Also see the notes from my earlier Winter storytime.
Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3). We actually went all-out crazy on this one and inserted winter-related actions in place of the usual stomp, jump, etc. We fell like snowflakes, shoveled, threw snowballs, and spun like ice skaters.
Flannel: Build a snowman. We pretended to form and roll snowballs together for the base snowballs. I did silly things with the felt pieces (put the smaller balls under the bigger ones, put them side-by-side, etc.) and let the kids correct me. As we went on, I gave some of the younger kids the pieces to put on in the correct places. I hadn’t planned to do that, but I had a fairly small group, and very few young toddlers this week, and I thought that it might be nice for everyone to get a chance to participate, since I had only a few parts for The Mitten.
For the second winter storytime running, I skipped Five Little Snowmen Fat because I saw us running long and wanted to get through the next two things.
Story: The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth. I will admit to never really liking the Jan Brett version (blasphemy, I know), but something about this one appeals to me. I used the pattern from A Teacher without a Class but cleaned up the images and made them larger. I colored them in with colored pencils, laminated them, and then put them on sticks to use as puppets. It would be fun to use a red stretchy band to represent the mitten and have the animals come in and stretch the mitten more each time, but, alas, I do not have a red stretchy band.
I handed out the animals before I started to the bigger kids who hadn’t had a chance to help out with the snowman. When their animal was called in the story, they came up front with their puppet and helped by repeating some of the lines – “Brr! Can I come in?” and “It’s too crowded! Go away!” (Sorry, I don’t have the book in front of me at the moment; these probably aren’t exact quotes.) When the mitten exploded, they all went back to their seats.
Song: Jim Gills’ “Jumping and Counting” (from Irrational Anthem). A year or two ago, I wanted to try dancing on bubble wrap at storytime. One of my staff members suggested this song, and it’s perfect! We introduced the activity by talking about the crackling sound ice makes when you step on it. Then I lay out the bubble wrap on the floor and have the kids stand behind it. Today I got away with just two strips of bubble wrap, one in front of the rug and one to the side, but I had a third on hand in case I needed it. Then, during the song, the kids do the jumping on the bubble wrap and then step back behind it to stop and count. One of my moms was taking pictures; I’ll post one later if I get a good one. (I did have a patron send me video of this, which is adorable, but I don’t feel good about posting without parental permission, even though the kids are barely recognizable.)
I had planned a third story, Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, but I didn’t get to it. I had been planning to do shaving cream & white glue puffy paint pictures. Yesterday I decided that it would be more fun if I mixed it up right there at storytime. This morning I came to my senses a little bit and decided that it would be better to have some on hand and make just a small amount at storytime. So I prepared two bowls (each with one cup of shaving cream and one of glue) ahead of time. After “Jumping and Counting”, I introduced the craft, and then I called up one last helper who hadn’t been to the front yet. She helped me measure, pour, and mix the ingredients. After the closing song,
I sent the kids back to the tables. I had already laid out dark blue construction paper, plastic cups, and small craft sticks. A few adults helped me dole out the paint into the cups, and then the kids got to work. I told them they could use their hands or the sticks. Some preferred glopping it out with the sticks to make pictures. Others got full-on coated and shaped it with their hands. A few realized that after coating their papers completely, they could then scrape away some paint to make a design. This was a great process-oriented craft, with a huge sensory component and some nice fine motor activity.
The tables looked super messy when the kids left, but all they really needed was a quick wipe-down with a towel and some hot water.
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!