Little STEAMers: Winter

Storytime Portion

Opening Song Tickle the Sun
Tickle your toes.
Clap your hands
And tickle your nose.
Reach up high.
Reach down low.
Turn around,
And say hello!Source: Storytime Katie has a closing version she found on pinterest. I wanted an opening song, so my coworker reworked it to make an opening song.
What is Winter? What Do we need for winter? I found simple Clipart pictures for discussion. My pictures included:

Snow, a person imitating cold, mittens, coat, and a hat with mittens.

Rhyme It Is Winter
Tune: Are You Sleeping?”It is winter,
It is winter,
Oh, so cold!
Oh, so cold!
Icy, snowy weather,
Long nights and short days,
Winter’s here!
Winter’s here!
Book Supertruck by Stephen Savage


Flannel Where is Snowball


I hid the two snowballs and had the kids guess which mitten the snowball was under. If they found the yellow snowball, we talked about why you don’t eat yellow snow.

Rhyme Jack Frost

Where did you get that little red nose?
Jack Frost kissed it I suppose.
He kissed it once.
He kissed it twice.
Poor little nose it’s as cold as ice!

Book  Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant


Action Song We’re Marching in the Snow
Action Song I’m a Little Snowman
Goodbye Song Tickle the Clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around
And tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime’s over
So wave goodbye!
Source: Storytime Katie

Activity Portion

Winter in a Bag IMG_3230[1]

Source: A Little Pinch of Perfect

Ball Sort IMG_3225[1]

Source:I Can Teach My Child

How Tall are you IMG_3227[1]

I marked out 9 ft on a piece of duct tape. The kids had the option of either laying down and their grown up laying mittens next to them, or they could jump and see how many mittens it would take to measure the distance.

Counting IMG_3228[1]

The kids would take a handful of buttons and work on matching the number of buttons to the number on a mitten.

Source: Play to Learn Playschool


Sensory Playtime (February 2016)

Station 1: Lincoln Logs

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Station 2:  Texture Bags

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Station 3: Duplo Blocks

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Station 4: Pumpkin Goop

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Station 5: Messy Pictures

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Station 6: Texture and Mirrors

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We were pretty busy with this sensory playtime despite the beautiful weather! The kids really gravitated to our pumpkin spice goop. We saw several kids who would play the goop, wash their hands, and go right back to playing with the goop!

Sensory Playtime (December 2015)

For our final 2015 sensory playtime, my coworker and I had to aim for a simple but fun session. We had a program scheduled for the next day, and we needed activities that we could easily clean up.

Our first station was peek-a-boo animal books. My coworker found this fabulous idea in a book, and we had our volunteers color and place material to make the books touch and feel. This were also great in that we saved them for our future Waddler and Walker Storytimes.

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Our second station was colorful pom-poms. We have two boards with different colorful tubes. We did have the option of separating the pom-poms into their respected colors, but we thought it made it more interesting for the children to try and put the colored pop-pom down its matching tube.

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Our third station was the egg carton walk. We taped down egg cartons to a cardboard for the kids to walk on. We also flipped them different ways for the kids to explore the different texture as they walked.

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Our fourth station was rhythm sticks. My coworker led this station. Parents could grab a rhythm stick for their child and follow my coworker as the kids tapped the sticks to different songs.

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Our final station was colorful fish. This was great for sight and taste. We got the colored goldfish.


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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Sensory Playtime: October 2015

My library has been granted the great opportunity to offer our community a sensory playtime. A local private school generously donated money to help us get started and we are running with this chance. Since we did not know what to expect, we aimed for different stations that could entertain a small or large crowd.

Station 1: Mirrors for Sight

mirrors clothes

I placed out different mirrors for the kids to dress-up and see themselves. This was a double whammy, as it promoted sight and imagination. Not to leave the super young out, I had two large sheets with baby mirrors.

baby mirrors

Station 2: Pots and Pans for Sound


What child doesn’t like making sweet music with their parents’ pots and pans? I had different shapes and styles of pots. I also provided different type of utensils for the children to bang on the pots and pans.

Station 3: Digging for Treasure (Touch)


Kids LOVE sand and what better sensory activity than for little hands to dig into sand for buried treasure. We had all sorts of items buried. There were toys, shells, and little gadgets. Sand digging is also great for developing muscles in the hands.

Station 4: Spaghetti for Touch/Taste


I made three different batches of spaghetti. One batch had absolutely nothing on it. The second batch had olive oil on it, and the last batch had orange extract with olive oil. This offered the kiddos the opportunity to feel the difference between the spaghetti. My first participants also got the chance to taste it before everyone’s hand were in it.

This was a smashing success! 113 people showed up!!! Since we went larger with our stations, parents/guardians could spend as little or as much time at each station. Some people went methodically and were done in 30 minutes while others jumped around. It was very common to see one child playing in the sand and the next minute putting a tiara on in front of the mirror.

The overall favorite was spaghetti! I had one child who did not want to share the spaghetti and would continuously hug it to her chest. Another child actually rolled in it! His mom just stripped him down and put new clothes on him right before they left.

Check out some images from the event:

avery mess babies mess 2

Some Recommendations

  • Buys LOTS of tarps. This can help keep the mess to minimum.
  • Only have one messy item. I had two stations and they were a MESS after everyone left.
  • If you do food, put out small quantities for parents/guardians to take for their child. My spaghetti was only good for one tasting session before it became a germ fest of little hands.