Starstruck: A Storytime about the Night Sky

Today we did a storytime about the Night Sky, which ended up being a really fun theme.

Here’s what we did:

Books:

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

Adorable story about a little boy who dreams of having a star for a friend. The kids were really engaged, with some of them even mimicking the boy’s efforts to reach way up into the sky. The story ends with the boy finding a sea star, which was an ideal conclusion for our beach community.

I Took the Moon for a Walk by Carolyn Curtis and Alison Jay

Very sweet illustrated poem about a night-time walk with the moon.

Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson

Like Tap the Magic Tree by the same author, this book encourages kids to participate by touching, swiping, or waving at different things in the illustrations like fireflies, stars, and owls, and tracing the Big and Little Dipper in the air. Several of the kids were so interested, they came up to stand right in front of me.

Songs:

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

We sang this three times–twice at normal speed, and once really fast, which the kids always enjoy.

[C] Twinkle, Twinkle, [F] Little [G7] Star,
[G7] How I [C] wonder [G7] what you [C] are.
[C] Up a-[F] bove the [C] world so [G7] high,
[C] Like a [F] diamond [C] in the [G7] sky,
[C] Twinkle, Twinkle, [F] Little [G7] Star,
[G7] How I [C] wonder [G7] what you [C] are.

Bend and Stretch

An old classic from the TV show Romper Room.

Bend and stretch,
Reach for the stars.
There goes Jupiter,
Here comes Mars.
Bend and stretch,
Reach for the sky.
Stand on tippy toes,
Oh, so high!

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

This one is always a hit. I have the kids crouch down while we sing the first part, then jump up in the air when we blast off. Here’s a slightly different version from Jiggle Jam, which uses the same tune:

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,
We’re going to the Moon.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,
We’re going to the Moon.
If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,
We’re going to the Moon.
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Blast-off!

Rocketship Run by Laurie Berkner

This one was so much fun, and worked perfectly for the theme. Here’s a link to the You Tube video.

[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!
[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!

[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Sun,
[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Sun,
[C]When I [G7] get there [F] I’ll be spinning everywhere.
[C]Spinning [G7] round the [F] Sun.

[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!
[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!

[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Moon,
[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Moon,
[C]When I [G7] get there [F] I’ll be dancing through the air,
[C]Dancing [G7] on the [F] Moon.

[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!
[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!

[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] stars,
[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] stars,
[C]When I [G7] get there [F] I’ll be jumping everywhere,
[C]Dancing [G7] from star to [F] star.[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!
[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!

[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Earth,
[C]Leave me [G7] on the [F] ground,
[C]When I [G7] get there [F] I’ll be [C] home.

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[C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run

I Don’t Want to Live On the Moon by Jeff Moss

One of my very favorite Sesame Street songs.

[C] Oh, I’d like to [G] visit the [Am] moon,
On a [F] rocketship [G] high in the [C] air,
[C]Yes, I’d like to [G] visit the [Am] moon,
But I [F] don’t think I’d [G] like to live [C] there.
Though [F] I’d like to look down at the [C] earth from above,
I would [F] miss all the places and [C] people I love.
So al-[F]though I may [C] go, I’ll be [E7] coming home [Am] soon,
‘Cause I [F] don’t want to [G] live on the [C] moon.

[C] I would [G] travel under the [Am] sea,
I could [F] meet all the [G] fish every-[C]where.
[C] Yes, I’d [G] travel under the [Am] sea,
But I [F] don’t think I’d [G] like to live [C] there.
I might [F] stay for a day there, if I [C] had my wish,
But there’s [F] not much to do when your [C] friends are all fish.
And an [F] oyster and [C] clam aren’t [E7] real fami-[Am]ly,
So I [F] don’t want to [G] live in the [C] sea.

I’d [F] like to visit the jungle hear the [C] lions roar,
[F] Go back in time and meet a [C] dinosaur.
There’s so [F] many strange [E7] places I’d like to [Am] be,
But [F] none of them [G] permanent-[C]ly.

[C] So if I [G] should visit the [Am] moon,
Well I’d [F] dance on a [G] moonbeam and [C] then,
[C] I will [G] make a wish on a [Am] star,
And I’ll [F] wish I was [G] home once a-[C]gain.
Though [F] I’d like to look down at the [C] earth from above,
I would [F] miss all the places and [C] people I love.
So al-[F]though I may [C] go, I’ll be [E7] coming home [Am] soon,
‘Cause I [F] don’t want to [G] live on the [C] moon.
No, I [F] don’t want to [G] live on the [C] moon.

