Okay, I know that it’s not fall right now, but I’ve had this favorite theme entry half planned since September. Why didn’t I post it then? Well, I didn’t have the books PDF ready. When I type up the book summaries, I like to have the books on hand so that I can refresh my memory about why I like them. Sadly, by September, most of our pumpkin books were checked out. So expect some more fall themes to be posted in winter, and winter themes and spring, and so on and so forth.
Pumpkin Books PDF:
Pumpkin Flannelboard Templates:
Here are two flannelboard templates that you can use with a pumpkin theme! The first one is the infamous Five Little Pumpkins rhyme from DLTK. The second one is a fall set from the talented Melissa Depper. Mel gives great ideas for what to do with this set! Click on the images below to be taken to the websites with the templates.
Pumpkin Activities, Crafts, and STEM:
- What I love most about Boy Mama Teacher Mama’s Pumpkin, Pumpkin: Stick and Rhyme is that it can be a craft that you do with your group after storytime. Or you can make the props ahead of time and hand them out to the group during storytime so that you can all do the rhyme together again and again!
- For this Pumpkin Number Matching Activity, I would have ten plates up at the front, and I would hand out numbered clothespins to the children. I would then call out, “Who has the number 1? Find the number 1 pumpkin”. And I would continue on until all the kids had a chance to come up and clip their clothespins on the pumpkins. What’s great about this is that it’s simple to put together, and you can have multiple clothespins for each pumpkin. Activity credit goes to Coffee Cups and Crayons.
- I love cut and tell stories, and this Surprise Pumpkin story from Not Just Cute is a great addition to any pumpkin storytime!
- I also love finger puppets! And Playing with Words 365 has not one, but two sets of finger puppets that look super cute and super easy to make! (You’ll have to scroll down a bit to find them.)
- Can’t take your storytime to a pumpkin patch? Teach Preschool has got you covered by this awesome Pumpkin Patch Scavenger Hunt activity that you can do in your own storytime room/library!
- I love this Five Giant Pumpkins rhyme and flannelboard from Read Rabbit Read!
- Miss Courtney Meets Bobo’s take on Go Away Big Green Monster is so clever! I’ll definitely be doing Go Away Big Orange Monster next fall!
- For more pumpkin flannelboards, be sure to visit the Flannel Friday Fall Board on Pinterest!
- Speaking of Pinterest, if you need some more pumpkin craft ideas, here’s a whole board full of them!
Fall themes are my absolute favorite themes, so I’m hoping I can post a couple of these within the coming months. However, seeing as I have little to no time to work on blog stuff at work (and my life outside of work is pretty busy too), I honestly think that I’ll be lucky to post more than 1 favorite theme this season. But we’ll see… Maybe the stars will align or something.
I’m also changing up how I do favorite themes. I’ll still post a PDF of my favorite books like usual, but I’ll also be posting PDFs of any flannelboard templates I make. As for crafts, STEM, and other storytime activities (including rhymes), I’ll be providing links to those at the end of the post. I want to be sure to credit others, and I think providing links is the best way to do that.
So, here we go:
Apple Books PDF:
Apple Flannelboard Templates:
Click the images to be taken to the PDFs of the flannelboard templates. The first image is for the flannelboard rhyme, “Five Little Apples” (Credit). The second image is for the “A-P-P-L-E” flannelboard song (Credit). The second image will take you to a previous post of mine — scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the PDFs of the apple images. To make the flannelboard, print out the apple images, tape or glue them to construction paper, and then tape or glue the letters to the other side.
Apple Crafts, STEM, and Other Activities
- Everyone knows that worms like to live in apples, so introducing an activity that focuses on worms can add a nice variety to your storytime. This Wiggle Worms game by Little Family Fun is one of my favorite activities to do in storytime! It works well with almost any age group, and it’s a good way to change up your regular storytime.
- If you don’t mind a little mess in your storytimes, try this super cute Apple Prints craft from Make and Takes. While they used Popsicle sticks as handles for the apples, you can also use those nifty corn on the cob holders too. Or do without handles and let the kids pick the apples up and stamp away.
