Toddler Storytime: Rain

We’re back in action after a 2-week break, and I’m really excited to start. I saved most of my animal-themed programs for the spring session, along with several just-for-fun ideas, and I can’t wait to see how the kids respond. This week, in the midst of two full days of heavy, soaking rain, our theme was finally on point.

PicMonkey Collage

Books Read:

Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
Puddle Pug by Kim Norman & Keika Yamaguchi
The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na

Opening Song: “So Early in the Morning”
To the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.” We use the ASL sign for “hello” in the first verse.

This is the way we wave hello,
Wave hello, wave hello,
This is the way we wave hello
So early in the morning.

Repeat with clap our hands, stomp our feet, jump around.

Discussion & Sign: We spoke about the rain coming down outside, and what we like to do when it rains — jump in puddles? Play in the mud? Or stay inside where it’s warm and dry? We also discussed the sounds rain makes when it drizzles or pours, or when lightning strikes. This led us into a game called “Rain Storm,” which I found at Program Palooza. I simplified the activity a bit to suit our age group.

“Rain Storm” Game: Basically, you invite everyone to help you “make” a rain storm. Together, we slid our hands against our laps, then graduated to patting our knees, then hand clapping, and finally stomping to bring on the thunder. Then, as the storm recedes, you perform all of the actions backward until you’re sliding your hands again, and then stop. It’s a fun, simple way to douse the group’s energy before the first story, and to encourage them to follow directions. Plus, stomping! Really, any excuse to stomp.

Lastly, we practiced our ASL sign for “Rain.” My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Book 1: Cloudette. A sweet book about a cloud named Cloudette, who has aspirations of rain-grandeur despite her minuscule size. From the illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.

page-15

Action Song: “Rain is Falling Down”
Courtesy of JBrary. We use our ASL sign for the line “rain is falling down,” and then clap when the rain splashes.

Rain is falling down,
SPLASH! (Clap)
Rain is falling down,
SPLASH! (Clap)
Pitter patter, pitter patter (Sway arms side to side)
Rain is falling down,
SPLASH! (Clap)

Sun is peeking out,
PEEK! (Put hands over eyes, then peek out)
Sun is peeking out,
PEEK! (Put hands over eyes, then peek out)
Peeking here, peeking there, (Put hands over eyes, pan the room)
Sun is peeking out,
PEEK! (Put hands over eyes, then peek out)

Action Rhyme with Flannel: “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”

Book 2: The Thingamabob. A colorful book from Il Sung Na about an elephant who finds a “thingamabob,” and can’t figure out how to use it. Spoiler alert: it’s an umbrella. After sharing this book, we learned the ASL sign for Umbrella.

Action Song: “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More”
Also courtesy of JBrary, although this seems to be a traditional song that has somehow become crossed with Shel Silverstein’s “Boa Constrictor.” Again, we used the ASL sign for “rain” while singing the first two lines, then shook our heads and fingers “no” for the last line of each verse.

It’s ain’t gonna rain no more, no more,
It ain’t gonna rain no more
Oh, no, it’s up to my toe!
But it ain’t gonna rain no more!

Additional verses: Oh gee, up to my knee! Oh my, up to my thigh! Oh fiddle, up to my middle! Oh heck, up to my neck! Oh dread, up to my head!

Action Song: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Since we were standing, and already talking about body parts, we ran through three verses of the storytime classic.

Book 3: Puddle Pug. A story about a Pug named Percy who loves puddles, especially the pigs’ squishy, squashy mud puddle.

Closing Rhyme: “Wave Hi, Wave Low”
The version we use, with the ASL sign for goodbye:

I think it’s time, we’ve got to go,
So wave your elbows, wave your toes!
Wave your knees, wave your lips,
Blow me a kiss with your fingertips!
Wave your ears, wave your hair,
Wave your hips and your derriere.
Wave your fingers way up high,
Wave a hand and say goodbye!


Wrapping Up: It’s always a little tough coming back from break; I feel rusty the first time around. And families don’t always remember that we’re back in action, so attendance tends to dwindle. That definitely didn’t happen. I had twenty-one people in the room, circled around the rug, ten minutes before we were due to start. That is unprecedented. We actually started a few minutes early, which I also try to avoid because stragglers are a weekly reality. I guess everyone was ready to return.

Overall, though, this week was middling. The kids were quiet, more buttoned-up than usual (maybe a result of the break?) and didn’t really participate in songs or rhymes. The Thingamabob was probably their favorite book of the bunch, but none were greeted with much enthusiasm At least we’re back in action, and next week should go off a bit more smoothly.

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