Shapes, shapes, shapes!

For week three of storytime we read books about Shapes.  Since the letter 'S' starts the word shape, 'S' was our letter for the day.  We talked about the sounds that S can make, and words that start with S, like snake, shoes, story, etc.  Our color for the day was Yellow and we also discussed some things that are yellow, like the sun, our name tags, and so on.

The first shape book that we read was Squarehead by Harriet Ziefert.  This is the story of George who has a sqaure head, likes all things square, and abhors anything that is not square.  He even claims that the dogs, cats, and the world are square.  But, one night George discovers that not all things are sqaure, and that other shapes can be good.  This story has some humor for both the kids and adults and the illustrations are nice and simple for storytime sharing.

Our second book was It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw.  This classic book presents a variety of white blobs that that various shapes.  It is a great story to involve the children as they guess what the shapes are as well as what the original blob might be.  I also like to use this one for shadow themes as the illustrations are white on navy blue.

This week we did a third shape book instead of a flannel story.  I found the book Shape by Shape written by Suse MacDonald.  Cut out shape illustrations layer to create a surprise character at the end of the story.  The pages also have bright colors so we could incorporate our colors theme as well as discuss the shapes that were layering on the page.  If I'd have had more time, this one would have made a good flannel story.

I had to get a little creative with the songs for this one.  We sang "If you like shapes" to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it."  I held up each shape as we sang to go along with the song:

If you like circles and you know it clap your hands
If you like circles and you know it clap your hands
If you like circles and you know it then your really want to show it
If you like circles and you know it clap your hands.

Repeat with:

Squares - stomp your feet
Triangles - shout 'Hooray!'

You could add to this song and do different shapes and other actions.  But, since our storytime friends are younger I decided to keep it rather simple.

We went back to the Clap your hands from the Wiggleworms love you album.  I like to do a variety of songs, but the kids do like repeating things that they know.

To end storytime we sang the song I know a chicken by Laurie Berkner.  We talked about the egg being an oval shape.  The song is fun as the kids shake their eggs, and we did shake the eggs in a circle, so that brought in a shape reference - not that one is really needed.

Our craft was one that I found from a craft site.  We made a chicken by gluing a small egg shape (head) onto a larger egg shape (body).  Then there were two elongated hearts for the wings, two stars for the feet, and a beak.  And, our chickens were yellow to reflect our color of the day.


Colors, Colors, Everywhere!

This week our story time theme was Colors to go along with the running session theme.  So, since colors starts with the letter C, our letter for the week was C.  We talked about words that start with C, a few names of story time friends, and talked about the sounds that C can make.  And, even though we were reading about all of the colors, our color for the day was RED since we were at the 'red bird' page of Brown Bear.

Our first story for the day was A color of his own by Leo Lionni.  The poor chameleon in this book has to change color to match whatever he is sitting on.  When he decides to stay on a green leaf to be green forever, he finds that leaves don't stay green for long.  Luckily, he meets another chameleon who shows him that changing colors isn't always so bad.  This book is great for the kids to participate and tell you what colors the chameleon has changed to.  If possible, a big book version would be nice as the format is a little small.  The illustrations are simple enough though that even in the smaller format it can easily be seen by all of the kids.

The second book that we read was Knock! Knock! by Anna-Clara Tidholm.  In this story, you knock on several different colored doors to see what is inside.  The children see all different things behind the doors such as a baby drumming, monkeys swinging, bears headed to bed, and more!  Before each door the kids can call out 'Knock, knock!  Who is there?'  Also, with each door they can tell you what color it is, though there is a 'yellow' door that in our copy of the book that looks rather orange.

Our final story was Pete the Cat: I love my white shoes by Eric Litwin.  This is a new book that I really love.  I turned the story into a flannel board so that I could expand on the colors used in the story.  In the book, Pete is walking in his new white shoes that he loves so much he sings a song about them.  He happens to step in a few piles of things (strawberries, blueberries, and mud) that change the colors of the shoes.  (This was the part I had planned to expand on and have him step in peas, oranges, etc., but we ran short on time.)  The kids really enjoyed this book and even the parents we singing along!

As it is almost October and the leaves around here start to change different colors, we sang a song about the leaves while waving some scarves around.  I think that this was another one I got from PUBYAC, it goes to the tune of London Bridge:

Autumn leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down
Autumn leaves are falling down, all over town.

