It seems that around March is a rather Grumpy month. Many of us are ready for spring to come (especially this year with the extra cold weather we have had) but March likes to hold on to the cold and snow creating grumps all over the place.
So, for this week's preschool visit I decided that I would do stories about being Grumpy. I discovered that there are several great books for kids with a grumpy theme. Lots of authors must be hanging around with grumpy preschoolers. And, since weather leads to much of the grumpiness around here, I threw in a song about rain and my snowmen flannel board. Little id I know that as I was doing story time we would be able to watch rain turn to snow, I could not have planned it better! (I am probably the only person around here who was happy to see more snow.)
I have been starting off my visits with A new way to say hello from the Exercise Party album, so we began with that.
Our first book was the Pout-pout fish by Deborah Diesen. I love this book. It features Mr. Fish, a pout-pout fish with big pouty lips who thinks that it is just his nature to be pouty. With a pout like his he just can't help it, and no amount of cajoling and cheering up from his friends will change him. I really like that this book has a repeating refrain by Mr. fish about why he is pouty and it ends with three gloomy 'bluuubbbs.' It is catchy enough that many of the kids were saying it along with me by the second or third round. Mr. Fish does cheer up in the end, but you'll have to read it to see how.
We followed Pout-pout fish with the song If you're happy and you know it by the MFLP Band from the album Apples and Bananas. This version has the kids clap their hands, pat their knees, stomp their feet (for this verse they sing 'if you are mad...'), beep their nose, and shout 'hooray.' At the end of each verse you also add the previous motions, so at the end you shout, beep, stomp, pat, and clap. It is a nice little twist to the version they all know.
The second book that we read was Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. In this story bird wakes up grumpy (all of the kids claimed that they did not wake up grumpy). Bird is even too grumpy to fly, so he starts walking. His friends see him walking and decide to join him (I have no idea why because he grumpily tells each one that he is walking, but it is a good opportunity to discuss how to speak to your friends - especially when bird starts yelling). However, bird discovers that doing things with his friends causes him to forget to be grumpy.
After reading Grumpy bird we sang Carole Peterson's version of Singing in the rain. It was rather appropriate since it was raining when we started this morning. (I did this song before during a drought and it was raining as we ended the song, so I am wondering if the rain might be my fault...) This song mashes Singing in the rain with motions like form Dr. Jean's Tooty-ta, so very fun and active.
Our third book was Crankenstein by Samantha Berger. This book came out late last year and was a favorite with my kids at home. It features a little boy who looks very Frankenstein-ish and who says 'mmmmwwwwhhhhhheeerrr' or something like that, when he becomes Crankenstein. The book explains all the things that might bring out Crankenstein, like; waking up, rain, melting pops, long lines, a cold Halloween, etc. Luckily, Crankenstein goes away once he meets another Crankenstein - which is hilarious. The kids really enjoyed that spread. The one class especially liked how the pictures of the author and illustrator had been 'zombie-fied.'
We followed Crankenstein with the song Toes, knees, shoulders, and head by Kimmy Schwimmy. Obviously it is like head, shoulders, knees, and toes backwards. Between verses kids can point to or move other body parts. Another fun twist on a classic. I like those as the kids basically know what to do, but it is still new and a little different.
The last 'story' that we did was my Melting snowmen flannelboard. Since we had snow in the forecast we tried to preemptively melt it away. However, as we were doing the rhyme we could see the rain turning to snow. I'm really starting to feel like I have some kind of weather power. The kids liked this one so much that we did it twice - so bring on more snow! You can see the snowman rhyme and how I made the flannel here.
To end my visit we did the Banana song by Carole Peterson. The real title is B-Bananas (you can find it on her album Stinky Cake) but all the kids ask for the banana song as soon as they see me. My toddler crowd has started to do the same thing. We do it every week. It is just that fun.