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!


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.