Brr! It’s getting cooler outside…what a great time to stop by for a children’s program! We continued our discussion on autumn this week with some wonderful books and crafts. The kids and I talked about leaves…crunching them underfoot, as well as jumping in them. I passed on my knowledge I gleaned from the classic It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!: “Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker.”
In 2’s 3’s Time, we read Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall. This lovely story is about two siblings who love fall, especially the leaves! They watch the leaves change colors, and rake them, jump in them, crunch them…and then go inside to eat cookies shaped like leaves!
We also talked a short while about pumpkins…because what is fall without a nice fat pumpkin? Our craft was a mosaic-style pumpkin made from a paper plate and construction paper. I assumed the kids would have a wonderful time ripping up the paper. Actually, they wanted their caregivers to rip the paper whilst they were armed with the glue sticks…going wild with glue on the plates. I figure the “NO! DON’T TEAR THAT PAPER!” conditioning that most kids (including my own) get at home transferred over to story time this week. However, the craft turned out well, as seen here:
Donations for glue sticks are always welcome! I threw away at least ten nubby sticks this week alone!
In the 4’s and 5’s Story Time, we read Fall Leaves Fall, as well as A is for Autumn by Robert Maass. A is for Autumn is an alphabet book that describes different fall events and items. The pictures are vibrant photographs, with various fall tones. The text isn’t too wordy for small children; I would recommend it for any read-aloud group.
For the 4’s and 5’s class, we did the pumpkin mosaics, as well as a fabulous leaf drawing activity. I think this is one of my favorite crafts: It allows children to be creative, but forces them to think outside the box (leaf!). I found leaf pictures online, and used the paint program on my computer to erase half of the leaves. Then, I printed out sheets of ‘half leaf’ pictures, and asked the kids to complete the leaves using crayons and their critical thinking skills! Awesome!
This guided us into talking about how different types of trees have different types of leaves, as well as the concept of symmetry. Wow! Who knew that a simple craft like this would have so much weight? Once the kids got through the “I can’t possibly do this!” stage, they enjoyed trying to match the crayons to the colors of the leaves and trying to make the sides match. I had an excellent time seeing their finished pieces. Great job, kids! This is my masterpiece:
Pajama Time was offered this week; it’s every other Thursday at 6:30pm. We read some fall poems from A Chill in the Air: Nature Poems for Fall and Winter by Ellen K. Hasbrouck, and we also read Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert.
A Chill in the Air chronicles the passing of the fall and winter season with lovely, short poems, and delightful illustrations…perfect for any age group.
I reviewed Leaf Man in an earlier post, but I want to share a story with you: A family of my regular story time participants listened to Leaf Man in the 4’s and 5’s class last week, and liked it so much that they went home and made leaf men of their own! How cool is that?! I am so excited that they used the idea from story time and did a craft at home! High five!
In PJ Time, we made puzzle piece fall trees. I gave each child a large blue sheet of construction paper, and a few strips of brown paper. They crumpled the brown paper to look like tree bark, and then glued the pieces to the blue sheet. Next, we dumped fall colored puzzle pieces out for the kids to pick through and glue to the tree. You can do this at home with any old puzzle…you know…the 1000 piece puzzle with 950 pieces left? It doesn’t even have to be a fall puzzle; you can use tempera to paint the pieces fall colors. Pretty great use of an old puzzle!
If you weren’t able to come to programs this week, there are more fall crafts and stories on the way! You can sign up for programs via our website, or by calling the Children’s Department. Even better: Stop by the children’s room and sign up, then check out your fall and Halloween books before they’re gone! Enjoy your week, everyone!