Storytime: Rainforest

Ages 0-6

Where Am I? by Moira Butterfield
The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
The Umbrella by Jan Brett
The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry

Lately we've been delving into the crevices of the children's department storage spaces to find any lost treasures that may have been forgotten. One of them is a collection of children's songs printed out and laminated to use during storytimes. We've been working on putting together a flip board by cutting out some cardboard, punching holes in the tops, and connecting them with rings. We're actually creating two boards because we have so many of these, but once we are finished with the second board I'll be making a CD with correlating music to accompany. For this particular storytime I  chose to start with The Grand Old Duke of York...because...why not?

BOOK Where Am I? by Moira Butterfield

BOOK The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
Up to the Ceiling
Up to the ceiling, (stretch both arms overhead)
Down so you’re small. (bend at waist and touch floor)
Right to the bookshelf (stretch arm to right)
Left to the wall. (stretch arm to left)
Right hand, left hand,
Turn them around. (spin hands around each other, 'wheels on the bus style')
Fold them together
And now sit down

BOOK The Umbrella by Jan Brett (Interactive)

BOOK The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry 
I got this idea from From the Hive. I printed off the animals from Jan Brett's website. I laminated them and cut them out, then cut out some felt to look like leaves. I then sewed the pieces together to create the "umbrella." I didn't really like the handle made of felt, so I took a long roll of industrial paper towl and twisted it together. Then I curved the end to create the handle. It made it more sturdy and multi-dimensional:

I handed each child a different animal, and when I read the story and their animal got into the umbrella, they came up and put their animal in the umbrella on the board, too (well...they tried):

Clothes Pin Frog
How cool is this?? You can find the printable at Therapy Fun Zone. This is a great craft because it helps with finger strength. It's also fast and easy to make.

4 Foot Puzzle
This puzzle is always out with our Racing to Read toys, but it seems to intimidate people. I felt that it fit into the theme enough that I'd incorporate it, so I started the puzzle by connecting all the top pieces, and then let the kids finish it.

The Umbrella Coloring Mural via Jan Brett
This mural as a whole is pretty awesome, but I just needed a passive station without overdoing it too much, so I cut out some pieces to make a tree and set some crayons with it. We ended up leaving this one out for a while.

RECEPTION: This was such a fun storytime! The kids loved finding the blue butterfly on every page of Where Am I? The parents also enjoyed learning about animals they didn't know about during The Umbrella and there were some great questions to ask during The Salamander Room and The Great Kapok Tree. I felt like it was educational and interactive, and the kids kept on task pretty well. The frog craft was also a hit!

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