- Want a cute apple craft, but not a big mess? I don’t blame you! This Tissue Paper Apple Craft from Storytime Katie is super cute and doesn’t require any paint!
- Looking to add some STEM to your storytime? Here’s a whole Pinterest board dedicated to Apple Science! (I couldn’t just choose one activity, when there are so many great ones on there!)
- You can’t have an apple storytime without talking about apple picking! This Apple Picking/Finding Game from So Tomorrow is not only a great way for kids to stretch their legs and get their wiggles out, but it also gives the storyteller a breather.
- This Picking Up the Fruits rhyme from What Happens In Storytime is a great sorting activity! If you want to keep it limited to apples only, you can change it to picking up red apples, green apples, yellow apples, etc.
- A storytime roundup would not be complete without a five little whats-its rhyme. My favorite is Five Apples in a Basket by Future Librarian Superhero.
- Like to use props in storytime? 1234 More Storytimes has a great prop to use for the 2 Red Apples rhyme.
- And, just in case you missed them, here are the rhymes for the flannelboard templates from above: Busy Crafting Mommy’s Five Little Apples rhyme (there are many great versions of this rhyme which are linked in her post). And A-P-P-L-E by RovingFiddlehead Kidlit.
I know I promised a Polar Animals Favorite Theme awhile ago but…I’m kind of sick of winter! I don’t know about the rest of you, but my home in Indiana was pretty much buried under snow from January until…well, there’s still snow on the ground, but at least we can see a few patches of grass poking through! All the snow coupled with near constant below freezing temps made me wish I was a hibernating bear this winter. Unfortunately, I’m not a hibernating bear, so I had to deal with all this snow and cold, and now I’m sick of it. I’m ready for spring! So here’s my first spring Favorite Theme: Gardens!
As usual, click the images below to open up downloadable PDFs.
I have a confession: Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. By the time the middle of February rolls around, I’m usually sick and tired of the dreary winter. So a day that celebrates pink and red, that involves candy, and that centers around appreciating the people you love is just what I need to get through those last few weeks of winter. So, I admit it, whenever the second week of February rolls around, I dedicate a storytime theme to all things hugs and kisses and hearts and candy. And if you love Valentine’s Day too, then you’ll really like this week’s Favorite Theme!
As usual, click the images below to download PDFs of my Valentine’s Day Favorite Theme:
I’m very happy to announce that my last Favorite Themes post has gotten a lot of positive response! I’m glad that people are finding this blog series to be helpful! It definitely gives me the drive to continue it. So continue, I shall! January’s second Favorite Theme focuses on Animals in Winter. Now, when I say animals in winter, I mean forest animals, not the polar kind (don’t worry, polar animals are coming). This one was a little bit tricky because I wanted to have a variety of animals represented and not just bears galore. There’s still a healthy amount of bears in this theme, but I think I’ve managed to find some stories and activities that focus on other forest animals as well.
Click the images below to download the PDFs for the Animals in Winter Favorite Theme:
Today I’m very excited to announce a new series coming to this blog! In order to make up for the fact that I won’t be posting as many storytime plans as I used to, and because I enjoy creating stuff, I’m starting a blog series that focuses on my favorite storytime themes (and my favorite books/rhymes/activities to do for those themes). For most of the year, these themes will be grouped under seasonal headings. For example, in January and February, I’ll be posting themes that are great to do in the winter. March will start the spring themes, etc. At the end of the year, I hope to post themes that aren’t season specific.
Each theme will be uploaded as PDFs that can be downloaded, saved, printed, and shared. It is my hope that I’ll be able to post 4 themes per season, 2 for each month (with a hiatus in July and August for reasons you all understand). However, seeing as I’m doing this on my own time, it’s very likely that I may not be able to stick to that goal. We’ll see.
So, without further ado, here’s the first winter theme: Snow/Snowmen! (Which is appropriate because we’re currently getting bombarded with snow.) Click on the images below to download the PDF.