Posts tagged ‘storytime’

Art Story Time

For this storytime, we began with the “If You Want to Hear a Story” song. Then, we talked about our theme by discussing who liked to draw, color, play with play dough, etc. We had quite a few artists. Then, we read our first book–The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt.

Because of the popularity of this book, many of the kids had already read it. This is usually a good thing in storytime because they’re typically even more engaged in the story if they’re familiar with it. So, this went over very well. I did shorten it a bit because reading all the notes can take quite a while.

Then, we sang an action song I found on Storytime Katie–“This Is the Way:”

This is the way we stir the paint, stir the paint, stir the paint.
This is the way we stir the paint so early in the morning.
(Dip the brush, paint the paper, blow it dry, etc.)

After that, we did our flannel story for this week–Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. I really wanted to include this book in my storytime, but it’s so small that reading it to a group is difficult. So, a flannel is the best bet. It’s also a very easy flannel that’s virtually impossible to mess up because it’s supposed to look like a toddler drew it! If you’re new to making flannel stories, I’d recommend this one (though I personally started with the equally easy It Looked Like Spilt Milk for my imagination storytime). If you’re looking for templates and instructions, I went to Storytime Katie’s Flannel Friday.






After our flannel story, it was time for an action rhyme, so we did “Red, Red:”

Red, red is the color I see.
If you are wearing red, show it to me.
Stand up, turn around, show me your red, and sit back down.
(Repeat with other colors.)

Then, we read Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

This is a very cute story about being different and learning to like yourself for who you are. The kids thought it was funny how red wasn’t actually red and had so much trouble. It was a hit.

Then, we read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

This was a cute story about how anyone can be an artist, no matter their talents. The kids enjoyed it, and I liked the message about expressing yourself without judgement.

After that, we decided to sing “Shake Your Sillies Out” because we needed to get rid of some energy. Then, we looked at a section of Carl’s Afternoon in the Park by Alexandra Day, but we didn’t go through the entire book. Only one page is really about art. We discussed how the characters looked different in the various paintings the artists had made of them and how they represented different styles of art that we might not have heard about before.

This introduced our craft for the week. I had put together a slightly different craft for them in addition to some coloring sheets. I had just drawn some lines on a piece of paper, photo copied it on white and colored paper, cut out the shapes on the colored paper, and made a bit of a modern art puzzle craft. They could put together their own piece of modern art from my templates. Here is an example:

Christmas Story Time

My last story time of the fall 2014 semester was our holiday story time. We started off with “If You Want to Hear a Story,” and I introduced the theme, even though it needed no introduction by this point in December. The kids were already really excited about it and, considering I came in wearing a Santa hat, they knew what the theme would be.

Our first book was Merry Un-Christmas by Mike Reiss
I love this book! I think it’s adorable and can appeal to the kids and the parents. Some of the classes I read to this week didn’t really understand why it might not be awesome to have Christmas 24/7, but they did like the book. It’s funny, smart, and it teaches a good lesson. It is a bit on the long side, so I’d either cut it down (which is fairly easy to do) or use it for older groups.

Then, since Santa didn’t make an appearance in our first book, I sang a riddle simply titled “Whose” from Preschool Education.
(To the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”)
Guess whose beard is long and white.
Long and white, long and white.
Guess whose beard is long and white.
It’s Dear old Santa.
Guess whose suit is red and white.
Red and white, red and white.
Guess whose suit is red and white.
It’s Dear old Santa.
Guess who comes on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve.
Guess who comes on Christmas Eve.
It’s Dear old Santa.

Since Santa brings his reindeer, we followed that with a “Rudolph, Rudolph Flannel” that a former youth facilitator made and left. I found the words in OCPS.
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Rudolph, Rudolph, what will you do?
You can’t guide Santa’s sleigh if your nose is BLUE!

Rudolph, Rudolph, you’re such a silly fellow.
Who will know it’s you if your nose is YELLOW?

Rudolph, Rudolph, your way cannot be seen
Through the wintry weather if your nose is GREEN.

Rudolph, Rudolph, Santa gave a wink,
But what will he say if your nose is PINK?

Rudolph, Rudolph, it’s time to fly at night,
But you can’t see through the snow if your nose is WHITE.

Rudolph, Rudolph, it’s time to go to town,
But you can’t help Santa if your nose is BROWN.

Rudolph, Rudolph, Santa has his sack,
But you’re not ready if your nose is BLACK.

