Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Beach and Sea Storytime, Friday, June 26 @ 10:30


  • Be Glad Your Dad is Not an Octopus by Logelin. The VPKs loved this book, but this group was a bit young. And there's not much about octopi in it really.
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Shell!  by Lucille Colandro. They always love it when you read the chorus as fast as you can.
  • Larry Gets Lost Under the Sea  by Eric Ode. Shortened a tiny bit, but it was a surprise big hit.
  • Silly Faces. See Me...In the Ocean.
  • Don't Splash the Sasquatch by Kent Redeker.   I'm pretty sure the lifeguard is Hispanic.  Didn't get it in time.
  • Ziggy Piggy and the Three Little Pigs by Frank Asch OR 3 Squids.
  • The Pop-Up Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae. 
  • If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON'T by Elise Parsley
  • Sea & Rex by Molly Idle Cute trip to the beach with dino pal.
  • Asiago at the beach
  • Hush Little Beachcomber Moritz
  • 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle
    Penguin on Vacation
    Harry at the Sea by Gene Zion


    The Waves on the Sea (To The Wheels on the Bus)

    The waves on the sea go up and down, up and down, up and down, the waves on the sea go up and down all day long.
    The shark in the sea goes snap snap snap...
    The fish in the sea go swish swish swish...
    The boats in the sea go toot toot toot....
    The gulls on the sea go swoop swoop swoop....
    The babies on the sea go splash splash splash...
    The divers on the sea dive deep deep down...
    Four Little Fishes

    1 little, 2 little, 3 little fishies, 4 little, 5 little, 6 little fishies, 7 little, 8 little, 9 little fishies, ten little fish swimming in the big blue sea. 9 little, 8 little, 7 little fishies, 6 little, 5 little, 4 little fishies, 3 little, 2 little, 1 little fishies, all the fishies swimming back to the sea. Watch out for the sharks!

  • Over on the beach in the sand and the sun
    Lived a big mama turtle and her little turtle one
    Dig said the mama
    I dig, said the one
    And they swam all day in the sand and the sun.
    Over on the beach where the waves lap so blue
    Lived a mama seagull and her seagulls two
    Squawk! Said the mama
    We squawk! Said the two
    And they squawked all day where the waves lap so blue.
    Over on the beach near the tall palm tree
    Lived a little sandcrab
    And her baby sandcrabs three
    Crawl! Said the sandcrab! We crawl said the three
    And they crawled all day by the tall palm tree.
    Over on the beach on the sand by the shore
    Lived a mama pelican
    And her pelicans four
    Swoop! Said the mama. We swoop! said the four.
    And they swooped all day on the sand by the shore.
    Over in the water where the dolphins like to dive
    Lived a big mama fish and her baby fish five.
    Swim! Said the mama.

    We swim! Said the five. So they swam all day where the dolphins like to dive.
  • Song Link

    Sailing Out to Sea on My One Little Sailboat
    Story Time Secrets by Katie Fitzgerald. Here we link to a lovely little song about sailing, including the fingerplay, perfect for two and three year olds. Here's a link to a template for five little sailboats. (I just printed out on 5 different colors of paper.) Very nice but not that popular.

    2016:  We just did fish pictures (I showed them how to do a fish) with lots of seaweed in scribbled crayon, then I showed them how to do watercolor resist on top.

Ooooh, this craft was easy and fun -- for me!  Glue sticks, colored sand, and pretty sea foam creatures with some floaty cellophane seaweed. It was an intense artistic interlude, as you can see by everyone laboring above, and the results were excellent.

Today's Cuteness Award goes to...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Frog Storyhour, Turtle Storyhour & Snake Storyhour, Friday, June 15 @ 10:30 am

  • Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner.  Great opener & great readaloud! Carson fell over backwards! Try to gurgle the r in "frog" and don't forget to pinch up your mouth at the end for the alligator encounter. 
  • I Don't Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty. Little Froggie is complaining bitterly to Froggie Dad about being a wet, slimy creature instead of an owl, say, or maybe a pig.  Until they bump into a wolf....
  • 99 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura.  It gripped us!
  • They were a bit wiggly today, so I told them the story of the Turtle Who Flew below
  • Big Frog Can't Fit In by Mo Willems. The sheer engineering genius of this book makes up for its underwhelming story. Try pushing the sad big frog/good friends angle.
I held up two turtle puppets and showed them the cracks on their backs.

