I’ve always loved the rain. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am an April baby. I was crossing my fingers for rainy weather during this storytime, but alas, it was sunny and warm. I won’t complain one bit about sunny and warm weather, though! This still made for a fun and cozy storytime theme.
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: U
- Umpire – I showed a picture of an umpire, and asked if they knew who it was and got a lot of blank stares. I gave hints about baseball and how he’s the guy who says “You’re out!” and “Strike one!” Still nothing. So I guess I taught them a new word!
- Ukulele – Again I showed a picture of this (as I am not–yet–one of the many children’s librarians who’ve gotten on board with the latest trend of playing ukulele in storytime). Most of the guesses were “Guitar!” and “Violin!” but a few kiddos knew right away what it was. This was a fun word to say all together.
- Umbrella – This was an easy one. I held up my umbrella and all the kids shouted “Umbrella!” Then we talked about what we use umbrellas for, which led in to the theme of rainy days.
Book 1: Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre
I love this book! Beautiful, up close photographs of nature and raindrops in all different shapes and forms paired with simple, lovely text. I don’t normally read stories like this in storytime, with real photographs and not much of a storyline, but it was a fun way to mix things up and get kids talking about the different animals and insects pictured. It also includes text at the back with more information and facts about rain and the water cycle.
Song: “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring / Itsy-Bitsy Spider Medley” from the CD Music for Little People: 101 Toddler Favorites
I like using this song because it adds an additional layer to songs that are already familiar to most children. We patted on our legs for the parts that go “Drip, drop! Drip, drop!” then did the traditional hand signals for the two songs. I also enjoy that the recording includes somewhat off-key young children’s voices for one verse, which I think helped to encourage some of the more shy singers to join in.
Book 2: Storm Song by Nancy Viau
I’ve used this book in storytime before and I’ll use it again in the future for sure. I love the sweet rhyming text and vivid Pixar-like illustrations depicting the expressive characters as they wait out a thunderstorm.
Make a Rain Storm
I told the children that I thought it would be fun to make a rainstorm together and asked if they could help me with that. I got some confused but eager head nods.
First we rubbed our hands together to make the wind,
then clicked our tongues to sound like drops of rain,
then clapped our hands (“It’s raining a little harder now”),
then slapped our knees (“It’s really starting to pour now!”),
then stompped our feet (“it’s raining super hard!”)
Then on the count of three we jumped to make a thunderclap. (“Ready? 1, 2, 3!”)
After the giant thunderclap we did all of the actions in reverse to make the rain “stop.”
This was a fun activity that was both physical and imaginative. I like mixing it up when I can, instead of just doing a song or rhyme.
I have a soft spot for Il Sung Na’s quirky illustrations. This was the first time I used one of his books in storytime, though. It went over quite well! I think the kids enjoyed being in on the “secret” that the mysterious thingamabob was really an umbrella.
Many thanks to Sunflower Storytime for this rainy day craft!
We folded cupcake liners in half and poked pipe cleaners inside them. Here’s where making a sample craft proves to be necessary, as I learned ahead of time that pipe cleaners do NOT glue down to paper (newbie here!). So I provided a piece of tape for everyone to secure their pipe cleaners to the inside of the cupcake liner and we glued the cupcake liners to the paper. Cotton balls served as clouds and the kids drew raindrops and puddles with crayons.
I set up another book display this week, and GOOD NEWS! People actually took books home this time, yay! 🙂 My heart was very happy.