- My Garden by Kevin Henkes. Henkes once again speaks truly to how we all feel -- we all want jellybean bushes and chocolate rabbits in our gardens, and to be able to plant seashells if we want to grow seashells. So delightful a read.
- Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson. Soooo interactional. Tap the magic tree, turn the page, and see how your tapping made the leaves grow, the flowers blossom, leaves change. A beautiful book, perfect for a small storytime. I used it as the conclusion. I had a small, and very young, group, and it worked very well. This year I had a large active group (12), and inviting 12 two-year-olds to tap a book on each page just doesn't work. I tried telling them to tap the air, but those who knew this book all wanted to touch. Maybe skip for a big group.
- The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli. Plant a seed, yes, but what happens when you accidentally SWALLOW one? Before I read I reminded the kids that some watermelon does have seeds (!!!) And when I got on the page with the piece of watermelon, I made a point of noticing the little black seed. Get ready to burp.
- The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. The moms and dads all oohed and ahhed in helpful horror as the Mom and Dad and Brother said, "It won't grow!"
- Grow Flowers Grow! by Lisa Bruce. (Originally Fran's Flower.) Intro: "This girl makes some mistakes. Let's see what she's doing wrong!"
- Searcher and the Old Tree by David McPhail. What do trees do for us? In a clear, compelling (love weather sound effects) tale, McPhail shows how trees protect us.
- Tidy by Emily Gravett. How to ruin a forest, and how to fix it.
- Good Stories: Nibbles: A Green Tale and Nibbles: Another Green Tale by Charlotte Middleton. This book really has everything -- good art, a cute guinea pig, and everything you need to know about seeds and gardening.
- Longer Tale: Pinkalicious GOES GREEN in Emeraldalicious! "I was strolling in the park...suddenly I tripped on a rock and fell, breaking my tiara and wand." Pinkie's recycling is like nothing else...it's as if she's been on Pinterest for the last six months. She creates thrones, castles and a boat mobile out of the garbage she finds strewn over her favorite picnic site. Long for the little guys, but chop it up and add a recycling craft and it's a winner.
- Longer Tale: Rotten Island by William Steig. "This book is about MONSTERS," I said, and the children clung to each other in mock terror. I did abbreviate the text, but the kids enjoyed this great story. Just last week one of my storyhour kids gave me a big pink daisy, and I pulled that out as The Flower.
- I Went to the Bay by Ruth Miller. This short, rhyming tale perfectly describes Florida wildlife.
- The Earth Book by Todd Parr. I dunno, I like to get my message across with a little more liveliness than Parr uses.
- Dig In! by Mary Peterson. Short and very sweet.
- Penguin and Pinecone by Yoon. A friendship story!
- Over in the Meadow
I succumbed to making flowers out of cupcakes, and it worked out OK. It's not the cheapest craft around; cupcake liners really do cost money, so unless you've picked up a couple on sale, this craft may not be that worthwhile. Also, the crafts on pinterest look adorable but they've used beaucoup high price liners. I got some pastel ones and they were so blah I spraypainted them with leftover spray paint. I wasn't sure about this craft but it did accomodate the skill sets of 2 - 5 year olds. Gluing was all the kids HAD to do, but they could also cut the edges of the flowers, cut the yarn, draw, and crumple tissue paper for the centers.
This year a volunteer punched out some shapes, like hearts and circles and cut rectangles. I showed them how to make flowers and butterflies from hearts. I gave them a pile of shapes and had them play with them on the paper (and also cut them up) before I handed out the paste.
based on A Seed Was Planted by Toulla Palazeti
|We did this last summer with begonias. Buy a big, beautiful plant, and then just divide it up into cuttings so that each child can have a new plant. This works very well with the young ones with no attention spans.|