"This is the story of why turtles have cracks on their backs.  The birds and the turtles all lived along the shores of a great river.  The turtle was very smart.  He noticed that the birds could eat all the little fish and bugs on one side of the river, and then fly to the other side in just seconds and eat some more, while the poor turtles had to swim and swim and swim. The more he watched those birds fly, the more he wished he too could go up high. 

Finally he crawled up to a flock of them and said, "Please-birds-I've-been-watching-you-and-I-really-really-want-to-fly-up-high-like-you-I-really-really-do-it-looks-so-amazing-and-fun-and-easy-please-please-birds-won't-you-take me-up-too?"

"How could we do that?  We are birds. We have wings. You are a turtle with short stumpy legs."

"Oh-I-have-that-all-figured-out-all-figured-out-I-have-a-plan-a-brilliant-plan-I-will-find-a-stick-a-stick-on-the-ground-and-I-will-bite-on-to-it-with-my-powerful-jaws-with-my-powerful-jaws-then-one-of-you-birds-will-get-on-one-side-and-one-on-the-other-and-lift-me-up-lift-me-up-high-in-the-sky-and-I-will be-up-in-the-sky-oh-this-is-a-great-plan.

"An interesting plan, turtle. But there is one problem with it."


"Turtle, it wouldn't work.  Because you couldn't give your big mouth shut long enough."


"Well, we were going across the river anyway, so pick out your stick."  Turtle found his stick, and bit down with his jaws, which weren't all that powerful.  One bird got on one side of him and one on the other, they picked up the stick with their claws, and took off.  

Turtle was up in the air!  He was up up up, looking down down down at every body. There was an alligator,  ha ha, stuck in the water.  He wiggled his turtle foot at it, but of course the gator didn't look up and see him.  They flew over a hippo. He wiggled his turtle at it, but of course, the hippo didn't look up.  They flew over some children playing, and they looked up and saw him!  

They were so amazed!  They all pointed at him, and he was very proud to be in the air, all because of his brilliant idea.  He waved all his feet at them.  

"Wow, look at those birds!" he heard them call out to each other.  "They're so smart, they've figured out how to carry turtles around!"

The BIRDS were so smart!  Turtle was FURIOUS!  He stopped waving his feet, craned his head down at them over the stick, and shouted down, "But it was my ideaaaaaaaaaa SPLAT."

Turtle landed on the back of his shell, and that's why, to this day, turtles have cracked shells.

(I first learned this story from Donarita Vocca, a storyteller who learned it at the Jonesboro Storytelling Festival.  What makes the story fun is having the turtle speak super fast, running his words together and repeating himself again and again. When he's up in the air, I stand up and move my hands over my head as if holding on to a stick, look down, and move around on tiptoes.)
  • 2015: Skipped, Jump, Frog, Jump by Kalan. OK.
  • Froggy Learns to Swim by Jonathon London.  Fun motions, and ALL the kids in my storytimes are taking swimming lessons.
  • I Wish I Could Fly  by Ron Maris. A mom turned the pages for me while I acted out the story with puppets.  I turned off the lights when it began to rain at the end of the story -- that got their attention -- and just then the roofers started stomping around on the roof.  "And the lightning and the THUNDER" I said!  Next year I'll have to bribe Stan to crawl up on the roof for me because it was a hit.

I downloaded this template from Dorling Kindersley at http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mspiralsnake.htm.  After experimenting for years, I've finally figured out the best way to do this craft with little guys:  HALF SIZE.  I shrunk the DLTK template by 60% and put two on a sheet.  Then I just had them color them in with marker and cut.  

Emma is hard at work on her snake, as are Ben and Sarah behind. 

Ben & Emma's turned out very well!  Inspired by Noel MacNeal's 10-Minute Puppets, I showed them how to tape a sort of ring to the back of the snake's head so they could use them as puppets curling down their arms. We also used bookmarker size sticky notes for forked tongues.  
Songs & Poems, besides the usual:
  • 5 green and speckled frogs
  • Over in the meadow 
  • There was a little turtle (with turtle puppet)
  • Clapping Song: Tiny Tim
  • Hop Little Bunnies (2nd stanza is about hopping froggies)
  •   There once was an alligator      

Friday, June 3, 2016

Pre-K Bug Storytime ... and Spiders too, Friday, June 3 @ 10:30

No one tells a bug story like Eric Carle, and this one is justifiably his greatest. "What's the big deal?" a friend asked me once about this iconic tale. Hmmm, let's see. Carle manages to work into the mix colors, the days of the week, numbers, and food vocabulary, while (almost) staying within the bounds of a real caterpillar's life.

But more importantly, this story speaks of growth and metamorphosis, the stage of life where a two-year-old finds himself. This is a book which truly speaks to a child in a powerful fashion.

  • My Bug Book by Melissa Stewart.  Excellent riddle nonfiction by Smithsonian. 
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I had the set, the caterpillar and the food cards.  I passed the foods out among the children and let the caterpillar nibble through the audience. I start off reading in a teeny tiny caterpillar voice, while the caterpillar gobbles his chow. As the week goes on, I deepened my voice, until by greedy Saturday I'm a bass profundo! 
  • Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle. Used my disco ball for the cloud of fireflies at the end.  Did skip a few pages.
  • Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors. by Petr Horacek I got out all the colors to match the bugs on each page -- but the kids were too busy looking at the pages of this beautiful book, which I think is a GOOD thing!
  • Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth.  Tell the kids to go Shoo Fly, Shoo Fly Shoo! with you, as you turn the pages. Very interactional and fun -- esp. for an ABC book.

  • There was a little froggy who liked to eat bugs (see frog storyhour)
  • Five green & speckled frogs (with frog cut-outs)
  • Eency weency spider
  • Butterfly Pokey/You put your antennae in/You put your antennae out/You put your six legs in/You put your six legs out/You put your wings in/You put your wings out
  • Poor little bug on the wall, no one to love him at all/No one to wipe his nose, no one to tickle his toes/
  • 1 2 3, 4 5 6, 7 8 9, 10 11 12, 12 ladybugs went to the ladybug picnic
  • There's a spider on the floor, on the floor done with giant spider puppet. I did a mash-up between Raffi's version and Peter, Paul & Mary's Boa Constrictor:
  • There's a spider on the floor, on the floor.
    There's a spider on the floor, on the floor.
    This is nutty for sure! To have a spider on the floor.
    But there's a spider on the floor, on the floor.

    Now the spider's on my knee, on my knee.
    Now the spider's on my knee, on my knee.
    Oh, gosh, oh gee! There’s a spider on my knee.
    Now the spider's on my knee, on my knee.

    Now the spider's on my tum, on my tum!
    Now the spider's on my tum, on my tum!
    Oh, now I’m really bummed, with a spider on my tum!
    Now the spider's on my tum, on my tum!

    Now the spider's on my neck, on my neck!
    Now the spider's on my neck on my neck!
    Oh, I'm gonna be a wreck, I've got a spider on my neck!
    Now the spider's on my neck on my neck!

    Now the spider's on my head, on my head!
    Now the spider's on my head, on my head!
    Oh, I wish that he were dead. I've got a spider on my head!
    Now the spider's on my head, on my head!

    There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
    There’s a spider on the floor, who could ask for anything more?
    There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
I had all my bug critters in my big bag and pulled them out one at a time asking what they were.  This group needs a lot of help:  instead of giving them hints, I should have been silly.  "Is this a dog or a ladybug?" etc.

I passed out my Halloween ring spiders as props for eency weency, and they worked very well for the spider on the floor too.


We did the butterflies from coffee filters.

For the VPK+ :


Friday, May 27, 2016

Car Storyhour, Truck Storytime, Friday, June 3 @ 10:30

Storytimes about sheep, cows and pigs are all very well in their place, but when we want to get excited at storytime (and we so often do) we pull out the tales about THINGS THAT GO!!! 

  • Trucks by Mary Lindeen. All the books in the Blastoff series have great pictures and short texts. Three year old boys eat these up. 
  • My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis.The creator of Miss Spider gives us a funny rhyming book about a stuck truck. Why is it stuck? Why is there a big hole in the road? And what is he hauling anyway? I never knew until I checked out the author's website at Daniel Kirk  that the owner of the stuck truck had a very strong Southern/country twang. 
  • Number One Sam. Pizzoli. We can't all come in #1: Sam loses his winning spot when he decides to save the baby chicks instead.  Yay Sam!
  • Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.  A little like the Big Turnip, but who cares about the Big Turnip when you can read about little blue trucks! 
  • Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw. This very rhymey book is a fun readaloud.
  • Ride, Fly Guy, Ride! by Tedd Arnold. *Fly Guy is always a hero in my book! When you're not giving him as a first favorite to beginning readers, remember him for storytime. Big plots + brief text = great deliver.
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems. Doo be dooo dooo, the bus driver says, "Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!" in his deep voice. And then the pigeon whines and begs for the rest of the book. Whining and begging. Gee, I don't know why kids universally go for this one, but they sure do.
  • Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia or Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble! by Patricia Hubbell. This cheerful books rhymes and rumbles down the road with about one verse per page. There's no story whatsoever, but the ring of the words rhyming through the pages will amuse.


  • Motor Boat, Motor Boat.  The finest song ever written for storytime.
  • THE WHEELS on the Bus (of course!)
  • WHERE is Thumbkin, but the fingers are: racing car, (it zooms) dump truck, big van, helicopter (it twirls), and freight train. I went over this first: "What if your fingers were..." and the kids were really into it!
  • WINDshield wiper WINDshield wiper WINDshield wiper. (Make motion, bending arm at elbow. "Oooh, there's a light rain, just a drizzle" Slow tempo, and then "It's raining harder!" pick up tempo)
  • Dedicated to 3-year-old Quin

    5 little ducks ran in the parking lot
    1 fell down and he went plop.
    Mama called the Big Duck and the Big Duck got hot!
    Always hold hands in the parking lot!
    (4 little ducks, etc.)

    For this one, teach the kids how to go vroom vroom vroom (shift gears), and teach them how to talk in their radios as dispatchers (and what a dispatcher is) 
    5 Big Trucks. 
    Five big trucks go vroom vroom vroom                           
    They hit the road going zoom zoom zoom. (Add screech & exploding sound effects, and crash one car.)    
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!” 
    But only 4 race cars  are on the track.
              4 race cars go vroom vroom vroom                           
    They hit the road going zoom zoom zoom.     
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!”
    But only 3 race cars are on the track.
              3 race cars go vroom vroom vroom                           
    They hit the road going zoom zoom zoom.     
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!”
    But only 2 race cars are on the track.
               2 race cars go vroom vroom vroom                           
    They hit the road going zoom zoom zoom.     
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!"
               1 race car goes vroom vroom vroom                           
    It hits the road going zoom zoom zoom.     
    The announcer calls out, “Come on back!”
    But no more race cars are on that track!

    I used a hook & ladder firetruck, a garbage truck, a backhoe, a dump truck, and a tow truck. I went over them first with the children (which was good because evidently in England tow trucks are called transporter trucks), and then I hung them from my clothesline. I took them off as they went away and handed them off to the children, talking about where they were going (to put out a fire, dump some stinky garbage, etc.) Don’t forget to get out your imaginary bullhorn when the dispatcher yells.

I hung up this flannel stoplight, "I see these hanging up all over town, I'm not sure what the lights mean." We identify the colors and then the kids tell me I've put them up wrong.  I ask them what the lights mean, and we get to "Green go, Yellow slow, Red stop stop stop."  Then we run in place for a while, freezing, slowing down, and speeding up.  Until I get tired and goof up, and they all goof up too from watching me and it's a funny end. 

Matchbox Cars and Me

I really like matchbox cars. They’re so cute, so small, so infinitely variable. It’s all I can do to keep from collecting them myself, and I hoard away all the lost ones left in my library.

 I didn’t see the point of a craft involving toilet paper rolls that might be made to look like cars, when the world is so full of matchbox cars. Instead we did this: 1. We did the Game
To the tune of "Down Around the Corner at the Bakery Shop". You CAN do a flannelboard, but I just use matchbox cars. INFINITELY preferable.)

Down around the corner at the used car lot
There were 8 big trucks all ready to be bought.
Along came (call on a young patron), all alone,
She hopped in the green one and she drove home.

2. Then we sang our goodbye song (waving our hands in the air because we couldn't clap, we were still holding the cars.) 

3. I made zig zag roads out of cardboard and stretched them across the road, with a tunnel in the middle. They played on this. Give them the duplos and building blocks to make houes.

4. While they were doing this for a while, I built a ramp at one end with a lightweight dry erase board held up off the ground by a stool.  I taped it to the table, and many moments of happiness followed as the kids zoomed their car off the table onto the ground. Dunno why this was so fascinating, but it was a cheap thrill indeed.
Painting with Cars

Just painting with matchbox cars is fun, but this week I got a shipment of letter stencils from Oriental Trading, and I brainstormed using the letters for a little experiment in blank space. The moms helped pick out a letter for their children, attached them to the pages with just a tiny piece of double sided tape, and then let the kids have at it.

I must admit some of the children were a bit bewildered. Two boys refused to get their cars “dirty” and I had to produce paintbrushes for them. But the rest seemed to have a good time and made some very nice pieces to take home.
Follow this art class up with A CAR WASH!!!

Craft for VPK:  Magnets attached to tongue depressors "drive" the car around the landscape.

