Ahhhh! Spiders!

In the spirit of Halloween we did a story time all around spiders.  Normally, I am terrified of spiders but I had a lot of fun with this story time.  I usually have a story time box that I use to introduce the children to the theme for the week but this week I told them the story of “The Dark, Dark Woods.”  In the dark, dark corner of the dark, dark room, that was in the dark, dark house, located in the dark, dark woods, there was a dark, dark, chest.  I warned the kids first that it might be a scary story and I hoped that they didn’t get too scared.  ;)  In the dark, dark chest Miss Lori and I like to put some silly things like: a small plunger, a giant baby bottle, a rubber chicken, anything but the scary object.  I pulled out several of these silly things one at a time after I would restart the story, by the end most of the kids were able to recite it with me.  Very last I pulled out Alan, our Folkmanis tarantula.  It was really fun.

Now let’s get to it.

The Books:


On Tuesday we read Are You a Spider, I didn’t read The Very Busy Spider because it was not available.  Besides I like adding nonfiction books into our storytime.  It gives us an opportunity to learn cool new things, like that spiders have 8 eyes!  Fun new fact.

Extension Activities:

Flannel Board: Five Little Spiders
by Jean Warren (adapted by Kathryn Roach)  I took what Kathryn had done and changed a few of the animals that made the spider fall.

Song: There’s a Spider on the Floor
I gave the kids black pom poms for spiders and played the song by Raffi one day.  I felt that the Raffi version was a little slow for my liking so after the first time we sang it.  I like singing it more anyway because then the kids can make suggestions for where the spider is next.  

Art Activity: Paper Plate Spiders


Things to Do at Home:

I thought that this cute watercolor resist spider web was super cute!


I am sad that I didn’t get to do the squirrel storytime myself.  I was out of the library for both of my storytime days so I asked Miss AnneMarie and Miss Lori to help me out with storytime this week.

Wiggle Workout: This is the Way I Move (tune: Mulberry Bush)
This is the way I touch my nose, touch my nose, touch my nose,
This is the way I touch my nose, when I’m at storytime!
…jump up and down…
…balance on one foot…
…spin in a circle…
…touch my toes…
….stretch up high…
…sit in my spot….
source: TeachingMama
(I altered it to say “storytime” instead of “preschool” and I left out “hop like this”).

The Books:


Extension Activities: 

“Three Little Acorns”
[Three] little acorns hanging on a tree
Saying to a squirrel, “No, you can’t catch me!”
The wind came along, and one tumbled down.
And the squirrel dug a hole and put it in the ground.

No little acorns hanging on the tree.
The snowy winter came and was cold as can be.
But the hungry little squirrel knew just what to do
It dug up those acorns saying, “I caught you!”

We explained to the kids that squirrels hide their acorns so they have them for winter so they are very good at remembering where they hid them.  We put some acorns around the storytime area and had the kids pretend they were squirrels gathering acorns for the fall.  After they had their acorns gathered I had them hide them.  We read another story and then I had the kids try to remember where they hid their acorns and gather them up.

Art Time:

I really like to give the kids different objects to paint with beside a paint brush, so when I found this activity that used toothbrushes to paint I knew we had to do it.  The template can be found at The Mailbox, along with our take home worksheet, Holey Acorns, a counting activity.  The squirrel is holding a walnut shell but if you have a child with allergies I found these fun pumpkin shaped marshmallows at the grocery store that would be fun too.


It’s Pumpkin Time!!

Wiggle Workout: This is the Way I Move (tune: Mulberry Bush)
This is the way I touch my nose, touch my nose, touch my nose,
This is the way I touch my nose, when I’m at storytime!
…jump up and down…
…balance on one foot…
…spin in a circle…
…touch my toes…
….stretch up high…
…sit in my spot….
source: TeachingMama
(I altered it to say “storytime” instead of “preschool” and I left out “hop like this”).

