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Rockets and Space Storytime

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Today’s letter: R is for Rockets! We had a general space theme involving rockets, aliens, the moon, and more! The “more” being hedgehogs!

We read:

Hedgie Blasts Off! by Jan Brett

My, Hedgie has certainly come a long way from getting a sock stuck on his head. Now he’s a custodian/emergency astronaut! This book has its detractors (check Goodreads if you want to see what I mean), but I think the space spreads are gorgeous. The exposition, however, does require extra explanation from the adult reader. I paraphrased here, added a countdown there, and it went perfectly. Hedgie wants to be an astronaut more than anything, and in any given group of children, you’ll likely have several who understand the feeling.

Concept: Building pressure to cause a stronger explosion. Really, that’s how I used it.

Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I’m Off to the Moon! by Dan Yaccarino

A simple, brightly-colored rhyme about going to the moon and back. The little boy wears a full-sized spacesuit that makes him as big as an adult, and we see the basics of a moon landing: wearing space gear, dropping the booster rockets, riding in a lunar rover.

Concept: Rhyme. Space exploration.
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle

Monica asks her father for the moon. Spoiled much? The moon is too big for her father at first, but it shrinks until he can take it down and bring it home. As Monica plays with it, it continues to shrink and disappear, until one night it’s gone. However, it reappears as a growing sliver in the sky the next night. With foldout “very long ladder” pages and a popout moon, this baby’s a stunner.

Concept: Phases of the moon.

Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer

Five little men in a flying saucer
Flew down to look at the Earth one day.
They looked to the left of us, they looked to the right of us,
They looked and they looked but they didn’t like the sight of us,
So one man flew away.

We are your potential overlords. Take us to your reader.

We are your potential overlords. Take us to your reader.

As each man flew away, I moved him to an outer corner of the flannelboard. Finally, I had the last man fly out in the ship and pick up the other so they could all go home together. “Hey guys, need a ride?”

Flannel source: Loons and Quines

Lyric source: Adapted from various

Action Rhymes:

If You’re Going to the Moon

If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots
If you’re going to the moon, this is what you have to do
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots
(gloves, helmet, suit, etc.)

Source: Storytime Katie

After we sang this, we pretended to blast off, then practiced our moon bouncing!

Spaceman, Spaceman

Spaceman, spaceman, turn around.
Spaceman, spaceman, touch the ground.
Spaceman, spaceman, reach up high,
Spaceman, spaceman, touch the sky.
Spaceman, spaceman, bend your knees,
Spaceman, spaceman, touch down, please.

We also sang Baby Shark again this week.

Experiment: Mentos Geyser

For everything you need to know about this experiment, check out Steve Spangler’s guide. I did purchase the Geyser Tube for a smoother experience, and it worked well.

How It Went:

I scrapped a few ideas and books from my original plan because we have had a day care class in attendance the last few weeks, and they’ve brought K and 1st graders. I added Hedgie Blasts Off and planned on Max and the Tag-Along Moon rather than Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! I’m Off to the Moon! I pulled a rhyme that seemed too little-kiddish and replaced it with Baby Shark because they loved it so, so much. Well, guess what? I bet you guessed! They did not show up this week. Instead, I had about 13 toddlers, two preschoolers, and a school ager. Ummmmm…hi, guys! All of the rhymes still worked very well, though, and I just added a ton of counting down and cheering Hedgie on to keep their interest in that slightly longer story, and I dropped Max for Zoom. I know many librarians just bring an assortment of books for different ages and pick based on what ages of child show up, but in my library, we do not have a large collection of storytime materials for staff use only. We do not have the space, unfortunately. Instead, I have to check out picture books from our shelves or from other libraries in our consortium, so I try to only take 3 or 4 so that I’m removing as few from patron reach as possible. I am very glad I kept Zoom, though! In the end, it went very well and the Mentos geyser impressed everyone.

Next week: E is for Elephants!


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