Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Spring Rain


I was not originally excited about this theme, and then I found so many good books I didn’t know which ones to choose!

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

shapes-in-the-skyStory: Shapes in the Sky by Josepha Sherman. This was just a quick nonfiction introduction to the types of clouds and how rain droplets form in clouds and then get heavy and fall down.  I didn’t read all of it, we just talked about the different types of clouds.  I showed the kids pictures of each type and talked about when they form and what they do.  Not all clouds rain.  Who knew?  The kids guessed the names and then we read the real names together.  (I actually had a nanny come up afterwards and say that she didn’t know the different cloud types had names, and she was so excited to learn about it.  We talked a little bit about kids’ nonfiction and how it’s good for learning some basic info.  Then she asked a question she’s always had about corals and I showed her the section on coral reefs in our nonfiction.  It was just awesome!)

split-splatExperiment: Shaving cream clouds.  We talked briefly about how water vapor makes up clouds and then falls when it gets heavy.  I had two 5-year-olds in attendance, and they got to be my helpers.  One poured water into a clear container to be the air.  I squirted on shaving cream clouds.  Then my two helpers gently dropped in some blue liquid water color on top of the clouds.  It took a few seconds, and then the “rain” filtered through the clouds and into the “air.”  The kids were having trouble seeing, so I let them come up and stand around the little table.  Fortunately it wasn’t a huge group, so everyone could see.  When we were done and the food color had more or less dyed the water uniformly, I put the container up on a higher shelf.  I couldn’t get any pictures, but you can find the experiment here under “Exploring Rain Clouds”   and here under “Simulating a Rain Storm.”

Song: “Hands Up”

Story: Split! Splat! by Amy Gibson.  It took a while to settle back down, but then they enjoyed this one.  They were very excited about how dirty the little girl became while tromping through the mud.  Someone noticed the little mouse on each page and that was fun to talk about too.

deep-deep-puddleActivity: Make a rainstorm by rubbing hands together, snapping, patting legs, banging on the floor, stomping, clapping, and then going in reverse order.  I got the adults to help, and they were pretty accommodating – the ones who remembered this activity from summer camp liked the nostalgia, and the ones who had never seen it before were impressed by how much it really sounds like a rainstorm.

Story: The Deep, Deep Puddle by Mary Jessie Parker.  This one starts off slow, but they settled in when they were able to help me on the silly noises.  They really liked the circular ending too – some of them wanted to read it again!

thingamabobSong: “Herman the Worm”

Story: The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na.  This was a nice, quick ending.  Beautiful illustrations, and they liked knowing what the elephant didn’t – that the “thingamabob” was really an umbrella!

Ending Song: “See You Later”


tissue-painting2Craft: Tissue paper bleeding art: Paint with water on paper and then cover with bits of tissue paper to make pictures.  When the pictures dry, the tissue paper comes off and the white paper underneath is colored.  I was going to send them home with a piece of black construction paper to stop it from being too drippy, and then they could glue it on the back as a frame when it was dry.  A nanny suggested stapling instead, and this worked great.  I usually avoid staples because of the little guys, but none of the caregivers seemed concerned, so I went with it.

This craft was super cool, but a brief warning: it works better with some kinds of tissue paper than others.  I did my first test with some large sheets of tissue paper that we had in the office. I cut off the corner to make little triangle shapes.  It bled into the paper quite prettily – you can see on the left how the colors spread into each other.  I didn’t want to have to cut all of the paper into bits, so I brought in some precut squares of tissue paper from home.  These also colored the paper, but it was a very different effect – it stayed much more blocky.  You can see in the middle a sample sheet after the squares of tissue were removed, and on the right a child’s completed craft with the squares of tissue still on it.  One patron said that she tried something similar with a type of tissue paper that didn’t bleed at all, so definitely try it with your tissue paper before you do it with kids!


“Hands Up”

I learned this at an NAEYC conference presentation on music. It’s great. You can sing to any tune or just chant.

Hands up. Hands down.
Hands up. Hands down.
Hands up. Hands down.
Then you shake, shake, shake them all around.
Shake, shake, shake them all around.

Hands in.  Hands out.
Hands in.  Hands out.
Hands in.  Hands out.
Then you shake, shake, shake them all about.
Shake, shake, shake them all about.


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