Take an umbrella….Weather Storytime

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We did a play in high school a million years ago called The Curious Savage by John Patrick. There was one particular line that stuck with me: “People say I love you all the time – when they say, ‘take an umbrella, it’s raining,’ or ‘hurry back,’ or even ‘watch out, you’ll break your neck.’ There are hundreds of ways of wording it – you just have to listen for it, my dear.”  Friends and I started signing our notes to each other, “Take an umbrella, it’s raining….”

Just a sweet memory that makes me think of old friends.

ANYWAY – some of my other favorite memories center around weather! Playing in the rain, sledding on a snowy hillside, swimming on a bright sunny day, going to the annual Kite Festival – so let’s read some stories about it!

My Umbrella
Rain on the rooftops,
Rain on the trees,
Rain on the green grass
But not on me!

Books:

The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book (Tafuri)

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I read this one for Toddlers and Preschoolers. It does a nice job of counting up to and down from 10 while telling about a storm building. The animals are recognizable and everyone laughs when the skunk shows up. I read it with some drama during the storm and speed after the surprise and it really works.

The Snowy Day (Keats)

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A classic. I’ve loved this book since I was small – and I always set it in Chicago in my head (even though I’ve read that it was based on NYC). My Texas Preschoolers aren’t too familiar with snow so everything in the book is fascinating. I once had a little girl come up to touch the end papers to see if they were cold. The Caldecott winning collage art is beyond charming. Keats received lots of criticism for not addressing Peter’s race in the story but it is such a sweet depiction of a curious little boy – the humanness of the character trumps all description.

In the Rain with Baby Duck (Hest)

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This title is a little longer so I read it to the Preschool crowd. It is fun to grouch and grumble like Baby Duck as she and her parents walk through the rain. I pair this with the umbrella craft so kids can relate back to the story.

Red Rubber Boot Day (Ray)

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So many inside activities are listed in this story – but when the child really wants to enjoy the rainy day — outside is the place to be! The illustrations are vibrant and charming.  I read this to Toddlers and Preschoolers.

Rain Rain Go Away (Archambault)

The original Mother Goose rhyme of Rain, rain, go away, Come again another day; Little Johnny wants to play. Has been adapted to include a frog in this offering from John Archambault. I read this in big book form and the Toddlers and Preschoolers really liked the frog. I do have a bit of an issue with a frog that wants it to stop raining so he can play…..um, they live in water. Whatever, it was pretty cute.

No Two Alike (Baker)

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I mostly love this book for all of the snow that makes an appearance! It covers everything in the forest. The rhyming text is simple and so it is easy to modulate the speed and force. I read this to the Preschool crowd and they, too, were in love with the snow covered forest. The two birds are also adorable as you can see from the cover.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider (Siomades)

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This is the traditional song with vibrant illustrations. A very quick read for Toddlers and Preschoolers. I sing the song immediately after reading this.

The interstitials (the space fillers):

Standing

Rain Is Falling Down (Tune: Farmer in the Dell)

The rain is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH (clap once loudly)
The rain is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
The rain is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH (clap once loudly)

The snow is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
Whoosh (swoosh hands side to side)
The snow is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
Whoosh (swoosh hands side to side)
softly softly very softly (fingers to lips)
The snow is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
Whoosh (swoosh hands side to side)

I borrowed this first verse from King County Library System and adapted the second on my own.

Songs

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

It’s raining, it’s pouring
the old man is snoring.
He went to bed
and bumped his head
and couldn’t get up in the morning.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy bitsy spider
went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out!
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
and the itsy bitsy spider
went up the spout again!

This one is great for fine motor skills and then we mix it up and do The Great Big Spider (use entire hands for spider), The Very Quiet Spider (whisper or just mouth the song), and The Very Fast Spider (move super fast) with the Preschoolers. Giggles all around.

Fingerplays

Making it rain

Today we are going to work together to make it rain!
First we rub our fingers together. I think I hear the rain starting!
Then we lightly clap our hands. It’s falling harder now.
Lets rub our hands on our thighs. That’s a steady rainstorm.
Now pat your thighs. It’s raining really hard now!
Now stomp your feet, too! Oh, it’s so loud!
(then go backwards through the motions to make the storm stop)

Craft

Umbrella with raindrops

We made this super cute umbrella surrounded by raindrops that I found on Brooks Childcare by searching “umbrella craft” on Google . It took a bit of prep work from my summer teen volunteer but the kids had fun with the glue sticks and crayons. Having pieces of yarn for the kids to glue, really works the fine motor skills by making little fingers pinch something thin.

umbrella with rain

 

Rainbow collage

Another craft option is the old tissue paper squares glued on paper. This one is more about celebrating the colors themselves, recognizing the shape of a rainbow, and using the fine motor skills to pinch and place the squares than it is about getting the colors in any order. Let the creativity flow!

rainbow

Making memories in storytime – every week.

 

These are the bits of fabulous that I picked for the theme this time

Toddler lineup:

Poem
The Big Storm (Tafuri)
stretch
ABCs song
Rain is Falling Down song
Rain Rain Go Away (Archambault)
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
No Two Alike (Baker)
Zoom Zoom Zoom
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Preschool lineup:
Poem
In the Rain with Baby Duck (Hest)
stretch
ABCs
Rain is Falling Down Song
The Snowy Day (Keats)
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The Big Storm (Tafuri)
Making rain
magic bag trick
Zoom Zoom Zoom
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

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