The Books:

  1787031 1393883

It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! was such a fun book.  We counted how many pumpkins mouse had and I had the kids make the faces that mouse had painted on the pumpkins.  I have to say that there were some pretty good sad faces, it would be hard to say “no” to.  Not only that it was a great segue to our craft of making friendly, plumply, dumply pumpkins.  I love Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin not only because simple rhyming text is fun to read but I also really like how it talks about all the things that you can make with pumpkins.  The best was when it asked if Peter (the main character) was going to make pumpkin pickles with his pumpkin.  The kids all scrunched up their faces and said, “Ewww!”  It was awesome!  It’s Pumpkin Time! is a great book for teaching about the life cycle of a pumpkin.  Afterwards I reviewed the sequence of a pumpkins life cycle with the kids.  They did great at remembering.

Extension Activities:

Rhyme: 5 Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, “Oh my it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air.”
The third one said, “But we don’t care!”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run.”
The fifth one said, “We are ready for some fun!”
Then OOOhh OOOhh went the wind
And out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

We also did the Pumpkin Chant.  This is a super fun chant that, again, talks about all the fun things that you can do with pumpkins.  Out of respect for the author, Jane Willis Johnston, I won’t write the chant here but you can find it on her blog Word Wind Publishing.  JBrary also did a cute video of it that can be found here.  The only thing that I did different from what JBrary did was instead of clapping on our laps then hands then laps again, (I found this to be a little bit difficult for the kids, we spent more time focusing on the clapping than on the words) I just had the kids clap their hands 3 times while saying, “Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.”  


After we read It’s Pumpkin Time! I used this to help reinforce the life cycle of a pumpkin.  I asked the kids if they remembered what a pumpkin starts as then went from there.  They did pretty good.  I think the hardest one to remember was the plant.  And since I thought that this activity was so cool, I gave them the template to take home and make their own.  The template with instructions can be found at Kids Activities Blog.  Super fun!

I always find the cutest rhymes and extra activities and sometimes we just don’t have time to cover everything.  So here is a cute pumpkin poem and song that you can do at home:

One day I found two pumpkin seeds
I planted one and pulled the weeds.
It sprouted roots and a big long vine
A pumpkin grew; I called it mine
The pumpkin was quite round and fat
I really am quite proud of that.
But there is something I’ll admit
That has me worried just a bit.
I ate the other seed, you see
Now will it grow inside of me?
I’m so relieved since I have found
That pumpkins only grow in the ground!

Song: Pumpkin, Pumpkin
(tune: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)
Pumpkin, pumpkin orange and round,
Sitting right there on the ground
Once you were a seed so small
Now you are a great orange ball
Pumpkin, pumpkin orange and round,
rolling, rolling on the ground.

Art Time:

For our art project we made our very own plumply, dumply pumpkins to go along with the book.  I really liked this activity because it was something different from the usual painting and it involved cutting and lacing.  Great for fine motor development.  This craft was inspired by I Can Teach My Child.  I changed it up just a little.  Instead of using a paper bag we used a sheet of construction paper.  I had the kids fold it hamburger style, draw their pumpkin on and cut it out.  I also added the cute little green vine piece.  I always remember my pumpkins having a bit of the vine left on them.  :)


More Fun At Home:

I always find a ton of fun activities that I would love to do but there just isn’t enough time during story time to do them.  So I’ve decided to add some of them here in case any of my parents would like to do them at home with their kids.

Pumpkin Pie Playdough – How fun would this be!  The imagination can go wild with playdough.  It would also be fun to add to a fall sensory bin with different kinds of autumn squash, orange and yellow block, leaves, anything that reminds us of fall. A recipe can easily be found by searching.  Here’s one that I found over at No Time For Flash Cards.

Early Literacy Tip:
Rhyming helps with phonological awareness.  This helps children identify that words have smaller parts so when they begin reading they are able to sound out words easier.


Wiggle Workout: This is the Way I Move (tune: Mulberry Bush)
This is the way I touch my nose, touch my nose, touch my nose,
This is the way I touch my nose, when I’m at storytime!
…jump up and down…
…balance on one foot…
…spin in a circle…
…touch my toes…
….stretch up high…
…sit in my spot….
source: TeachingMama
(I altered it to say “storytime” instead of “preschool” and I left out “hop like this”).

