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Storytime: Penguins

This is a perfect storytime for cold weather! Here is what we read:

First, we read If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor. The book shows a lot of illustrations of different types of penguins. Next we read Penguin Says Please by Michael Dahl. I don’t typically like to read etiquette books to kids, but this one has lovely bright colors and is quite cute. Last, we read I Am Small by Emma Dodd. This was a very sweet book. A couple of pages had a metallic sheen to them that the kids loved.

For our craft we made cotton ball penguins. I prepped them by cutting out the body with black construction paper and the beak and feet with orange construction paper. I brought cotton balls and googly eyes for them to assemble their penguins. The kiddos had fun playing with the cotton balls!

See you next week!

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Storytime: Trucks

This was a short and simple storytime. I’m feeling a bit under the weather this week, so I picked a simple theme with simple stories. Here is what we read:

First, we red Red Truck by Kersten Hamilton. The little red tow truck travels through mud and snow to save a stuck school bus. The bright red truck and yellow school bus really jumped off the page. Next, we read Supertruck by Stephen Savage. This book was so cute with a nice nod to Superman (the garbage truck wears glasses a la Clark Kent). Last we read The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler. This book had a great rhyme and rhythm to it. Perfect for reading aloud.

For our craft, we made dump trucks full of tissue paper. This was a good opportunity to go over some shapes, too. To prep, I cut out two rectangles and four circles for the kiddos to assemble on their paper. They had a good time gluing their trucks together and we ended up with some interesting trucks :). Then, we crumpled up tissue paper and put them in the bed of our trucks. It was a simple craft, but the kids really enjoyed it!

I think next time, I would add more shapes for them to assemble the trucks like a window, etc. Definitely a quick and easy storytime for when you are short on time or feeling under the weather. See you next week!

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Storytime: Snow

This was a very fun storytime! It’s a bit early for snow in Tennessee, but I just couldn’t wait. I included a sensory portion to this storytime that was very successful. Here is what we read:

First, we read the classic, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The kiddos enjoyed the bright colors while the caregivers enjoyed a moment of nostalgia. Next, we read Snow Happy by Patricia Hubbell. This book had some wonderful repetition for reading aloud. Last, we read A Perfect Day by Carin Berger. I loved the illustrations in this book. It also showcased very well all the activities you can do in the snow. All of these books were great for storytime and kept the children’s attention.

For our craft, we made glitter snowflakes. I know what you are thinking: GLITTER. It can definitely be a mess, but I say BE BOLD! The kids just love glitter and it is worth it in the long run. I premade the popscicle stick snowflakes and added the string using hot glue. The kiddos had a chance to play around with the Elmer’s glue and add lines to their snowflakes. To contain the glitter mess, I had a large shallow bucket holding the glitter. I didn’t pull it out until everyone was done with the gluing. Then, they came up and dipped their snowflake in the glitter and we set it aside to dry.

I try not to be too holiday oriented during storytimes, but this would be great as an ornament or you could just simply hang it in the window. To entertain the kids while their snowflakes dried we played with fake snow. I looked up a lot of recipes online. Most of them had conditioner in them. I didn’t want anything that would be harmful in case a child decided to try and eat some, so I created one that only had baking soda and coconut oil. It was about a 50/50 combination. It created a great consistency that was fluffy, but could still be molded like real snow.

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I brought some plastic spoons for my touch sensitive kids (which was a good idea!). They started using the spoons just to push the snow around in the tray. Then, when I put my hands in there and started making mini snowballs, they jumped right in and played with the fake snow for almost 20 minutes! Needless to say, it was a huge success. I would recommend laying down a blanket or newspaper because the kids didn’t always keep the snow in the tray. What a fun storytime!

 

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Storytime: Hibernation

This storytime was all about hibernation. With it getting colder outside, I wanted to do a storytime related to the winter months and what we see in East Tennessee. Here’s what we read:

First we read Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson. The rhyming was perfect for a read aloud and every few pages Wilson writes, “But the bear snores on.” I read this part slowly and nodded my head up and down with the timing. The kids started nodding their heads too. Next, we read Brett Helquist’s Bedtime for Bear. I love Helquist’s illustrations (big fan of The Series of Unfortunate Events over here). The kiddos thought it was very funny when bear fell in the snow and tumbled down the hill. All of the word balloons allowed for some fun voices for storytelling. Last, we read Old Bear by Kevin Henkes. This is a very sweet book about a bear dreaming of the seasons during hibernation. Each two page spread of a season pops off the page with bright colors. The children’s eyes grew wide with each page turn. All of these books were perfect for reading aloud to the group. Bear Snores On is a bit longer, so I would recommend reading it first while you still have their attention.

For our craft, we made bear caves out of paper bags. I got this idea from Storytime Katie. My sample craft got a bit smushed  by the kids, so I will use her photo for reference.

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To prep, I had the paper bags already folded and a hole cut out in each one for the opening. I sealed the tops shut with a little bit of glue. I got my bears from a coloring page site. I also prepped the bears by cutting them with a little extra tab on the bottom so when we glued them down, they stood up in the cave. During craft time, I provided crayons so they could color their bears however they wanted. I got these wonderful foam snowflake stickers from Hobby Lobby for $2 for a big bag. The kids loved these stickers! We put them on our shirts, too.

They loved this craft. I will say that the younger kids in the bunch just ended up squashing their paper bags (which I’m all for deconstruction :)). So, maybe reserve this craft for your older kids. Regardless, we had a great time reading about hibernation and making caves for our bears.