Rainy Days!

Thanks, Chicago weather, for thoroughly confusing all my storytime kids. When I announced this morning that the theme would be rain, my kids immediately told me all about the snow outside. (Yes, we have just the smallest amount of a sprinkling outside.) But, I still continued on with my theme!

First up, “Raindrop, Plop!” by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.

My crowd of kids really enjoyed this read — counting is always a big hit! But I also liked that it had a great rhythm to it without having rhyming words in the text. Most of the kids joined in the counting at one point or another. After this bright and colorful book, I switched things up and used a classic, “Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car” by John Burningham.

I wasn’t sure this story was going to catch the attention of my large group this morning, but I gave it a go. Folks, there is a reason this book is classic — the kids LOVED it. I mean, I should have known — animals, mud, spinning wheels…sure-fire hit.

Then, we practiced our session stretcher — fingerplay: “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” (It really does fit this theme, but we’ve been using it all session.)

After, I went straight into our flannelboard.

Flannelboard: “Ten Little Umbrellas” & “Ten Little Raindrops”
One little, two little, three little umbrellas
Four little, five little, six little umbrellas
Seven little, eight little, nine little umbrellas
Ten umbrellas up for the rain
Repeat with raindrops going on top of umbrellas – last line, “Ten raindrops falling down.” Pull raindrops away, counting down – last line, “No raindrops out today.” Pull umbrellas away, counting down – last line, “Everything’s put away!”

(I did make the flannel for this week using clip art, and I do promise a post on all the flannels I’ve made recently after this storytime session is done next week.)

Next, I read “Red Rubber Boot Day” by Mary Lyn Ray.

(I love this cover image — pure joy!) I choose this one because not only does it show the splashing in puddles part of a rainy day, but it also shows what kids do inside (blocks, reading, drawing, building a cave) during rainy days. My favorite part of this read-aloud was when all my little boys showed me their boots that they were wearing. I had to ask everyone who was wearing boots to raise their hands really high, and then I segued back into the book by saying, “Well, this little boy is wearing RED RUBBER BOOTS.”

Time to shake some sillies out! I led the group in back-to-back action rhymes to calm everyone down.

Action Rhyme: “Splash! Fall the Raindrops”
Splash! Fall the raindrops, (Clap hands softly)
To the ground they go; (Point to the ground)
We need the raindrops, (Wiggle fingers down from head to waist)
To help the flowers grow. (Make cup of hands for flowers)
Credit: KIDiddles

Action Rhyme: “Rain Is Falling Down”
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
[Repeat until kids are worn out.]
Credit: Modified from King County Library System

Next up, “Rain” by Manya Stojic.

This was one of those books that started off so well, but then the kids got too excited naming all the animals and kind of stopped paying attention to the story. So, what’s a librarian to do? Turn the page and say, “Which animal is this?” “MONKEY” “Okay, do monkeys like rain?” “YES!” Next page, rinse, repeat.

I’m not a fan of going off-book, or skipping words or pages, but sometimes the kids just need a different story. They loved the pictures, the colors are so bright and vivid, but they got overexcited. It happens!

A nice calming song…

“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”
It’s raining, it’s pouring
The old man is snoring
He went to bed and bumped his head
And couldn’t get up in the morning
Credit: Childhood

And then, I read out last book, “Wow! Said the Owl” by Tim Hopgood.

This was another hit, and their reactions today are very similar to when I read this book in bird storytime. (Again, I don’t have any overlap between my morning and afternoon groups which is so surprising to me since I plan separate storytimes in case of overlap!) A great way to end storytime what with the pretty rainbow and the last nighttime page spread.

For craft this week, we made a rain picture — a take on this Rainy Day Collage from Busy Bee Kids Crafts.

Instead of messing around with food dye, I just used pompoms. All of the umbrellas were pre-assembled.

16 comments on “Rainy Days!

  1. Lisa Jenn Bigelow
    March 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Perfect timing! I’m getting together my “April showers” storytime theme. I hadn’t thought to use Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car, and I just might. I also just pulled Red Rubber Boots the other day. Another of my favorite rain-themed activities is my flannel (well, magnet) board story for My Red Umbrella.

    • Katie
      March 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

      I love your magnet board. Your drawings are so cute — your storytime kids must love it when you do that story!

      • Lisa Jenn Bigelow
        March 25, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

        It works well! I have them fill in the names of each animal as we go along. It’s a very simple story, but it really engages them.

  2. kellyldalton
    February 12, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    Just started full-time librarianship, and am diving into storytime–I am SO grateful for your wonderful resources, THANK YOU.

    • Katie
      February 21, 2015 at 3:23 pm #

      You are so welcome! Good luck in full-time librarianship — you’ll do great!

  3. Donna
    April 19, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

    Thank you so much for the ideas. For my Baby-Toddlers, I added “Let’s Go on A Rain Walk” following the pattern of “Let’s Go on a Bear Hunt” and “The Wheels in the Rain Go Splish, Splash, Splish” Our craft was Rainbow bracelets made from pipecleaners and the ends of straws left over from an activity for older kids. We gave them pieces in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and talked about the colors in the rainbow.

    • Katie
      April 24, 2015 at 10:29 am #

      Sounds like a lot of fun!


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