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!

8 comments on “Winter!

  1. Sarah H.
    December 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    I really hope your numbers can stay up during the winter! I understand why people don’t want to come out though, I’d hibernate if I could.
    Cute craft and that Eric Rohmann books is one of my favs.

    • readwhatyouknow
      December 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

      Me too! But I completely understand if they don’t. I can’t imagine all the bundling up only to have your two-year-old say, “Potty!”

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