Watch them as they whirl and swirl, whirl and swirl, whirl and swirl
Watch them as they whirl and swirl, all over town.

They fall gently to the ground, to the ground, to the ground.
They fall gently to the ground, all over town.

Take a rake and rake them up, rake them up, rake them up
Take a rake and rake them up, all over town.

We also used our scarves as we sang Shake your scarves from Johnette Downing's The Second Line album.  This is a nice simple song for scarves (the album has several) where the kids dance the scarves up and down, in and out, and on their knees and hands.

To end our scarf fun we said:

Dance your scarves up
Dance your scarves down
Dance them to your side
Dance them all around
Dance them on your tummies
Dance them on your head
Dance them on your shoulders
And put the scarves to bed

We ended story time with the song Boots from Laurie Berkner's Victor Vito album.  This song followed Pete the Cat well with a footwear theme.  The kids wear different colored boots (colored is used a bit losely, some of the boots are 'frog' and 'rain') and do different things like stomping, jumping, and running while wearing the boots.

Our craft for the day was a Tissue Paper tree.  We make these frequently in the fall, they always turn out so nicely.  There were several colors of tissues paper square for the kids to glue on the tree.  For the trunk they had a large tongue depressor and there where two smaller wooden sticks for branches.  The craft really pulled together the colors theme and the leaves from A color of his own as well as from the scarf songs.


L is for Library

Week 1 of fall session featured books about visiting the library.  I thought it went well with all of the 'housekeeping' we do in week 1 talking about guidelines for story time etc.  So, our letter focus was on the letter L.  I put a dye cut L on the flannel board and asked what letter it was and what sound it made.

Our first story was Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn.  This is a great book for introducing toddlers to the library.  Lola and her mother visit the library where they return some books, visit the children's section and story time, check-out new books, head home for a treat, and end the day reading a book that they got that day at the library.  The illustrations are large and simple for toddlers see in story time.

The second book we read was I took my frog to the library by Eric Kimmel.  This is one of my favorite books about a girl who keeps bringing her very unusual pets to the library.  Unfortunatley, she finds that pets don't make the most well-behaved library visitors.  Well, the elephant is behaved, but he causes other sorts of trouble.  This is a funny story that highlights many features of the library.  Even the old card catalog!  I had to explain that these were replaced by computers, the kids seemed oblivious, but the parents enjoyed it.

The last story we did was the flannel story of Bill Martin Jr.'s Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?  This introduced them to the book that we will be talking about all session.  I had them name the colors and the animals as I put them up on the board.  We even threw in a few animal sounds for good measure.

To go along with our library theme we had a few reading and book related songs and finger plays.  One finger play we used to get our fidgety finger quiet went:
Open the book
Close the book
Give a little clap.
Open the book
Close the book
Put it in your lap.

We also sang If you like the library and you know it.  Just like If you are happy and you know it using the following verses:

If you like the library and you know it clap your hands
If you like books and you know it stomp your feet
If you like reading and you know it shout 'Read Books!'

Other songs that we did included:

Clap Your Hands from the Wigglworms Love You album.  This is a good movement song that has the kids clapping hands, stomping feet, brushing teeth, touching their nose, and waving hello.

I feel crazy so I jump in the soup from Laurie Berkner's Victor Vito album.  Another movement song, this one has the kids jumping into a bowl of soup where they jump, swim, splash, and then sit back down.

The color of the week was Brown for Brown bear on the first page of the book.  I printed off pictures of different colored things, ie. yellow bananas, red balloon, etc, and they had to help me find things that were brown.  There was the bear and a dog mixed in with the other items.

We finished with a craft where the kids made their own little book.  I just created a small booklet that had pages for the kids to fill in information about themselves like name, age, family, favorite things, etc. and spots where they could draw pictures that went along with the information they gave.  I also put out some stickers to add to the illustrating fun!

New for Fall

This fall session of story time I decided to focus on colors and letters.  Each week we are going to focus on a different color and a letter.  The color will come from Bill Martin Jr.'s Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? and the letter will come from the theme for the week.  We will talk about the letter, what it is, how it sounds, and try to find it in the titles of our books.  Then, we will end each story time with a flannel story featuring colors.  We will also talk about a page of the Brown bear book and discuss what things we can find that are that color.

This fall we also have a new Hello song that I found on a listserv (PUBYAC.org).  It goes to the tune of the 7 dwarves 'High-ho' song.  We sing:
Hello, hello
It's time to say 'Hello'
So step right up
And wave 'Hello'
Hello, hello!

In addition, we also have a second new 'Hello' song.  This one is Hello time from the album Teach a Toddler.  This song goes really well with the other, the tune is similar and great for marching!  We march, wave hello, clap our hands, stomp our feet, wiggle our bottms, and give ourselves a great big hug as we sing along.

To end story time, we will sing the 'Hello' song but replace all of the 'hellos' with a 'goodbye.'


Something Fishy

Week 4 of the summer reading program brought with it books about fish.  Given all of the wonderful books out there about fish it was easy to do this theme as well as our earlier 'under the sea' theme.

The 2's and 3's started with the book Fish wish by Bob Barner.  This is the story of a little boy who wonders what it would be like if he were a fish in the sea.  This book has wonderfully vivid illustrations and simple text that is great for the 2 and 3 year old storytime crowd.

Our second book was Ten little fish by Audrey Wood.  When mama fish takes her little fish out to play, they disappear one by one until there is just one lonely little fish left.  But that one fish isn't lonely for long.  This is a nice counting story and the illustrations are very appealing to younger children.
The final story that the 2's and 3's read was Hooray for fish! by Lucy Cousins.  Hooray for fish shows the plethora of different fish that you might find in the ocean, along with a few that might just be a little to strange to be real.  The rhyming text and vivid illustrations make this the perfect storytime book.

Keeping with our theme, we sang our fish songs that we had been singing all session: All the fish by Sue Schnitzer and The goldfish by Laurie Berkner.  We also revisited the 'Creatures in the Ocean' song that we sang with the Commotion in the Ocean story time.

We finished this week of storytime with a simple craft, both the 2's - 3's and 4's - 5's did the same craft.  Each child was give a blue sheet of cardstock, some green crepe paper, some goldfish crackers, glue, and crayons.  They used the crepe paper to make sea weed and spread the fish in the ocean around, in, or behind it.  It did take quite a bit of glue to get the crackers to stick, so the papers were a bit wet when they left.  But, the children were really creative with this craft and came up with some great collages.

The 4's and 5's started with the book The rainbow fish by Marcus Pfister.  Rainbow fish is the only fish with beautiful, shimmering scales.  He is the most beautiful fish but he has no friends.  Rainbow fish is told that to make friends he should share his scales, but he isn't sure that he can part with his beautiful rainbow scales.  This is a great story for this group about sharing and making friends.

Next we read The pout-pout fish by Deborah Disen.  Mr. Fish is really grumpy and as all of his friends try to cheer him up he reminds them that he is a pout-pout fish and is 'destined to be glum.'  The pout-pout fish is one of my favorite books to read aloud.  This story has great repetition and rhyme and a fun 'surprise' ending.

Finally we finished with The fish who could wish by John Bush.  One silly fish has the ability to make anything that he wishes come true.  He has lots of fun wishing for all sorts of silly things just because he can, but what happens when he wishes to be like all the other fish.  This is a silly story and a great book to share with the 4's and 5's.


To the Beach!

For the third week of Summer Reading we found ourselves washed away with books about the beach. Since the kids were guessing again, I brought in a beach towel, very large sunglasses, a beach bag, an umbrella (for the shade, hopefully not for rain), and a beach ball.

The first story that the 2's and 3's read was All you need for a beach by Alice Schertle. This is a great book for this age and the story explains all that you need to have for a great day at the beach, right down to the teenist, tiniest, 500 million grains of sand.

Our second book was Miranda's beach day by Holly Keller. Miranda's mother takes her on a beach adventure for the day where Miranda gets to build sand castles, chase crabs, and make friends. This is a great book for toddlers as it captures thier personal experience at the beach.

The final story the 2's and 3's heard was Beach day! by Patricia Lakin. Beach day! is the story of four alligators who set off to spend a day at the bach. When they get side tracked, and lost, along the way they end having a beach night. This story has very simple text and large, bright illustrations that are good for storytime.

Since a day at the beach isn't much fun without a beach ball, we listened to the song Beach ball baby from Katherine Tines Hunk-ta-Bunk-ta Funsies 1 and tossed a beach ball around as we sang. We also rolled the ball on the floor back and forth to each other.

We also beach boogied to The Wiggles' Beach, beach, sandy beach song from the Getting strong: wiggle and learn album. For this song scarves were passed around for the children to wave in the air as they danced to the music.

To end story time we got out a box of 'clean sand' and let the kids play with it. Clean sand is made up of equal parts sand and flour (3 cups of each to start) with about 1/4 cup oil, and 1 cup of water mixed in. The consistency is that of gritty play dough. You could use colored sand or add food coloring for variety. The kids had a great time playing with it. They were each given a tray to put their sand on and there were cups, spoons, plastic animals, plastic bugs, forks, and rocks for them to play with in the sand. This was a great activity for the kids and they didn't want to leave!
I will note, the recipe said that the sand could be stored in an airtight container to be re-used. I had it in a container (maybe not airtight enough) and after a few weeks it grew mold. Either way it was cheap and great fun.

The 4's and 5's started story time with the book Rita and Whatsit at the beach by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod. In this story Rita is very excited about all of the fun she can have at the beach, but her dog, Whatsit, isn't so keen about joining in. He agrees to play, but only if he gets a treat. This story shows all of the imaginative fun that can be had at the beach, even if your only playmate is a lazy dog.

The 4's and 5's also read Alice Schertle's All you Need for a beach and then we finished with To the beach! by Linda Ashman. To the beach! is about a family as they prepare to leave for a day at the beach. With the car packed up and ready to go, they set off only to realize they left something behind. This leads to remebering something else, then one thing more, then another, until they wonder if they will ever get to leave (or of there is any more room left in the car). This is a fun story with very amusing illustrations.


A Dip in the Pool

The second week of summer reading featured books about swimming and swimming pools. We started each storytime by guessing the theme. I brought out my towel, sunglasses, and water wings to let the kids guess what I was going to do that day.

For the 2's and 3's, the first book that we read was The Pig in the Pond by Martin Waddell. This is to story of farmer Neligan's pig who doesn't want to go in the pond. But, when he sits near by on a hot day he just may change his mind.

Our second pool story was Duck Dunks by Lynne Berry. When the ducks pack up for a day at the beach they discover the joy of splashing away in the ocean water. This story could also be used for a beach theme as it describes some other activities that the ducks can do at the beach.

The final story for the 2's and 3's was Going Swimming by Sarah Garland. This book is a little on the small side for storytime, but our small crowds made it usable. In this book a mother takes her two children swimming. While the older child is excited for the pool, the baby is a little more aprehensive. The book details the whole outing in very simple language.

For songs we sang 'This is the way we swim.' It goes to the tune of Here we go round the Mullberry bush:

This is the way jump in the pool,
Jump in the pool, jump in the pool.
This is the way we jump in the pool,

When we go for a swim.

Repeat with:
Use our arms
Kick our legs
Plug our nose
Swim like a dog

We also dance along to Surfin' in My Imagination by Ralph's World on the album Welcome to Ralph's World. We passed out scarves to wave along to this Beach Boys-esque song. In the song the kids get onto the surfboard and ride until they wipeout.

We repeated our 'summer songs' of The Goldfish and All the Fish that were used in the previous programs, but swapped the group that they were used for.

We ended storytime with a video. It was a bit difficult to find a pool related activiy that did not involve an actual pool (other than fishing in a wading pool which we already did). Instead we watched a 'movie.' Our movie was a clip from Seasame Street's Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures. When Bert is afraid of the water, Ernie offers to help. In the end it is Ernie's Rubber Duckie who helps Bert to overcome his fear of swimming.

The 4's and 5's read the following books:

Swim, Little Wombat, swim! by Charles Fuge. When Little Wombat makes a new friend in Platypus, he also discovers a new skill, swimming. But, Little Wombat learns that as with all skills, this takes some practice.

Rhinos who surf by Julie Mammano is a totally rad story about surfing Rhinos. This book actually can be a bit confusing as many surfer terms are mixed into the text, but it was a great oppotunity to text some new volcabulary as well as seguey into the song Surfin' in My Imagination.

The final book for the 4's and 5's was Hey frog! by Piet Grobler. This book was a bit of a strecth as far as a swimming theme goes, but it is the story of a frog who drinks all of the water out of the watering hole (great opportunity to discuss not drinking pool water right?) The other hot and thirsty animals are outraged and need to figure a way to get all that water out of frog and back into the waterhole. Regardless of fitting with the theme, it is a cute story.


Commotion in the Ocean

To kick of storytimes this summer we read books about the ocean. This fit right in with the 'Make a Splash!' summer reading theme. We read books that featured a variety of ocean creatures as I planned for a week of 'Fish' and 'Sharks' for later in the summer.

The first book that we read was Rub-a-dub Sub by Linda Ashman. This is the story of a little boy who goes for an ocean adventure in his submarine. He glides past all sorts of sea creatures until he finds a Shark! The simple text and bright illustrations in this book are great for reading to a young crowd.

Our second book was Five little sharks swimming in the sea by Steve Metzger. This story features a family of sharks who disappear one by one as they explore the ocean. After each disappearance 'mamma calls the doctor' and those poor sharks are banned from one sharky activity after another. While this isn't the most thrilling tale, it has nice repetition and is great for counting. Plus, what kid doesn't like sharks?

The final story that we read was I'm the biggest thing in the ocean by Kevin Sherry. I love this story. It features a giant squid who is so proud to be bigger than all of the other sea creatures that he knows. But, as he brags about how big he is, he soon finds out that there might be something bigger out there. This book is quite fun and even gets a few chuckles from the parents.

As part of the program, we sang 'The Creatures in the Ocean.' It goes to the tune of the wheels on the bus. I have seen many variations of this song in many places. The great part about it is that you can do as many or few animals as you have time (or interest) for.

The waves in the sea go up and down
Up and down, up and down,
The waves in the sea go up and down,
All day long!

Repeat with:
The crabs go pinch, pinch, pinch,
The clams go open and shut
The lobsters go click, click, click
The sharks go snap, snap, snap
The fish go swim, swim, swim
The eels go slither, slither, slither

We also danced to 'Fish Dance' from Johnette Downing's album Music Time. Each of the children were given a scarf that they could wave around as we danced to the music.

Our ending song was 'All the Fish' from Sue Schnitzer's album Wiggle and whirl, clap and nap. I love this song about all of the different animals slpashing around in the pond. It is very easy for the younger kids to participate with the motions.

Sine with summer programs we never know how many kids are going to show up (and in the past we would have over 30 kids in a program) we decided that we would end with activities instead of crafts. The two activities that we featured for the ocean were a parachute and a fishing game. With the parachute we started by making waves, small and then bigger and bigger (though most of the kids only did bigger). Then we tossed in some sea creatures (finger puppets) and bounced them out, made them fly as high as we could, etc. The fishing activity was a few poles with magnets at the end of some fishing line that the kids used to 'catch' some paper fish (each one had a paper clip on it to attract the magnet). The fish were swimming in a small plastic pool. The kids enjoyed this, but we had to be careful as the lines got easily tangled.

Most of the program was kept the same for the 4 and 5 year old age group, we just changed the books and some of the songs (Clamshell Clap from Johnette Downing's Fins and Grins and The Goldfish from Laurie Berkner's Victor Vito were used) . Here are the books that we used:

The first book that the 4's and 5's heard was Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer Ward. This is an ocean counting tale that depicts different sea creature parents and their babies while discussing what they do in the ocean. Each creature has one more baby than the last as you work from one to ten.

Our second story was Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck. This story features a little boy who goes snorkeling through the ocean and encounters many different sea creatures. The illustrations are really vivid and large, perfect for the story time crowd.

The last story we did was a flannel board adaptation of The Deep Blue Sea by Audrey Wood. This is a cumulative tale about all the things you can find on the red rock in the middle of the deep blue sea. You repeat all the items as you add a new one, so this is a great story for audience participation.



Our final summer storytime for the 4 and 5 year old crowd was all about sharks. I didn't want to scare them too much (just in case there were a few beach vacations planned) so we worked our way from kind of scary sharks to friendly 'smiley' sharks.

The first book we read was What if the shark wears tennis shoes? by Winifred Morris. This book features a very inquisitive little boy who is rather concerned that a shark is going to come and eat him. His mother tried to reassure him, but he persists informing her that 'you don't know everything.' I really love what happens when the shark does show up to eat him!

Our second shark book was Shark in the Dark by Peter Bently. In this story the poor little fishes are getting fed up with the big mean shark in the dark. They have to band together to see if they can teach that shark a lesson he will never forget.

Finally we read Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway. This made a nice pleasant ending for our shark books as Smiley Shark is just a friendly shark with a bad reputation. None of the fish want to play with him as they are all scared of those big, white teeth. But, Smiley Shark finds that those sharp teeth can be useful.

While the shark books were easy to come by, the shark songs were a little more fleeting. We did the rhyme 5 little Fishies:

5 little fishies swimming in the sea, Teasing Mr. Shark you can't catch me. Along came Mr. Shark as quiet as can be, And SNAPPED a fish right out of the sea!

Repeat with 4, 3, 2, and 1 fish until 'Mr. Shark is now lonely.'

Another song we did was The Goldfish by Laurie Berkner. There aren't any sharks in this song, but it has fish and is fun to sing.

Another 'song' we did was more of a chant. It is called Baby Shark. I have seen it several places, one being the Boy Scout website. You do the chant with hand gestures, I'll note those next to the lines:
Baby Shark Doh-Doh Doh-Doh (Hands together like a clam) Mommy Shark Doh-Doh Doh-Doh (Arms together with elbow as a hinge) Daddy Shark Doh-Doh Doh-Doh (Arms up and down as wide as possible) Grandpa Shark Doh-Doh Doh-Doh (Same as Daddy with fingers curled in - he has no teeth!) Swimmer Dude Uh-Oh Uh-Oh (Swmming motion) Swim Away Uh-Oh Uh-Oh (Swim faster) Swam to slow Oh-No Oh-No (Thrash about) Got away Whoo-Hoo Whoo-Hoo (Wipe brow) Lost a leg Boo-Hoo Boo-Hoo (Hop on one foot)

Thankfully, I had one child inform me that sharks don't eat people, so no worries there!

We ended with Tooty Ta by Dr. Jean and then the kids all made a shark craft. I adapted this from an alliagator craft we'd done before where you fold a piece of cardstock length wise and cut-out a shark shape so that the folded edge does not get cut. The kids cut teeth for the shark and then glue on felt scraps in various shades of grey and ivory. Since the cardstock was folded, the shark stands up on his 'feet.' (I guess if you really wanted to you could give him some tennis shoes!)

Gone Fishing!

This year's summer reading program was 'Make a Splash, Read!' I fully embraced this theme and planned storytimes that were everything water related. I'll post some of the ones from earlier in the summer later, but for now I'll post the last week, a fishing theme (as we were getting a bit sick of all the fish). This story time was for the 2 and 3 year olds (4 and 5 year olds got Shark stories, I'll post them next).

Generally in my storytimes go as follows:
Hello song
Book 1
Song / Rhyme / Fingerplay
Book 2
Song / Rhyme / Fingerplay
Book 3
Goodbye Song
Craft / Activity

Especially for the little ones I try to let them get up and move between stories and then calm down before the book. It tends to work well, though we still get the occasional 'runner.' Hello and Goodbye songs don't change during each session. Other songs and rhymes do, though we often repeat many of the same rhymes and fingerplays week to week.

As every other week we started with our 'hello' songs:

Hello, hello, hello how are you?
I'm fine, I'm fine.
I hope that you are too!

And Wake up toes, by Joanie Bartels from her Morning Magic album.

Then we read the book A Fishing Surprise by Rae McDonald. This is a cute book about some children who go fishing to catch some fish for dinner but come back with something else instead. The illustrations are a bit fall like, but the story isn't and the kids don't seem to care.

The second book we read was Stanley goes fishing by Craig Frazier. Stanley sets off on a fishing trip and ends up finding the fish in an unexpected place. I really like the ending to this story and the simple text and bright illustrations were great for the younger kids.

Our final book for the day was Click, clack, splish, splash: a counting adventure by Doreen Cronin. Doreen Cronin's books are usually a hit and this one was no exception. The barn animals are up to something once again. They leave a note that says 'gone fishing,' but their definition of fishing doesn't quite match up with the farmer's. This book is also great for a little audience participation as you can count the fish - you know, just in case duck missed a few!

Songs in between the books were:
Goldie Rock by Debbie Clement (they each had a shaker egg to play along)
Row, row, row your boat by the Old Town School of Folk Music

We ended with Tooty Ta by Dr. Jean (always a crowd pleaser) and our 'Goodbye' song:

Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye to you.
We're done, we're done.
We hope to see you soon!

The craft for the day was a fishing pole. It was fairly simple. I gave each kid a straw, a piece of yarn, a paperclip, and a cardstock cut out of a fish. Before hand I punched a small hole near the fishes mouth as well as punched a hole through the straw and tied one end of the yarn. Then I placed lots of stickers and crayons on the table and let the kids sticker and color the fish before 'hooking' it with the paperclip which thier cargiver tied to the other end of the yarn.