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Gardening Storytime

Hello, hello my lovelies; sorry it’s taking so long to update, its busy, busy, busy here. My family and I just moved into our new house, still a rental – but about a gazillion times better than what we had before. So YAAAAAY!!! Needless to say between house searching, packing, working, sick child, sick Momma, moving, and now UNpacking and setting up our house…. things have been insanely hectic.

Add on top of that the weird, confusing weather that we’ve been having here in good ol’ Oklahoma… and yea, my internal clock is all kinds of screwy at the moment. February was very warm – like I’m talking we got into the 80s at some point, only for the temperature to then plunge into the single digits within the same 24 hr period. Like I said…wonky weather.

Anyway, due to all the warm, spring-like weather, my internal gardener is telling me TIME TO START GARDENING!!!! LOOK SEEDS! WE NEED TO PLAN! Even as logically I know we still have a least another month where we could have wintery weather. It’s still to early, dang it!

Not that that matters, of course. So in an effort to sorta curb the impulse to go spend huge amounts of money, I don’t have, not seeds and plants I don’t really need at the moment… I decided to do a Gardening Storytime!

The first book I read (both for the Mall Storytime and the regular Preschool Storytime) was Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayers:

This was a simple, repetitive book that illustrated different plants that grew UP, those that grew DOWN, and those others that grew AROUND and AROUND.

The Next I read, called Garden Friends, I only read during the Mall Storytime, and switched out when I did the Preschool Storytime, as the book fell a little flat. Not due to being a bad book in any way; but it was a book I was hoping to get more child participation in, discussing different insects and critters that lived in and helped the garden. Sadly, the children I got during the Mall Storytime were shy and refused to interact with me outside of the game.

Since, I didn’t get a whole lot of participation with the 1st nonfiction book, I decided to switch it out with Planting a Garden in Spring by Jenna Lee Gleisner:

This was also a very simple nonfiction book that talked about the different steps in planing a garden. Still, not a whole lot of interest, least not until the afternoon session, then the children were a little more engaged.

After that, we had our game Find the Garden Tools; which I apparently ‘lost’ in my garden.

I found clipart of some various fruits and veggies I thought children would recognize on sight – broccoli, pumpkin, strawberries, corn, watermelon, carrots, tomatoes and a pepper.

Then I found a picture of some typical garden tools and ‘hid’ them in my garden. The children then got to take turnS trying to find the tools.

I think this was their favorite part of the session honestly. We played it at least 3 times before we moved on to the next book.

For the Mall Storytime and my morning session of my Preschool Storytime, I read A Green, Green, Garden by Mercer Mayer:

Who doesn’t love a Little Critter book? They were some of my favorites as a child, and even as an adult, Mercer Mayer has a special place in my heart. This book in particular, tells about how Little Critter was working on making a ‘green, green, garden’. It tells about the various steps included in growing a garden, including going to the store to get seeds, tilling up the ground, getting rid of the rocks…. and how much waiting was involved. Little Critter was NOT happy about all the hard work and waiting that went into a garden. But, his folks kept telling him to be patient and after a while he got the green, green garden he was wanting…and oh look, he got a red, yellow and orange garden too.

I decided to switch out some of the books for my afternoon Preschool Storytime session since I had older children that would probably get bored with the overly simplistic books I had chosen before.

So I chose to read Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming:

This was a cute book that the older children enjoyed. It’s about a man who decided to grow a garden, but right off the bat, three bunnies start nibbling on his plants. So he builds a fence, and as the bunnies keep getting into his garden the methods the gardener constructs to keep them out gets more and more extravagant until finally the bunnies can’t find a way in. The ending was rather funny and the children seemed to enjoy the clever way the bunnies ended up getting into the garden; especially since the older kids had to actually pay attention to the pictures or it would have been very easy to miss what happened.

After all the books were read we did our craft; which this week wasn’t really a craft. We made our own very simple, portable greenhouses with plastic bags, wet cotton balls and seeds.

The principle was pretty simple really; I got the idea from here. Basically, the kids get a plastic ziplock bag; they wet down 4-5 cotton balls and drop them in the bag, then they sprinkle 3-4 seeds onto the wet cotton balls, seal the bag and tape it to a window.

I had 4 different seeds the kids could choose from; I had initially wanted to get them Mint, since it’s such an easy plant to grow, nearly impossible to kill and kids LOVE how the leave taste…. but alas, there weren’t any Mint seeds available at the time. So we went with:



Green Beans

And Sunflowers.

Afterwards, I explained that when they got home they needed to tape their bags to a window where they’ll get plenty of sunlight and warmth.

