Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes


White was the last of our color-themed storytimes.  The weather has already gotten pretty wintry, so the snow tie-in was easy, but there are also a variety of white animals, plus clouds and milk and underwear…  This was another week with lots of good choices.

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

spilt-milkStory: It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw.  Storytime classic!  Hard to believe, but I’m not sure I’ve ever actually used this in storytime before.  It was partly for the craft tie-in, I’ll admit – I really wanted to do a shaving cream project, which got me thinking clouds.  We have a flannel version of this story, so I used that.  I didn’t do the shapes in any particular order, just held each one up and said, “It looked like…” I waited for the kids to shout out the shape, and then we finished with, “But it was not a ….”  This was fun.  It was also so quick that I decided to sneak in the second book here instead of doing a movement activity.

snowmen-at-nightStory: Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner.  I’d put this in the modern storytime classics category.  It was definitely my favorite of the snow-related stories I considered.  Some of the kids had read this before, but it’s such a fun, bouncy read-aloud – who could mind reading it again?  I started by asking who had built a snowman before, and one of the kids said she had, but it fell down.  This tied in nicely at the end with the disheveled snowmen.

Song: “Five Little Snowmen Fat“.  I used felt snowmen on the feltboard, which helped with the counting aspect of this rhyme.  Unfortunately, the felt pieces weren’t made for this song, so there were no hats left at the end, but they gave me a free pass on that.  The kids loved, loved, loved the melodramatic “Oh, how sad was that” line.

Story: One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl & Tom one-big-pairLichtenheld.  Ha, ha, I just said underwear!  Really, this is a pretty basic book about sharing, but it’s hilarious.  And it says underwear!  Know your audience, I always say.  This one actually held their attention really well for a book that is pretty message-y and about sharing.  And, really, the underwear only comes up at the beginning and the end.  It does have a great rhythm and rhyme scheme, though, which makes it a fabulous read-aloud.  I am tempted to take this on my preschool/kindergarten outreach visits next week.  I am going to read The Book with No Pictures for the kindergarteners, but wanted a book to swap in for the preschoolers.

Song: “The Penguin Song”  They really do all look like penguins by the time we get to the end.  The parents hanging out in the back totally miss out on this one – I get the best view of the waddle of penguins.  (Did you know a group of penguins is called a “waddle”?  How cool is that?)

i-love-my-white-shoesBook: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin.  This was a last-minute add.  I brought it into the room in case I needed to swap something else out for a young, squirrelly crowd, but It Looked Like Spilt Milk and “Five Little Snowmen Fat” were both on the short side, so I ended up with some extra time.  Many of the kids know Pete, but you know what?  It’s all good.  They just sing along.  I usually use an upside down garbage can like a drum while we sing.  “I love my white shoes (bang, bang)!”  Super fun.

cloudsCraft:  Shaving cream clouds.  I let the kids stir their own shaving cream/glue mixtures, and then apply them to the paper with cotton balls. Some of the kids even included the cotton balls in their creations.  This would have gone better if I’d (ahem) checked the cotton ball stash before the morning of the program.  I was dying to try shaving cream marble painting, but I tried it at home with my kids first, and while it was super awesome, it was probably too fiddly for storytime.

Other contenders: Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, Big Snow by Jonathan Bean, A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke, “I Know a Chicken” by Laurie Berkner on Whaddaya Think of That?, Jim Gill’s “Jumping and Counting” on bubble wrap “ice”.

The Penguin Song

Did you ever see
A penguin come to tea?
Take a look at me
A penguin you will see:
Penguins! Attention!
Penguins! Begin!
Right arm!  ….

Continue adding limbs:
Right arm – left arm!
Right arm – left arm – right leg!
Right arm – left arm – right leg – left leg!
Right arm – left arm – right leg – left leg – nod your head! (or stick out your tongue)

Last verse:
Did you ever see
A penguin come to tea?
Take a look at me
A penguin you will see:
Penguins! At ease!
Penguins! Sit down!


Five Little Snowmen Fat
To the Tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”

Five little snowmen fat,
Each with a great big hat.
Out came the sun and melted one.
Oh, how sad was that.

Repeat down to one, and then:

No little snowmen fat,
Only their great big hats.
But the next time it snows, I’ll build one of those,
Oh, how fun is that!


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