Our air conditioning in the library has not been working for the last two weeks.  Hopping up and down and spinning in circles got really warm by my Wednesday at 1:00 class so we had to do a quieter version without so much movement.  :)

The Books: 


Extension Activities:

Flannel Board: “Fall Is Not Easy”
I was inspired by Storytime Katie and created some new sets of leaves for the tree to try and change to in the fall.  The kids tried to help the tree change her leaves by closing their eyes and thinking really hard about fall leaves.  They all laughed and thought it was fun to see what silly leaf set I put up next.

Song: “Leaves are Falling” (tune: London Bridge)
give kids scarves to be the leaves or give them silk leaves to act out

Autumn leaves are falling down
Falling down, falling down
Autumn leaves are falling down
All around the town

Wind will blow them round and round
Round and round, round and round
Wind will blow them round and round
All around the town

Drifting gently to the ground
To the ground, to the ground
Drifting gently to the ground
All around the town.

Take a rake and rake them up
Rake them up, rake them up
Take a rake and rake them up
All around the town
source: JBrary

This was so fun!  I gave each of the kids two leaves and had them be the trees trying to hold on to their leaves as long as possible.  At the end I took the remaining leaves and tossed them up in the air.  We raked them up and tossed them in the air again.  It was a lot of fun creating piles and tossing them up.  We sang the last verse again and I had my helpers help me put them back in the basket.  All the kids were a great help picking up all the leaves.

Another fun rhyme that we didn’t have time to get to is “The Little Leaf.”  You can have your kids hold onto a leaf and make the motions to go with the rhyme.  Here are the words:

The little fall leaf stays on the tree (Hold the leaf in the air)
Until the wind comes round. (Flutter the leaf)
The leaf sails right (Flutter the leaf right)
The leaf sails left (Flutter the leaf left)
Then it tumbles to the ground! (Release the leaf and let it fall)

(I can’t remember which website I found this from but it was submitted by Suzanne Moore from Tucson, AZ.  Thanks Suzanne for the awesome rhyme).

Art Time: Fall Leaf


Wiggle Workout: This is the Way I Move (tune: Mulberry Bush)
This is the way I touch my nose, touch my nose, touch my nose,
This is the way I touch my nose, when I’m at storytime!
…jump up and down…
…balance on one foot…
…spin in a circle…
…touch my toes…
….stretch up high…
…sit in my spot….
source: TeachingMama
(I altered it to say “storytime” instead of “preschool” and I left out “hop like this”).

The Books:

Extension Activities:

Song: Grr, Grr Went the Big Brown Bear
Grr, grr went the big brown bear one day
Grr, grr went the big brown bear
Grr, grr went the big brown bear one day
And they all went grr, grr, grr

We know bears go huggy, huggy, hug
Huggy, huggy, hug
Huggy, huggy, hug
They don’t go grr, grr, grr.
source: JBrary

Activity: Bear Hunt
We went on a bear hunt.  I wish I would have had visuals because I felt that it would have been nicer, and perhaps a little bit easier for me to remember.  Bear hunt is based off of the book by MIchael Rosen.  He has a fabulous video here: Bear Hunt with Michael Rosen.

Action Rhyme: Hibernating Bear
Here is the cave. (Hold arms in a circle above head.)
Here is the bear. (Curl hands so they look like paws.)
The cold winter comes, (Hug self and shiver.)
But the bear doesn’t care. (Flick hand.)
It sleeps in the cave (Fold hands beneath cheek.)
Until the winter’s through.
Then it wakes up, (Stretch.)
Comes out,
And looks for some food! (Rub stomach.)
source: The Mailbox
(*The Mailbox
is a great magazine with lots of great resources and ideas.  I love it!)

