Little Raindrops Fingerplay

Fingerplay:  Little RaindropsThis is the sun, high up in the sky. (Form large circle with arms up) A dark cloud suddenly comes sailing by.  (Move hands through the air in a parallel motion.) These are the raindrops,  pitter, pattering down. (Bring arms down, flutter fingers) Watering the flowers, growing on the ground. (Cup hands to form flowers.) Activity: Make a book based on this fingerplay. Use the pattern here (Little Raindrops Booklet pattern) to represent the items in the fingerplay. There are four pages for your book (one for each line of the fingerplay). The pattern is a Word document so you can change the size of the objects to save paper, if you wish. The children cut out the pictures. They can cut around them to make it easier. The adults write the words to the fingerplay on each page. For children too young for this craft, the adults make the book FOR their young children. The umbrella can be used on the cover of the book. Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Making a book with or for your child is very special. By showing care in making them and including your child in the process you make this activity around a book enjoyable. Your child can memorize the words to the rhyme and can "pretend" read it to you. Praise your child. This helps develop print motivation, a child's interest and enjoyment of books and reading. OR Making a book with your child shows them how books work. This helps them with print awareness, how to handle a book, which will get them comfortable with using books as they learn to read. Submitted by Jaime Duval and Whitney Whitaker, Radford (VA) Public Library

Rain by Robert Kalan

Read the book Rain by Robert KalanEarly Literacy Aside--Example: It is really important for children to be able to tell and re-tell stories or ideas in chronological order. We are going to use this flannel board (Rain flannel board) to let the children re-tell the story we just read. Plus, they will see how each item affects the next one. This activity will help them develop their narrative skills which later helps them understand what they read. Flannel Board: Place pieces on the flannel board as the children retell the story. You can use some of the pieces from the flannel board pattern as a handout so that the children can retell the story at home. Submitted by Jaime Duval and Whitney Whitaker, Radford (VA) Public Library

Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley

Book Introduction: Our next story is Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley. Notice the words on boxes and bottles as Mouse finds food to eat. Read the book, saying the words on the boxes and bottles as you point to them. Early Literacy Aside--Example: Pointing out the words we see on boxes and bottles is one way to help children develop one of the early literacy skills, print awareness, understanding that print has meaning. Activity: At the end of storytime put out cereal boxes, bottles, any containers with writing on it and let the children "read" them. Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Don't forget, when you go shopping or are just out and about, talk with your children about the signs and labels they see, just as we did with Mouse Mess. This is one simple way to develop your children's print awareness.

Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

Talk about spiders and how they spin their webs. Each web is different. They use their webs to catch their food.Read the book The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. Put up pieces on a flannel board, having the participants retell the story as you put up the pieces. Early Literacy Aside--Example: This book has lots of repetition so it is a good one for retelling. I have a handout with the same figures that I used on the flannel board. I will also pass out some yarn to make the web. You can cut out the figures and use the yarn to retell the story. Helping your children to retell stories will help them understand what they read later in school.

Figures for flannel board and handout  verybusyspiderpatterns.doc [For the flannel board, an alternative to using the cutout figure of the spider is to make a spider by stapling two small paper plates together. Cut strips of black construction paper and attach to paper plates for legs. Slip yarn between the stapled paper plates with a bit sticking out to start the web. Pull out the yarn as you make the web on the flannel board. If you need to you can use velcro or pins or tacks to hold the yarn to the flannel board. Tell the children that spiders don't need that--the web itself is sticky.]

You Can Do Anything, Daddy by Michael Rex

Read the book You Can Do Anything, Daddy by Michael Rex.Craft/Activity: In this book, the boy is thinking of bad things that might happen to him. His father is figuring out how to save his son. I am giving each of you [adults and children] a piece of paper. On one side I want you to draw something you think of that is scary for you. On the other side I want you to think of something your a grownup could do to help you. It is all pretend, make-believe. What can you think of? Eary Literacy Aside: Having your children draw and then tell you about what they drew develops their narrative skills. It also gives us a window into their thoughts. You can also write down what your children say with the picture so that they make the connection between the written and the spoken word. This helps develop their print awareness, knowing that print has meaning.

