it's spring...

Well, it was spring when I was reading these stories! We had a week and a half of very unusual weather for March in this part of the Midwest - several days we had temperatures in the 80's! This morning, however, it was less than 40... back to reality!

I decided to do spring stories because the first day of spring fell during that week of storytime - but I kept the theme pretty loose... we read a spring book, a flower book, and two "green" books. Our flower craft (one to take home and one to display in the storytime room) tied it all together and we had fun springing into spring.

Here's the setlist*:

'Hello, Everybody'

Welcome: I asked the children if they knew what season it was? This was hard because the 'season' concept is difficult for 2-3 year olds. So I asked, 'Is it winter?'... 'Is it fall?'... what season brings all the flowers out? With some help, we arrived at spring. I pointed out how our clothes are changing (we're wearing shorts, short-sleeves, sandals) and how our world is changing (we see leaves on trees and flowers on the ground). I told them it was like everything wakes up!


Hurray for Spring! by Patricia Hubbell
This book is more of a poem than it is a proper story, but it highlights a lot of what children will notice around them as spring arrives. Our narrator (the little boy in the picture) sees ants and flowers, puddles and geese. A nice way to ease ourselves into the season.

Bumblebee, Bumblebee Do You Know Me?: A Garden Guessing Game by Anne Rockwell
As I was emphasizing flowers and their association with spring, this book seemed very fitting. Each page asks a different garden insect if it recognizes the flower being described - lilies, irises, zinneas, daffodils, roses - until we ask the children if they recognize a flower... the guessing is fun. I had the children repeat the names of the flowers for added participation.

Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin
This book was a bit of a stretch and would have probably fit better with last week's "green" theme, but I did like the neat pages and I think the kids did, too. "Everyone knows where Tippy Toes is when the sun is up and the day is his..." but where does Tippy Toes go when evening comes? We had a good time finding out.

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Okay, this one *definitely* belonged in last week's storytime, but it arrived (interlibrary loan) too late to use - but I couldn't NOT share it with the kids! It was by far the BEST book we used this week - we all had a ball. Since it repeats throughout the book, I had the kids asking with me, "But where is the green sheep?" In one storytime, they repeated each and every line - it was so fun!

Flannel: Five Little Bunnies
(I used five brown and white bunnies made from our bunny Ellison die for this counting rhyme)

One little bunny, wondering what to do?
Along came another - and then there were two!
Two little bunnies, hopping near a tree...
Along came another - and then there were three!
Three little bunnies, playing outdoors...
Along came another - and then there were four!
Four little bunnies, so fluffy and alive...
Along came another - and then there were five!
Five little bunnies in the warm spring sun...
they all hopped away and then there were none.

Rhyme: This is My Garden

This is my garden. (one palm up)
I rake it with care (use three fingers from opposite hand)
And then I plant little seeds in there. (pinch fingers and plant in palm)
The sun with shine (arms above head)
and the rain will fall. (fingers sprinkling down)
My flowers will bloom (cup two hands)
and grow straight and tall. (reach up high and stretch)

Craft: Flower Pictures/Blooms for Storytime Tree
We have a three piece Ellison die for building flowers - a large petal piece, a medium petal piece, and a small center. I cut these out in red, orange, yellow, blue, pink, and purple and mixed and matched them around the table. I asked children to make one for themselves - to glue onto a half sheet of blue construction paper with a pre-cut stem and circle "bumblebee". They also made grass with a sixth of a sheet of green construction paper and scissors - great practice for fine motor skills. The other flower was for the tree on our bulletin board.

It's beginning to look a lot like spring around here - even if it doesn't feel like it today! :)