American Girl: Kit Kittredge (March 2015)

Our March American Girl was Kit Kittredge, and I immediately wanted to focus on the Great Depression aspect of Kit’s life. I made sure to get some music for the entire program.

Index 3

I once again did a Margaret Mildred Kittredge powerpoint. I gave a brief description about how the Great Depression started, how children “helped” during this time period, recycling, and past time amusements.

Our first activity was a Great Depression Store. I set-up a table with seven bowls (two of them not pictured) of broken crayons. I explained to the girls that people could not afford to buy new things during Kit’s period and had to reuse many items. If they did have money, people would have to weigh what was most essential to their families. I applied this idea to our own store. We were going to make new crayons out of old crayons.

I priced the blue, green, red, orange, and yellow bowls at one penny per crayon piece. My purple/pink and black/brown bowls were two pennies for one crayon piece. Each girl received 10 pennies and had to figure out how they wanted to spend their money. I also only allowed the girls to line up first. I explained that many parents would forgo necessities to allow their children to survive. The girls LOVED this activity.

After all the girls received their pieces, I had the parents/guardians line up. Many of these adults gave their pieces to their children in the spirit of the Great Depression.


We then had all the girls arrange their crayon pieces in a tin foil cup and placed it in our oven. There was definitely some cool color mixtures happening. My helper then placed all these tin foil cups in the freezer to speed up the process. Our final result was some neat crayons:

10647066_787913457924370_5565803524996690502_n  11076226_787913117924404_6425558995587815041_n

Our next project was kites! I explained how kites were a simple and very inexpensive amusement when no one has money. We had newspapers, straws, tape, yarn, crepe paper, and glue to create our own newspaper kites for the dolls. Some of the girls scoured for images they could incorporate in their design while others simple drew their own designs.

11081208_787913131257736_1876948127266027852_n         10268509_787913521257697_4388055522609100722_n

10999497_787913504591032_8733945915341894342_n                 11008408_787914454590937_5000137906996622685_n

By the end of the program, I had girls running around with their kites. They actually do fly!

Overall, this might have been one of my favorite American Girl programs. The girls and adults seemed to really enjoy it.

Fall 2014–Preschool

Opening Song

If You Want to Hear a Story
Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

If you want to hear a story, clap your hands!
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands!
If you want to hear a story,
If you want to hear a story,
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands!


photo 2

A basket of leaves!


19346523 10411303

Aw, Nuts by Rob McClurkan
Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas


Autumn Leaves
Tune: London Bridge

Autumn Leaves are falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
Autumn Leaves are falling down,
Red, yellow, orange, and brown.
Source: Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker

Action Rhymes

Grey Squirrel

Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Shake your bushy tail!
Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Shake your bushy tail!
Wrinkle up your funny nose
Hold a nut between your toes
Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Shake your bushy tail!
Source:Kidz Sparkz

Scamper Little Squirrel

Scamper, scamper little squirrel, (run in place)
Up the tree, (reach up high)
And down again. (touch the ground).
Grab an acorn. (pretend to grab something with one hand.)
Grab that peanut. (pretend to grab something with your other hand).
Stuff them in your puffy cheeks. (Point to your cheeks as you puff them out).
Swish your tail. (wiggle your bottom).
Look around. (look around with one hand above eyes).
Coast is clear, scamper up that tree again. (run in place).
Source: Artsy Toddler Storytimes by Carol Garnett Hopkins

Pumpkin, Pumpkin

Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)
Once you were a seed so small (pinch fingers together)
Now you are a great big ball (make a big circle overhead)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)
Source:SurLaLune Storytime

I’m a Little Pumpkin
tune: I’m a Little Tea Pot

I’m a little pumpkin orange and round.  (hold arms in circle)
Here is my stem, (place fist upon head)
There is the ground (point down)
When I get all cup up. (“cut palm with opposite hand)
Don’t you shout! (shake head and point finger)
Just open me up (open top of head)
And scoop me out! (scoop out tummy)
source:m/rcpl Family Zone

Flannel Boards

Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley

photo 5 (1)

This flannel board has been done many different ways. I decided to add my own twist and make the tree a Wisconsin one. This template was also nice in that when the leaves fell down it actually looked like a pile of leaves around the base of the tree.

