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Adventures in early literacy

Explore! Preschool STEAM: Pitter Patter

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For October we are focusing on weather, kicking it off with rain since it does a lot of that here. Ugh. I mean, yay!

Storytime Portion:

Introduction: This program has now been going for a whole month! The basis for the program is STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. We hear from teachers that kids could use extra help in these areas and Art is there because many schools aren’t doing as much with budget cuts. I mostly hope kids will have fun, be encouraged to ask questions, and that you might get some ideas for activities to do at home. So here’s an overview of what we are going to do today.

Welcome Blocks

Now It’s Time For Storytime

Book: Listen to the Rain by Bill Martin

Cover image for Listen to the rain

I wanted to use this book in particular because of all the great sounds it makes. I explained this to the group after we read it. Great for vocabulary and pleasing to the ears.

“We just read a book about the rain and how it sounds and used lots of words to describe the rain. Let’s listen to some real rain sounds and you can tell me what they sound like. ”

App: Rain Sounds (Free)

This app is super cool. I put it on my Galaxy Note (it is available for IOS) and plugged it in to the ceiling speakers in the room. It sounded like the rain was right on top of us. So cool! I showed them the image that went with each sound, but mostly we talked about the sounds. The most popular words were pitter patter and drip. There were only 6 kids so that’s OK. They really enjoyed listening to it and were surprised that the thunderstorm rain was quieter than the rain on the tent sound.

I also gave a short message here about using technology together so kids get more out of it. Lots of big head nods to that.

Song: Rain is Falling (Frere Jacques)

Weather Station:

My coworker made this beautiful weather station so we used it to talk about the weather today. We also had a big calendar printed out so we could mark the weather on that so we can keep track from week to week, but the calendar at the wrong dates on it. Oops! Next time.

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Activity portion:

Station #1: Feel the Rain

Shallow trays with a little bit of water in the bottom were set up on the table. Cotton balls were in a container in the middle along with some eye droppers. Kids took their “cloud” and either squeezed water on it with the eye dropper to make it rain, or dipped it in the water to fill it up until it bursts. Just like a cloud! The kids were totally amazed that it got smaller when they wrung it out and bigger when it was full of water. They spent the most time at this station filling their clouds and “making it rain”.

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Station #2: See the Rain

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This idea came from Amy at The Show Me Librarian. I wanted them to have their individual clouds to work on so instead of a tub I used clear cups. Each cup was about half full of water and I squirted some shaving cream on top of the water for each child. They used eye droppers to drop liquid watercolor on top of the shaving cream until the color broke through the “cloud” and rained. The only reason they didn’t stay forever here is that parents wanted them to stop filling their cups with watercolor. Even though I said it was fine. They tried different colors to make a “rainbow that looks like ice cream”. Can you guess which of these was my demo and which was the 4 year old’s?

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Station #3: Hear the Rain

Just some rain sticks on a table. That’s it. They loved it.  Sometimes simple is good.

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Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

2 thoughts on “Explore! Preschool STEAM: Pitter Patter

  1. Pingback: We'll Link to That: Winter 2013 | Jbrary

  2. Pingback: Week Four: STEAM Storytime: Rain! | STEM in Libraries

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