Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Letter L

2016
See below for the 2015 Letter L Storytime.

Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)

Mystery Bag objects: lemon, lime, lollipop, lettuce, lion; also ladle, leaf, lanyard, leopard, Lego

Because we’d already talked about the letter, I introduced each story or song by having them guess what L-word it was about.

do-lions-liveStory: Do Lions Live on Lily Pads? by Melanie Walsh.  I realize now that I am writing this up that I started with the same two books as last year, only in the opposite order!  I like to start with something that is at least verbally interactive, and this one gives the kids the chance to shout “No!”, which works for even the itty bitties, plus the chance to say who really does live in the given habitat.  Some of them were harder than others, but the kids liked guessing all of them.

can-you-makeInteractive Story: Can You Make a Scary Face?  by Jan Thomas (ladybug).  I was going to do a “following the leader” activity, but the kids were fairly young and squirrelly, so I decided that something more structured would work better.  And, of course, this one is always so fun.  The only snafu was when the last few pages were stuck together with who-knows-what, a good reminder to flip through the book first, even if you know it really well.Cover image for Chicken story time

Story: Chicken Story Time by Sandy Asher (library).  I have been wanting to try this one since it first came in, and it was so fun.  I think there is a cheap shot at the librarian at the end, but I still think it’s funny.  The words are simple, but the story progression is more complex, so it seemed to work for all ages, including adults.

Song: “Five Green and Speckled Frogs.”  I felt like I got away with something by making it through Chicken Story Time, so I decided to go with a simple, familiar song.  It worked well to get everyone back together and on the same page.Cover image for The red lemon

Story: The Red Lemon by Bob Staake.  I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to make it through this one, but I decided to push it for the sake of the craft tie-in, and I was glad I did.  The rhythm and rhyme and fairly simple story worked well, even though the story itself didn’t have a lot of interactivity (or plot).  Sometimes you push it and regret it, so I’m glad this one went my way.

Closing Song: “See Ya Later”

legos-lemons-limes

Craft: Like last year, we did printing on big paper with lemons and limes.  This year, I threw in Legos (Duplos) just for fun.  The kids liked how they could make dots or rectangles with the Duplo blocks.

 


2015
Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)

Mystery Bag objects: lightbulb, lemon, lime, lollipop (licking); didn’t use the lion, lace, or Lego

Because we’d already talked about the letter, I introduced each story or song by having them guess what L-word it was about.

can-you-makeStory: Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas (ladybug).  I love to start with an interactive book, and this one is always so much fun.  I’m not sure the kids totally get the ending, but they definitely enjoy all the actions.  And I don’t know why, but they love the stand up, sit down, stand up at the beginning.  Since this one had a lot of movement, I snuck in another book before the next movement activity.

do-lions-liveStory: Do Lions Live on Lily Pads? by Melanie Walsh.  Walsh has a number of these books, all with the same pattern of asking a question about animals with a “no” answer, and then giving the correct answer.  Do lions live on lily pads?  No, frogs do.  This one focuses on animal homes – nests, webs, etc.  It’s a little bit frustrating that the title question is never really asked in the book text, so you have to do that one on your own.  The last question is always a “yes,” which often fools the kids, who are by then in the habit of shouting “no!” to every question.  Starting off with two of these interactive titles back to back was a great way to get the kids used to participating right from the beginning.

Song: “Five Green and Speckled Frogs.”  I was going to do a different song here, and then right before Storytime I noticed this magnet board sitting around.  Since I was already planning a frog/log story, I thought it would be a nice tie-in.  I wish I had done it without the magnet board though.  Managing the magnet board pieces distracted me from leading the movements.  I think this is why I usually avoid flannel boards with movement songs.

frog-on-a-logStory: Frog on a Log? by Kes Gray.  I love the silly rhyming in this book, but it was too long (and, frankly, a bit too old) for much of my group.  There was one kiddo who was super hung up on the fact that frogs don’t have to sit on logs and parrots don’t have to sit on carrots, etc., and adamantly insisted after each rhyme that it wasn’t true.  Maybe she was inspired by Do Lions Live on Lily Pads?, but it was distracting.  I would try this one again with a preschool group where they were all guaranteed to be 4s and 5s.

Song: “Here we go low” with scarves.  I do this one with my baby group using “up, down, round and round,”  but I rewrote it for this storytime with “low, high, up to the sky” and “left, right, side to side.”  I sang it first without the guitar so I could demonstrate, and then we did each of the three verses twice with guitar.

is-your-mamaStory: Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino (llama).  I had some other titles picked out, but I went with this one for the simplicity and the repetition.  The kids were able to do the repeated question and answer with me and predict the actual animal using the clues and rhyming cues.  It was a fairly young and squirrelly bunch, so I was glad to have a lot of interactive stories on hand to keep them busy.

Closing Song: “See Ya Later”

lemon-lime-prints        lemon-lime-prints2

Craft: lemon / lime printing.  I put out a lot of cut lemons and limes with different colored paints.  I had considered just doing yellow and green, and then decided to give them the whole rainbow. (The Red Lemon, which might have made a good lead-in, was one of the books I nixed as being too involved for the group.)  This was not a take-home craft; we just printed straight onto the paper covering the tables.  This gave the kids a fair amount of space to experiment with how much paint to use, dotting vs. spreading with the fruit, and color mixing.

Here We Go Low” 
(To the tune of “Here We Go Looby Loo”)

Here we go low, low, low.
Here we go high, high, high.
Here we go low, low, low.
Here we go up to the sky.

Here we go left, left, left.
Here we go right, right, right.
Here we go left, left, left.
Here we go side to side.

Here we go up, up, up.
Here we go down, down, down.
Here we go up, up, up.
Here we go round and round.
Possible subthemes: lion, library, ladybug, lunch, leopard, llama, lollipop, little

Other possible titles:  

Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug! by Mem Fox (ladybug)

How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens (lion)

There’s No Such Thing as Little by LeUyen Pham (little)

The Big Rock Candy Mountain by John Kanzler (lollipops)

“Little Mouse”

“Oh I Wish I Were a Little Juicy Orange”

“Going on a Lion Hunt”

“Going on a Picnic” (lunch)

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