Fall! (Again.)

Last week, I had my first ever afternoon storytime! After some of my storytime kids started preschool during morning storytime, I scheduled a once monthly afternoon storytime for them. This worked really well, and I have a waitlist going for registration slots! Luckily, the weather cooperated with me and warmed up so that our fall theme was still appropriate!

I started off with “Mouse’s First Fall” by Lauren Thompson.

The kids were very excited towards the end of the book, where the reader is asked to help Mouse find his friend, Minka. (She’s hiding in the leaves.) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — I really like using the Mouse books as a primer about seasons for storytime. The titles are bright, colorful, and with familiar characters (yes, some of the kids have started recognizing Mouse!).

Next up, “It’s Pumpkin Time!” by Zoe Hall.

This one almost didn’t make the cut when I realized that the book ended with Halloween (which is obviously over with, Ms. Katie!), but I read it anyways and it gave the kids a chance to share who/what they dressed up as. And we had a LOT of Disney princesses and Spidermans — not that that surprised me, haha!

Modified my favorite fall flannelboard by changing “Halloween” to “fall.”

Flannelboard: “Five Little Pumpkins”
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said, “My, it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air.”
The third one said, “I don’t care!”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run.”
The fifth one said, “It’s all fall fun!”
Then oooooh went the wind, and out went the lights!
And the five little pumpkins rolled clear out of sight.

And then, I went with an action rhyme from earlier this season:

Action Rhyme: “Pumpkin, Pumpkin”
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground, (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)
Once you were a seed so small, (pinch fingers together)
Now you are a great big ball! (make a big circle)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground, (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)

And then, I read “Who Loves the Fall?” by Bob Raczka.

Ack, another book that mentions Halloween. Fortunately for this one, we had already talked about what they had dressed up as, so we didn’t need to mention it again. Again, the butterfly vertical spread was a favorite. The kids were sitting so still for this one, that I just went ahead with “Leaf Jumpers” by Carole Gerber.

This book is so much fun to read, and the kids love hearing about jumping in leaf piles. After the second kid mentioned that he had jumped in the leaves recently, I asked for a show of hands of those that had to avoid another seventeen stories. All of their hands were raised. And they were rambunctious after this book, so I quietly sang to them the following, while they used their hands to make some falling motions:

Song: “The Leaves Are Falling Down” (Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)
The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
Red, yellow, green, and brown
The leaves are falling down

Followed by another activity:

Fingerplay: “Way Up High in the Apple Tree”
Way up high in the apple tree (stretch arms up high)
Two red apples smiled at me (hold up two fingers)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (make a shaking motion)
Down came the apples… (make a downward motion)
And mmm, they were good! (smile and rub stomach)

Before reading my favorite seasons book of all time: “Old Bear” by Kevin Henkes.

Rather than emphatically stating my love with this book — I will just say that I recently purchased the ALA “Old Bear” poster for my office, and that it makes me happy every time I look at it.

Our craft was another one that I stole from Sarah that she made last fall, leaf wreaths!

My teen volunteers cut the paper plates, tied the ribbon, and cut out the leaves — all my storytime kids did was the leaf gluing, and I swear, they would glue all day long if I asked them to. I think it might be the purple glue we use. It makes everything much better.


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