Thursday, November 10, 2011

Let the Fall Leaves Fall!!

Here's a favorite little poem, by Clyde Watson:

Let the Fall Leaves Fall

Let the fall leaves fall
And the cold snow snow
And the rain rain rain ’till April:
Our coats are warm
And the pantry’s full
And there's cake upon the table.

So in honor of the fall leaves falling, we had a autumn=-themed storytime yesterday, at the library, and at Head Start, where I go once a month for four sessions.

We read Mouse's First Fall, by Lauren Thompson, Old Bear, by Kevin Henkes, and a brand-new book, Little Owl's Night, by Divya Srinivasan.

This book has a new twist on an old theme, the bedtime story. At the end of the book, after Little Owl has visited all his night-time friends, he goes home to Mama and falls asleep as she tells him how the night ends, as the sky turns "from black to blue, from blue to red, and from red to gold."

At the start of storytime we sang an owl song, to the tune of Skip to My Lou:

Owl in the treetop Whoo, whoo, whoo--
Owl in the treetop Whoo, whoo, whoo--
Owl in the treetop Whoo, whoo, whoo--
Who, who, who are you?

As I pointed to each child, he or she told us their names. It's a fun song to sing, and a good way to learn everyone's name.

For our craft we made acorn owls. These were a bit fiddly and tricky, but so cute.  

Materials needed:
Acorns (find an oak tree and pick them up)
small wiggly eyes
Yellow paper cut into tiny triangles, for beaks
Orange or brown felt, cut into small wings

Glue on the the features with glue stick or tacky glue. 

We made reversible playmats for our owls, out of blue card stock and black construction paper glued back to back, with branches cut from paper bags, green paper leaves, and glittery stars. Lots of gluing, but easy to put together.

Have a Happy Fall!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Apple-icious Storytime

It was all about apples today. Apples and the wind, since it is a windy day. We always sing (to the tune of Clementine):

What's the weather, what's the weather, what's the weather everyone?
Is it windy, is it cloudy, is there rain or is there sun?

Today the answer was definitely "windy." One of our books was One Windy Wednesday. Even though the theme was apples, I don't have a good apple book, so we also read Llama Llama Red Pajama. I told the story of The Little Round Red House. Even though this story does not have a book, or anything to go on the flannelboard, it held the children's attention very well. It's about a little boy whose mother sends him out to find "a little round, red house, with no windows and no doors, and a star in the middle."

You can read a version of this anonymous story here, although this is not exactly the way I tell it. But the ending is always the same. The answer is an apple, and the star can be seen when you cut an apple crossways, along its equator.

Here are some rhymes to go along with today's themes:

Wind (tune: Row Your Boat)

Wind, wind, blow the clouds
Fast across the sky.
Blow the branches back and forth,
In the trees so high.   (Stand and move your arms as you sing.)

Picking Up Apples (tune: Pawpaw Patch)

Where oh where is my friend Johnny?  (use the name of a child in the group)
Where oh where is my friend Johnny?
Where oh where is my friend Johnny?
Way down yonder by the apple tree.

Picking up apples, put 'em in your basket,  (bend and pick up imaginary "apple" and place in "basket.")
Picking up apples, put 'em in your basket,
Picking up apples, put 'em in your basket,
 Way down yonder by the apple tree.

Our craft went along with the rhyme Five Red Apples.

Five red apples hanging on the tree,
The juiciest apples that you ever did see.
The wind came whistling through the town,
And one red apple came tumbling down.  
Four red apples . . .   etc.

5 apples cut out of a sheet of foam
5 magnets (I used round magnets with adhesive on one side that I bought at Walmart)
1 sheet of white card stock or paper.
1 tree trunk cut from a brown paper bag
1 tree top cut out of construction paper

The kids cut out their own tree tops and glued the trunk and leaves to the sheet of paper. Then they affixed the apples to the magnets. Tape the picture to your refrigerator or other metal appliance, and you are ready to sing and play.