In continuing to think about storytimes based on the “sizes” theme, I came up with an idea for a storytime with books about chain reactions and cause and effect. The first pick that came to mind was The Napping House, and then I also remembered that I had a handy dandy Lakeshore variety flannel set for There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. While looking through my bin of haphazard storytime props, I also came across a bag that had the Lakeshore flannel set for The Very Hungry Caterpillar and thought that had great potential as well. I didn’t really want two very similar flannel sets in one storytime, though, so I ditched the set for TVHC.
Here’s the storytime I ended up with, how it went, and how I related it to sizes.
Open, Shut Them
Ya’ll! The Chinese family that comes to my Saturday storytime has this down so well now that even their two year-old can sing it. She’s usually very quiet and shy, but now that she knows some of our songs, she’s really opening up. I’m so proud I could add it to my resume.
Greetings with Applesauce and rules
I do this a little differently every week. This week, my puppet, Applesauce, asked each child to introduce himself and then I asked the crowd, “Now close your eyes and hold out your hands. Imagine that you have something Applesauce would like to eat.” Then Applesauce asked each child what it was and gobbled it up with glee. They all agreed Applesauce should have an apple. Then we went over my storytime rules.
If You’re Ready for a Story song
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
I never get tired of this book. It works well every single time for most ages. I talked about how the caterpillar went from being very small to very big and then became something completely different.
I didn’t do individual strips of color for this flannel activity. Instead. I put them them all in my lap and pulled them out one by one, talking about the color and how they tasted. Then I put it back in my lap and asked kids to stir up an imaginary pot in their laps too. I did this for each, building suspense by asking them to stop and smell the yummy soup. Then at the end, I said, “time to taste-oh, what’s this? You guys, we made…a rainbow!” Then I asked them which food give each stripe.
Drive My Car song by Laurie Berkner
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
First, I held up my Old Lady and I talked about all the different things she ate and how it made her really, really big. Then I played this video for a few minutes, up to the point where she dies. Honestly, the kids were just like, “Okkkaaayy…” So if you have great success with this story, please share how you make it awesome! 😉
The Goldfish song by Laurie Berkner
The Napping House
I did this book more as a picture walk, paraphrasing what was happening in the pictures and pointing out how big our pile was getting. Then I made dramatic sounds for when everyone was waking up, meowing for the cat and howling for the dog, etc. The kids loved it.
Little Mouse, Little Mouse
For our craft, I asked parents and kids to loop strips of paper into a small chain, our “caterpillar.” I also had printables ready at each chair for children to loop onto a pipe cleaner. I explained to parents that they could retell the story of TVHC using their caterpillar and the pictures on their loop. They loved that and most parents had kids put glue on the strips and thread the pictures while they looped the strips into a chain. One genius mom also used a pipe cleaner to make little antennae.