Posts tagged ‘sheep’

Nursery Rhyme Story Time

I had wanted to do a nursery rhyme theme for a long time for story time, but I was hesitant because I wanted it to be fun, memorable, and unique. Nursery rhymes are so important in early literacy, and many children are no longer introduced to them. I wanted to make sure I had a nice balance between old and new nursery rhymes so everyone felt comfortable, and I wanted to throw in a few fun touches to make it engaging.

We started, as usual, with our opening song–“If You Want to Hear a Story.”

(Sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands.
If you want to hear a story, clap your hands.
If you want to hear a story, if you want to hear a story, if you want to hear a story, clap your hands.

(Repeat with “zip your lips,” “stomp your feet,” “say hooray,” or any other verse you’d like.)

Then, I introduced our theme. I asked if anyone knew any nursery rhymes. When no one responded, I asked if anyone knew any Mother Goose stories. Still no one responded, so I said that I bet they did and led them in “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” I said everyone knew at least a few of Mother Goose’s rhymes, and we’d learn a few more today.

I asked if anyone knew “Little Miss Muffet.” A few of my kids had heard it, and I said we’d read it for those that weren’t familiar. So, our first book was Little Miss Muffet by Iza Trapani


This is a cute version of this rhyme. It follows Miss Muffet on her crazy journey to get away from all the creepy crawly and otherwise undesirable creatures she finds after she escapes from the spider. It’s a fun and funny expansion of the original rhyme with some entertaining illustrations. It was a hit at storytime!

Then, we stood for an action rhyme. We did “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe.”

One, two, buckle my shoe.
Three, four, shut the door.
Five, six, pick up sticks.
Seven, eight, lay them straight.
Nine, ten, a big fat hen.
Eleven, twelve, dig and delve.
Thirteen, fourteen, maids a-courting.
Fifteen, sixteen, maids in the kitchen.
Seventeen, eighteen, maids are waiting.
Nineteen, twenty, my plate’s empty.

I took out the flannel board next for our version of “Baa Baa Black Sheep.”

Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes, sir. Yes, sir, three bags full.
One for the master, one for the dame,
One for the little boy who lives down the lane.
Baa baa black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes, sir, Yes, sir. Three bags full.
(Change color of sheep to green, red, yellow, orange, etc.)

I made sure to repeat black at the beginning and end of the song so they were more familiar with the original version than our fun take on it. This became more important for our last flannel activity.

Our second reading was “Little Bo Peep” from Mother Goose Remembers by Clare Beaton

Mother Goose Remembers is an anthology of many of the classic rhymes accompanied with fun and colorful illustrations. Though it’s fairly simple and straightforward, it was a good addition for a traditional telling of the rhymes.

I wanted to use one fun and unique take on a nursery rhyme, but I wanted to make sure to get the original in there somewhere like Little Miss Muffet did. I found the perfect addition in Cindy Moo by Lori Mortensen. It was our third book.

This is such a fun book that tells the original version of “Hey, Diddle, Diddle.” and then follows a cow who, having heard the rhyme, wants to try her hand at jumping over the moon. After much trial and error and a bit of creativity, she manages to make her dream come true. It’s a very cute story that the kids got a kick from.

Then, we sang “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to return to rhymes they’d all heard and to refresh their memory a bit for our upcoming flannel activity.

I’d originally wanted to include a magic envelope activity for Little Boy Blue that I’d found at Storytime Secrets, but I didn’t end up being able to use it. It’s a very cute idea, though, that I hope to include in another storytime because it’s fun and helps with reading comprehension and literacy skills.

Next it was time for our final flannel activity! I decided to do a Mixed Up Mother Goose FLannel that I’d found at Mel’s Desk. All I did was print out pictures that related to the rhymes we’d used in this storytime, glossed them, added velcro tabs, and voila! I’d made a very simple flannel.

All I did for this flannel was place one piece at a time while retelling a rhyme to test the kids’ memory. For example, I said, “The itsy bitsy SPIDER went up the HAYSTACK.” at which point the kids stopped me and would correct me. I kept doing this until I ran out of pieces. I was able to retell “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Hey, Diddle, Diddle,” “Baa Baa Black Sheep,” “Little Boy Blue,” “Little Miss Muffet,” and “Little Bo Peep” with the piece I cut out. You could easily use other rhymes.