Pig's Picnic by Keiko Kasza

Read book Pig's Picnic by Keiko Kasza. Retell the story using props. Have the children retell the story as you maneuver the props.Early Literacy Aside--Example: Using props is one way to help your child remember the story as they try to retell it. When they can retell a story, it helps their understanding.

At the end of storytime hold up the handout of Pig's Picnic (below) and demonstrate how you have cut out the pieces so that the children can retell the story. Early Literacy Aside--Empower: You can strength your children's narrative skills, the ability to tell stories, by taking home this storytime handout, having your children cut out the pictures and retell the story. As they retell the story they may add ideas of their own! pigs-picnic-hand-out.doc Submitted by Laura Mikowski, Hillsboro (OR) Public Libraries

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester

As you read the book, ask the children to identify the animals in the book. Talk about the landscape in the pictures--where in the world might this take place? Use words the children may not know (arctic, icebergs, ice floes, glaciers, etc.). Also, talk about Tacky the Penguin's personality, his uniqueness and originality, explaining words children may not know. For an activity, have children and adults draw and color a penguin however they want.Early Literacy Aside--Empower: We used lots of interesting words today with Tacky the Penquin, some were not even in the book. This helps develop your child's vocabulary. On your way home, talk about being creative and ways your child is unique, using some of the interesting words we used today and adding your own. Through talking and talking about your children's drawings there are many opportunities to expand your child's vocabulary.

Submitted by David Banker, Radford (VA) Public Library

Mouse Craft

Craft: Give a piece of paper and crayon or marker to each child and adult. Each person can draw an oval for the body of the mouse. For the ears make an M or m. Let's practice making an M in the air with our hand and arm.Early Literacy Aside--Example: Don't worry about if your child does this exactly right or not. Enjoy making the mouse and help him squeak and talk. You can also talk about the shapes your child is drawing. Seeing and making shapes helps your children recognize letters as well.

A Good Day by Kevin Henkes

Book Introduction: In this book there are four animals (point to them on the cover)--a yellow bird, a white dog, an orange fox, and a brown squirrel. For each animal something sad happens, but then something good does, too! Let's see what happens.Read the book A Good Day by Kevin Henkes. Sometimes something happens to us that makes us sad, but then we find a way to be happier. I am going to give each person a piece of paper and there are some crayons to share. I would like you to draw a picture of a time you were sad and a time you could make yourself happy. Then tell me or the adult who brought you about your picture. Early Literacy Aside--Example: Adults, having your child describe their experiences and feelings aloud gives you an opportunity to develop their vocabulary and background knowledge. You can add more words to what they already use and also explain more about the situations they describe.

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Walsh

Read the book Mouse Shapes by Ellen Walsh.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: As I read the book, you'll notice how we can combine talking about shapes as we also talk about what is happening in the story. Helping children see shapes is the beginning of letter knowledge.

Craft: Have various shapes cut out, the same ones used in the book. Each PERSON gets a blank sheet of paper. Using shapes, they make a picture. Encourage the adults to talk about all the shapes and also about what they are making with the shapes, both their own picture and their child's. The adult or child can write the child's name on their the paper and find some of the shapes in the letters.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Playing with shapes is one way to help your child see shapes in letters and to later identify the letters. For example, this is an N the first letter in your name. See how there is a triangle shape between the lines? You will notice many opportunities during your day to talk with your children about shapes.

Origami House with The Three Little Pigs

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Today in storytime we shared the story of The Three Little Pigs and the children helped me blow down the straw and stick houses, but not the brick one. Giving your child props to retell the story helps develop narrative skills. This skill helps children later understand what they read. So, I am giving you a handout with instructions on how to make the origami house I used. [Demonstrate.] When you do this activity at home, have fun retelling the story together.

Three Pigs Origami House pattern

Submitted by Saroj Ghoting