We started with our welcome song, then talked a little about the seasons and what happens in Spring (warmer weather, rain, flowers bloom, birds and butterflies come back, baby animals are born, etc). Then we sang our story song to help us settle down to read our first book, Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson.
I chose this book because it is short enough for 3-year olds, has nice illustrations, and is interactive as the kids can guess what it is mouse found on each spread, and make appropriate animal sounds or motions.
Then we sang a song that incorporates many facets of Spring, to the tune of "The Wheels On The Bus", using appropriate motions/sounds:
"Springtime Is Here"
The rain coming down goes drip, drip, drip;
Drip, drip, drip; Drip, drip, drip.
The rain coming down goes drip, drip, drip.
Springtime is here!
The boots in the mud go splish, splash, splish....
The sun comes out and warms us up....
The kites in the sky go swoosh, swoosh, swoosh....
The frogs in the pond go ribbit, ribbit, ribbit....
The birds in the nest go cheep, cheep, cheep....
Next, I read a book called Pond Babies by Cathryn Falwell, since Spring is when many baby animals are born. The story shows a mother and young boy walking down to the pond, and the mother points out all the baby animals they see, prompting the boy (and the audience) to guess what kind of animal it is. I like that the book is short and simple, but interactive; not only does the reader/audience get to guess what each baby animal is, at the end of the story they are prompted to imitate each one, for example, waddle like a duck. The illustrations are done in Falwell's signature cut-paper collage style. I also like that the story features animals native to North America.
Since birds returning, building nests, and hatching chicks are a prominent theme of Spring, I decided to do an action rhyme called "Little Birdie":
I saw a little birdie go hop, hop, hop. (wave)
I asked that little birdie to stop, stop, stop. (hold up hand)
I went to the window to say "how do you do?" (wave)
But he just shook his tail, (wiggle bottom)
And away he flew! (flap arms)
For our last book we read Spring Is Here by Will Hillenbrand. Spring is here, and Mole needs to wake Bear up, but Bear proves to be a very sound sleeper, sleeping through Mole tapping at the window, knocking on the door, tickling Bear's nose with a feather, and playing a trumpet. Finally, Mole has an idea, and wakes Bear up with the yummy smell of breakfast in bed. This is a cute story that has Mole asleep in the end, exhausted by all his efforts to wake Bear. I like this story because it is a little bit funny, and the kids can participate by acting out the tapping, knocking, etc., and supplying the sound effects for Bear's snoring.
After that, we were ready to sing our closing song and pass out stickers.
How It Went
I had a decent crowd of 10 kids (plus 2-3 teachers) who were very excited to see me, and they almost all knew me by name ("Miss Jennifer, Miss Jennifer!") and knew our regular songs by then. They were a little rambunctious, but enthusiastic and engaged most of the time. During the introduction I asked them "What happens in Spring?", trying to elicit responses such as "gets warmer", "rains", "flowers grow", etc. Instead, they responded with an enthusiastic "Storytime!" :)
They really got into naming the different animals in both Mouse's First Spring and Pond Babies, and liked pretending to be each of the different babies. They were a little more subdued during Spring Is Here, but giggled at Mole tickling Bear's nose with a feather and at Mole snoring at the end. They also really enjoyed doing all the motions and sounds for the "Springtime Is Here" song.