I planned to do my spring theme last week, but with all that traveling I did, a couple of themes got shuffled, so…
This week’s letter was S for Spring! We have already looked at the letter S, so this time I told them, “We’re going to talk about a season. Does season start with S?” Then we named off all the seasons and figured out which ones start with S, and then I asked them to guess which season we were going to talk about.
Spring Blossoms by Carole Gerber
Carole Gerber writes lovely nonfiction science picture books on a level that preschoolers can grasp. I did do some paperclip abridging with this one, though. A few spreads talk about male and female flowers. I don’t have a problem explaining that flowers can be boys and girls, but trees with male/female flowers don’t make for very showy illustrations, and the book is a wee long for storytime, so I just didn’t read those pages. I stuck with the more riotously colorful trees. Gerber is also the author of the autumnal favorite Leaf Jumpers.
Concept: Nonfiction. Botany-ish.
Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson
It’s everyone’s favorite baby mouse and his mama, here to introduce spring! Mouse and Mama take a spring walk, and he sees many new-to-him sights, like a butterfly, a worm, and a flower. Every time Mouse wonders, “What can that be?”, the audience can call out what he’s found, and none of the spreads are difficult. A sweet treat.
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheston
In the vein of Press Here, this book invites readers to tap, rub, and knock on an apple tree to “magically” take it through its seasonal changes. If you’ve read Press Here and know what a huge hit it always is, you can imagine how much the kids love this.
A Little Seed
Written by Mabel Watts
A little seed for me to sow . . . (Pretend to hold a tiny seed.)
A little earth to make it grow . . . (Stoop down and touch the ground.)
A little hole, A little pat . . . (Pretend to dig a hole; plant seed; pat earth around seed.)
A little wish, And that is that. (Touch index fingers to head; bring arms down and fold over chest.)
A little sun, A little shower . . . (Make sun with hands; use fingers to create rain.)
A little while, And then — a flower! (Pretend to sleep; cup hands around face like flower.)
Source: The Holiday Zone
Everything is cut freehand except the flower’s head and the sun, which were die cut.
I hid the flower horizontally behind the block of dirt and pulled it out at the end.
We just did the Hokey Pokey. I know you can find a ton of springtime fingerplays, but fingerplays are either boring or too hard for the kids. Most of them are at the age where they need an adult to be right there at their side showing them what to do. (I know, you’re saying “That’s why the parents are there,” to which I reply that most of the parents at my storytimes don’t sit with their kids, and yes, I’ve told them. I know, I know.)
Craft: Spring Trees
Printable bare tree picture. Shredded tissue paper in multiple shades of pink. Glue. Crayons. Fun and done.
How It Went:
The first session was great, and I got compliments on the books. The second session was another of those instances where I think a theme is fairly pedestrian and am worried kids will be bored, and they turn out to be so excited about the theme that I have the opposite problem: everyone talking over everyone else and no one able to settle down no matter how much wiggling and talking we did. Of course, that’s what storytime hooligans do! They get excited about storytime and sometimes veer into hooliganism. But if you go a more authoritarian route and discourage talking, you wind up missing really important facts, like that one girl found a worm like the one in Mouse’s First Spring yesterday and named him Sam, and that another girl found several worms the last time it rained and got to keep them for her garden. You don’t have kids who were shy a couple months ago warm up and realize it’s okay to say answers if they know them (or don’t.) And you don’t have this conversation:
Me: That’s right, it is a bird! Now, does anyone know what kind of bird?
Girl #1: A bluebird!
Me: Excellent! You’re right!
Girl #2: A blueberry bird! (mad laughter)
And who wants to miss hearing a 4-year-old figure out that she can do wordplay? Not I.
Next week we are (I think) Writing and Drawing.