By Awnali Mills
This storytime is a twofer. Usually I do one storytime per week, but I did this one for a large preschool daycare group last week, and will repeat, with some changes, for this week. For the daycare, I reused kite flannels from last week’s regular storytime, but needed different flannels for my regulars. The books I chose were Boom! Big, Big Thunder & One Small Dog by Mary Lyn Ray, Stormy Night by Salina Yoon, and Blue on Blue by Dianne White.
After using my normal opening weather check flannel and singing my magic bag song, I had the kids close their eyes and see if they could figure out what was in my bag by listening. I had a rain stick in my bag that I poured back and forth, but they failed to guess what it was. We talked a bit about rain, and then I told them that we were going to make our own storm with our bodies.
Making Your Own Rainstorm
Have everyone stand up. Rub your hands together, then snap your fingers (or click your tongue), then clap your hands softly, pat your knees, then stomp your feet. Jump up and down hard for the thunder (we did this a few times), then reverse the actions. After rubbing my hands together, I do a little flourish, like the clouds are dissipating. It’s so much fun to watch kids imitate this little flourish!
I read our first book, Boom! Big, Big Thunder & One Small Dog. The kids really enjoyed my vocal Booms! and did little gasps when I cracked the thunder. Then, we rolled the song cube and sang If You’re Happy and You Know It. Then, I handed out Color Kites pieces and we put those on the board as their color was called. For my regular storytime, I will do Counting Raindrops, something I’ve seen on several different websites. I have felt umbrellas with numbers on them, and felt raindrops. The children identify the number on the umbrella and we place the corresponding number of raindrops on it.
Our next book was Stormy Night. Again, kids responded to the thunder. I just love that! Next we sang Itsy Bitsy Spider and then I handed out scarves. We did the chant Rain on the Grass that I got from Jbrary.
One little raindrop in the dark, dark sky
Two little raindrops watch the clouds roll by
Three little raindrops go splat, splat, SPLAT
Four little raindrops, we’ll need boots for that!
Five little raindrops and still no sun?
That’s too much for us, we’d better… RUN!
Five little raindrops above the forest floor,
One fell away and then there were four.
Four little raindrops hanging from a tree,
One dripped down and then there were three.
Three little raindrops without a thing to do,
One went SPLAT and then there were two.
Two little raindrops waiting on the sun ,
One hit the ground and then there was one.
One lonely raindrop was just about done,
He fell down and then there were none.
Because I knew my daycare had older preschoolers, I went ahead and did three books, something that I’ve been skipping because of the age of my regulars. For the daycare I added in Blue on Blue. For my regulars, I will switch out Blue on Blue for Boom! I love Blue on Blue and you can read about why here.
To end, I talked to the kids about the muddy puddles in the book, and asked them if they knew what I like to do with puddles. They shouted “Jump in them!” That’s right! Then, confidentially, I told them that it had rained in the storytime room last night and left behind some puddles that I had saved for them to jump in. Naturally they looked at me like I’d lost my mind, and started looking around the room suspiciously. I had them all get up off the rug and move to the back of the room. Then, I pulled back the rug and under it were some “puddles” made of blue painter’s tape. I put on Singing in the Rain, and had the kids line up behind me while I demonstrated how to jump in puddles. This was very popular, with kids even trying to jump over puddles to see if they could get further. This was a great way to incorporate play into storytime, and so much fun!