It was our first storytime of the fall semester this week, so it seemed like a perfect time to do a fall storytime! It was a hodge podge of some of the best things about fall; apples, football, and leaves.
We started with Hungry Bunny by Claudia Rueda. This is a wonderful interactive book in which the reader helps the bunny pick apples and then make his way home. It gets a little long, so I skipped a few pages since I was working with toddlers. But, the fact that they got to do various actions and activities throughout the book really helped them stay invested until the end. Our hungry bunny has a scarf, so I made sure to hand out scarves to everyone to assist with the interaction.
We followed up our apple story with an apple song. We sang “Five Green Apples” by Peter and Ellen Allard. During the main chorus we held up the appropriate number of fingers and swayed along to the music. When Farmer Brown “plucked one apple” we reached up and grabbed an apple, then pretended to “eat it hungrily.”
I read Fall Ball by Peter McCarty next, and as much as I adore this book, it probably wasn’t the best choice for this group. They all sat through this one wonderfully (it really is not too long), but it felt that most of the concepts were really over their heads. Had I read this book with the crowd I was getting this summer it would have went perfectly, but now that we’ve hit fall (and school is back in session) this group has become a full on toddler storytime.
Over the summer, for a repeating song we did different variations on Green Zucchini. Going into fall however, we decided to change it up a little bit. To still keep the benefits of doing some sort of repetition, but allow us to have more of a variety of songs/rhymes, we decided to do a song cube instead. We decided to give ourselves the most flexibility possible, so our cube has numbers on it rather than specific songs/rhymes. This was we create the list of songs and rhymes for each storytime, and can change them up a bit depending.
This week our song choices were:
- The Itsy Bitsy Spider
- Two Little Blackbirds
- Wheels on the Bus
- Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
- Baby Bumble Bee
- Row Row Row Your Boat
Both groups (we repeat the same program back to back to accommodate more kiddos) rolled a 4, so we did Icky Sticky Bubble Gum in both groups. I used this version of the song:
Icky, sticky, sticky, sticky bubble gum, bubble gum, bubble gum
Icky, sticky, sticky, sticky bubble gum
Makes my hands stick to my head.
So you pull em
And you pull em
And you pull em away!
(Repeat with Nose, Knees, Feet)
For the final story, I told Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley using a flannel we have. It is so elaborate and creative and wonderful, as most for this story are. I had to use it! (If you haven’t seen a flannel for this story before, check out Storytime Katie’s or Thrive After Three’s.) The story itself is also perfectly silly, so I really don’t know how you do a fall storytime without it.
We finished up by playing in the “leaves.” I handed scarves back out to everyone and then played “Leaves” by Piggback Songs, “When It’s Autumn” by Carole Peterson, “It’s Fall” by Sara Hickman, and “When It’s Autumn” one more time. The first time we listened to “When It’s Autumn,” my coworker and I each got hanfuls of fake leaves ready, and when Carole sing “they are falling on my head”, we threw them all out onto the kiddos. Then they had both scarves and leaves to throw around and play with. Since I ended by playing “When It’s Autumn” again, I had all the kiddos gather up a big handful of everything on the floor and throw it all up during the “falling on my head” part. It was just too fun and silly!