Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes


(There are so many winter stories we couldn’t pack them into one week, so also see Winter #2!)

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

ice-meltingTalked about ice and what the kids know about ice (cold, wet, melts, made out of water).  Introduced experiment: We’re going to put colored ice cubes into water.  Show three different clear shoebox sized containers of water, one with cold water, one with room temperature, and one with hot.  There were too many kids to allow everyone to come up and touch them, so I had one volunteer put a finger in each and describe the temperatures.  Then I asked what they thought would happen.  We made predictions about which ice would melt first, and also about what color the resulting water would be.  Then I put 3 cubes in each container.  I had the kids check back periodically to see what was happening (and they also shouted out as they noticed interesting things).  As predicted, the cubes in the hot water melted first, followed by the room temperature, and then the cold water.  Interestingly, the cubes in the hot water melted so fast that the water moved around quite a bit, mixing the colors.  In the two colder containers, the colored water stayed more or less around where the original ice cube was placed, so the colors didn’t really mix.

if-its-snowyStory: If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws! by Kim Norman. It’s hard to go wrong with a book you can sing!  The kids started out wanting to participate, but not all of the pages had things they could really do, so they settled into listening (even the very little ones.)  Some of the adults started singing along.

Song: “The Snow-Key Pokey” – You put your mittens in, you put your mittens out, you put your mittens in, and you shake them all about.  You do the snow-key pokey and you turn yourself around.  That’s what it’s all about!  Repeat for boots, hat, etc.  You can use snow pants in place of the more traditional “backside” if you’re so inclined.

who-goes-thereStory: Who Goes There? by Karma Wilson. Handed out rhythm sticks to kids ages 3+ to do the repeated “Scritch Scratch Tap Tap Tap.” (Said it twice each time instead of once.)  This went really well, although there was one pair of brothers who wanted to hit each other with the sticks.  This might have worked out better if mom could help, but she was busy chasing after her toddler.  Overall, though, fun.  I would definitely try it again.

I didn’t have time to do the last two I had planned (“Five Little Snowmen Fat” and The Mitten) because the ice melting experiment took up as much time as one story+song, so I’ll have to save them for the next Winter themed storytime, coming in a few weeks.

Ending Song: “See You Later”ice-painting2

Craft: Draw with markers on white filters.  “Write” over the markers with ice cubes – as the ice melts, the water absorbs into the filters and the colors spread.  Left the ice cubes out in a bucket just before beginning storytime; this works better if the ice cubes are a little bit melty when you start.  Have lots of paper towels on hand to wrap the bottom of the ice in case the kids’ fingers get too cold.  Most of the kids didn’t great a great product, but it was a fun process and a good follow-up to the ice melting experiment, since the kids didn’t get to touch the colored ice.

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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