10 Ways to Play with Toy Cars
I spent quite a bit of time after the kids painted with their matchbox cars cleaning paint off those tiny tires. What a dork I am! I could brought in a pan and had the kids given them a car wash! Next time!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Food Storytime, Friday, May 27 @ 10:30


Pick a Puppet -- Any Puppet

I start off with my all time favorite turtle puppet and the Vachel Lindsay poem:
I have a little turtle, he lives in a box.
He swims in the puddles, he climbs on the rocks.
He snaps at the mosquitoes, he snaps at the fleas, he snaps at the minnows,
He snaps at me!
He caught the mosquitoes, he caught the fleas, he caught those minnows,
But he didn't catch me!
While I recite I circle the room and snap and nibble at the children by turns. Change words to do with another puppet.
  • Yummy YUCKY by Leslie Patricelli. Ask the kids to rub their tummies to the yummies. 
  • I Really Like Slop by Mo Willems, Elephant and Piggy.  This one is short and too too funny.
  • Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda.  The world's shortest retelling of the 3 little pigs. I used a blow dryer for the wolf's huff & puff to kick it up a notch and all my little two year olds stopped what they were doing and listened. Then at the end, when we find out they had blown out the candles on a birthday cake, we sang happy birthday.  Fun.
  • Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog or The Duckling Gets a Cookie by the great Mo Willems. I've perfected the Pigeon Yell: it's like a regular yell, with a scrunched up face and pulled out syllables, but almost at a whisper. Works better than the extra decibels. This wasn't an enormous hit this year with the young ones.  I think they just didn't quite get it.
  • The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson. This book reads like a wonderful poem about a happy farm in a dreamlike world. A really fun little readaloud, great rhyme, Naomi was very indignant about cows eating cookies.
  • Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar by Margaret Wang. Great clapping song. I had the puppets for the book and read the short one first. Then I passed out the puppets and asked the kids to do it too.  Maybe this would have worked better if I'd gotten everyone into a circle, it was pretty random. But so cute when one little voice piped up, "Not me!"
  • How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Yolen.
  • I'm a Hungry Dinosaur by Janeen Brian.  GREAT starter, very interactional. 
  • Gingerbread Boy Loose on the Firetruck, Murray
  • I Will Chop You by Jory John.  Interactional and funny.
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Scieszka. 
  • Watermelon Seed by Pizzoli (so cute!)
  • Everyone Loves BAcon by DiPucchio
  • Woodpecker Wants a Waffle by Breen

  • Down around the corner at the bakery shop
  • 5 Gingerbread Men
  • Peel Banana
Clapping Song
  • Mashed potatoes hot, mashed potatoes cold, mashed potatoes in the pot nine days old
  • Patty cake
  • Bread and butter, jelly & jam

M & M Game:

I made up cards with numbers 1-4 in the M & M colors, set out the dish of M & Ms, gave each child a cup, and started pulling numbers from my pack.  A 2 card meant they could pick 2 M & Ms.  I think next year I would slow it way down.  First I would spin for the numbers and then I would pick the colors. That would have given the 2 year olds a chance to catch up with the 3 year olds.


Shaving Cream & Corn Starch!
We made shaving cream and corn starch clay, and boy was it messy! I defied all warnings and spent a half hour cleaning up.  Which in the grand scheme of things isn't much, but I'm not sure if the moms were all that crazy about this.


I made a trial batch the night before, and as promised by The Imagination Tree, it was extremely easy and turned out perfectly. I brought in the dry ingredients premixed in a Tupperware so set up was very easy. Hot water from the cooler worked fine. While I let it cool off, I divided the playdough I brought in from home. We “baked” a pink cake (Milo forgot that he didn’t want pink and shouted “I love pink!”) and by great good fortune, I had exactly eight children, so we got to have a quick fraction lesson when I divided it up with a cake slice. They played with it while I kneaded the second batch, which was still nice and warm when I divided that too.

I used this recipe from The Imagination Tree, minus the glycerine. Great site; lots of comments from readers. I did not add fancy ingredients like unsweetened Koolaid and lavendar extracts. I’m saving that for the Master Chef Playdough Challenge. This is a site that doesn't require cream of tartar: How-to-Make-Playdough-Without-Cream-of-Tartar/

Fruit Loop Necklaces!

