We did this one at the library during the week of Arbor Day/ Earth Day and I enjoyed bringing it to the outreach storytimes, too. Welcome Song: “We Clap and Sing Hello” (Tune: “The Farmer in the Dell”)
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…
Letter of the Week: T
- Teeth, Tongue, Toes, Tonsils – All things on our bodies that start with ‘T’ (a kiddo suggested “Tonsils”–I hadn’t thought of it!).
- Tree frog – I introduced Tyson the Red-Eyed Tree Frog puppet and talked about how in real life he is the size of a teacup and he lives in the rainforest and sleeps clinging to the underside of a leaf with his sticky hands and feet.
- Tree – I showed a picture of an apple tree and we identified the different parts–Roots, Trunk, Branches, Leaves, and Apples.
Book 1: Maple by Lori Nichols
I stumbled upon this book while facing out picture books one day and knew that I had to use it in storytime at some point. It is the sweet story of a little girl named Maple who grows up alongside the maple tree her parents planted “when she was still a whisper.” At one point in the story, Maple acts like a tree and is shown doing the yoga pose for tree. This led perfectly in to our next little stretching activity.
Yoga Pose: Tree
I’ve recently gotten into yoga myself which inspired me to incorporate the Tree Pose into storytime. I’ll definitely try doing yoga poses again if it fits with the theme in the future (I’d LOVE to do a whole yoga-themed storytime someday). It was hilarious to see the storytimers try this pose. Some of them nailed it right away and others teetered awkwardly, but it was so cool to see them try! I enjoyed telling the 1st-4th grade class I visited that they were waaaay more coordinated than the 3-year-olds I tried it with that morning! 😉
Song: “If You’re a Tree and You Know It” (Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you’re a tree and you know it reach up high (stretch arms above head)
If you’re a tree and you know it reach up high
If you’re a tree and you know it and you really want to show it,
If you’re a tree and you know it reach up high.
Continue with: Touch your roots (touch toes), Sway in the wind (sway back and forth), Shake Your Leaves (shake whole body)
The kids got pretty silly after shaking all their leaves, so I transitioned into the next book by asking them to be like trees and sit very still and silent.
Book 2: Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Definitely a go-to storytime pick. The kids got a big kick out of listening to the instructions and helping me do what the book told us to do. After opening their eyes at the end to see the egg had hatched in the nest, I heard several different kids say “How did you do that?” and “It really is magic!”
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!
Book 3: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
Obviously this one’s a classic! I loved reading it with my mom and sister when I was little and it still entertains kids today. Many kids and grown-ups alike spoke the words aloud with me as I read. The only problem with this book is that for the rest of the day I have this phrase doing laps in my brain: “Skit skat skoodle doot, Flip flop flee. Everybody running to the coconut tree.” Can’t complain too much about that earworm. 🙂
Craft: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom trees
I kept it pretty simple for this craft, and it was a big hit with the kids and caregivers. I gave them coconut tree coloring sheets and dot label stickers with letters pre-Sharpied on them. I made sure there were enough stickers for everyone to put the whole alphabet on their tree if they wanted. The most labor-intensive part of this craft prep was writing all those letters on the stickers and cutting them out. I cut the sheets so there were 6 of the same letter on each sheet and the kids shared with their tablemates. It was cool watching the older kids do a bit of an alphabet hunt for each letter! Again, I included a display with other books on the theme.