Opening Song

Tippy Tap: What is your favorite food to eat at a picnic?

Polly's Picnic by Richard HamiltonPolly’s Picnic (Richard Hamilton) I love this book because of the gorgeous illustrations and lyrical words. The lines rhyme. You can see the girl getting more and more upset by reading her facial expressions as the animals, one by one, eat her entire picnic. I have the kids identify the animals as they see them. I ask them how they think the girl feels in each scene. This is harder than you would think because some of the littles can’t read facial expressions as adeptly yet. It’s a good social/emotional lesson. I ask if they think the horse will grow a pear tree in his tummy. It’s funny to see who believes it or not since I have a wide age range in this class (2 years old to kindergarten). When the animals start planning I have the kids make predictions about what will happen. They’re really happy with the “surprise” ending and say that the picnic the animals made look better than hers.

Fingerplay: “Pat-a-cake” For this fingerplay, I go around and have the kids tell me what letter their name starts with. The older kids are good at helping the littles figure it out. It’s sweet. Then we sing the song and do the actions and the kids enjoy shouting out the letter of their first name and putting it in the oven for them.

The Watermelon Seed by Greg PizzoliThe Watermelon Seed (Greg Pizzoli) Even though this book is simple like the Elephant & Piggy books, I love reading it even to the older kids. It’s hilarious. I’m slightly jealous I hadn’t thought of it myself. I read it and exaggerate everything. My kids for this group love being goofy, so I chose this over my favorite Pat Hutchins book, We’re Going on a Picnic. I ask the kids how to get the seed out of his belly. The answers are pretty funny and the group today was actually correct. I believe this book also won the Geisel Award.

Flannel: “Going on a Picnic” We have a lot of pieces for our flannels because we give each child a flannel piece to contribute. So our flannels have 15 pieces each for our program cap of 15 kids.

Going on a picnic, leaving right away

If it doesn’t rain, we’ll stay all day

Who brought the sandwiches?

(Name) brought the sandwiches.

Ready for a picnic, here we go!

  • …hot dogs
  • Hamburgers
  • Chicken
  • Watermelon
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Potato chips
  • Milk
  • Lemonade
  • Cookies
  • Corn on the cob
  • Pretzel
  • Cupcake
  • Ants!

Going on a picnic, leaving right away

If it doesn’t rain, we’ll stay all day

Who brought their appetites?

We brought our appetites!

Everybody dig in, here we go!

I'd Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane DonnioI’d Really Like to Eat a Child (Sylviane Donnio) I know it seems like I have a think for crocodiles now and I did this instead of Lunch, but it’s so funny and my group wanted to be goofy today. I ask the kids what they should feed the crocodile to make him eat. The kids love the suspense when the girl appears, they go nuts. I ask them to predict what the crocodile will do. They all say eat her. But then we study the picture and try to figure out whether the crocodile actually can. One smart kid pointed out that we are bigger than snakes and a lot of them can eat us. Which is brilliant, but I also didn’t want to make all the other kids afraid of snakes. They also though the ending was silly and satisfying. And they claimed they would never give a crocodile a banana so it couldn’t eat them. Is this where odd superstitions get their start?

Closing Song

Additional Books:

  • The Bunnies’ Picnic (Evans)
  • We’re Going on a Picnic (Pat Hutchins)
  • Lunch (Denise Fleming)