Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spring is sprung!

School is out this week, so that changes the storytime dynamics a bit. I missed some of the regular attendees (who probably went to Disneyland or something), but was glad to see some old friends who are usually in school. So it all evened out.

Spring is one of my favorite times of year, because in spring we can sing "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree." If you don't know this song, look for it on Youtube---you'll find lots of little videos of it. It's a fun song with plenty of hand motions.

Our spring books today were Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms (Fletcher the fox mistakes falling petals for snow) and Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck. We sang Popcorn Popping, Where is Thumbkin, Put Your Finger in the Air, and When the Spring Comes Rolling In.  This is my version, sung to the tune of When the Saints Go Marching In:

Oh, when the spring comes rolling in,
Oh, when the spring comes rolling in.
All the bees will start a-buzzing,
Oh, when the spring comes rolling in.

Oh, when the spring comes rolling in
Oh, when the spring comes rolling in.
All the trees will be a-blooming
Oh, when the spring comes rolling in.

Oh, when the spring comes rolling in
Oh, when the spring comes rolling in
 Oh, the rain will start a-falling,
Oh, when the spring comes rolling in.

Have the kids roll their arms around while singing "when the spring comes rolling in," and use other matching gestures for the third line. I asked for suggestions from the kids, and we added "the butterflies will start a-flitting." Think of all the other verses you could add: grass a-growing, sun a-shining, or bunnies a-hopping. 

Our craft was almond blossom pictures. The trees were cut from paper grocery bags. I got 20 trees out of two bags. Glue your tree onto a 8.5 x 11 piece of construction paper, then add more glue on the branches to stick the blossoms to.

The pink and white blossoms are little square of tissue paper. One mom came up with a cute and easy way to attach these. I was just crumpling the paper and sticking it on the glue. She wrapped the paper around the eraser end of a pencil, and used that to stick down the blossom. This method made the blossoms look more like flowers, and less like crumpled up bits of paper. And there you have an easy springtime picture!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Orland Free Library!!

The Orland Free Library is celebrating its 100th birthday! In honor of the centennial, the library has special events all week. Today we had our regular preschool storytime, with a birthday theme.

Our books were Happy Birthday, Moon, by Frank Asch, a few pages of Happy Birthday to You, by Dr. Seuss, and a new book, Children make Terrible Pets, by Peter Brown. (The grownups especially enjoyed the humor of the last book, although the kids liked it too.) We put a birthday cake on the felt board and counted the candles---only 10.

We sang a chorus of Happy Birthday to You, of course. We also sang this little ditty:

Zippity doo dah, zippity ay,
My oh my what a wonderful day!
Orland Library is 100 today,
Zippity doo dah,

The craft was birthday crowns, which the kids colored, stickered, and decorated. They also each got a new library book bag and a free book. All in all, a very happy birthday party!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's Day is on its Way!

Today our books were Secret Valentine, by Catherine Stock, and The Mommy Book, by Todd Parr. Getting in the mood for Valentine's Day. We talked about O's for hugs and X's for kisses, as these feature in both books.

Here are two cute rhymes we used today. You can make up the hand motions to go along with them.

Valentine Fingerplay
(to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat, sort of)

Cut, cut, cut with scissors
Paste, paste, paste with glue,
Color, color, color with crayons
Here's a valentine just for you!

My Valentine is Red
(to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)

My valentine is red,
My valentine is blue,
I drop it in the letterbox
And mail it off to you.

We sang the second one over and over, faster and faster, along with hand motions.

And then we made---  Butterfly Valentines! 


construction paper
valentine stickers
wiggly eyes
pipe cleaner for antenna (I stapled mine on, some were glued)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

about miner's lettuce

Miner’s lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata) is a short, bright green annual plant with fleshy leaves, with a texture like spinach. It grows in the wintertime in the Central Valley and along the Pacific Coast, and in early spring in the Sierra foothills. The gold rush miners ate it to augment their limited diet, and to prevent scurvy.

In January and February miner’s lettuce springs up all over the patch of ground between our front lawn and the road. We have quite a spread of it. I pick it to put in salads, and my grand-daughters like it to snack on when they are playing at grandma’s place. When I nibble on it, I like to think of the connection to the forty-niners, and the native Californians who also enjoyed this springtime delicacy.