Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Storytime: R is for Red (Valentine's Day!)

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. Since the letter R fell right on Valentine's Day, R is for Red! (which was really just a way to let me read V-day books :)

I ended up having only one toddler come for my 10:00 class, and they decided to just stay for the 11:00 preschool class since I generally use the same books anyway. It was also a day off school for the older siblings (a pre-scheduled mid-winter break... even though they've already had 13 snow days...) so my 11:00 class was busy!

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 bunch of red things in the box, like an egg shaker, scarf, and flannel piece. I sat the kids back down and asked them what else they knew that was red. I was going to bring in a big piece of posterboard and list the things they said, but forgot to grab it, so we just talked about it instead.

3) Little Mouse's Big Valentine - Thacher Hurd
Little Mouse got out a bucket of red paint... so this was a great start to our storytime! The kids liked how it ended, and it led really well into our next little story.

4) Squirrel Gives Her Heart - paper cutting story
I simply used a piece of red construction paper for this story. I really tried to play it up that there was NO way the one heart would be big enough to give a Valentine to all of squirrel's friends!! When I started cutting, I could see smiles on the adults' faces as they realized what was happening, and the kids lit up when I showed them all five hearts.

5) Be Mine, Be Mine, Sweet Valentine - Sarah Weeks
I lucked out -- I was really hoping to use this book but it was checked out during all of my planning. BUT someone returned it the day before my storytime! Yay! Coming out of the paper cutting story above, where all of squirrel's friends got the Valentine that was just the right size for them, this little book was fun. I pointed out the rhyming, and had the kids guess the answer before opening the flap. Because there were school-age kids there, they got all of the answers easily (except the clam. No one guessed the clam!).

6) Flannel - Red Heart Red Heart
Brooke gave me the idea for this one, I cut out 8 different colored felt hearts and handed them out to the young kids. I kept the red one and started it, then called the kids up in order. Some of the older kids were disappointed they didn't get to participate, but I told them they could do it later. And guess what? While the little ones were doing their craft, the four big kids politely asked if they could do the heart story, and I could hear them reciting it as they put the colored hearts up on the board themselves! So fun!

Red heart, red heart, what do you see? I see an orange heart looking at me!
Orange heart... etc... 
White heart, white heart, what do you see? I see a whole bunch of children looking at me!
Children, children, what do you see? We see a red heart, an orange heart... looking at us! That's what we see!

7) Pete the Cat: Valentine's Day is Cool - Kimberly and James Dean
I just couldn't pass up the chance to use the new Pete the Cat book! My kids looooove Pete, and the older ones do too! Plus it fit great with the mini-theme we had going of choosing valentines that are just right for the people receiving them. This book came with stickers that I gave to the kids while they were doing their craft.

8) R is for Red craft
I cut large letter R's from red construction paper, found some little pieces of red yarn, red pom poms, and stickers of red things, and let the kids go to town. I asked them to first try and use their glue to "trace" the letter R (trying to get some of that skill practice in), then stick their red things in the glue.

9) Valentines Day cards
When they were finished, I had another table set up with colored paper, Valentine's Day stickers, foam letters, scissors, glue... for any of the kids, young and old, to make Valentines. It was a very crafty day. :)

Oh, and can I just share how much I love these kids and my job??? :)

Other red/Valentines ideas:
Mouse's First Valentine - Lauren Thompson - I would have used this as my opening book with my toddler group if anyone had come...
Sweet Hearts - Jan Carr
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear - Don & Audrey Wood
Mary Wore Her Red Dress - Merle Peek
Red is Best - Kathy Stinson

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