For the third week of storytime our theme was Autumn, featuring the letter A. This is one of those themes that is an easy pick and has lots of book options. I went more for books about leaves in general, but as you will see one of the books featured all the activities of autumn. I introduced the theme by talking about what the kids saw happening to the leaves on the trees and asking what colors they were seeing. We also talked about seasons and the order that they go.
Our first book was Lois Ehlert's Leaf Man. This is a book that I have read before and Ehlert's books are generally well received in storytimes, bit for some reason this years groups were not big fans of Leaf Man. The pictures are great, made from collages of real leaves in Ehlert's signature style. Maybe it was the story where they lost it a bit. At one point I had a little boy ask 'when will this book end?' I guess even tried and true these days is not reliable.
The second book we read was Let it Fall by Maryann Cocca-Leffler. This is a nice simple book about different activities that you can do in the fall. It shows a cute, cartoon family raking leaves, going to a fair, looking at pumpkins, hiking, celebrating Thanksgiving, and finally getting ready for winter. It was a little early for the Thanksgiving and winter part of it, but 2 year olds don't really care and it helps to work on the order of the seasons.
Our flannel board was Marty Kelley's Fall is not easy. This is a really cute story about a tree who just can't seem to get the hang of changing leaves. Winter is easy, there are no leaves. Spring and summer are easy, they bud and turn green. But fall? Not easy. The book depicts a myriad of bizarre looking leaves such as rainbow, cow, a smiley face, stripes, and even an Eat at Joe's sign. The kids loved the cray trees and the giggles got louder as the story went on.
Johnette Downing's Shake your scarves is a great song to use with a fall/leaves theme. The scarves are great for mimicking the falling leaves and the song has an upbeat tune.
I brought back Tommy Thumb by Carole Peterson as many kids missed doing it the week before. This is a great 'lap' song for getting kids calmed down before reading a story. And I like that she does not use all the fingers, keeping to the ones that are easier for little kids to do themselves.
We sang Row, row, row your boat by The Old Town School of Funk. I love this version of this song. I have even used it with the baby groups because the parents can do the motions with the kids on their laps. In the song you row, bounce, sway, wiggle, and tickle in your boat.
Additionally we sang Hap Palmer's version of Five Little Monkeys. I use this one a lot as well. The monkey jump on the bed, bounce on the bed, and spin on the bed before getting the idea to go and jump outside. Mama and the Doctor can't complain about monkeys playing outside!
Our craft was a tissue paper tree that I have seen many places. The kids get a white circle of cardstock to which they glue pieces of tissue paper. Then, they slide the cardstock into slits cut at the top of a toilet paper roll to make a tree. But, I added a little twist and gave the kids a second cardstock circle and some paint stampers so that they could make a tree like the book Fall is not easy. Many of them had two bizarre trees.