As you have probably guessed this Storytime Anytime is all about rain! Personally, I love the rain and thunderstorms are even better. When you are a kid, though, intense and deafening storms can be petrifying. Reading together about thunderstorms can make them a lot less scary and a lot more fun, especially when the kids get to make all of the sound effects.
A few weeks ago we had a daycare come to the library for a story time and since we had been having frequent thunderstorms I decided to make that the theme. First I collected supplies: coffee cans, buckets, rhythm sticks, shaker eggs (eggs with rice inside), and even a few cookie sheets. Every child got something to make noise with, but were told that if they made any sound when they were not told to would lose their instrument. You can use pots, wooden spoons, cans with rice or dried pasta inside, and whatever else you can find to tap, pound, or shake.
I had several books that all featured storm-related onomatopoeia. I am so geeked that I have the chance to use that word which is so much fun to say. Onomatopoeia are words that denote sounds. For example: splat, oink, tweet, plop, kapow, etc.
Well, why just say drip drop, boom, crash, etc. when you can bang on a cookie sheet or jump up and down with shakers. Each book, like a real thunderstorm, begins with a light pitter pat, builds to a thundering crescendo, and then slowly wanes to nothing but a rainbow in the sky. The kids had to listen to the story to know when, and how fast and loud to make the rain.
Tap Tap Boom Boom is a fairly new picture book, but it has a fun rhyming text with lots of onomatopoeia (as if you couldn't tell from the title). This book also takes place in the city and the characters take refuge from the storm in the subway. Some of the boys in my group who were unfamiliar with big cities were fascinated by the idea of underground trains.
Here are a few other picture books featuring rain, thunderstorms, and onomatopoeia (yep I will never get tired of saying that).
|Splish! Splash! A Book about Rain by Josepha Sherman|
|Rain! by Linda Ashman|
|Boom! by Mary Lyn Ray|
|I Love the Rain by Margaret Park Bridges|
If you have some paper towel tubes and rice on hand you can make rain sticks. First prep the tube by rubber banding or taping saran wrap over over one end of the tube. Place a long, twisted piece of aluminum foil before pouring in rice, dried beans, or beads. The aluminum foil is not required but it will give a better sound. Then seal the other side. Make sure you seal the ends tightly because you do not want dry rice spraying everywhere when kids start shaking the rain stick. You can paint, glitterfy (New Word!), color, glue paper on, or decorate the rain stick any way you want.
The best activity for a rainy day is to go outside and walk in the mud. Yes it is dirty, but nothing beats the feeling of mud squelching between your toes and your kids will get a kick out of mom and dad getting messy with them. You can get really gross and look for worms after a rain storm too. My kids are pros at this and often compete to see who can collect the most.
Obviously, the kids in my family really, really love mud!