Why do I love making froot loop necklaces so much? 
Because they're tropically lovely AND so delicious?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Rain Storytime, Wednesday, May 20 @ 10:30 am

Props: rainstick, dry ice
Move Over, Rover by Karen Beaumont. I do this as a puppet show, Substitute if you don't have all the animals. All the big animal puppets ended up lined up on the puppet theater until the last (skunk? mouse?) shoved them off with a great show of strength.
Cauldron:  We're gonna taaaake an apple, what color do you see? etc.

Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems. Big hit.  Gerald in operatic voice, Piggy's a squeaker. 

Ducks Like to Swim by Agnes Verboven. Mother Duck quacks for rain and all the barnyeard animals helpfully join in.  All that neighing and mooing is great for storytime. 
Rain by Stoljic.  Always a good book.
Where Does Kitty Go in the Rain by Harriet Ziefert.  A real classic.  There's a nice rhymy text on each page, but it's balanced with some excellent info.
Elmer to the Rescue! The rainbow has turned gray! Elmer has to fix it by lending it some of his beautiful patches.
The Rain is a Pain by Rob Scotton. ER. Lot's of rhyme as well as Splat the Cat disaster. OK.
Rain Makes Applesauce by Julian Scheer. Nonsense verse. Request.



Rain on the green grass, rain on the trees.
Rain on the rooftop BUT NOT ON ME!

Eensie Weensie Spider

The Rain (to Frere Jacques)
I hear thunder, (stomp floor)
I hear thunder,
Hear it CRASH. Hear it CRASH.
But I don't fear the thunder
I know it's only thunder

(Flutter with fingers)
I hear raindrops, I hear raindrops.
Pitter pat, Pitter pat
Will it rain for hours?
I know it's good for flowers
But I'd like to play, not stay in all day
Ah, I think it just stopped!

Rainbow Stew trick revisited
(The old version never worked for me and my prop set and I couldn't figure out why. But when I did it BACKWARDS, it worked great! 1.  Show the kids the cauldron (that you've put the paper rainbow in and hold it upside to show that it's empty.  It's not empty -- you're holding the rainbow in place with your magic wand.  2) Pick up the 1st piece of fruit, an apple, and start chanting in a hip-hop rhythm. Hold it up and ask the kids what color do they see? for audience participation. Plop it right in -- it makes a nice noise. 3) When you've finished all the fruit, stir it around, and ask if anyone knows a magic word.  Get them to shout it out, use your magic wand and pull out that rainbow downloaded from Google image!

We’re gonna taaaake an apple, what color do you see?
You see the prettiest RED there ever could be!
We’re gonna put it in the pot
And stir it, stir it, stir it a lot!

We’re gonna taaaake an orange, what color do you see?
You see the prettiest orange there ever could be!
We’re gonna put it in the pot
And stir it, stir it, stir it a lot!

We’re gonna taaaake a lemon, what color do you see?
You see the prettiest yellow there ever could be!
We’re gonna put it in the pot
And stir it, stir it, stir it a lot!

We’re gonna taaaake a pear, what color do you see?
You see the prettiest green there ever could be!
We’re gonna put it in the pot
And stir it, stir it, stir it a lot!

We’re gonna taaaake some grapes, what color do you see?
You see the prettiest purple there ever could be!
We’re gonna put them in the pot
And stir them, stir them, stir them a lot!

Red and orange, yellow and green
Blue and purple colors are seen!
Put them together; what will they be?
(Ask for a magic word and wave your wand!)

The prettiest RAINBOW you ever did see!

Craft Not themed, but such fun: poster paint on wax paper via lids. The advanced kids got a quick lesson in polka dot making using the other end of the paintbrush. My favorite was one very young two who said his was an aquarium; he had added a large sprig of seaweed in one corner.

Coffee filter umbrellas from Sunny With a Chance of Sprinkles

Fans: Prepare: Paper plates folded in half. 1. Children decorate one side of plate: stickers, crayons, etc. 2. Attach crepe paper strips with gluesticks. 3. Fold up and add handle, just a spring clothespin with a big sticker decorating it. You don’t really need to staple them shut — in fact, if the kids were older, I would have told them they could put their secret documents there. Then they had to learn how to work a fan — I didn’t realize there’s a wrist motion to it that takes a little practice. So there’s a lot to learn from this simple little craft.

Next year: same paper plate, no stickers. We haven’t used crayons in ages, so we decorated with them and added a lot of crepe paper fringe. Instead of clothespins, I cut a small hole at center, and after the kids finished decorating and gluing crepe paper, they added (the moms added) the craft sticks and taped them down. Then they were stapled shut.
Elmer: Book tie -in. Give the kids a black and white Elmer and have them fill in with colored squares.