Rudolph, Rudolph, the children are in bed,
And now we can get on our way because your nose is RED.

Then, we just had to sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” of course!

After that, Miss Edna made an appearance again this time with Christmas-themed goodies to swallow in There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell by Lucille Colandro

The kids always love Miss Edna, and this particular story was a big hit too!

Then, we sang “Jingle Bells” before reading our second book: The Three Bears Christmas by Kathy Duval

This is a very cute twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Surprisingly, I only had about two classes who guessed that it was Santa who was wreaking havoc on the three bears’ home. That made the ending more fun, though.

Then, we sang “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” and read our third, and final, book: Merry Christmas, Stinky Face by Lisa Mccourt

It should be well-known by now that I love Stinky Face. I’ve used almost all the books in my story times and one point or another, and the Christmas version is no exception. I love the idea of leaving out paint, boots, gloves, a saw, and all sorts of other emergency items Santa might need, and the innocence of these books is beyond adorable and cute! The kids love them for being silly too.

Then, we got to be reindeer with “The Reindeer Pokey” from The Perpetual Preschool.
(To the tune of “The Hokey Pokey.”)
You put your antlers in. You put your antlers out.
You put your antlers in, and you shake them all about.
You do the Reindeer Pokey, and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about.
You put your hooves in…
You put your red nose in…
You put your fluffy tail in…
You put your reindeer body in…

Then, we sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song,” and that was the end. I gave out candy canes and other Christmas treats to everyone at my outreach story times and my walk-in story times.

Our craft this week was very simple. All I did to prep it was to cut a circle out of the middle of some paper plates, hole punch them, and cut up some green and red paper for leaves and berries, and they could make their own paper wreaths to hang at home.
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Winter Animals Story Time

We only have two more story times from last semester to go before I’m all caught up!

This is my winter animals story time from December. We started with our “If You Want to Hear a Story” song and then talked about all the animals we think of in the winter like penguins, polar bears, etc. Then, we talked about all that animals do in the winter to introduce our first book: Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep by Maureen Wright

I loved this book! The kids thought it was pretty silly too that the bear couldn’t understand what Old Man Winter wanted him to do. It’s kind of long, but my kids sat through it with no problem. It is possible to cut it down a bit, though, if that’s a concern.

“Where Is Bear?” which was, as usual, from Preschool Education.
(Sung to the tune of “Where Is Thumbkin?”)
Where is bear, where is bear?
Here I am.
Here I am.
How are you today, sir?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep.
Go to sleep.
(Repeat with snake, bumblebee, badger, hedgehog, frog, raccoon, skunk, etc.)

“Hibernation Song.” I also found this one at Preschool Education.
(Sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques”)
Bear is sleeping, bear is sleeping
In a cave, in a cave.
I wonder when he’ll come out, I wonder when he’ll come out.
In the spring, in the spring.

Birds are flying, birds are flying
In the sky, in the sky.
I wonder when they’ll come back, I wonder when they’ll come back.
In the spring, in the spring.

Then, we read our second book: Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka

This is a cute book about a big but  not so bad wolf. I’d recommend it for older classes since the younger groups (2 and 3 year olds) didn’t seem to understand what happened at the end and that it was all a dream.

I wanted to kick off our penguin portion of the story time with “The Penguin Poem” which is a little riddle I found on CanTeach.
I am a bird you know quite well,
All dressed in black and white.
And even though I do have wings,
They’re not designed for flight.

I waddle, waddle, waddle
On my funny little feet.
Across the icy snow I go
To find a fishy treat.

The kids loved trying to guess the answer, but only a few of my classes got it right.

Then, we sang “I’m a Little Penguin” from CanTeach.
(To the tune of ‘I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a little penguin
Black and white
Stout and fluffy
What a sight.

I can’t fly,
But I love to swim
So I’ll waddle to the water,
And dive right in!

And, of course, we did the “Penguin Shuffle” (also from CanTeach).
Penguins shuffle, shuffle, shuffle to the
Left, left, left.
Penguins shuffle, shuffle, shuffle to the
Right, right, right.
Give a little wiggle.
Give a little hop.
Waddle round the iceberg.
Never want to stop!

Our last book was The Not So Perfect Penguin by Steve Smallman.

This was pa pretty cute book, and it’s well-known that I love penguins. So, it was obviously one of my top picks for this story time. The kids thought it was cute too, especially the inclusion of certain gaseous bodily functions.

Then, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song,” and it was time to go.

