Thursday, May 14, 2015

TBT A Rainbow of Colors

This is a storytime I did back in February, when I had the winter "blahs" and was sick of everything being gray and white and thought we needed some cheery colors. 

We started with our usual welcome song, but this time I incorporated a warm-up activity during the introductions that I thought of the night before.  I cut out pictures of different things to represent each color (mine just happened to be mostly foods) and a rainbow (with the colors in proper "Roy G. Bv" order, of course).  I placed the rainbow inside a small colorful gift bag ahead of time.  Then, to introduce the theme, I told the kids we were going to do some color magic.  I held each object up and had the kids identify the color & object, then placed it in the bag.  Once all the items were in the bag, I closed it up, shook it, and had the kids say "Abra cadabra" and pulled out the rainbow that had "magically" appeared.

Then we sang our "story song" and read our first book, Pete the Cat - I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin.  I chose this book because it is short, simple and has repeating elements, and it is interactive as the kids can guess what color Pete's shoes will turn each time, and sing along with Pete's song.  I know kids love this simple song, because it is the one that kids always sing out loud with when we have it in our listening station at work.  Plus Pete is very cool cat. 

Next we did a simple, but fun song to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb", "If You're Wearing....":

          If you're wearing white shoes, white shoes, white shoes;
          If you're wearing white shoes, please stand up.
            *Source:  Sunflower Storytime

This song is great because you can use whatever colors, articles of clothing, or actions you want (stand up, sit down, turn around, clap hands, stand on one foot, etc.) to relate it to your stories or stretch it out as long as you need.  To tie in with the first book, I started with white shoes and did all the other shoe colors the kids had on until everyone was standing up.  Then I moved on to shirts and pants and ended with everyone sitting down again and ready for the next story, Bill Martin, Jr.'s Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  This is a great book for younger kids with it's bold, bright illustrations by Eric Carle and simple, repeating text, and works for either color or animal themes.

Then on to an action song:  "Driving Around In My Little Red Car" (sung to the tune of "Ten Little Indians"):

          Driving around in my little red car
          Driving around in my little red car
          Driving around in my little red car
          Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom

          (Repeat with other colors, actions, and sounds)
             *Source: Storytime Katie

And that brought us to our final book, Mouse Paint, by Ellen Stoll Walsh.  I chose this one because I like that it shows how you make the secondary colors by mixing primary colors, and in a cute way.  [There is a great activity that goes with this that my son did at Gymboree many years ago I would love to have been able to do.  You give each child a piece of paper and two different primary colors of fingerpaint in small paper plates.  Have them put one hand in one color, the other hand in the other color and make handprints on the paper.  Then, repeat, but this time rub hands together well to mix the colors first, and make two more handprints in the new color.] Then we finished with our regular closing song.

How It Went
This was such as awesome storytime!! :D One of those where everything works and leaves you feeling like a storytime master.  The kids loved my little bit of color magic; it is so great how preschoolers can be impressed so easily.  Of course that made me extra happy because that was something I actually came up with completely on my own :)

They loved Pete the Cat like I expected and got into guessing the colors and singing the song, and either they were already familiar with Brown Bear, Brown Bear or they just caught onto it really quickly because they chimed right in and "read" right along with me.  When it got to the page with the teacher, a couple of them said "That's you!" and then on the next page with all the children, they started pointing out each other.  It was so cute and fun to see them so engaged and enjoying everything.  I was a little surprised when we read Mouse Paint that a couple of them seemed to already know what the new colors would be.

They had fun with the songs, too, even if they had a little trouble following the directions with the first one.  For the second one, I let them take turns choosing colors, but they often went blank and would say the color we had just done, so I would make a suggestion or ask them what color their mom's car was.  At the end, I gave them all rainbow stickers, which totally made their day.  This was definitely one of my top storytime experiences, though they've all been pretty good.

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