This is one of my favorite storytimes. My group this year has very short attention spans. So most of these books I could read to my 2/3 year olds but my kindergarteners still liked it. Last session, my kindergarteners would have had me on a platter, saying this is a baby book. Personalities are so different.

Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy TafuriWe started out with a cute one, The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri. We talk about what happens in fall. The leaves turn colors and fall down, it gets colder. I asked what do the animals do. The kids said they find food. One kid shouted, “they hibernate!” Smart little dude. He had no idea what hibernate meant though, haha. We talked about what hibernation meant and what animals hibernated. As we read the book, I asked the kids to look for clues on the page as to what the squirrel was going to collect for food. We made the animal noises as each animal asked the squirrel to play, and the kids repeated the “squirrel was too busy” refrain.

Then we did  a leaf dance with laminated fall leaves. It’s a piggy-back rhyme to Wheels on the Bus.

The Leaves on the Trees

The leaves on the trees turn orange and red,

Orange and red, orange and red.

The leaves on the trees turn orange and red,

All around the town.

The leaves of the trees come tumbling down,

Tumbling down, tumbling down.

The leaves of the trees come tumbling down,

All around the town.

The leaves of the trees go swish, swish, swish,

Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish.

The leaves of the trees go swish, swish, swish,

All around the town.

We’ll rake them in a pile and jump right in,

Jump right in, jump right in.

We’ll rake them in a pile and jump right in,

All around the town.

Leaves by David Ezra SteinI read Leaves (David Ezra Stein) for the Family Storytime and ditched it for my 4K Storytime. I always liked this book because it was calm and the pictures were simple and pretty and there was only one sentence per page. Apparently that still couldn’t keep their attention. My guess is that they couldn’t get the abstract concept that the bear is concerned for the fall leaves because they have fallen off their trees. He doesn’t know they’re supposed to. I think that’s sweet and thought it would provoke empathy in the kids. But they were like, duh! That’s what happens in fall! They didn’t get it.

We did a flannel where the kids get to pick an apple off the flannel tree like real apple picking. We sang the rhyme to “This Old Man”:

Yummy apples in a tree

One for you and one for me

We’ll shake that tree to make them fall

Yummy apples for us all

I pointed to a kid each time and they came and got an apple. When we all had apples, we pretended to be an apple tree and said the rhyme:

Two Red Apples

Way up high in the apple tree

Two red apples smiled at me

I shook that tree as hard as I could

Down fell the apples and

Mmmm were they good

A is for Autumn by Robert MaassLastly, I picked a few letters from A is For Autumn (Robert Maass) and had the kids guess what the picture would be using fall clues. Ex: What starts with a P and you can pick them at a farm and carve them into jackolanterns? Pumpkins. The photos are gorgeous.

Back-up books I didn’t use: