Archives for April 2016

Storytelling: Umbrellas

It’s raining, it’s pouring…

I hope you’ve been splish-splashing your way through our awesome posts this month centered on rain! Today I invite you to pull on your galoshes and create an easy umbrella book with your little one — perfect for writing and illustrating their very own story about rain!



  • Black card stock (construction paper works as well — just not as sturdy for the backing)
  • White construction paper for the pages
  • Printed scrapbook paper for cover
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Glue
  • Umbrella book template HERE


  1. Print out your FREE umbrella book template.
  2. Cut and trace the template top onto your printed paper, black card stock, and white paper for pages.
  3. Cut and trace the template handle onto your black cardstock.
  4. Cut out all the pieces. For younger students this is great scissor practice! IMG_8227IMG_8228
  5. IMG_8226 Glue the handle to the black card stock top to create your backing.
  6. Assemble the pieces into your book.
  7. Staple in the upper left corner and left side of your umbrella top to secure the pages.
  8. You’re all set to start writing and illustrating!IMG_8229

For additional activities and resources be sure to check out our TPT store!

Click HERE



Jocelyn Bartle


Rain Stick Craft

Rain sticks are traditionally made from dead cactus tubes with hundreds of cactus spines hammered into the tube.   Tiny lava pebbles cascade gently through the tube, sounding similar to rain.

Regenmacher Regenstab freigestellt

Make your own Rain Stick!

Supplies needed:

  • A paper towel tube or other long cardboard tube
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small dried beans (lentils), unpopped popcorn, dry rice, or tiny pasta
  • Construction paper or brown paper, like a grocery bag
  • Glue & tape
  • Scissors
  • Paint, crayons, and/or markers


  1. Create the ends of your rain stick by tracing the ends of the tube on the construction paper or paper bag.
    Draw a second circle larger than the first and then cut in from larger circle to smaller creating spokes that will wrap around the end of the tube.
  2. Glue or tape a cap onto one end of the tube.
  3. Cut a piece of aluminum foil that is about one and half times the length of your tube and about 6 inches wide.
  4. Crunch the aluminum foil into two long, thin, snake-like shapes.  Then twist each one into a spring shape.
  5. Put the aluminum foil springs into your tube.Pour some dry beans, dry rice, or unpopped popcorn into your tube. The tube should only be about 1/10 full.  Experiment to see how different amounts and different types of seeds and beans change the sound.
  6. Make another cap from brown paper (the same as the first two steps) and cap your tube.
  7. Decorate the tube by covering it with brown paper or construction paper, and then making designs with crayons or markers (or cut-out paper or stickers).

a rainstick, an instrument that is believed to have been invented by the Aztecs and was played in the belief it could bring about rainstorms. Rainsticks are usually made from cactus

Rain & Thunderstorms

Here are three simple verbal language activities to share with your children.

For your 2 – 4 year olds

Consider using musical instruments to accent the last three words in each line.

Down come the rain drops SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH! (stamp feet on the splashes)
Let’s run for cover, DASH, DASH, DASH!  (run on the spot)
Pitter patter, pitter patter, DRIP, DRIP, DROP! (clap hands in rhythm)
I’m under my umbrella till the raindrops STOP! (put up pretend umbrella)


For older children – share together the following:

by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 – 1895)

The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree.
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.


I Like To See a Thunderstorm
by Elizabeth Coatsworth (1893 – 1986)

I like to see a thunderstorm,
A dunder storm,
A blunder storm,
I like to see it, black and slow,
Come tumbling down the hills.

A plunder storm,
A wonder storm,
Roar loudly at our little house
And shake the window sills!




Author and Illustrator:  Manya Stojic


Is there anything better on a hot spring day than to hear the distant rumbling of thunder and realize that a cooling  rain shower is on the way?

In our story, Rain, the animals of the African savannah use their senses to predict and then enjoy the rain.

The porcupine sniffs around. “It’s time,” she whispered. “The rain is coming! I can smell it. I must tell the zebras.”

The zebras in turn see the lightning and tell the baboons; who hear the thunder and tell the rhino and on it goes…

Soon it is raining and gushing and gurgling, filling every water hole.  The African savannah begins to sprout fresh, green leaves. The animals now enjoy the aftermaths of the rain shower, not unlike many children.  After all, who hasn’t squished their toes in a cool, soft mud puddle now and then?

You may find yourself searching the sky for some rain clouds after reading this brightly illustrated and fun to read story.