Monday, February 24, 2014

Storytime: S is for Squirrel, T is for Tree

Age: 18-36 months (coloring page instead of craft), 3-5 years (with craft)

This school year in storytime I decided to use the alphabet to give me inspiration for themes. I'm needing to double up a few letters so we finish by a certain date... so S is for Squirrel while T is for Tree!

Last week's storytime had almost double the number of kids because it was a snow day for the older siblings. This week was also a snow day, but I had NO ONE show up. Ok, one toddler came for my early class, but her dad told me to not do it just for her. The weather was definitely worse this week than last, but I was still disappointed. So this is the storytime plan I would have used if anyone had come. I need to finish my season by a certain date, so rather than putting this plan off until next week, unfortunately I'm going to just skip it (but that just means I can easily use it in its entirety sometime next year! :) SO all of that to say, I don't have any input on how kids liked or didn't like these things like I usually do...

1) These Are My Glasses - Laurie Berkner
My current opening song that we sing acappella every week. I start by asking them to show me their glasses and their book so that they remember the signs. We sing it through twice.

These are my glasses (make the letter o with each hand)
And this is my book (hands together)
I put on my glasses (put "glasses" over eyes)
And open up the book (open book hands)
Now I read read read (hold book up in front of face like reading)
And I look look look (put glasses over eyes and look around room)
I put down my glasses and… (lower glasses)
WHOOP! Close up the book. (clap as if closing a book quickly)

2) Mystery Box
This week I put a few fake green leaves in the box along with a little squirrel finger puppet.

3) Ol' Mama Squirrel - David Ezra Stein

Katie has some fun squirrel and acorn flannel rhymes, as does Silly Librarian. I had a hard time choosing which to use. I ended up going with:

Down around the corner in the big oak tree 
Hung five little acorns looking so yummy 
Along came a squirrel with a big bushy tail. 
He took one acorn and ran off down the trail.

I had a big tree flannel from my apples storytime, and made five acorns to fit on it. I was planning to use my little squirrel finger puppet (from the Mystery Box) to sneak up and take the acorns.

5) Apartment House Tree - Bette Killion
This book bridged the gap between S is for Squirrel and T is for Tree really well. It describes all the different creatures who can live in the same tree, starting with a squirrel.

6) Little Squirrel Song
I had first seen the "Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel" song on Miss Tara's blog (and here's a YouTube link). Since I don't have the pom poms but liked the song, my plan was to give the kids colored scarves and sing about different colors instead. And to have everyone participate for the first and last verses, I changed the "grey" squirrel to a "little" squirrel.

Little squirrel, little squirrel, swish your bushy tail 
Little squirrel, little squirrel, swish your bushy tail 
Hold a nut between your toes, wrinkle up your little nose 
Little squirrel, little squirrel, swish your bushy tail

Red squirrel, red squirrel, swish your bushy tail...

7) Frisky Brisky Hippity Hop - Susan Lurie and Murray Head
This is a super cute book with real photos of squirrels and an easy rhyme. I think the kids would have really enjoyed it.

8) Parachute play
I was planning to put the little squirrel finger puppet in the parachute for the kid to bounce around. Kinda goes with the hippity hop book we'd just read.

9) S is for Squirrel and T is for Tree craft
A combination of this squirrel and this tree created my craft.
My 3.5-year-old daughter's version

Other squirrel & tree ideas:
Nuts to You - Lois Ehlert
Busy Little Squirrel - Nancy Tafuri (I probably would have used this one if it was currently fall)
Scaredy Squirrel - Melanie Watt
What Will it Rain? flannel and squirrel coffee ground craft


  1. The weather has changed my Story Time plans too, and it looks like it might happen again this week! As you say, can always resurrect this plan when you need something fast. - love your book choices and am definitely borrowing your craft!

    1. Do I remember you being on the East Coast? It seems so random to me -- sometimes bad weather makes my storytimes bigger and sometimes it keeps them away...