No Place Like Home: A Storytime for Earth Day

This Friday (April 22) is Earth Day, a holiday that’s heavily observed in our coastal community, especially by the Pacific Beach Coalition, who organizes community clean-ups all over the Bay Area. So today, we had a great time celebrating Earth Day at our Outdoor Musical Storytime.

Here’s what we did:

Books:

The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler

Sweet story about a digger who discovers a small blue flower on a construction site, and takes time to water and even sing to it each day. When one of the other construction vehicles digs the flower up, Digger finds some seeds on the ground, and finds a safe place to grow a whole new group of flowers.

Rocket Says Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon; illustrated by Dapo Adeola

Great story about a girl named Rocket who discovers a baby turtle caught in a plastic soda ring while visiting the beach near her grandparents’ house. Suddenly, she notices all of the plastic on the beach, and starts asking the other beach visitors to help clean it up. Soon, the whole beach is clean, and the baby turtle is recovered enough to release back into the wild.

Thank You, Earth by April Pulley Sayre

This book features large beautiful photos of animals, plants, patterns, and nature scenes. There were lots of opportunities for the kids to identify things in the pictures.

Songs:

I’m a Little Seed

(To the tune of I’m a Little Teapot):

I’m a little seed down in the ground (crouching down)

Tiny, tiny, dark, and round (hold up two fingers as if you are holding a small seed).

With the April rain, and the warm sun’s glow,

I’ll pop right up, and grow, grow, grow! (jump up and stretch your arms high).

Rainbow ‘Round Me by Ruth Pelham

This song is always fun to do, especially because it gives the kids a chance to suggest things they would like to see outside their window. Today we had a red kitty, a rainbow rainbow (of course!), and a green tree.

When I [C] look outside my [G7] window,
There’s a world of color I [C] see.
Fiddle-dee-dee, [F] outside my [C] window 
There’s a [G7] world of color I [C] see.

CHORUS:
[F] Rainbow, [C] rainbow, [G7] rainbow ’round [C] me. 
[F] Rainbow, [C] rainbow, [G7] rainbow ’round [C] me. 

The Waves at the Beach

This one was from PreschoolEducation.com. It’s to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus:

The [C] waves at the beach go UP and DOWN,

[G7] UP and DOWN [C] UP and DOWN,

The waves at the beach go UP and DOWN,

[G7] All day [C]long.

The crabs at the beach crawl back and forth…

The clams at the beach go open and shut…

The lobsters at the beach go snap, snap, snap!

The kids at the beach yell “Yay, Yay, Yay!”…

This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie

We did this one for our instrument play-along (where we hand out shakers for the kids). Here’s an old recording of Guthrie himself.

CHORUS

[C] This land is [F] your land, this land is [C] my land.
From [G7] California to the New York [C] island.
From the redwood [F] forest to the Gulf Stream [C] waters
[G7] This land was made for you and [C] me

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway.
I saw below me that golden valley,
This land was made for you and me.

CHORUS

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps,
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts.
And all around me a voice was sounding
“This land was made for you and me.”

CHORUS

Stay & Play: Seed Bombs

I found this project on Little Bins For Little Hands. It’s a seed bomb made with different colors of construction paper. Basically, you cut the paper into small squares and soak them in water for at least twenty minutes, then shred them in a food processor (a process that sparked a lot of curiosity in my house over the weekend!).

For the storytime, I put out paper bowls of wildflower seed mix for our area for each child. Then I put bowls of shredded damp paper (a different color in each bowl) out on the tables. The kids had fun mushing the seeds into the wet paper, and mixing the colors together (some of them rolled it into balls, while others just made a colorful blend of paper and seeds in their bowls). I told them they could plant their seed bombs outside, or in a pot. (There were quite a few seeds spilled on the ground, so I’m also wondering how many flowers are going to be popping up at the park in a few weeks!).

What are your favorite books or projects for Earth Day? Please share them in the comments.

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