Here is one of my favorite storytime themes yet. I did this one in the chilly month of November, and also brought it along to outreach storytimes that month. But it could really be done any time of the year! Welcome Song: “We Clap and Sing Hello”
We clap and sing hello,
We clap and sing hello,
With our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello
Continue with: We stomp… We wave…
- Whistle – I told the kids that this wasn’t something in my basket, but something I could do. Then I whistled, and of course they all wanted to show me their excellent whistling skills, too. 🙂
- Wolf – I brought out the wolf puppet and we all practiced our howling skills.
- Water – I held up my bottle of water and swished it around.
- Wool – I brought out the sheep puppet and asked if “sheep” started with a ‘W.’ After a resounding “Nooooo!” I talked about how when we shear the sheep–or give it a haircut, we can use their fur–what we call wool, to make things like sweaters, mittens, hats, etc. I passed around a skein of yarn made from wool and we talked about how sometimes it can be kind of itchy, but it keeps us really warm. This led in perfectly to our first book.
Book 1: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
This is one of my absolute faves. The kids were enthralled with the story, the parents were engaged, and the ending allowed for some discussion of what they thought happened when Annabelle opened the box. When I read this at one of my preschool storytime visits, one little girl begged to read it again, and was desperate to know exactly where it would be located when I brought it back to the library. That one really pulled at my heartstrings!
Song: “Shake Your Sillies Out” by The Wiggles, from the CD Yummy Yummy
Book 2: Knitty Kitty by David Elliott
A nice, simple story with repetitive lines of text. The kids seemed to enjoy it, and loved pointing out what was happening with the snowman outside the window throughout the story.
Action rhyme: “Two Little Blackbirds”
Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill
One named Jack, the other named Jill
Fly away Jack, fly away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill
Two little blackbirds sitting on a stick
One named slow, the other named quick
Fly away slow, fly away quick
Come back slow, come back quick
Two little blackbirds sitting on a cloud
One named soft, the other named loud
Fly away soft, fly away loud
Come back soft, come back loud!
This is a great go-to rhyme for me and the kiddos. They catch on to it very quickly and get so excited about the last two verses, especially.
Book 3: Just How Long Can a Long String Be? by Keith Baker
I appreciate the creativity in this book, talking about all the different ways one could use a piece of string (to hang up a picture or fly a kite, etc.). The rhyming text allows kids to guess what the next item is going to be.
Activity: Yarn block prints (thanks for the idea, whipup.net!)
As I expressed to the grown-ups, this craft was more about the process than the ultimate product. I set up the tables with no chairs so they’d be more like stations to travel around to. Each table had paper plates with different colors of acryllic paint squirted onto them and wooden blocks wrapped in yarn. We also had some with yarn hot-glued in a variety of shapes.
The idea was for the kids to use the blocks as stamps, to create their own unique prints. I loved this activity, because it encouraged parents and caregivers to interact with their children, asking them questions about what would happen if they dipped the block in a thick layer of paint or what would happen if they stamped their paper a bunch of times without re-dipping, etc. Many thanks to my hubster for helping me cut and sand the wooden blocks, and to my coworker for diligently wrapping and gluing the yarn on!
Additional book: Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell
I used this one for some of my older outreach storytime groups, and they got a pretty big kick out of it, so I wanted to mention it as another option for this storytime.