Thursday, March 14, 2013

Go green

Often when St. Patrick's Day rolls around, I leave the holiday specific books on the shelf, and focus on the color green.  Every librarian knows just how popular holiday themes are with patrons.  Additionally, thematic rigidity can be challenging when trying to find developmentally appropriate titles.  Whether hopping with frogs, swimming with turtles, or chomping with alligators, green can be a very versatile storytime theme. 

Featured books:
In the tall, tall grass by Denise Fleming
Go away big, green monster by Ed Emberley
Green Wilma by Ted Arnold

 While thinking about a craft, I came across this post for a Green Gobbler.  Just last week, a plain box was transformed into a mailbox.  It was still sitting around, so I helped it morph into a monster.  He is covered in green plastic tablecloth.  It had previously spent time as the background on a bulletin board.   The pieces are made from craft foam, and simply taped onto the face.  I wasn't sure how my regular desk tape would work, so I used small pieces of packing tape, which held everything nicely.  His appearance is modeled very much on Mr. Emberley's monster.

He only eats things that are green.  That could be the end of the story, but sometimes he tries to munch non-green things.  When that happens, the fun really starts.  Inside the green gobbler is a paint stirrer that has been colored red.  Something like a bumblebee gets spit out with a little, "pbbt" sound.  This project allowed me to raid several files in the flannelboard sets.  Each child was given one green item, and one non-green.

Moving on to Fleming's book, we did a guessing game about what green thing might be in the story.  It's something with no legs that slides around on its belly.  After the book ended, children were invited to pretend they were snakes.  Little did they know, this was an opportunity to bring kinesthetics into storytime.   Lately, yoga in storytime has been making a resurgence in discussions both in my online and real lives.  When asked the kids to become snakes, they all flattened out on the floor, and thought that was it.  To get them into "cobra", I posed the question, "What if these snakes see something tasty up above them?"  Those bodies started to arch on their own, and following the example of Miss K, they came quite close to proper yoga poses. 

Craft:  Shamrocks were pre-printed one to a page on cardstock.  Straight, vertical lines were pre-cut one inch apart.  Motor skills were worked as kids wove darker green construction paper strips over and under.  They were given the choice to cut or tear the excess off the strips when done. 


  1. So fun! I'm going to make this one. :)

  2. The monster idea is hilarious! Thanks for sharing the fun.