Monday, May 2, 2016

Preschool Storytime: Spring

Last week, I visited one of our local childcare centers to do storytime about spring. I know I have posted spring storytimes on my blog before, but since I was using some different materials, I wanted to share this one, too. You can see my previous spring-themed storytimes here and here.

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello - This is our standard opener and it works in the library and outside the library.

Book: When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek (Greenwillow Books, 2016). Oh, new storytime gold! This bright, colorful book is a great book for talking about spring. In simple text, the book introduces lots of spring concepts like snow melting, grass turning green, eggs hatching, flowers growing. There's a lot here, but it's not too much and it's a great storytime starter because you could make a lot of different connections to move to your next book.

This is a great book to practice or demonstrate dialogic reading (encourage kids to talk about what you're reading about and have a dialog with you) because there are lots of spreads with many different things to talk about. And don't forget the endpapers: the beginning endpapers show lots of spring things and the ending endpapers show lots of summer things!

Book: Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw (Charlesbridge, 2014). After reading the poem "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary", Lola wants to plant her own garden and this book follows the steps she takes to do so. I love that their first step is to visit the library to read books about gardening and I always exclaim about how that's such a good idea. ;) This book is a great book to introduce the activity of planting a garden and I love that it includes some everyday diversity, too.

Song: Ten Little Flowers. I use this song pretty much every time we do a spring storytime because it's easy to teach the kids, gives them a chance to stand up and get some wiggles out, and it's a great way to include a little STEM knowledge that flowers need water and sunshine to grow.

Source: Storytime Katie

(Tune: Ten Little Indians)
One little, two little, three little flowers
Four little, five little, six little flowers
Seven little, eight little, nine little flowers
Ten flowers in the spring

Give them rain and lots of sunshine
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
Give them rain and lots of sunshine

So they'll grow up tall

Book: Duckie's Rainbow by Frances Barry (2004, Candlewick). This is another book that I use ALL THE TIME. It's a neat book for reinforcing color knowledge and the rounded pages create a rainbow as the story unfolds, which kids love, so this is a great book for developing print motivation. I like to read the story straight through and then pass out scarves and read it again, having the kids help me retell it by waving their color scarves when we read their color. 

Scarf Play: Since we had the scarves out and scarves are my favorite, we did a few activities with them. All of these activities help reinforce basic concepts and help kids practice following instructions: 
  • wave scarves high and low
  • wave scarves fast and slow
  • wave scarves behind and in front
  • toss scarves up in the air on the count of three (always their favorite!)
Rhyme with Scarves: While I say this rhyme, I ask the kids to hold their scarves in the middle and flap them around the room.

Butterflies, butterflies, flapping around.
Visiting flowers, not making a sound.
Flapping your wings, as you go.
Flapping your wings, up high, then low.
Butterflies, butterflies, flapping around.
Visiting flowers, not making a sound.

Source: Jean Warren's Scarf Songs

Putting Scarves Away: To put the scarves away, I sing the following song. This is another activity that reinforces color knowledge, listening, and following directions. 

(Tune: Do You Know the Muffin Man?)
If you have a red scarf, a red scarf, a red scarf
If you have a read scarf, please bring it up to me

(Repeat with different colors until all the scarves are put away.) 

Felt Story: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This is a felt story that I bought from Lakeshore Learning when I was a baby librarian and it looks like it's not available there anymore. Since this is a classic story that many children are familiar with, I like telling it in a different format and will usually use my felt set or the pop-up version of the book so that it's something a little different from what the children have probably seen before. Not only does this story follow the life-cycle of a butterfly (STEM knowledge! Egg - caterpillar - chrysalis - butterfly!), it can be used to practice counting and to talk about different foods. 

Closing Song: Goodbye, Friends

Additional Resources: 

There are TONS of great books about spring and spring things! If you don't like or don't have any of the materials listed above, here are more great resources for storytimes about spring and you may also want to search for storytimes about flowers, gardens, bugs, eggs, birds, weather, etc.: