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.