Just in time for the weather to turn wintery (at least in my neck of the woods), I give you the fall storytime I did a few weeks ago!
Once again, I got the chance to take this storytime on the road for preschools and daycares (in addition to doing it twice for regular storytime at the library). I tweak things slightly for each storytime crowd, so sometimes I would do a different story or cut a song depending on the age group and attention level. Here’s the basic outline I followed.
- Pumpkin – hand selected by yours truly in an impulse stop at a local farmhouse on my drive home! The kids got really excited about this and were eager to share their stories of visiting the pumpkin patch.
- Porcupine – I borrowed this adorable puppet from another library in our system (Thanks, NGL!). I let the kids pet the puppet, and asked them, “If this was a real porcupine, would you be able to pet it?” “No!” “Why not?” “Because it’s pokey!” Then they had a blast petting it again and saying, “Ouch!” as they pulled their hands back quickly.
- Piano – just a photo print-out
Book 1: Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
I swapped this out for Leaf Trouble by Jonathan Emmett when I did preschool storytimes. The story line is basically the same, and I love both of the books, but the kids seemed to respond better to the bright, bold illustrations in Leaf Trouble.
Song: “Butterfly Song” by David Landau, from the CD Rocket to the Moon
When I went out for preschool/daycare storytimes, we did the “Two Little Blackbirds” rhyme instead, so I didn’t have to haul the CD player along with me. The kids ended up really loving the rhyme, so I think I’ll bust it out more often.
Book 2: The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
This book really speaks to me, and I love the unconventional, mixed-media illustration style. However, it didn’t work very well as a read-aloud. I ended up not using it for preschool/daycare storytime, and instead did The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri.
Song: “Autumn Leaves are Falling Down” (Tune: “London Bridges Falling Down”)
Autumn leaves are falling down, (trickle fingers downward)
falling down, falling down
Autumn leaves are falling down
All around the town (make circular motions with pointer fingers)
The wind will blow them round and round (roll arms around each other)
They’re drifting gently to the ground (wave hands slowly down)
Take a rake and rake them up (make raking motion)
Make a pile and jump right in (jump)
Book 3: Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
This was another book that I enjoy, but wasn’t super successful as a read-aloud. I tried engaging the children in talking about the illustrations and finding pictures in the leaves, but they were getting pretty restless by this point in the storytime. I would definitely try using it again in a different manner, but for this group and situation it wasn’t quite the right fit. Live and learn!
Craft: Leafy porcupine
I love this craft for several reasons: It gave us the opportunity to play and create with real leaves, it was a nod to our letter of the week, and it tied in nicely with Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, as we see a leafy porcupine in that book.
I provided the kids with “blank” porcupine bodies cut out of light brown construction paper, faces predrawn on with a Sharpie. They used Q-tips to apply glue to the porcupine’s body and stuck the leaves on.