Blogger Abby Johnson, Storytime

Fall for a Good Storytime

You guys. It is October. ALREADY. Which means you’re probably inundated with requests for fall-themed books and storytimes. I’m here to help. There are tons of resources for Fall Storytime available on the internet, whether you’re a storytime newbie or a seasoned storytimer looking to shake things up a bit. Here are some of my favorites:

Books:

  • Bear Has a Story to Tell by Phillip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, 2012) – Animals are preparing for winter and Bear has a story to tell before he settles down to sleep.
  • The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006) – How does a squirrel get ready for winter? This could be a great STEM conversation starter!
  • Fall is Not Easy by Marty Kelley (Zino Press Children’s Books, 1998) – This hilarious book will get kids laughing as a tree tries its hardest to put on proper fall colors.
  • I See Fall by Charles Ghigna, illustrated by Ag Jatkowska (Picture Window Books, 2011) – Make sure you include books featuring diverse children in your fall storytimes!
  • Kitten’s Autumn by Eugenie Fernandes (Kids Can Press, 2010) – Mixed media art and simple rhyming text make this one a great one for sharing.
  • Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber, illustrated by Leslie Evans (Charlesbridge, 2004) – Rhyming text describes the different colored leaves we see on different trees in the fall.
  • Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2005) – Illustrations made of fall leaves make this a great one for talking about leaves changing with older preschoolers or early elementary kids.
  • Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson (Simon & Schuster Books for Children, 2006) – Simple text makes this a winner for sharing with very young children.
  • Poppleton in Fall by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Mark Teague (Blue Sky Press, 1999) – I love to read the story “The Geese” with older preschoolers and early elementary kids.
  • Pumpkins by Ken Robbins (Square Fish, 2006) – The photo illustrations make this a great nonfiction choice for adding some STEM content to your storytime. Don’t be afraid to paraphrase.
  • That Pup! by Lindsay Barrett George (Greenwillow Books, 2011) – A spunky puppy has been digging and finding treasures all over the yard – acorns!
  • Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, illustrated by Megan Lloyd (Holiday House, 1993) – After a pumpkin went SPLAT! in the garden, Rebecca Estelle has too many pumpkins!
  • We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, illustrated by Miki Sakamoto (Cartwheel Books, 2005) – Using the familiar cadence of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, this trio is off to find some colorful fall leaves.

(Thanks to the following awesome Twitter librarians for suggesting titles for this list: @Jbrary, @MelissaZD, @misskubelik, @pussreboots, @taletrekker)

Flannel Stories/Rhymes/Activities:

Photo by Abby Johnson
Photo by Abby Johnson

The Perfect Pumpkin. A felt pumpkin and a lot of black felt shapes lead to experimenting with jack-o-lantern creation. Use different shapes to create different faces – some scary, sad, or funny – and ask the kids what shapes you should use to create the perfect pumpkin!

Build a Pumpkin Patch. Pass out felt pumpkins and call kids up to put their pumpkins in the patch based on what color they’re wearing (e.g. “If you’re wearing red today, red today, red today, If you’re wearing red today, please bring up your pumpkin!”). An alternative if you have a large crowd would be to make felt pumpkins of different shapes and sizes (large, small, flat, skinny, triangular) and build a pumpkin patch together, asking for the kids’ help in describing the different shapes and colors they see.

Photo by Abby Johnson
Photo by Abby Johnson

Fall is Not Easy. The trim size of the above-mentioned book by Marty Kelley is a bit small for sharing with a big group. We’ve turned it into a felt story for hilarious fun!

IMG_0442
Photo by Abby Johnson

Fall Leaves Felt. You can do a lot with some felt leaf shapes. We hand them out to the kids and call colors to bring up to the board. You can also talk about what colors they are, use them with the above-mentioned story We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, or use them with a “five little leaves” rhyme or song (try Five Little Leaves).

Bring in some real fall leaves to explore! You can make leaf rubbings, arrange the leaves to make pictures (a la Leaf Man), let kids sort by color or size, or put out some magnifying glasses to let kids take a closer look.

Songs: 

More resources!

You can find more Fall Storytime plans at the following sites:

What are your favorite readalouds and activities for Fall Storytime?

— Abby Johnson, Children’s Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN
http://www.abbythelibrarian.com

2 comments

  1. Polly

    It’s not Fall only, but we’ve been having a great time with Tap the Magic Tree at Fall-themed story times!

  2. Renee Perron

    I enjoy using Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell, It’s Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves! by Lucille Colandro (great with the little old lady puppet and props!), and Sneeze, Big Bear, Sneeze! by Maureen Wright.

    And I agree Polly, Tap the Magic Tree is great to use any season!

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