Green are the Veggies

Week 5 for storytime featured the letter V for Vegetables!  And who loves GREEN vegetables?  We do, or at least many of the children claimed to.  (We made vegetable prints for the craft and apparently many of the kids wanted to EAT them not paint with them!)  So we talked about things that are green, other than just vegetables and spotted a few kids who even wore green to storytime.  Then we talked about all of the green vegetables that we love to eat.

Our first veggie themed story was Come into my garden by Cynthia Rothman.  This book features all of the many vegetables that you might grow in a garden, even brussel sprouts, and notes that you can even stay and find lunch!  We had this story in Big Book format, so the pictures were nice and large for all the kids to see.  The story is short, which is good for this crowd, and can lead to a little discussion of other things that you might find in a garden.

The second veggie story was one of my favorites, Night of the veggie monster by George McClements.  Subjected to eat peas every Tuesday night, a little boys turns into a 'veggie monster' the second that the pea touches his lips.  Toes are curling, things are quivering, and then, the unthinkable happens, he accidentally swallows the pea only to find that it really isn't so bad.  Parents tend to get a kick out of this story, especially those who know what a veggie monster really looks like.

Our final book was another story that I tweaked.  I adapted the book Lunch by Denise Fleming into a flannel board to tell the story about a mouse who woke up hungry.  He crept into the kitchen where he found an array of vegetables.  Since we were focusing on colors, I tried to make a vegetable for every color.  But, first mouse had to put on his pink 'bib' and grab his blue fork (the two colors for which no veggie could be associated).  After eating his way through the rainbow, mouse was tired, so he went back into his hole to nap until lunch time.  This was a good participation story as the kids could tell me what the veggie was and what color it was.

Songs about vegetables seem to be scarce.  So instead we sang a song about gardening and the steps that it takes to grow the vegetables.  It went to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus:

First you take the seeds and you plant them in the ground, 
Plant them in the ground, plant them in the ground.
First you take the seeds and you plant them in the ground,
When growing vegetables.

Then you take the can and you water all around...
Watch as the plants come popping up...
Pick the veggies and eat them up...

Then to go along with the green theme, we sang Five green and speckled frogs:

Five green and speckled frogs,
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs.
One jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool,
Now there are four speckled frogs.

Repeat with 4, 3 ,2, 1

I have a magnet board with the frogs on a log and they jump into the pool as we sing.  Sometimes we'll stop and count the frogs between verses to keep the kids' attention or kill some time.  I guess we could have had the frogs eating some vegetables, but what frog wants to do that?

And wouldn't you know it, Laurie Berkner actually sang a song about vegetables.  The Valley of the Vegetables on her Buzz Buzz album.  I wouldn't say it was the most exciting song ever, but we shook our shaker eggs around as Laurie sang about vegetables.

We ended with Dr. Jean Feldman's Tooty Ta, which has no reference at all to vegetables, but is generally fun to do.  Although this time I got the feeling that I was doing this one alone.  The kids that were joining me were having a blast while the others looked on wondering what the heck I was doing.  If you have never heard it, it is like the Father Abraham song where you keep adding actions until every part of your body is moving.

As mentioned earlier, our craft was vegetable prints.  I set out trays of green and yellow paint along with cute up broccoli, green peppers, celery, and cucumber (the green veggies).  The kids dipped the veggies into the paint and made prints of the paper.  Some of them came out looking really interesting and of course the kids enjoyed the paint.  (We provide smocks - adult size small t shirts - for such craft days.)

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