Stay & Play: Watercolor Night Skies

I got this idea from Pre-K Pages. Crayon resist art has always been one of my favorite activities, and this one worked out so well that several kids didn’t want to stop painting.

I put out watercolor paper, watercolor paints, brushes, small cups of water, and white crayons. The younger kids usually had their caregiver draw a star or other shapes with the white crayon, and then the kids painted over it to reveal the image. They had such a great time mixing the colors.

What are your favorite books or songs about night-time? Please share them in the comments below.

Out of This World: A Storytime About Space

Last Saturday, May 7, was International Astronomy Day, so it seemed like a fun week to do a storytime about Space.

Here’s what we did:

Books:

Astro Girl by Ken Wilson-Max

Very sweet, empowering story about a girl named Astrid, who tells her father that she wants to be an astronaut. He asks her if she’s ready to eat food out of a tube, be in zero gravity, and do science experiments, and she enthusiastically says yes. In the end, the family goes to see her mother, who is just arriving home from a space mission herself.

A Kite for Moon by Jane Yolen, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, and Matt Phelan

Dedicated to astronaut Neil Armstrong, this beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the lonely Moon, and the boy who tries to hug her. When he finds that she is too far away, he sends up kites to keep her company. He spends his whole life studying how to be an astronaut, and finally goes to visit the Moon in person, while the whole world watches.

Aliens Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort

This silly, colorful book got lots of giggles. When aliens come to Earth, it’s not to see you, but to steal your underpants, which they all love!

Songs:

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

It’s always nice to throw this song in, since it’s a surefire way to get the families singing along. I like to sing it really fast the last time through.

[C] Twinkle, Twinkle, [F] Little [G7] Star,
[G7] How I [C] wonder [G7] what you [C] are.

[C] Up a-[F] bove the [C] world so [G7] high,

[C] Like a [F] diamond [C] in the [G7] sky,

[C] Twinkle, Twinkle, [F] Little [G7] Star,
[G7] How I [C] wonder [G7] what you [C] are.

If You’re Going to the Moon

This one is from JBrary, although I found it on this wonderful list of Space Songs for Preschools from Preschool Inspirations. It’s to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It:

[C] If you’re going to the Moon,

Wear your [G7] boots (stomp! stomp!)

[G7] If you’re going to the Moon,

Wear your [C] boots (stomp! stomp!)

If you’re [F] going to the Moon,

This is [C] what you have to do.

If you’re [G7] going to the Moon,

Wear your [C] boots (stomp! stomp!)

If you’re going to the Moon,

Wear your helmet… (mime putting on helmet)

If you’re going to the Moon,

Wear your gloves… (mime putting on gloves)

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

This one is always a hit. I have the kids crouch down while we sing the first part, then jump up in the air when we blast off. Here’s a slightly different version from Jiggle Jam, which uses the same tune:

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,

We’re going to the Moon.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,

We’re going to the Moon.

If you want to take a trip,

Climb aboard my rocket ship.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,

We’re going to the Moon.

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Blast-off!

Rocketship Run by Laurie Berkner

This one was so much fun, and worked perfectly for the theme. Here’s a link to the You Tube video.

[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!
[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!

[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Sun,
[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Sun,
[C]When I [G7] get there [F] I’ll be spinning everywhere.
[C]Spinning [G7] round the [F] Sun.

[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!
[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!

[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Moon,
[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Moon,
[C]When I [G7] get there [F] I’ll be dancing through the air,
[C]Dancing [G7] on the [F] Sun.

[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!
[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!

[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] stars,
[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] stars,
[C]When I [G7] get there [F] I’ll be jumping everywhere,
[C]Dancing [G7] from star to [F] star.

[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!
[Am] 5-4-3-2-1 [C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run!

[C]Take me [G7] to the [F] Earth,
[C]Leave me [G7] on the [F] ground,
[C]When I [G7] get there [F] I’ll be [C] home.

[Am] 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

[C] Blast off! Another rocket [E7] ship [Am] run

Stay & Play: Mixed Media Night Sky

I originally just intended to have the kids stamp circles with pompoms dipped in tempera paint (to represent planets), and then add the sparkly star stickers. But I was surprised to see that some kids were sticking the pompoms onto their paper with the paint, which added a whole other dimension. The kids loved everything about this craft.

What are your favorite books or songs about space? Please share them in the comments.