But instead, I asked if he wanted to play a game…which, of course, he did! So I did our flannelboard, a play on “Little Mouse, Little Mouse, What House Are You In?” except with a little dog and my shapes.

Then, I read “Whoo? Whoo?” by David A. Carter.

This one is very similar to “Color Zoo,” except that the shape cut-outs join together to make an animal. The kids and I shouted out what shapes were on the page before turning it to reveal an animal. They *loved* participating with this one. I followed it up with a revamp of a classic fingerplay:

Action Song/Fingerplay: “Where Is…?” (Tune: Where Is Thumbkin?)
Where is triangle? Where is triangle?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you.
Run away. Run away.
(Circle, rectangle, square, diamond)
Credit: KidsSoup

And then, I led the kids in “I’m a Little Teapot” and “The Wiggles” before sitting down to read “Not a Box” by Antoinette Portis.

This was one of those books that I LOVED the minute I saw it, but kind of feared that I’d never use it in a storytime. But — a box is totally a rectangle! And with such a repetitive text, I easily had every kid chiming in by the end, proclaiming that the box was not a box! One last song:

Song: “Make a Circle, Draw a Square” (Tune: Oh My Darling Clementine)
Make a circle, make a circle, draw it in the sky
Use your finger, use your finger, make it round as pie
Make a square, Make a square, make the lines so straight
Draw a square, draw a square, draw one or draw eight
Draw a triangle, draw a triangle, always start at the top
Make a tent, make a tent, use three lines and then stop!
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

And then, I read our last book — “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles G. Shaw.

We have this in big book form, so the pictures were *so* big and the kids kept shouting out what they saw in the cloud. For such a simple concept, this is a great storytime book.

And then, our craft was a shape hanger that I got from KidsSoup. One of my moms told me that this was my cutest craft yet. (You can’t see it in the picture, but on the other side of the “My Shapes,” it says “Mis Formas” for my Spanish speaking households!)

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Winter!

It’s the start of my winter storytime session!

This is an experimental session, as I’ve never done storytime in the winter before. (Our attendance always dropped out significantly during November.) So far, I’ve got four weeks planned, but whether or not I’ll do another four weeks depends on whether or not my families keep showing up!

For this session, I have switched things up and started using “The More We Get Together” as my opening song, and “We Wave Goodbye Like This” as my closing song. Our stretcher for this session is “I’m a Little Teapot.”

I started off storytime with “A Kitten’s Tale” by Eric Rohmann.

This was a nice quiet start for the first storytime since October. It might have been almost too quiet, because I had wigglers up until the snow fell in the story. But the minute the snow appeared, everyone sat down and listened up. It was a nice moment, after I had been mildly worried that things were going south. (I can’t be the only librarian who frets during storytime!) Followed this up with a great transition into our flannelboard: “The Three Little Kittens.”

Our set was damaged in the flood that we had this summer, so I actually wound up remaking it, using the existing flannel pieces as the templates. After that, it was on to another great transition from kitten mittens to “One Mitten” by Kristine O’Connell George.

This is a great rhyming story about a girl who can’t find her second mitten until it’s found under her cat. (Third cat related winter activity in a row — maybe my theme was really cats and winter!) The kids really enjoyed this one, I had a couple of them shouting out places to look for her mitten. No one guessed under the cat. Once she finds her mittens, she goes out into the snow, which led to a great discussion about playing in the snow. And then, to a great fingerplay once someone mentioned sledding!

Fingerplay: “Here’s a Hill”
Here’s a hill (tilt left arm so that it forms a hill)
And here’s a hill (tilt right arm so that it forms a hill)
All covered with snow (raise hands up, bring down in snow motion)
I’ll put on my coat, (put coat on)
And jump on my sled (hold the rope of a sled)
And ZOOM, down the hill I will go! (clap hands, slid hands down)
Credit: The Holiday Zone (with a little tweaking)

Next, I went through the actions in “I’m a Little Teapot” (i.e. – “Can you make a handle? Can you make a spout? Can you tip yourself over? Great! Now you can do this song with me!”) since it was our first time. This is how I introduce most of my songs, so the kids are familiar with it.

Afterward, the kids were definitely ready to sit down and listen to “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats.

I am always REALLY excited when I get to share a book that I read when I was a kid. The parents always chuckle when I say that this book is old (because most of my parents are just older than me), and the kids are always wide-eyed, like it’s a dinosaur age book. So funny. Anyway, they really liked reading about Peter and his adventures, though they didn’t get that the snow in his pocket had melted. Had to explain that one a bit. But after that discussion, a great segue into an extension activity:

Action Song: “Dance Like Snowflakes”
Dance like snowflakes,
Dance like snowflakes
In the air, in the air
Whirling, twirling snowflakes
Whirling, twirling snowflakes
Here and there, everywhere
Credit: BellaOnline

I didn’t have a seemless transition into “Duck Skates” by Lynne Berry though I had thought about trying to explain freezing snow and ice…but that seemed way too difficult to me.

This series is so cute, and the kids really like the rhyming. I’m not sure if they understand what’s going on, though, and I find myself explaining a lot of the pages to them. That sometimes messes with the rhythm of the story, but I don’t mind.

I wanted the kids really worn out for my last book (which is a very quiet one), so we did this:

Action Song: “Winter Hokey Pokey”
You put your mitten in, you take your mitten out
You put your boots in, you take your boots out
You put your hat in, you put your hat out
You put your coat in, you put your coat out
Credit: Step by Step – Winter Theme

We did several rounds before “Polar Bear Night” by Lauren Thompson.

I must really like bears, but this book is fast becoming a favorite of mine — right up there with “Old Bear.” The kids were pretty settled down after several rounds of Hokey Pokey, and were very content to listen. A great way to end storytime.

This craft was off of KidsSoup, which is a paid membership site. ($25.00 for a year; my Christmas present to myself and my staff!)

I printed off the template. My teens cut out the mittens, hole-punched the mittens, and tied them up. The kids added the foam shapes. A very successful return — I had eleven kids attend!

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