Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes


I admit it; I’ve never really liked purple.  And now here I am, stuck for good stories, for the first time since yellow storytime in week 1 of our color themed storytimes.  Come to think of it, I’ve never been crazy about yellow either…

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

Nonfiction: Purple: Seeing Purple All Around Us by Sarah Schuette.  I used this as the basis of a guessing game for things that are purple.  Maybe my clues were off, but the kids had a hard time guessing.  They did come up with a whole pile of purple foods though, including blackberries, which came up again in Turkey Tot later.

birthday-for-cowStory: A Birthday for Cow by Jan Thomas.  Because turnips are purple, right?  Right?  I love Jan Thomas.  I feel like this one must be so emotionally satisfying to preschoolers — there’s a little guy, and no one will listen to him, and then of course, he’s right in the end.  This did get a lot of giggles.

peanut-butter-and-jellyBig Book/Song: Peanut Butter and Jelly: A Play Rhyme by Nadine Bernard Westcott.  This is more fine motor than large motor – clapping and tapping and arm wiggling as opposed to jumping and dancing – but it was near the beginning of the storytime, so I figured it would be ok.  The kids definitely enjoyed doing the “Peanut butter, peanut butter.  Jelly! Jelly!” and the hand motions.  They also made a lot of comments about the elephants in the illustrations; I think they liked the idea of elephant-sized PB&J sandwiches.

turkey-totStory: Turkey Tot by George Shannon.  This is a nice patterned story with lots of repeated text.  I was afraid that the repeated bits may be a little bit too long for the kids to remember and repeat, but I went with it because often the repetition keeps their attention anyway.  I decided to try to prompt participation by having three kids represent the three characters with repeating lines – chick, pig, and hen.  I printed photos of the (real) animals along with their lines onto cardstock.  I called up three kids, one to hold each character, and then pointed to them when their parts appeared in the story.  I didn’t get a ton of participation from the kids, even the ones holding the signs, but it did seem to prompt the adults to participate, which was a little bit awesome.

little-mouseSong:  “Little Mouse”  w/felt board.  The child who guesses correctly gets to hide the mouse.  Continue until the natives get restless.  We went through about five rounds of this.  The kids got it right every time.  Often when I do this I set it up ahead of time with the mouse hiding somewhere and it takes a few tries to get the initial find, but this time I set it up with the kids watching.  I don’t know if they were peeking, but every single kid found it on the first try.  They still liked it, though.  It ended up being a nice thing to leave on the felt board because some of the younger ones who didn’t do the paint mixing at the end played with the felt pieces.

mix-it-upStory: Mix It Up by Herve Tullet.  Secondary color day is a great day to talk about color mixing.  I like this one almost as much as Press Here – it’s all the fun of finger paint color mixing without the mess!  (OK, most of the fun; the mess is a big part of the fun.)  But I did get to call up any kids who didn’t get a chance with Turkey Tot or “Little Mouse”.  In fact, I called them up at the beginning to stand in a line.  Each one got a turn on one page and then sat down, and then I did the rest of the pages myself.  This was really fun.  I especially liked the two places where he had you slam the pages together to make the change.  I just moved my finger to the next page before I closed the book, so it really looked like I closed the book and the change happened magically, whereas the ones where you “rub” the two colors together were pretty clearly two different pictures on two different pages.  The kids liked it anyway.

Closing song: “See You Later”

color-mixActivity:  Instead of doing a craft, we did a color mixing activity.  I considered doing color mixing in test tubes, like I did with the Colors Science Storytime, but I only have 12 sets of test tubes, which would mean sharing, and the droppers are a bit difficult for the younger ones.  I decided to do color palettes on thin sheets of cardboard.  I gave them a blob each of red, yellow, blue, black, and white, along with a cotton swab or craft stick, and let them go at it.  It was great – I thought they might even leave it behind, since (to me) it was all about experimentation, but most people ended up with a pretty attractive product to take home as well.  And the concentration!  It was awesome.  The only problem with this craft was the setup.  If I left all that paint out on the tables during storytime, I was afraid that some small person would come along and smack a fist into it, but it would take too long to prep as the kids were moving from the carpet to the tables.  I ended up prepping some sheets and leaving them up on the counter for the adults to deliver to the kiddos at craft time, which worked just fine.  I had put out smocks for the kids, so by the time they had wrangled on the smocks, their adults had brought their supplies over.



Little Mouse

To the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle”

Little mouse, little mouse,
Come out to play.
What color house
Are you in today?

Let the kids take turns guessing house colors. If they find the mouse, they can hide it.


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