Our last book was Hickory Dickory Dock by Sanja Rescek

This is a simple board book that’s a quick read with colorful and fun illustrations. I just wanted one more quick book to introduce another rhyme before we moved into our active part of the storytime.

To close, we played some of the active rhymes like “London Bridge Is Falling Down,” “Ring Around the Rosy,” and I invented a jumping game for “Jack Be Nimble” that just involved jumping over a paper towel tube with a battery operated candle inside it. In order to pick which child got to jump next, I managed to sneak in one more rhyme–“Eenie Meenie Minie Mo.”

After all that activity, we sat down to make our craft–a cow headband so that we could all be Cindy Moo! I found this craft on SugarBeeCrafts.

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Bedtime Story Time

This week’s story time theme was getting ready for bed, so I featured common lullabies and books about getting ready for bed or sleep. I also featured one very popular bedtime story book that happens to be my favorite and may or may not have been the reason I chose this theme in the first place!

We started off with my usual opening song–“If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, we kicked off story time with our first book: Time for Bed, Baby Ted by Debra Sartell.

Not only did I enjoy this book because it has a nice rhyme scheme and presents bedtime in a fun, new way, the kids loved it because they got to guess which animal Ted was pretending to be while he got ready for bed. The only animals that caused trouble (mainly just with my two year olds) were the seal and the mouse. They could identify all the others, and loved yelling out their answers as we worked our way through the book. I’d highly recommend this title.

Then, we discussed how it’s not always easy to go to sleep because you sometimes have too much energy! So, we stood up and sang, “Shake Your Sillies Out” by Raffi and did the popular “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” rhyme:

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach up high.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your knees.
Teddy bear, teddy bear, sit down, please.

After that, we read No Sleep for the Sheep by Karen Beaumont.

This was a pretty cute book that repeated nicely. The kids caught on, and liked to guess which animal would wake the sheep up next. Most of the time, they were spot on, so it was pretty fun. Other groups, however, got bored with the endless repeating.

Then, we sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Five Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed,” which the kids really got into.

After that, we read what was (often) our last book: I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa Mccourt.

I love Stinky Face! I had never read these books until I was judging a storytelling competition in the spring of last year and one of the teens chose this book for her piece. I fell in love with the story, and I knew I had to do a story time with this book. Then, I discovered Happy Halloween, Stinky Face, Merry Christmas, Stinky Face, I Miss You, Stinky Face, and It’s Time for School, Stinky Face (which I almost included in my school story time a few weeks ago). So, you’ll see Stinky Face again in my blog for future story times. The kids enjoyed this book, particularly the alien that eats bugs instead of peanut butter, which was apparently the funniest thing ever! The teacher and some of the parents also smiled when I announced this book. It’s pretty well-known, but none of my kids has read it yet.

After that, we sang “Are You Sleeping/Frere Jacques” and our closing song “Goodbye, Goodbye.” For other story times with older kids, I sometimes read a fourth book:  The Stuffed Animals Get Ready for Bed by Alison Inches.

This is a pretty cute book about a boy with a rowdy bunch of stuffed animals who refuse to let him go to bed. The kids seemed to enjoy it.

For our craft at my walk-in story time, we made sheep (so we could count them as we went to sleep).
lil easter lamb sheep craft for kids - u will need construction paper, cotton balls, glue stick, hole punch and scissors. Cut out the ears, the long strips of construction paper for the body and punch out the eyes from some scrap white paper and the nose from some scrap pink paper. I used 5 cotton balls and had the kids pull each one in half to make ten total. That makes them the perfect size.
I ended up altering this craft a bit by making a white face and gluing googly eyes to it with a pink nose because it looked more sheep-like because my co-workers thought it looked more like a mouse than a sheep when I made my first example. Overall, it was a quick and easy craft, and the kids loved making their sheep nice and fluffy with the cotton balls.

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