Little Acorn, Little Acorn

Little acorn, little acorn where are you hiding?
Are you hiding behind the _______ squirrel.

Source: I did my own version of the little mouse flannel board.

photo 3   photo 4 (1)

Take Home Craft

photo (3)

Dance Song

The Twist by Chubby Checker

Closing Goodbye Song

We Wave Goodbye Like This
Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”

We wave goodbye like this.
We wave goodbye like this.
We clap our hands for all our friends.
We wave goodbye like this.


My preschool storytime was completely different from my toddler session. While the toddlers were having none of it, the preschoolers were completely focused. It might be that I waited to do the rhyme “Autumn Leaves” at the end of storytime.

The books went really well. The kids liked to guess where the squirrel was going next in his pursuit of the perfect acorn in Aw, Nuts! The kids also chuckled through Pumpkin Trouble. To help make the story even more fun, I covered my mouth so it sounded like my voice was echoing when duck was talking.

The flannel boards were also fun. I do think the parents got the Wisconsin themes just a tad better than the kids. I heard quite a few chuckles, but the kids were still able to tell me that the leaves were wrong. I did do the Little Acorn flannel with the preschoolers. They enjoyed it as much as my two-year-olds.

My grand finale included singing “Autumn Leaves” and throwing the leaves. The preschoolers received an A+++ for helping me clean up afterwards.


Opening Song

If You Want to Hear a Story
Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

If you want to hear a story, clap your hands!
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands!
If you want to hear a story,
If you want to hear a story,
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands!


 87267371913751 17349277

Cat Secrets by Jeff Czekaj
What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas
Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses by James Dean

Action Rhymes

Can You Meow Like Me (make appropriate noises)

Meow very loudly.
Meow like a giant cat.
Meow in a squeaky voice.
Meow like a scared cat.
Meow like a happy cat.
Meow like a sad cat.
Meow like an angry cat.
Meow in a whisper voice.

“If You’re a Kitty and You Know It”

If you’re a kitty and you know it, say meow.
If you’re a kitty and you know it, say meow.
If you’re a kitty and you know it, then your face will surely show it.
If you’re a kitty and you know it, say meow.

Lick your paws, show your claws, swish your tail, do all four.
Source:Literary Commentary 

Flannel Board

Rainbow Kittens

Six little kittens found a box of paint.
They jumped right in…their mother will faint!
The first little kitten came out all red.
“I’ll be orange,” the second kitten said.
The third little kitten turned bright yellow.
“I’ll be green,” said the next little fellow.
The fifth kitten said, “My favorite is blue.”
“Purple for me,” said the sixth with a mew.
Dancing home the kittens go
To show their mother a KITTEN RAINBOW!
Source: Read Rabbit Read

photo 4 photo (1)photo 5

Take Home Craft

photo 3 photo 2 (1)
Source: Library Village

Closing Dance Song

Silly Dance Contest by Jim Gill


Like the toddlers, the preschoolers ate up this storytime. The kids enjoyed acting like cats when we did the two action rhymes. I even had a kid who arched her back like a cat.

All three of the books were a smashing hit. The preschoolers enjoyed Cat Secrets. They also enjoyed guessing what the cat would sit on in What Will Fat Cat Sit On?. The winner (of course) was Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses. We all started moving pretty groovy as the book went on. The craft fit the book perfectly!

I would say the highlight of the storytime was Rainbow Kittens.  Like the puppy storytime, we named the six kitties. The preschoolers actually named the kittens after colors. Then when I started dipping each kitty in their specific color, I received lots of “ooooohhhhhs and ahhhhhs” from the crowd. I did add my own twist on this flannel. Another blogger mentioned that she had cat puppet that licked all the kitties back to white. I decided to make a flannel mama kitty and then have her change to a tie-dye color after she cleaned all her kittens. The crowd really liked this surprise.

The super best part was watching the kids interact with the flannel after storytime. A little boy was dipping each kitten in their colors and putting each kitten back up on the board. He then would take the mommy kitty and clean the kittens back to white. He did this for about five minutes. A little girl even joined in with him. This made my heart so happy!