Sensory Playtime (November 2015)

November was our second Sensory Playtime and boy, was it a blast! We once again had five stations, but we primarily focused on touch.

Our first station was shredded paper. This was very cost effective but messy! It was probably the favorite station. The kids would bury themselves in the paper, throw the paper up in the air, and make mounds with it.

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Our second station was a messy pile of leaves. The kids again had a blast throwing the leaves up in the air. We did provide a painting of a tree. This offered kids the opportunity to place the leaves on the tree if they wanted. However, they were way more interested in tossing the leaves up in the air.

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Our third station was sound bottles. The kids were able to shake them and stack them up. We caught a few kids wondering around with a bottle, but hey, at least they were developing their senses!

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Our fourth station was sticky paper. My coworker discovered this idea and we absolutely loved it. We talked about different kinds of tape to use and decided on contact paper. Duct tape seemed too harsh. We saw different ways our patrons interacted with this station. Young babies walked/crawled over it. Older kids would try and pick it up with their hands. We have tagged this one to do again, but maybe put out little items that the kids could stick and unstick stuff to the paper.

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Our final station was ice cubes. I froze a bunch of toys into the ice, and the kids objective was to try and melt the ice to get to the toy. These are very cheap toys, so if a toy walks off with a child, it was not the end of the world. Surprisingly, this might have been the second favorite station. I had several of the older kids tell me about it.

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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!

Props

photo 2

A basket of leaves!

Books

19346523 10411303

Aw, Nuts by Rob McClurkan
Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas

Rhyme

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.

Observations

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.

Fall 2014–Toddlers

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!

Props

photo 2

A basket of leaves!

Books

173839921846659

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
The Busy Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri

Rhyme

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

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

The leaves are falling down today

The leaves are falling down today, hurrah, hurrah!
(flutter hands downward).
The leaves are falling down today, hurrah, hurrah!
The leave are falling to the ground,
(touch the ground).
Where I can Jump and play around. (jump).
Oh, the leaves are falling down, to the ground, where I can…
Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Stomp!
source: Artsy Toddler Storytimes by Carol Garnett Hopkins

Flannel Board

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.

Observations

Alright, I learned a valuable lesson with this storytime. DO NOT throw leaves at the beginning of the storytime, as two-year-olds will think that the leaves are way cooler than anything you planned.

I opened my storytime with the rhyme “Autumn Leaves” and threw my pile of leaves the second time I sung it. This of course led the kids to wanting to play in it. I made my second rookie mistake by thinking that I could read the book while the leaves where still on the floor. After the first book I had all the kids help me clean up my leaves. This actually went really well. Almost all of my kids wanted to help me clean up the leaves.

The books were more meh. The leaves completely overshadowed my storytime. I did have one little girl who was attentively listening and I had her help me tap for Tap the Magic Tree. Busy Squirrel crashed and burned. I stopped half-way through and said that the busy squirrel was busy because he was trying to find his acorn. This is where I was able to redeem my storytime.

The kids became completely quiet for the Little Acorn flannel board. We did the rhyme twice through since the kids really liked it. I then said that it wasn’t fair that only one squirrel had the acorn and gave each squirrel their own acorn.  I received a few aaahhhhs from the parents when all the squirrels had their acorns.