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.'