Winter has been a bit fickle so far this year. We have had all kinds of weather- snow, wind, rain, sun, more rain, and lots of cloudy days. So, this week was a perfect time to talk about weather at story time! With all of the fun tricks I have discovered on other librarians’ blogs, this theme also makes a perfect choice for my new outreach program.
There are so many good weather related books to choose from that I had trouble narrowing down the final list. Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book was a must because of all of the interactive pages filled with pop ups. It’s a great starter for talking about weather and getting kids to start thinking about what’s happening in the environment around them.
Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats was also a must because many of the kids receive it as part of the community supported Imagination Library program. Kite Day rounded out the three-we ran out of time after talking about the weather conditions outside, singing about the weather using the flannel board, and thinking up words that begin with the W sound.
The envelope in the flannel board picture is a tool I recently started using at the beginning of each story time. It is addressed to the story time and is a hand written letter from Hector, our moose, who lives in the library and writes us letters at night. The letters include a clue about the story time theme. It’s a nice routine and gets the kids’ brains warmed up, but I will see how it goes. The kids aren’t asking for it, so I don’t know how effective it is. I read about the idea somewhere online, but I can’t seem to find the blog now.
The weather flannel board templates I got from While She Naps and I used them for the cutouts for the weather craft. My flannel board pieces look more like Storytime Katie’s though and I used a song from Katie’s site to go along with it. Perpetual Preschool has lots of weather songs perfect for story time.
“What’s the Weather?” (Tune: Clementine)
What’s the weather, what’s the weather,
What’s the weather, everyone?
Is it windy, is it cloudy,
Is there rain, or is there sun?
Credit: Perpetual Preschool
To finish off the morning, kids cut out the weather templates, colored them and glued them in one of the sections I divided up on each paper plate. I didn’t include windy, but added it after the first story time because a little one came up and asked me “Where is the spot for windy?” We quickly made a kite and found it a home. Shame on me!
For my first visit in the pilot outreach program I took the flannel board, craft and books to a small group at the fire station and a group of twelve kindergarteners who are learning English as a second language. The weather was wild that morning and the group of us kept an eye on the windows to see what was coming next! The books, song, and easy-to-do craft were perfect.