By Awnali Mills
Today’s storytime was all about color. I chose some books I haven’t done before, but it all went really well. I chose Sugar White Snow and Evergreens by Felicia Chernesky (because it’s warming up here and I wanted a little coolness back!), Mix It Up by Herve Tullet, and Little Green Peas by Keith Baker.
I started with a color wheel top I made out of a paper plate, a pencil eraser, and a push pin. I got the idea from the HowToSmile App. After spinning the top, I explained to the kids that when they color all their crayons together, the pigment in the colors turns black, but when we spin the top, all the colors flow together in the light, and that makes white. All the colors are always mixed together in light, and when they hit raindrops they break apart into all the different wavelengths and we get rainbows. The top mixes all the colors back up, so it looks white.
No. I do not expect 3-5 year olds to understand or remember this. But, they might remember what happens when the top spins. And, they get to hear the science vocabulary. The next time they hear those words, it will be easier for them to understand and remember. The first step of learning new things is learning the vocabulary for the activity. And, the parents thought it was cool, so the kids thought it was cool (or maybe it was me being on the floor spinning the top that was cool J) Just one little way to add science into storytime!
Our first book was Sugar White Snow and Evergreens. I told the kids that I needed some coolness, so we were going to read about snow. Since the book talks about going to a farm to see maple syrup being made, I also got to sneak some science in that way as we talked about what was going on.
Next, I did the flannel Color Fish. The rhyme goes:
Fish Color Song (Tune: Teddy Wore His Red Shirt”)
This one is a green fish, green fish, green fish, this one is a green fish all day long.
This one is a blue fish, blue fish, blue fish, this one is a blue fish all day long.
This one is a yellow fish, yellow fish, yellow fish, this one is a yellow fish all day long.
This one is a red fish, red fish, red fish, this one is a red fish all day long.
This one is a purple fish, purple fish, purple fish, this one is a purple fish all day long.
I had several of each color fish, and handed them out to the kids. When I chanted their verse, they brought their fish up to the flannelboard.
The next book was Mix It Up by Herve Tullet. I confess, I was nervous about how this book would work in storytime, since it’s essentially made for a single child and parent to read and do together. I did most of the things the child would do, and it worked out great. In a few places, you’re supposed to close the book to “squish the colors together.” I would slide my finger to the next page as I closed the book, call one of the kids to come up to push down on the book, and then open it to the new page, showing that the colors had squished together to make new colors. The kids were really excited about that.
Then, we stood up and did a few rounds of The Grand Old Duke of York, just to get some extra wiggles out.
Our next flannel was This Little Chick by DLTK’s Educational Activities. The rhyme goes:
This little chick is black. She stands in the barnyard on a big haystack.
This little chick is brown. She is feeling sad and wearing a frown.
This little chick is yellow. She’s friends with the rooster; he’s a handsome fellow.
This little chick is white. She dances and plays, oh what a sight.
This little chick is purple. She spends her day running around in a circle.
This little chick is green. She is the prettiest chick I’ve ever seen.
This little chick is blue. She lays eggs for me and you.
This little chick is pink. She goes down to the pond to get a drink.
All of these chicks live at the farm out in the big red barn.
Again, I handed out all the chicks and let the children bring them up to the board. If I had had more children than chicks, I wouldn’t have done that.
The last book was Little Green Peas. We talked about each page: What was the color? What were all the things with that color? What were the peas doing?
During playtime, one mom asked me for a list of all my books that I’d used, another asked if there was a website that she could go to for all of my flannels (I sent her to Flannel Friday), and I saw one little girl standing with one of the books, holding it open and looking at the back of it. I was a little confused until I realized that she was playing storytime, holding out the book and showing everyone the pictures. Her grandmother assured me that she does this all the time at home, and another mother chimed in and said that her son does, too.
My heart melted, ya’ll.