This school year in storytime I decided to use the alphabet to give me inspiration for themes. This was our last week of storytime before our holiday break, so J is for Jingle Bells! (I really stretched this one... There was really only one book truly about jingle bells, and we sang the song. Other than that, this was just a chance for me to read some Christmas-y books. :)
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, then I'll ask them to quietly put their "books" in their lap.
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 one of the jingle bells we play with during songs in the box.
2.5) J is for Jingle Bells craft (3-5 yr olds)
Because this week's craft involved tacky glue that I wanted to make sure got dry enough for them to transport home, my 3-5 year olds created their craft at the beginning of storytime. I had pre-cut white J's and had the kids glue it to red paper. Then they could decorate with red and green crayons and Christmas-y stickers. Finally I put a dot of tacky glue on each end of the J for them and they stuck the little jingle bells on.
3) Jingle-Jingle - Nicole Smee
4) Jingle Bells song
I have large jingle bells strung together in pairs that I handed out for the kids to dance with during the song. They pretended they were like the horse in the book and we could all hear them coming!
5) Counting Christmas - Karen Katz (18-36 months)
6) Five Little Christmas Trees
A really simple flannelboard rhyme. I started by asking the kids if they had their tree up yet, and if it was one they had gone out and chopped down. Found this at Mollie's site.
Five little Christmas trees, standing all alone.
Their hearts were very sad, 'cause they hadn't found a home. (hand over heart)
Then chop went the ax, (chopping motion with hand at the bottom of a tree)
And down fell a tree, (take tree off board)
And off he went with a happy family! ("walk" him away)
(continue from 4-1 Christmas Trees)
No little Christmas Trees standing all alone
Their hearts were very happy 'cause they all found a home!
7) Christmas Tree, Christmas Tree, What Do You See?
Then I asked if the kids wanted to help me decorate a tree. I found this at Reading Chick. I discovered a flannel tree and mini lights in my storage room. But I also have a giant felt tree, circle "ornaments", and rectangle "presents" at my house, that I created last year for my own kids (toddlers) to "decorate" and leave my real tree alone. So I brought in my big tree, used the lights I'd found, and quickly made a candy cane and Santa hat. I handed out the different pieces to the kids, and had them bring them up when it was their turn in the story.
I see some Christmas lights blinking at me.
Christmas lights, Christmas lights, what do you see?
I see ornaments looking at me.
Ornaments, ornaments, what do you see?
I see a candy cane looking at me.
Candy cane, candy cane, what do you see?
I see a yellow star shining at me.
Yellow star, yellow star, what do you see?
I see Santa Claus coming toward me.
Santa Claus, Santa Claus, what did you bring?
A bagful of presents for underneath the tree!
8) Pete the Cat Saves Christmas - Eric Litwin
download Pete the Cat songs for free?? I put them all on a cd that I can now play in my storytime cd player. The Christmas one is actually the entire book being read (I think by Litwin), and has the song throughout too. So I let the kids listen to this one while I turned the pages and pointed out the things the author mentioned. Pretty neat to have someone else read a book for a change!
9) If You Take a Mouse to the Movies - Laura Numeroff
We had had our monthly movie night a few days before, and we had leftover popcorn, so after the book above I just had to give the kids small bags of our leftovers! :) I also handed out candy canes, and showed them how if they turned it upside down it looked like the letter J!
11) J is for Jingle bells coloring page (18-36 months)
Other Christmas ideas:
Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear - Don & Audrey Wood
The Night Before Christmas - Clement Moore
How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? - Jane Yolen
It's Christmas, David! - David Shannon
I Love Christmas - Anna Walker