Squirrels

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.

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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:

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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.”  

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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:

Poem:
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.  🙂

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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.

Fall/Leaves

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
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