Last week at regular registration storytime, I had a daycare drop-in with eighteen kids. As much as it was horrible to have to turn kids away, I simply don’t have the space (our room is capped at 35 people for fire code), and I definitely didn’t have enough craft supplies prepped for that large of a number. Instead of completely turning them away though, I offered to do a separate storytime for their group each week.

(And because I’m crazy, I can’t possibly repeat themes, partially because a lot of our crafts this session are from Oriental Trading but mostly because I get bored if I have to do the same theme twice a week. I know, feel free to tell me I’m crazy repeatedly — but it probably won’t change a thing.)

So, you now get the bonus of an extra storytime theme per week. For this session, I decided to do colors and we started at the top of the rainbow with red.

First up, “The Red Hen” by Rebecca & Ed Emberley.

I love this folk tale and have since I was a kid, but I especially enjoy the illustrations in this particular retelling. (Actually, I really love every little bit about this retelling. But my favorite part is the bright colors and creative pictures.) This story was a great introduction to the theme of “red” because I got to say “the red hen” all the time in this story and in my questions to the group.

Next, I read “Pizza at Sally’s” by Monica Wellington.

This one is a classic as far as I’m concerned. I love the borders on the text, love the little cat that helps Sally make the pizza, love the accessibility of the text (it’s not too complicated for preschool), it’s awesome. This was a great segue into the flannel that I freehanded:

Flannelboard: “This Is the Pizza That Sally Made”
This is the crust that Sally made.

This is the sauce, so red and so sweet.
That goes on the crust that Sally made.

These are the olives, so black and salty.
That goes on the sauce, so red and so sweet.
That goes on the crust that Sally made.

(Additional Verses)
These are the peppers, so green and crunchy.
This is the pineapple, fresh from Hawaii.
This is the pepperoni, so hot and spicy.
This is the cheese so gooey and chewy.
This is the tummy, so hungry and lively.
And that was the pizza that Sally made.
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

The flannelboard worked really well, except that I had one little girl who kept insisting that she only liked cheese pizza and even though I explained that this was Sally’s pizza — she was still super upset that the pizza had toppings on it. Oh, well.

Next, a book that I discovered while shelf-reading the other day, and immediately pulled for storytime, “Cars” by Patricia Hubbell.

There are thousand of car books out there, but I had a super hard time finding a fire engine book that was appropriate for 2-6. (There are a lot of longer ones, and not any really short text books.) But I love that “Cars” had a great fire engine spread, and that the book begins with a little red car. Fit perfectly into my theme. And I followed it up with a crowd pleaser:

Action Rhyme: “Hurry, Hurry”
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel back and forth)
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel back and forth)
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel back and forth)
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! ring bell
(Turn the corner (lean over to one side, then the other), climb the ladder (pretend to climb), spray the water (pretend to spray a hose).)
Credit: Childhood

And that brought me and the kids to the apple portion of the red theme, beginning with “Apple Farmer Annie” by Monica Wellington.

I try not to use two books by the same author in storytime (my bug theme will not have more than one Eric Carle, I promise!), but I love Wellington’s books, and they were so perfect for the theme and the recognizable items I had chosen. Next up, a quick fingerplay:

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)
Credit: Childhood

And our last book, “The Apple Pie Tree” by Zoe Hall.

I really enjoyed ending storytime with this book. Especially since we’re in a seasonal shift in Chicago right now, the kids really recognized the wait for the trees to change and that the green buds were next to appear.

Finished up with this apple craft from KidsSoup.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a daycare storytime, and this craft was far too ambitious for everyone to complete without a parent helping them. I spent a lot of time running around, going from kid to kid, until everyone was done. Next week’s craft will be much simpler.

11 comments on “Red!

  1. Abby
    March 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    Yeah, Katie, you’re crazy. 🙂
    While our spring and fall storytimes are in session, we develop one theme each week and repeat it four or five times a week (albeit, different people are doing it for each class time). One of the benefits is that you can see how the stuff goes over with the kids and adjust for the next group. Not trying to change your mind – if you have the energy, go for it! (I certainly do not have the energy…)

    • Katie
      March 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

      I only have the energy during the school year. During the summer, it’s the same theme every week and my daycares only get a coloring sheet to take home. I won’t do craft because they come with 30+ kids for each storytime. Yikes.

      • Abby
        March 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

        *nods* We don’t do crafts with storytime in the summer either.

  2. Anne Daum
    March 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    We don’t do crafts when daycares or preschools vist either.
    We also try to save staff time by repeating an earlier story time for the daycares and preschools. My staff time has been cut 30 hours/week!

    • Katie
      March 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

      I’m so sorry to hear about your staff. We’ve had similiar cuts here as well. In fact, that’s why I’m doing storytime — we lost our preschool librarian almost two years ago and I had to take the duties because of a hiring freeze. I’m glad to hear other libraries cut crafts for preschools/daycares because it makes me feel less guilty!

  3. Sarah H.
    March 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    I am glad that you found a good solution to the preschool issue. Those kids need storytime! I hope it keeps working out.

    • Katie
      March 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

      I hope they keep coming; they’re so adorable and they loved storytime. I had a couple of the little girls laying down on their backs, getting real cozy on the rug.

  4. Stacey
    September 1, 2017 at 1:36 pm #

    Katie, your idea to give the daycare kids coloring sheets is a great idea for my daycare/preschool reading outreach. Usually I take 25 books as a deposit collection to each daycare and stop to read a story to the kids, but sometimes I feel that my time with them is too short. Providing coloring sheets that go with the book I read to them and coloring with them would be so much fun!

    • Katie
      September 11, 2017 at 10:10 am #

      Thanks! It’s also great fine motor practice. 😀


  1. A Red Storytime! « Awesome Storytime - August 26, 2011

    […] if you want an idea for a craft (it can really be anything red for this one) you can take a look at Storytime Katie’s Red Storytime. Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "0"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  2. Crafts: Apples « abadcaseofbooks - September 9, 2011

    […] I love this apple & worm craft from Storytime Katie […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: