A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!

Winter Olympics

Clifford’s Sports Day by Norman Bridwell

Dunk Skunk by Michael Rex

Elympics by X. J. Kennedy with pictures by Graham Percy

Koala Lou by Mem Fox

Loudmouth George and the Big Race by Nancy Carlson

Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger

The Mud Flat Olympics by James Stevenson

Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman and illustrated by Liza Woodruff

Tacky and the Winter Games by Helen Lester

Rhinos Who Snowboard by Julie Mammano

Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar and pictures by Troy Cummings

Science activities

Ski Jumping Straw Rockets

https://jdaniel4smom.com/2018/01/cool-science-projects-ski-jumping-straw-rockets.html

Magnetism for Kids- Making a Figure Skater Skate

https://jdaniel4smom.com/2018/01/magnetism-kids-making-figure-skater-skate.html

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Penguins and Preschool

One Day on Our Blue Planet: In The Antartic by Ella Bailey

This is a beautifully illustrated picture book with a fun storyline. The story follows an Adélie penguin chick from her nest to the open ocean where she searches for food and swims among whales, seals and other animals. While at sea she avoids predators and rests on floating ice under a sky filled with stars and the southern lights.

Penguins and Their Chicks by Margaret Hall

Beautiful photographs of penguin chicks and how they grow accompany easy to understand facts making this a  nonfiction book that preschoolers will really enjoy.

Puffins Climb, Penguins Rhyme by Bruce McMillan

This charming nonfiction book explores the both puffins who live at the top of the earth in Iceland and penguins who live at the bottom of the earth in Antarctica. Preschoolers can observe,  compare, and name events of the natural world.

Penguin Problems by Jory John & Lane Smith

Life in Antarctica is not easy for penguins! It’s very cold and penguins have a lot of natural predators. Can you imagine trying to find your mom in a big crowd of identical penguins?! This is a very humorous picture book for preschoolers.

Playful Little Penguins by Tony Mitton, illustrations by Guy Parker-Rees

You can ask the children to join in the actions and sounds of the story. Preschoolers will enjoy jumping, swirling and whirling and imitating sleeping penguins in a happy huddle.

Blue Penguin by Petr Horáček

Blue Penguin is a beautifully illustrated picture book about being different and making friends. Blue Penguin doesn’t fit in because he looks different from the other penguins. He sings beautifully and he ends up teaching the other penguins a valuable lesson: that one should never judge others by how they look, but by how they are on the inside.

Face to Face with Penguins by Yva Momatiuk and photographs by John Eastcott

Although this book is geared to elementary aged students, there are wonderful photographs and fun questions and answers such as “What’s the Scoop on Penguin Poop?” (It changes color depending on what they eat!) or “Penguin Talk” which explains their honking, whistling, barking and growling, and what each sound means.

For more in depth information read The Great Penguin Rescue: Saving the African Penguin by Sandra Markle.

Preschool science activities including penguin measuring, sensory habitat and ice exploration can be found here: https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/learning-about-penguins-ice-melting-activities/

Learn how penguin feathers stay dry with this printable activity using way crayons.  http://raisinglittlesuperheroes.com/penguin-feathers-science-experiment/

Fun penguin rhymes and finger plays can be found here: http://stepbystepcc.com/animals/penguin.htm

 

Wild Turkeys

Little Tom Turkey by Frances Bloxam.

This is a wonderful rhyming picture book that describes the life of a wild turkey. Young turkeys, called poults, leave the nest right after hatching. They follow their mother the hen who shows them how to scratch for food.  They learn how to fly and there is a suspenseful scene as they escape from a fox. The illustrations depict the beautiful colors of  wild turkeys and their natural habitat and predators.  Following the story are questions and answers about wild turkeys including where they live, eat, sleep and the difference between wild turkeys and farm turkeys. There is also an illustration of a full grown male turkey, called a gobbler or tom, labeled with the body parts.

Wild Turkeys by Dorothy Patent Hinshaw is a nonfiction book for children with easy to read facts.

Gobble-Gobble Crash!: A Barnyard Counting Bash by Julie Stiegemeyer is a fun read. The preschoolers enjoyed  counting all the barnyard animals,  saying, “Gobble, Gobble, Crash!” and finding the hidden turkeys later in the story.

I Want Your Moo: a story for children about self-esteem by Marcella Bakur Weiner. Lots of fun animal sounds as a turkey named Toodles goes from farm animal to farm animal asking if she can have their “moo,” “baa,” “neigh,” etc.

 

Wild turkey facts:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/w/wild-turkey/

http://eekwi.org/critter/bird/wildturkey.htm

A variety of turkey sounds including gobbles, cackles, purrs and hissing can be heard here.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wild_Turkey/sounds

Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice by Ellen Jackson, illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis.

This book explains how the winter solstice is celebrated in different parts of the world, and during different eras of history.  It presents facts and folklore about the shortest day of the year.

The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer, illustrated by Jesse Reisch.

This book describes how and why daylight grows shorter as winter approaches, the effect of shorter days on animals and people, and how the winter solstice has been celebrated throughout history. Includes solstice facts, instructions for making a winter sunrise/sunset chart, how to measure shadows on the shortest day, experiment to show how the tilt of the earth makes the seasons and fun party ideas.

