Finally, Spring!

This was the week we finally read the books I've been saving since Spring appeared on the April calendar! In Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson, Fletcher thought he saw snow so he warned all his animal friends that it was still winter! Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand told how Mole, who knew it was Spring, wanted to celebrate with his sleeping friend Bear. In Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson, Mouse experiences Spring for the first time with his Momma. Our last book, When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes, tells what our world looks like as we wait for Spring.

We made spring flowers with pipe cleaner stems and creative flower heads - made from paper, foam, tiny cups, cupcake papers, and more!

A few days later, kids came from the New Hampton Community School's After School Program, and listened to Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms. Then they too made flowers with the same materials. Here are some of their creations!


Earth Day 2018

We celebrated Earth Day at Storytime Thursday during school vacation. We read The Earth Book by Todd Parr and How to Help the Earth by The Lorax (and Tish Rabe). We talked about things kids can do to help - like use both sides of paper to draw and write, turn off lights when you leave the room, and shut off the water while you brush your teeth! Then we made an Earth Day crown, a green one, like the Earth!
We used long strips of brown packing paper - paper that I was going to throw away! Isn't that a good way to recycle or reuse? We colored the brown paper to make it green, made fringe-y cuts into the top that looked like grass, then we drew on tiny insects and animals, or stuck on flower or butterfly stickers, or used tiny dots to make caterpillars. Each person's crown was very different!

April Showers

We read about rain today - and mud, boots, and rainy day fun! Red Rubber Boot Day is by Mary Lyn Ray, who lives in New Hampshire, just like us! It told about a child having fun playing outside in the mud and rain. In The Rain with Baby Duck told a sweet story about a duck who didn't like to be wet - until his Grandfather had a great idea! Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre was a nonfiction book, with real facts and real photographs of rain. After the craft, Emily read us a funny Mo Willem's book about Elephant and Piggie called Are You Ready  to Play Outside? Can you guess what the rain did in this book?

We decorated both sides of a paper plate, cut it in half, and made it into an umbrella. We added some raindrops, because it was a rainy day!

Really - Rabbits!

It's feeling like Spring - and it's a good time to read about rabbits! We read Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes, about a little rabbit who wonders about being something else. In the book by Philippa Leathers, it didn't take us long to figure out who The Black Rabbit was, and just knowing made the story that much funnier - we loved this book! Really Rabbits by Virginia Kroll was about two rabbit pets who discover how to open their cage, and the fun they have at night helping their family.

At craft time, we made a cute little rabbit with googly eyes and a pompom nose. Its body was a folded coffee filter, and again we experimented with color mixing by dropping dots of red, blue, and yellow watercolor and watching them spread. And we knew just what to do if we wanted orange, green, or purple!

Crazy 8s Club: Funny Money

The Crazy 8s Math Club this week worked with coins to determine values and to have fun! We decided that coins are handy in case something doesn't cost a whole dollar. Also coins like quarters are good because it's easier to carry that coin than twenty-five pennies!

We won rulers and pencils by quickly combining coins of the correct value. 

We also played a game like Son of Rock, Paper, Scissors, where one coin could beat out another of a higher value - except for a penny, which could beat a quarter. We secretly chose a coin, then said, "Penny, Nickel, Dime, Quarter" and then showed our partner our coin. The player whose coin had the highest value won that hand. 


STEM Storytime: "March Mathness"

Our program this month featured the "M" of S.T.E.M - Math!  There were two book choices, and participants picked A-B-A-B-A : a book of pattern play by Brian P. Cleary. So many patterns were shown in this factual book, even patterns that the author didn't write about! After the book, we made our own patterns - with craft sticks, cubes, pattern blocks, and even pony beads on a pipe cleaner.
Next, we experimented with styrofoam balls and cut milkshake straws to make plain and solid geometric shapes. Some even joined several shapes together!

Before we ended, we collected data by tallying the numbers of patrons who had shoes with laces and shoes without. When we had the data, we made a T chart with two sides - one side for shoelaces, one side for no shoelaces. We stacked up squares to represent our data on the chart. Can you guess which had more and which had less?

STEM Storytime: Henry Builds a Cabin

At our February S.T.E.M. Storytime, we read Henry Builds a Cabin by D. B. Johnson. It's based on the story of Thoreau, who built a tiny cabin in Walden woods. He was creative and thrifty and built his home just big enough for a all his needs. After the story, we built, too - using cubes, small plastic glasses, and craft sticks. 

Before we left, one of our patrons read a book she had written and illustrated all by herself! It was super!

Mittens, Hats, Boots, Jackets

We have almost had enough of winter at Storytime, but this week we spent time reading about the clothes we wear when it's cold and snowy. First we read The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth, about a boy who loses one of his red mittens and the animals who find it. Do you know that story? There are lots of versions! Then, we read Holly's Red Boots by Francesca Chessa about a little girl who lost one of her boots. Emily reads us The Hat, a funny story by Jan Brett about a hedgehog who found a hat that had been blown off a clothesline. Finally, we read a story that rhymed and repeated, called The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel. It was a funny story about a child getting ready to go outside to play in the snow - and what happens to make her quickly want come back inside.

We decorated plain white paper mittens to make them look fancy. We noticed that most mittens match - that what's on one mitten is on the other. We colored and glued ribbons, yarns, and colored paper shapes. We stuck on stickers and dots. We put yarn through the punched holes and we tied them together.  Pretty!

Crazy 8s: It's About Time!

we began this week's Crazy 8s Club by discussing time and the way it can be measured. We talked about big and small chunks of time, and made a list on the whiteboard. Hours, minutes, seconds, decade, century, millenium...we came up with lots of words! We talked about months, then lined up in birthday order (including Mrs. Markey and Mrs. Hunewell). We learned a knuckle method of recalling how many days there are in each of the months.

Then we worked with stopwatches! We practiced starting, stopping, and resetting our stopwatches. We estimated how long twenty seconds might be by starting the stopwatch and stopping it when we thought the time was up. We timed each other doing "ridiculous challenges" like standing in a yoga stork pose or dabbing.

It was not easy to estimate time, but we found that the more we did it, the more accurate our guesses became. Be careful if you tell us to wait a minute, because we may!!

Winter Animals

Storytime continues winter themes with stories today about animals in winter. We read Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner, one of my favorite books! A girl and her father ski through the winter woods while they talk about the animals living right under their feet, under the snow and the ground. It was fun to point out all the animals! Emily read us Virgil & Owen by Paulette Bogan, about a penguin who finds a polar bear and wants to be his only friend. We read a new book called Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro about a mouse who, unlike her friends, loves winter and wants to be outside. Can you guess what she likes to do??

We made polar bear faces from paper plates and squares of tissue paper. We glued a plastic cup for a snout and gave him sticker eyes and a pompom nose. Growl!!!
It sure was fun to be with old friends again!
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