Monday, March 31, 2014

Storytime: Yarn

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. So this week, Y is for yarn!

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 ball of yarn in the box. I said we'd be reading books about things we can make with yarn, and how yarn itself is made!

3) Extra Yarn - Mac Barnett
A little long, but it was okay for our first book. Afterward I mentioned different things you can make from yarn, like winter hats and mittens, sweaters, and blankets. One girl even had a knit sweater on, so I could really point it out.

4) Toss the yarn ball
I just wanted something a little interactive, so I took my ball of yarn out of the mystery box and tossed it to each kid, then had them toss it back to me. If the kids were a little older I would have done the old icebreaker game of holding on to the yarn while throwing it back and forth to make a web, but I thought it would be a little difficult for these groups. The kids liked having my complete attention when it was their turn, and giggled a lot when I dropped the ball (they don't exactly have the best aim...). The yarn came a bit unwound, but that added to the effect and reminded us of the book we'd just read.

Then I transitioned to our next yarn topic by asking, Do any of you know where yarn comes from?? I had a few answers like "the store" and "grandma's closet", but not a single one knew the correct answer (yay, teachable moment!!). I pulled out our next book and said that yarn comes from sheep...

5) Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep - Teri Sloat
I really liked this book. The rhyming is cute, the descriptions of the yarn-making process made sense, and the humorous element of the story (sheep being cold after shearing) kept the kids engaged. I'm actually tempted to find this book for my own kids at home.

6) iPad video - Sheep gets its first haircut
I started this video around :45 and showed it to the kids without the sound on. I commentated a bit for them, pointing out the clippers the farmer used (do any of you boys get your hair cut with clippers?) and how neat it was that all the wool came off in one big chunk!

7) Baa Baa Black Sheep flannel
I have flannel sheep in various colors, and handed them out to the kids, keeping the black one for myself. Then I started by saying "Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?" and making my sheep "talk" and answer "yes sir, yes sir, three bags full." Then I put it on my flannelboard. I repeated the rhyme using the different colors that the kids had and brought up to the board, and the whole group said "yes sir, yes sir, three bags full" with me.

8) Where is the Green Sheep? - Mem Fox
For some reason, my collection of colored sheep in the flannel above doesn't include a green sheep. Well it gave me the chance to ask the kids what color we were missing, then we read this book. It doesn't talk about yarn or wool at all, but it's a really cute easy story.

9) Song & Rhyme Cube
Today we rolled If You're Happy and You Know It, Twinkle Twinkle, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

10) One Little Lamb - Elaine Greenstein
To remind the kids where yarn comes from, this really really short book was our closing one today. It goes through the same process as Farmer Brown's book we read earlier, only it has very few words on a page.

11) Y is for Yarn coloring page (18-36 months) or Y is for Yarn craft (3-5 years)
This yarn lacing craft from my friend Sadie actually inspired this storytime. It was really easy to make (the Y is cut from foam), and it gave the kids something different to do this week instead of cutting and gluing all the time. FYI, putting a bit of tape on the end of the yarn helps kids thread it through the holes easier.

Other yarn ideas:
Knitty Kitty - David Elliott
Weaving the Rainbow - George Ella Lyon
Little Owl's Orange Scarf - Tatyana Feeney


  1. I also like these 2 titles for a yarn theme: Red Hat by Lita Judge and Don't Worry, Douglas! by David Melling.

    1. Ooo I hadn't found those ones during my search, they sound fun, thank you! I'll have to add them to my list for next time. :)