Firefly Storytime 7-12-17

By Awnali Mills

Where I grew up (Arizona) there were no fireflies.  I didn’t see a firefly until I was an adult, and I’ve always felt that they were magical.  One of my greatest joys now is porch-sitting in the summer and watching the fireflies do their thing.  I wanted to bring some of that joy to my storytime this morning.  The books I chose were It’s a Firefly Night by Dianne Ochiltree and The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle.

I started off with a Very Lonely Firefly finger puppet, who introduced our letter, F.  Then I read It’s a Firefly Night.  After the book, I pulled out a jar with an electronic firefly in it.  I tried to find this to put up a link for you, but the only one I can find is on Amazon, selling for $67.  Plus shipping.  Don’t pay that.  But the children did love it, and there were lots of oohs and aahs.

Firefly in a jar

We talked about how fun it is to catch lightning bugs and put them in a jar, but they die if we keep them in there.  Then we did the flannel 10 Flashing Fireflies from Kid Jamboree, and the kids helped me “catch” the fireflies and put them in a flannel jar, then “release” them.  The flannel rhyme is really long, and I had a smallish group, so we got really interactive and focused on counting instead.

10 Little Fireflies

Before storytime, I taped 36 paper fireflies around the room.  At this point, I asked the kids if they wanted to go on a firefly hunt, and they enthusiastically agreed.  I had a great big jar, and they ran all around the room finding the fireflies and bringing them back to me to put in the jar.  They were very happy.

I read The Very Lonely Firefly to them next, and there were more gasps and pointing when I got to the end and the fireflies lit up.  I love that part.  We all stood up and sang I’m a Little Firefly:

“I’m a Little Firefly” (I’m a Little Teapot)
I’m a little firefly
Look at me!
I’m as happy as I can be.
See my light flicker
And shine so bright
Now watch me fly
Into the night!
Credit: Preschool Education

Our last flannel was Six Little Fireflies.  I had the kids whoosh and whistle and do great big ACHOOs! with me.

Six Little Fireflies

Six Little Fireflies

(Adapted from “Five Little Fireflies”)

Six little fireflies blinking in the night
Looking at the glow of each other’s light.
Whoosh went the wind.
And whistle went the breeze.
Then out went a red light
With a great big sneeze!

Orange, yellow, green, blue

One little firefly blinking in the night
Looking at the glow of his very own light.
Whoosh went the wind.
And whistle went the breeze.
Then out went his purple light
With a great big sneeze!

Six little fireflies no longer blinking in the night
Flew off with each other in the pale moon light.
Bye, fireflies!

To finish, we played a game called Firefly, Firefly that I got from Family Education.
All players stand in a circle.
Select one person to be “It” (I was It to start with). That player takes a flashlight and stands in the center.
The person in the middle shines the light on the ground while everyone recites the following chant:
Firefly firefly in the night,
Firefly firefly shining bright.
Turn to your left,
And turn to your right,
Pick a new friend and shine your light.

The person in the center then shines the flashlight on someone in the outer circle. That person becomes the new firefly.

I had them leave the flashlight on because I didn’t want turning it on and off to become a thing.  The kids were SUPER at this, and even made sure (with a little help from moms) that everyone got a turn.  The moms, on their own, had everyone turning to the left and right, so we got practice learning our right from left hands, which is always a big plus.

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