I decided to leave my seeds up so that when the kids come back for the following weeks storytime, they could see the seeds growing.

After a week, this is the progress of my seeds:

You can see just a hint of roots right now.  As the seed grows the kids will get to watch the progress of their baby plant, they’ll be able to see the roots spread and the leaves start to sprout.

The kids seemed to really enjoy the idea of taking home their own plant; and since there were not a lot of children in the sessions; we had plenty of seeds so each child was able to take home a bag of each.

I’m hoping I’ll get updates on how their plants are going as the weeks pass.

As usual, I made sure there was a variety of gardening and plant themed books available for them to check out afterwards.

I don’t have another storytime until the 20th; so I’m not sure what I’ll be doing. I know in April I’ll be doing my Snake storytime again; which I’m thoroughly looking forward to, since this past summer while camping we found several baby snake skeletons and a dried up, petrified baby snake.

Does anyone have suggestions of things they, as a parent, would want to know about snakes? This is an annual storytime I do and this will be its 3rd year; every year I try to add some new information…. so far I’ve gotten the different types of venomous snakes in this state, how to identify them, and what to do if you are bitten. What else can I add?

Well, until then! Ciao!


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Things that Leap

So this week, since it was a Leap Year, I did a ‘Things that Leap’ themed storytime that included everything from jumping and leaping, to bouncing.

To start off with I read Cat Jumped In by Tess Weaver.


Sadly, none of the kids in my morning session had any cats, so while they thought Cats antics were funny they couldn’t really appreciate them.  The afternoon session however, had many kids laughing going ‘my cat does that!’.

The second book was The Fabulous Bouncing Chowder by Peter Brown.


I actually had one of my morning kids ask me ‘why’ Chowder didn’t fit in with the rest of the pooches; he was a dog wasn’t he? Thankfully that child had no apparent concept of  why someone might not be nice to another simply because they looked different. Kudos to that parent right there. 

Next came our game, which this time, was a Animal Dice game.




I had ten (10) Leaping Animal pictures on my wall, a paper 10-sided die, and a score card.  Each kid got to take a turn and roll the dice, then they had to match the number with the animal, and I would write down the animal. When everyone had a turn, or two, or three, we counted how many times an animal got picked. Whichever one had the most rolls ‘won’.

The kiddos really seemed to get into it once they got the concept. Especially in my afternoon session where we had a 3 way tie.

An easy Google search will provide you with a dozen different templates for the 10-sided die. Personally, I thought they were all dull and boring with no color. So I made one WITH some color.


After the game, we read our last book; No Jumping on the Bed by Tedd Arnold.


There was lots of commentary on this as Walter went crashing through the floor.  All in all, both kids and parents seemed to really enjoy the three stories.

For our craft we made Frog masks.


The craft was easy enough, a frog face, craft stick, party blower, google eyes and glue dots. I know, mine doesn’t have google eyes, I hadn’t gotten eyes big enough yet, so I just drew my froggy eyes.

I also couldn’t find a decent frog mask that didn’t have to pay for, or was just not what I was looking for…. So, I created my own.


If anyone would like to use it, by all means, go ahead. The blue shaded areas are mean to be cut out as those are the eyes holes and the mouth where the blower will go.

Making this was simple. I cut out the frog mask on card stock and removed the eyes and mouth part. I put glue dots on the craft stick and the google eyes so all the kids had to do was peel the backs off like a sticker and place them on the mask. The craft stick goes on the back, under the mouth, the eyes go on top in the big circles.


After they get those on,  I let them color their froggies. While they colored, I had a video to show them on YouTube.

I had found a full length episode of The Most Extreme: Jumpers.  Which I had ready to go, preloaded on a laptop.

Once they were done coloring they put the party blowers in the circle for the mouth and we taped it in place. WARNING: You really want to tape those suckers, otherwise when the kiddos blow on the party blower, it’ll go shooting across the room. Trust me on this one….can’t tell you how many times that happened. LOL.



And as always, I tried to have a cart of books for them to look over and check out if they wanted.


All in all the kids really enjoyed it. Even if I did have one little boy who was far more interested in my snake Keychain then in what I was reading. But we got to have a fun conversation about rattlesnakes and what had happened to this particular snake. It also reminded me that it was about that time of year that I needed to pull out the ‘Snake’ storytime and revamp it.  There was a whole group of new kids that had come in that morning; home schoolers who had never been to storytime before.

With how unseasonably warm it’s been here lately, I’m having to pull that storytime out earlier then I had initially planned. Now I have to decide if I wanna do ‘Dragons’ for St. Patrick’s Day, or do ‘Snakes’.  Decisions, decisions.

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