Thursday, April 9, 2020

Storytime at Home: U is for . . .

We've been reading through the alphabet this year in Storytime.  Since we won't be able to meet in person for a while, here are some ideas for you to continue with the alphabet at home.

There are more choices than we'd use in one Storytime.  You can choose what you want to do and skip the rest - or spread out the activities over multiple times.

If you missed the T post last week, you can see it here.

The letter U

You can write the letters U and u on paper for your child to see.

Here is the letter u in sign language:

And the entire alphabet:


  • The Alphabet Song

  • We Clap and Say Hello

    We clap and say hello.
    We clap and say hello.
    With our friends in Storytime,
    We clap and say hello.

    You can change the third line to: "With our family in our house" to better fit the situation, if you prefer.

    Take turns choosing activities with your child: jump, spin, dance, . . . anything you want!

  • Silly Dance Contest
    recorded during a live concert here (some verses different from our CD)
    CD version here


You can look through your books at home for things that start with U and read some of those with your child.  Unicorns, up, underground, under water, uniforms (or occupations that wear uniforms) underwear, umbrellas, and unique are some U words you might find in your books.

Here are two online books:

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
read by Kate Messner on YouTube here
This is a story about a child, a grandmother, and their garden.  

"Up" in this story refers to things above ground, in relation to things down in the dirt. For younger children who may think of "up" as things they look up to see or things higher than they are, you may need to explain that "up" in this book is above ground. Think about lying on your stomach on the ground - things you would see above the ground are "up in the garden;" things under the ground are "down in the dirt."

If you read Tops & Bottoms last week, you can compare the two books.  Did anything in this book remind you of Tops & Bottoms? Would you want to choose "tops" or "bottoms" if you were growing the vegetable on this page? 

Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal 
read by Brightly Storytime on YouTube here 

Uni the Unicorn believes that little girls are real; the other unicorns do not think girls are real.  Uni imagines what she would do if she met a real girl. 



You can draw a garden - with plants growing UP and roots growing down. Add anything your child would like that is UP - clouds, birds, etc.

Unicorn craft:

You can print the template here or draw and cut out the shapes.
Source (which includes instructions):

Unicorn masks:

You can print a unicorn mask here, color it, cut it out, and pretend to be a unicorn.

U page for alphabet books:  
U page here and U pictures here

Additional activities

UNDERWATER animal watching:
You can watch live views of underwater animals on Georgia Aquarium's website here.

Scavenger hunt:
Go on a scavenger hunt in your house or yard.  You can look for things that start with the letter U and/or look for the letter U written on packages, book titles, artwork in your house, etc.  See how many you can find.

UP and down game:
Name something and ask your child to jump UP if the item is found up or crouch down low if the item is found down. After a few times, ask your child to name something and you can both jump UP or crouch down.  Continue taking turns with your child.  Some ideas: clouds, the moon, the sun, stars, the top of a tall tree, grass, the floor, your feet.  Keep in mind some things can be up or down; for example a bird can be "up" when it's flying or "down" when it's standing on the ground.  If you and your child differ on whether something is up or down, it is a good opportunity to talk about why.

UNDER guessing game:
Find a cup, bowl, bucket, or other container that you can't see through.  Choose a familiar object from your house and hide it UNDER the container.  Ask your child to guess what it is. Give them clues and encourage them to ask questions to help them figure out what is hidden.  Then have your child hide an object for you to guess.  Continue taking turns hiding items and guessing.


Additional resources:

Online reading, learning, and fun resources
Printable activity pages, story starters and more
Screen-free things to do at home
Resources about COVID-19 - books for children, journal pages, tips for talking with your child


Share a Smile - Share artwork and letters with Meals on Wheels recipients.
Share Your Story - Share your experiences and daily life during this pandemic.
Poetry Month - Write a poem to add to our Poetree.

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