This week our story time theme was owls. Our letter of the day was O for owl and our featured picture book was Papa, please get the moon for me. I was surprised that there were very few kids with a name starting with O. I guess all the Owens and Olivias weren't here this week.
The first book that we read was Martin Waddell's Owl babies. I love this story about three little owls who wake to find their mother is gone! My favorite part is the one little owl who keeps repeating 'I want my mommy!' over and over. It is fun for me to start off making him sound a little sad and get whinier as the story goes. I think toddlers can really relate to that :) Although, after saying 'I want my mommy' several times, they wouldn't say it when I prompted them to. (Although several parents chimed in!)
Our second book was the feature book from the 100 picturebooks everyone should know list. We read Papa, please get the moon for me by Eric Carle. Not quite an owl book, but it gave us a chance to talk about how owls come out at night and then the kids told me other things that are our at night. Bats was the most popular answer. But this is a great story about a little girl who wants her papa to get the moon so she can play with it. It has fold out pages for Papa's very long ladder to reach the moon and a really big foldout of the moon. Most kids this age seem to have a fascination with the moon, so this book is great for the 2's and 3's.
The final story we read was Tim Hopgood's Wow! said the owl. I read this story and really liked it. I love the owl's excitement over everything she sees when she stays up during the daytime. It is also a great book for colors. However, I felt like I lost the kids some during this book. Even when I was prompting them to tell me what colors the owl saw most of them were off in la la land. Hopefully it was just that this was the last book and we ran a little long this week.
We also did an owl flannel story called Five Hoot Owls that I found at the Sunflower Storytime Blog. I made my own owls out of craft foam. I realized as I was setting up that I should have made a tree branch for them to sit on. The rhyme goes like this:
Five hoot owls sitting in a tree,
One flew away, how many do you see.
I like having the kids count with me as we put the owls up and after each one flies away. We still count all of them slowly, even when the older kids shout out the answer. I like to give the younger kids a chance to see how many there are for themselves.
Songs about owls are not very abundant, but I found quite a few about birds. We sang If I was a Bird from the Wiggleworms Love You album. There are several animals that the kids pretend to be in this song, so it is fun to do the different motions and make the appropriate animal noises.
Flitter Flutter by Johnette Downing is about birds, butterflies, and bugs flying around. We used scarves with this song to add to the 'fluttery-ness.'
Dr. Jean has a song called Mother Gooney Bird. This is a fun song along the lines of Father Abraham. You start with one motion and keep going until until you a doing several things. But, the motions are simple enough that the 2 and 3 year olds can do them. You flap each arm, march your feet, and nod your head.
We finished with a paperbag owl craft. I saw one here and modified it a little. I gave the kids Ellison dye cuts of a hand for the wings and on the belly we sprinkled dry oatmeal to make the owl look a little feathery.