This week was the 3rd Annual Snake Storytime at my library. This is a program I do every year (hence the ‘annual’ bit), each year is a little different; but I always try to impart some of my love and respect for our slithery garden companions.
This year, my crowd was a bit younger; so for my first book I read The Greedy Python an Eric Carle style book written by Richard Buckley.
This story has the traditional Eric Carle bright crayon-like illustrations and rhyming words. Its about a snake that eats waaaay to much and just ’bout explodes. The ending has a funny little twist that the kids really seemed to enjoy.
My next book was a Nonfiction book on Garter Snakes written by Julie Murray.
This was an easy to read book that discuss various simple facts about the common Garter snake. The pictures were big and colorful and the facts were easy enough for young kids to comprehend. It opened the way to talking about Snakes more and allowed me to bring out some of my show-n-tell items (more on that later).
After that, was our Make a Snake game using shapes.
Since my crowd was a lot younger then previous years; I shelved the snake identification game…. and went with something more toddler friendly.
I chose 3 different shapes that I thought young children would be able to easily recognize; but weren’t the standard circle, square, triangle.
I went with a heart, oval, and diamond.
I got the template from DLTK’s Growing Together; it was actually a paper craft that I turned into a shape matching game.
I printed the shapes onto colored paper. Then, to make the heads stand out a little more, I added some red glitter to the tongues and google-eyes….because who doesn’t like glitter and google-eyes???
I printed off regular shapes -sans glitter and google-eyes; on different colored paper. I then handed those out to the kids and had them take turns coming up to the board and putting their shapes next to the snake head. (Just a note: toddlers do NOT get the concept of coming up to the board one at a time. It normally turns into a free-for-all as they all rush the board for their turn.)
After that was our 3rd book; a personal favorite and one that’s enjoyed by both younger and older children – Elephant and Piggie’s Can I Play Too? By Mo Willems.
I love Elephant and Piggie….as I’ve said on many, many occasions. This features a snake and the age old question burning every in child’s mind….. can a snake play catch??? If you’ve never read it, I won’t spoil the ending for you.
Next we did our craft: Snake Finger Puppets.
I got the idea and template from Mr. Printables. The templates come in the 4 colors shown and in a blank version that kids can color and make their own snake patterns.
Folding is a little complicated of a concept for the real young ones; but this craft was to cute NOT to do. So to make things a little more user friendly; I added glue dots where glue needed to go, and a red dot where the piece needed to be stuck.
In hindsight, I probably should have made the dots different colors, because somehow the kids were sticking the glue dot on the red spot on the opposite side of the snake, instead of the dot right next to said glue dot.
Anyway, despite the small road blocks we had; all the kiddos left happy with snakes hissing from their fingers.
Now originally, the template produced a smaller snake. Like so:
I worried that the smaller size would make it more difficult for little hands to work with it…. so I blew it up a couple sizes to make giant snakes…
Now normally, this would be where my program normally ended; but for this Storytime, I had show-n-tell items.
Being the odd ball, pagan, nature lover and mother of a little boy that I am… my mom is always sending me weird things she finds out on her walks so I can show my little munchkin.
One of the items she sent me was a dried ‘petrified’ baby snake; pretty sure its a ring-neck snake.
Not that my mom isn’t totally justified sending me weird crap. I love it. While camping last summer my son and I found a baby snake skeleton, complete with jaw bones (well, we actually found 2 but I could only find one, which was a miracle and a half, since we literally just moved).
I, of course, kept the skeleton… because…well…because its cool alright! I woulda kept it even if I didn’t have a kiddo… but I do, so I have an excuse!
Anyway, later that same summer, we were walking along the outdoor track at our local gym when we found our 2nd petrified snake… this time a garter snake (I think).
Now before anyone asks; no, I didn’t put the them through the laminator… I used clear book tape. This way the kids could pick up the pieces to get a better look without destroying them.
I also had a magnifying glass available for them to get a better look.
And, as I had for the previous years, my rattlesnake head made another appearance.
Kids always like him; its a pity his mouth doesn’t open. The kids always want to see his fangs. Oh well… eventually I’ll get a rattlesnake skull with fangs and a tail rattle.
I also updated my Oklahoma Venomous Snake guide; this year I added a section on ‘Snakes and Your Dog’ that talks about what to do if your furry family companion has a close encounter (just in case you’re wondering….the answer is TAKE YOUR PET TO THE VET!!!!.
And as usual, I made sure there was a cart full of books for the kiddos to check out for further reading.
Well, that’s all for this week! I hope everyone had a great Spring Break! Mine was spent working on getting our new house set up… feels more like I’ve just been moving one pile of crap to another part of the house. But, I don’t mind really; I love we’re someplace new – hate the actual moving process. With all the warm weather we’ve been having; my mind has been fixed on getting my garden ready; since I now have the space for one. I know, technically it’s still to early…. but it FEELS like spring! It was freaking 90 degrees yesterday! Surely it’s time to start shopping for plants….right?
‘Til next time my lovelies. Ciao!