Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Groundhog Day

Did you ever wonder what the heck is Groundhog Day? Have you ever tried to explain it to a 3-year-old?  Good luck!

I might not bother with Groundhog Day for pre-school storytime, except that I have such a good craft to go with it. But it is easier to explain shadows than it is groundhogs (who don't even live in our part of the country), so the emphasis today was on shadows.

We read Gregory's Shadow, by Don Freeman, the story of a groundhog who gets separated from his shadow. After some mild adventures they find each other just in time for Groundhog Day.

We also read My Shadow, a poem by Robert Lewis Stevenson, with illustrations by Ted Rand. The illustrations are big and clear, and show a variety of children from all around the world.

We also talked quite a bit about shadows.

I found a great little groundhog story at the Read It Again! blog. It's a very simple story, just right for the little guys, about a young groundhog who keeps popping up to see his shadow. Each time he comes up he sees the shadow (a black silhouette) of some other animal. I had a horse, a squirrel, a duck, a frog, and a butterfly. Although I made the groundhog and his shadow myself, I used the die cutter at the Glenn County Office of Education to cut the other animal shapes out of felt. That's the easy way to do it. The kids really enjoyed telling me what the shapes were and anticipating the next one.

Here is our easy-peasy craft:

Pop-Up Groundhog

Card stock groundhog cut-out
Sticker eyes
Craft stick
Paper cup

Pop-ups are always fun, and a big hit with the kids.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Corduroy, King of the Teddy Bears


"This must be home," siad Corduroy. "I know I've always wanted a home!"

Who doesn't love Corduroy? After 45 years (the book was published in 1968) the book is still a favorite with children and grown-ups alike. Written and illustrated by Don Freeman, it remains his best-known and best-loved book out of the more than 25 books he published.

So last Wednesday we had a Corduroy storytime. We read Corduroy, of course, and also This Is the Bear, by Sarah Hayes, the story of a teddy bear who accidently goes to the dump. We all decided that the park or the library is a better place to take your teddy bear.

Here's a bear rhyme:

One little bear, wondering what to do,
Along came another and then there were two.
Two little bears, climbing up a tree,
Along came another and then there were three.
Three little bears, ate an apple core,
Along came another and then there were four.
Four little bears, found a beehive,
Along came another and then there were five.

And what did they do with all that honey?
They ate it all up! Yummy, yummy, yummy!

For our craft we made  Corduroy pictures. They colored them, then glued on the overalls and real buttons.

The overalls were cut out of blue corduroy (I used up all the green last time), green felt, and some brown checked upholstery velour. 

Abigail shows off her bear.

My version of a bare bear.