Sunday, January 27, 2019

SENSEational Story Time: "Winter is Here!"

No Two Alike by Keith Baker cover with two red birds on snowy tree
 Winter is Here by Kevin Henkes cover with snow falling on birds in tree and dog on ground

As I write this, I am staring at the snow out my window and wondering how much snow we are getting from the next snow storm on its way tomorrow... It may not have been snowing on the Saturday of this story time a couple weeks ago, but we still had some snowy fun inside!

Here's the plan:

Visual schedule with images of story time activities
1. Hello!

2. Welcome song: "The Story Time Ball"
tune: "Wheels on the Bus"
(Roll ball back and forth to each child)
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
back and forth, back and forth.
The story time ball rolls back and forth,
Let's see who it found. Hi ______!
Now roll it back to me.
(Keep rolling back and forth until each child has said their name.)

3. Yoga poses: "Winter" yoga flow
(source: Kids Yoga Stories)
We got ready for some winter fun outside with the "snowboarder" and "downhill skier" poses.

4. Flannel rhyme: "Where's the Snowball?"

5 flannel mittens with one small white flannel circle on flannel board
Snowball, snowball, cold and round!
Behind which mitten can you be found?
Put colored mittens on the board (hiding snowball behind one) and tell kids one of the mittens is holding a snowball. Repeat by having kids close their eyes while you move it or turn around flannel board and move it.

5. Story with sensory experiences: No Two Alike by Keith Baker
We talked about how some things may look the same, but when you look closer, they are different (i.e. snowflakes). A great lesson in perception and spatial awareness! As I read the story, I showed the kids two large paper snowflakes, like the snow flakes falling in the story (thank you to our intern Lauren for making these because I still cannot make paper snowflakes after all these years!). We talked about their differences and how they may look similar if smaller and with many other snowflakes collecting on the ground and tree branches. I also brought in two different leaves, as seen dangling on the branches in the story. Both of the leaves were brown. We looked at each one, holding and touching the leaves. We all agreed one had a softer, smooth texture than the other. I also showed the kids two of our cardinal puppets, like the red birds in the story, but different sizes.

two paper snowflakes, No Two Alike book, two brown leaves, two red bird puppets

6. Sensory song: "Snowball Song"
We used these neat fabric snowballs to roll,"crunch," and toss as we sang.
container of fabric snowballs
tune: "Frère Jacques"
(holding fabric snowball)
Make a snowball, make a snowball
Feel it crunch, feel it crunch
Cold and round and crunchy...
Crunchy, crunchy, crunchy
Toss it up.
Toss it up.

7. Story with sensory experiences: Winter is Here by Kevin Henkes

We listened and discovered how quiet snow is while falling and settling on things like trees, houses... or our hands! I pre-made up a batch of my favorite Insta-Snow and dropped a few "snowflakes" into everyone's hands. I also brought in a bowl of melting ice and used a dropper to "drip" cool water in each child's hands so they could feel the ice dripping "from the roofs." 

bowl with ice water and dropper
I found some leaves on the ground outside and froze them in a bowl full of water the day before so we could see and feel the ice-covered "pond" found by the dog in the story.

bowl with leaves frozen in water

8. Parachute activity: "Winter Song"
(Raise, shake, and lower parachute "tree." You can also add cotton ball "snowflakes" to the parachute to fall out of the tree)
Way up high in the snowy tree,
lots of little snowflakes smiled at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could,
and down came the snowflakes...
were they cold! Brrrrr!

9. Goodbye song and stretch: "Tickle the Clouds"
Tickle the clouds.
Tickle your toes.
Turn around and tickle your nose.
Reach down low.
Reach up high.
Story time's over.
Wave goodbye!

10. Play time and activity:
We played with "snow" at the table and made snowflakes on the light panels with Magna-Tiles.

kids playing with artificial snow on table

kids scooping and playing with artificial snow on table

child and adult putting together Magna-Tile snowflakes on light panel