Getting squirrely in the library

The fourth week of storytime brought squirrels scampering into the library.  Luckily they were fictional squirrels.  Our letter of the day was S for Squirrel and we were able to come up with lots of S words like sssssnake, socks, shoes, Sparky, Santa (yes, already on someone's mind!), shapes, and a whole bunch of names - like Nathan and Carly - that kids claimed started with S.

Our first book was Lois Ehlert's Nuts to you!  I have used this book before and thankfully it went over better than Leaf Man did a in our previous session.  The kids enjoyed looking for the squirrel in some of the pictures and we talked about if we thought the squirrel would follow the nuts out of the house or if he would stay there.

The second book that we read was The busy little squirrel by Nancy Tafuri.  The kids had fun telling me what items the squirrel was collecting in this story.  Each page has the squirrel too busy to play with other animals because he is stocking up for winter.  The text is very simple and repetitive, which is great for storytime and the illustrations are big and bold so everyone can see them.

Our flannel story was What will it rain? by Jane Moncure.  I found this idea at the Rain Makes Applesauce blog and it was great for storytime.  We didn't have the book at our library and it did not arrive in time, so I improvised the story based on the post at Rain Makes Applesauce.  Basically, squirrel can tell that it is going to rain soon.  But he is convinced that it is going to rain acorns.  He runs into other animals who all tell him that he is silly (or, if you are feeling ironic - NUTS!) and then proceed to tell him what they think that it will rain.

Finally, squirrel sits under a tree and a strong wind begins to blow.  Suddenly, something starts to fall from the sky!  Acorns are falling from the tree and squirrel says 'see, I was right, it is raining acorns!'  At this point I throw acorns from the tree up into the air.

We sang Carole Peterson's Wiggle song.  This is an easy song where you wiggle your hands, feet, hips, head, and whole body.  It is slow enough for the younger kids to follow along easily but has a lot of movement.

Mr. Eric and Mr. Michael have a version of Head, shoulders, knees, and toes that is fun and upbeat.  It was a little fast for the littlest ones, but this is one of the slower versions that I have found and most of the kids were able to keep up.

We got out the shaker eggs to shake along with the Imagination Movers Shakable you.  Kind of like the wiggle song this one has the kids shake different parts of their body.  My favorite part is at the end when the kids shake and jump.  We hold the shaker eggs above our heads and jump up and down.

Our craft was really simple.  The kids got a print out of a squirrel on card stock that they could color if they wanted to.  Then, they had some glue and coffee grounds to give the squirrel a nice furry coating that made him smell awesome (awesome if you are a coffee-holic).  I have done versions of this craft 3 or 4 times (with squirrels and bears) and for the first time had a kid eat the coffee grounds!  I was cleaning up after storytime and a kid who was not part of the group came over.  His mom exclaimed 'look, coffee!'  And he grabbed a spoon that we had used to spread it around and took a big bite!  I then had to find a trash can so he could spit it out.  So, if you use this craft, you may want to warn them NOT to eat the coffee.

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