Art Time: Hibernating Bear



I wiggle my fingers. I wiggle my toes.
I wiggle my ears. I wiggle my nose.
I wiggle my shoulders. I wiggle my chin.
I stretch my arms wide and pull them back in.
I wiggle my elbows. I wiggle my knees.
I hop like a bunny. I smile and say, “Cheese!”
Now I have no more wiggles left in me
And I sit on the floor as still as can be.
source: yogibrarian



Song: There’s a Mouse in School
There’s a mouse in school, OH NO!
What are we going to do?
As long as there’s a mouse in school
He’ll have to learn his alphabet, too!
(Squeak the ABC song, then continue with other animals; dog, cat, dinosaur, then child to sing the proper way.)
source: SLC Book Boy

Song/Activity: “If you’re wearing any red”
If your clothes have any red, any red
If your clothes have any red, any red
If your clothes have any red,
put your hands above your head,
If your clothes have any red, any red.
…if your clothes have any blue,
put your fingers on your shoes,
…if your clothes have any white,
scrunch your face up small and tight,
…if your clothes have any yellow,
jiggle like a bowl of jello-o,
…if your clothes have any green,
tilt sideways ‘till you lean,
…if your clothes have any brown,
turn around and around,

We talked about how when we go to school we learn our colors.

Song: “Let’s All Walk to School” by Jean Warren (Tune: “The Farmer In The Dell”)
Let’s all walk to school,
Let’s all walk to school,
Heigh-ho, here we go!
Let’s all walk to school.
Continue singing about other ways to get to school, such as; run, skip, jump, march, stomp, or fly.

We did this activity after we read Late for School by Stephanie Calmenson.  The teacher tried different ways of getting to school so when I asked the kids how they want to get to school they came up with some pretty good replies.  The best by far was going by pumpkin.

Art Activity: Shape School Bus


My picture is a little bit fuzzy but this was a super fun and cute art activity.  The kids painted 1/2 of a paper plate with yellow (we used sponges to paint to mix it up from the usual paintbrush) then cut out the shapes and glued them on.  This adorable craft was found here: MommyGaga.

Worksheet: Readiness Route from The Mailbox

Going to the Beach – Preschool

For our Fall story time Miss Lori and I decided that we wanted our theme to be “Our Favorite Things.”  This week I chose to do a beach themed storytime.  Here’s how it went –

OPENING SONG: I like to start each storytime with an opening song.  I feel like it helps the kids get some initial wiggles out and lets them know we are about to start.  So this week I started with Hands Go Up.

MEMORY BOX: I found this great idea over at Abby the Librarian and have been using it for a few story time sessions now. The kids love it and it’s a great way to introduce the theme for the week.  This week we had the beach in a bag.

Beach in a Bag



How Will We Get to the Beach by Brigitte Luciani
Beachcombing: Exploring the Seashore by Jim Aronosky
To the Beach! by Linda Ashman
A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle

The kids loved How Will We Get to the Beach?  Some groups needed a little reminding about what items she began with but they all really liked it.  I didn’t have this book in my collection and was able to borrow it from the story time collection from a neighboring library.  It is definitely one that we will add to our own collection.


Song: Crabs are Crawling

Crabs are crawling
on the rocks.
Watch out for their pincers.
Snap, snap, snap
Source: Jbrary

This song was awesome and perhaps my favorite part of the entire story time.  The kids and moms loved it.  I thought it would be fun to have the kids think of other animals that we might find on the beach or in the ocean.  I got everything from dolphins and whales to elephants and giraffes.

Flannel Board: 5 Little Jellyfish

5 little jellyfish swimming by the shore,20140919_174756
the yellow one got lost and that left 4.
4 little jellyfish swimming in the sea,
the blue one swam far, far away and that left 3.
3 little jellyfish in the ocean so blue,
the pink one took a seahorse ride and that left 2.
2 little jellyfish swimming in the sun,
the polk-a-dot one took a dive and that left 1.
1 little purple jellyfish swimming just for fun,
it was time for him to go home and that left none!

I found this project on Crafts by Amanda and just had to make it.  They turned out super cute!

Styrofoam Jelly