Saturday, April 16, 2011


April Showers bring May Flowers!  This week we read books on rain, rain, rain.  Ironically, the weather was as beautiful as you could ask for up until today, when it rained all day to culminate the weeks' activities.

I found gobs of fun rain books.  Here are our top four picks, but I list more at the bottom of this post because there were so many good ones:

I loved the breathtaking verse in Waiting out the Storm.  Chicky Chicky Chook Chook is rollicking fun for even the littlest readers, with great use of onomatopoeia.  Lila and the Secret of Rain is a heart-warming tale about a girl who saved her village by telling the sky her woes, thereby causing it to weep and end the long drought.  Finally, the wordless Rainstorm is fun to explore because the kids can do it all just by looking at the pictures.  It encourages that pre-literacy skill of learning context clues from the visuals.

Theo's teacher did a fun art project for rain.  They used glitter glue for the lightning, blue colored rice for the rain, and cotton balls dipped in black powdered tempera for the clouds.  The clouds continue to be a little messy, but it's still a cool project.

We did something similar at home, with a 3-d umbrella made using an octagon (my mom used a glass as a pattern and we enlarged it).  Notice that it folds up into all triangles.  I cut S's out for him, but T could do his own.

Q-tips in paint for the rain, and I thought newsprint would make cool clouds, so I cut them out in advance.  The kids drew themselves under the umbrellas.

I thought it was done, but the artist was unsatisfied.  He painted the clouds black and added some lightning.

Mom helped him do one with a gingerbread man cookie cutter for himself, which was good cutting practice and helped get the head under the umbrella.

Once upon a time we made a neat rainstick at a friend's house.  They used a packing tube (for mailing maps and such), pounded nails into it, and threw in some beans.  After the kids decorated it with stickers and markers, we covered them up with clear packing tape to reduce risk of the nails coming out.  It was fun!  Here's another version using paper towel tubes at Enchanted Learning.  Or you can buy a kit at Discount School Supply.

Fingerplays for the week:

I thought this one was really cute:
Pitter Pat, pitter pat (drum fingers on floor), the rain goes on for hours. And though it keeps me in the house, it's very (hold hands palms up and closed into fists in front of you) good for (open fists) flowers (lift hands imitating flowers growing up).

And here are some oldie-but-goodies, followed by a funny (?!) one that cracks me up:

Rain, rain, go away;
Come again another day;
Little Johnny wants to play.
(You can replace each child name in this song.)

It's raining, it's pouring;
The old man is snoring.
Bumped his head
And he went to bed
And he couldn't get up in the morning.

It ain't gonna rain no more, no more.
It ain't gonna rain no more,
How in the heck will I wash the my neck
If it ain't gonna rain no more

For more rain fingerplay fun go here.

A great soundtrack for today's activities is the title track to Maria Muldaur's Swingin' in the Rain.  Love it!

My favorite beverage for cold rainy days is cocoa from scratch.  Here's my fairly kid-friendly, Scratch Cocoa in a Jiffy recipe:

- Get out your 1/4 measuring cup.  Use it once in the cocoa and twice in the sugar (for a half cup).  Then fill it part way twice with hot water.  All of this goes in a pot with a dash of salt-- bring just to a boil.  Add four cups of milk and pour some vanilla in the vanilla lid once or twice (adding it to the pot). Heat.  Add marshmallows as desired.

Finally, these are the other rain books we enjoyed.  It's a multi-cultural list:

Rain Play by Cynthia Cotten
The Rain Stomper by Addie Boswell
Monsoon Afternoon by Kashmira Sheth
Rain School by James Rumford (try to read it without crying)
What Makes it Rain?  The Story of a Raindrop by Keith Brandt

** Addendum.  Have a Middle Grade reader?  Check out the book Drizzle by Kathleen van Cleve.  It was a good read-- kept me interested, anyway.  It features a magic rhubarb farm, who can resist?

See you next week for a celebration of eggs!


  1. I like the rain activities you did, especially the rainstick. I would enjoy making one myself just for the fun of it!

  2. what a cute rain day project! thanks for coming to the dragons fairy tail and leaving such nice things! I LOVE followers and now I'm your follower too!


  3. Oh, wow--some beautiful books--we didn't spot any of these but I'll put them on our list to check out next year. And I love the 3D umbrella. So cool! I will share this on twitter and facebook...and thanks for stopping by Naturally Educational and saying hi!

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