A lovely story of a cold winter night when the resident farm Tomten says goodnight to all of the farm animals and they all think of the summer to come.

Artic Lights, Artic Nights by Debbie Miller.

Imagine a land where the sun rises at 1:58 a.m. in the summer and shines for less than four hours on a winter’s day. The animals in the wilderness near Fairbanks, Alaska, witness some of the world’s greatest temperature extremes and light variations ever year. At an average low of -16 degrees Fahrenheit, the winters may be unpleasantly frigid, but the light shows are always glorious!

Check here to find out when the winter solstice occurs in your area:

https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/december-solstice.html

Find out out to create Yule Sun Ice Catchers here:

http://www.raisingfairiesandknights.com/yule-sun-ice-catchers/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_tribes&utm_content=tribes

 

All About Horses

I began our horse themed preschool storytime with the True or False Book of Horses by Patricia Lauber. The children really engaged with the true-or-false question-and-answer format with questions such as do horses walk on their tiptoes, do horses need to move their heads to see behind them, or do horses have a better sense of smell than we do. I used a Breyer toy horse to show the children the hooves and eyes and ears. I asked them to show me how they turned to see behind them. Then I asked them to show me their eyes, and then demonstrated how horses’ eyes are more wide set and closer to the sides of their heads than human eyes. This was a fun introduction to get the children excited about horses!

Are you a horse? by Andy Rash is a very humorous book. The children learned the differences between the various objects, plants, and animals to determine what makes a horse a horse. Categories included living and nonliving, plant versus animal, animals with no legs, and animals that lay eggs. The preschoolers enjoyed answering “No!” when the main character would ask each thing or animal if they were a horse, and chiming in with explanations of why it could not be a horse.

Other books the children enjoyed:

Horseplay by Karma Wilson

Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee

Noni the Pony by Alison Lester

Big Horse Small Mouse: a Book of Barnyard Opposites by Liesbet Slegers

“Play Giddy-up” from Miss Carole’s Polka Dots music cd was the perfect way for the children to walk, gallop and whoa to a stop.

https://lcl.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/default/search/results?qu=miss+carole%27s&te=&lm=MUSICCDS&rt=false%7C%7C%7CTITLE%7C%7C%7CTitle#

Here’s a link to a printable worksheet with the parts of a horse. http://homeschoolhelperonline.com/2015/07/18/label-the-horse-worksheet/#

 

Apples, Apples, Apples!

Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace is an easy to read nonfiction book with a useful information chart of different varieties and their uses to planting, grafting and picking technique. There are wonderful illustrations of the parts of an apple and the growing cycle as well as an applesauce recipe.

The children really enjoyed our apple themed storytime. I introduced the theme by inviting them to tell me what they knew about apples and drew them on a dry erase board. They knew that apples were different colors and grew on trees. They learned more facts as I read From Apple Trees to Cider, Please by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky.

As I read What’s an Apple by Marilyn singer the preschoolers enjoyed doing the actions in the book such as washing it or squashing it.

I had a counting strip with apples to use with the book Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss. The children were excited to count with me and loved the rhyming.

Another fun book was Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship. It’s a story of acceptance, friendship, bravery and tolerance in which an apple befriends a worm.

Other great picture books about apples:

The Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall

The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara and G. Brian Karas

Apple by Nikki McClure

I am an Apple by Jean Marzollo

Ducking for Apples by Lynne Berry

Amazing Apples by Consie Powell

Johnny Appleseed by Rosemary Benet

The Apple King by Francesca Bosca

Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson

Apple Cider Making Days by Ann Purmell

An apple preschool science experiment on how different liquids affect apples can be found here:

https://www.pre-kpages.com/apple-science-experiment/

Here are some STEM activities for preschoolers:

https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/real-apple-stem-activities-ten-apples-top/

Here’s an easy apple craft using paper plates:

http://blog.landofnod.com/honest-to-nod/2013/06/easy-apple-craft.html

Trees are Terrific!

Trees were the storytime theme this week!

I began by asking the children what a tree has. They said leaves, so I asked what color and they said green.  I drew some green leaves on a dry erase board. I asked what else and a couple of children said branches and I drew those. I waited while they looked at what I had drawn. They realized something was missing but did not have the vocabulary to say trunk so they described what it was with words like big and brown. I drew the trunk and we talked about the word trunk.

(As we read the other books and the children noticed trees had different leaf colors, roots, flowers, apples and coconuts, I drew those on the board as well.)

I read a few pages of the nonfiction book It Could Still be a Tree which starts with the question: how do you know it’s a tree? The children enjoyed sharing the facts they knew and were interested in the ones they didn’t.

Acorn to Oak Tree by Lisa M. Herrington is another nonfiction book suitable for preschoolers. Easy to read and illustrated with photos, this nonfiction book tell the story of an oak tree and how it begins and ends with acorns.

Tap the Magic Tree, written and illustrated by Christie Matheson begins with a bare brown tree.  The readers are invited to tap the tree and turn the page to find that one green leaf has sprouted! The preschoolers really enjoyed patting, clapping, wiggling and shaking to see blossoms bloom, apples grow, and the leaves blow away with the wind.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr was another fun book.  The children were excited to place the magnetic letters on the board.

Other books we read: Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid.

The Tree: A Fable by Neal Layton.

A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry.

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