A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!

Frogs are Fun!

Frogs by Julie Murray

This is an informational nonfiction book about frogs and their life cycle. It’s a perfect introduction for preschoolers with easy to understand text and beautiful photography  of the frogs’ natural habitat, the physical changes it undergoes, and its food sources.

How a Tadpole Grows into a Frog by David Stewart, illustrated by Carolyn Franklin

This nonfiction book explores the natural cycle of a frog’s life with colorful torn-paper illustrations. There is a glossary of words as well as illustrations of the frog as an egg, then as a tadpole at 7 weeks, turning into a frog at 9 weeks and its growth at 12, 14 and 20 weeks and fully grown.

Tale of a Tadpole written by Karen Wallace

This nonfiction book uses detailed photographs to illustrate the life cycle of a frog. From an egg on a lily pad to a tadpole hiding from the dangers of the pond (including hungry fish and beetles) until he grows up into a frog.

999 Tadpoles

The story begins with 999 tadpoles growing up in a pond but they need a place to live that has more room for all of the big frog family. So they start to explore the world beyond the pond but the frog family runs into predators such as snakes and hawks. The story has a humorous conclusion as the frogs find their new home.

Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan and illustrated by Byron Barton

Jump, Frog, Jump! is about a frog that is going across the pond where he is almost eaten by a snake. Frog must jump away from different dangers across the pond until he is caught by two young boys in a net. One of the boys lets him go saying “jump, frog, jump!”.

The Croaky Pokey! by Ethan Long

In this fun frog themed version of the classic “Hokey Pokey,” a pond full of animals such as frogs, fish, birds, and alligators all try to capture a dragonfly buzzing just out of reach, while singing and dancing to a froggy version of the “Hokey Pokey” called the “Croaky Pokey.” In the “Croaky Pokey” children do all the same body motions featured in the original, but then “hop the Croaky Pokey as they chase a fly around, right in the froggy’s mouth!

One Frog Sang by Shirley Parenteau and illustrated by Cynthia Jabar

One Frog Sang shares some of the many kinds of sounds different frogs make! It is also a counting book, where one frog says ker-bloop, two frogs say peep peep, and continues up to ten different frog sounds.

Frog on a Log by Kes Gray and illustrated by Jim Field

 This is a hilarious, rhyming story about a frog who thinks that the rule that all frogs sit on logs is unfair because logs are uncomfortable. What follows is the cat informing the frog about the rules of where certain animals are allowed to sit. For example, a frog sits on a log, a cat sits on a mat, a flea sits on a pea, a parrot sits on a carrot, etc. A very funny book that the preschoolers really enjoyed.

AhHa by Jeff Mack

Only two letters are used in this book. The words ah and ha take on new meaning as the story unfolds. A frog escapes capture from a boy with a jar, a turtle, an alligator, and a flamingo. The illustrations play a huge role in telling this story, but it’s the words, the tone, and the meaning behind each one that captivate young audiences.

Printable frog puppets: https://picklebums.com/five-green-frogs-printable/

Frog Jump: Measurement and Gross Motor Activity: https://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/frog-jump-measurement-and-gross-motor-activity/

Life Cycle Of A Frog Activities: https://teachwithme.com/blogs/getting-to-the-core/item/4987-life-cycle-of-a-frog-activities-frog-crafts

https://resource-bank.scholastic.co.uk/resources/12397

 

 

 

 

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Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Rhythm Instruments and More for Active Learning by Abigail Flesch Connors contains hundreds of ideas for singing, moving, listening, and playing music with young children.

Activities using rhythm sticks, shakers, bell, sand block, tambourines, drums and other rhythm instruments such as the xylophone, ukulele, guiro, triangle and lollipop drum. Music and movement ideas include activities about body parts, animals, scarves, Spanish words, American Sign Language, and inner listening skills among others.

Music, a way of life for the young child by Linda Carol Edwards

This book explains the rationale and techniques for using music with infants, toddlers, and young children through the age of five as well as the developmentally appropriate stages for its introduction. Coverage is built on a strong foundation of research and theory, incorporating findings in the field and the suggestions of users. The authors take a developmental approach to the role of music in the life of the young child, and offer a sound program for successfully bringing music into the early childhood educational environment.

Musical children : engaging children in musical experiences.

The book presents 25 strategies for engaging children who are learning music based on the latest Music Educators National Conference (MENC) standards. It includes reproducible student activity charts, a song selection of 40 notated melodies, a collection of chants, and resource material.

 

 

 

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

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/#

 

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