This was one of my favorite crafts from last semester! I saw a picture on Google, but there wasn’t a template or instructions, so I just kind of made it up as I went along. It was easy and fast for the kids. I just made separate templates for the back legs to attach a little cotton ball tail to, the front legs, the scarf, and the head. Then, we drew a mouth, folded the feet, glued the tail and nose balls on, glued the googly eyes,and chose our scarves from the variety of scrapbook paper patterns. Once we did all that, we glued the ends to the center “body” toilet paper tube, and we were done!
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Thanksgiving Story Time

I’m still a bit behind on the end of last semester. It got so crazy that I didn’t get a chance to update this blog. So, here’s my Thanksgiving story time posted incredibly late.

As usual, we started with our opening song  — “If You Want to Hear a Story.” Then, we talked about our favorite foods that we eat at Thanksgiving.

Then, I sang a song I found at Preschool Education called, “I Am Thankful.”
(To the tune of “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain”)
I am thankful for my doggy and my cat
And my teddy bear so furry and so fat.
I am thankful for soft kittens
And for nice warm woolen mittens
And my swing set and my baseball and my bat.

I am thankful for my crayons and my books
And the way our brand new baby smiles and looks.
I am thankful for potatoes
And for juicy ripe tomatoes
And for all the tasty food that mommy cooks.

I am thankful for my mommy and my dad.
They both love me when I am good or when I’m bad.
I am thankful for the flowers
And refreshing summer showers.
All the pretty things around me make me glad.

Then, we used a pre-made flannel that was left fat my branch and sang “We Eat Turkey” (which can also be found at Preschool Education).
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(To the tune of “Where Is Thumbkin?”)
We eat turkey, we eat turkey
Yum, yum, yum.
Yum, yum, yum.
Only on Thanksgiving, only on Thanksgiving.
I want some.
I want some.
(Repeat with corn, ham, pie, etc.)

One Is a Feast For Mouse by Judy Cox

This book is honestly a little long, but it’s so cute that the kids stayed with it throughout the story. I really liked it, and the kids couldn’t believe that a mouse could carry all that food!

Then, we sang “The First Thanksgiving Song” also from Preschool Education.
(Sung to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle”)
Pick the corn and pick the beans
Pick the squash and other greens
It is harvest time you see
Come and share a feast with me
Bring your family out to play
We’ll call this Thanksgiving Day.

Then, we sang the “Where Is the Family?” song that we sang the week before during our Family story time.

Thanksgiving for Emily Ann by Teresa Johnston

This is another cute book. I’d originally planned to read The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing, but because my classes are so young, I didn’t think they would get all the jokes. I love that book, though. This book was pretty cute, and the kids loved the illustrations.

Then, we sang the “Turkey Song” from Preschool Education.
(Sung to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a  little turkey
Short and fat
Thanksgiving Day is coming
Now what do you think of that?
I had better run as fast as I can”
Or your mommy will roast me in a pan!

Then, it was time to stand up and “Shake Your Sillies Out
before reading our last book: The Best Thanksgiving Ever by Teddy Slater

This was a cute twist on the Thanksgiving feast and had a few cute jokes in there that some of the parents got too. The kids seemed to like it and thought it was super silly that turkeys would celebrate Thanksgiving.

Then, we sang “Skidamarink” and our typical “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and it was time to go.

For our craft this week, we made turkey hats! They were the cutest things ever, and they weren’t that hard for the kids. I found the idea here.
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Around the World Story Time

Story time is back for the spring semester!

This week’s theme was world travel! I wanted to focus on the different cultures that the kids might not have heard about before, and I ended up making a few kids’ days because we sang in their native tongue and/or discussed the country from which their family came. So far, this was one of my favorite themes to do. I originally got the idea from a book we have at my branch called Travel the Globe: Story Times, Activities, and Crafts for Children by Desiree Webber et al.

There is a story time for 14 different countries with book recommendations, craft ideas, flannel ideas, songs, etc. The idea is you’d do them all in a semester and give your kids passports to stamp each week to document their “travel.” Though this was something I wanted to do, I wasn’t quite ready to dedicate an entire semester to it just yet. So, I tried to cram as much as I could into one story time. Hopefully I’ll get to do an around the world semester sometime in the future.

We started with our usual opening song: “If You Want to Hear a Story.” Then I introduced the theme by telling the kids that the world was a big place and we may not know a lot about how people in other countries live, how they speak, or what they do. I brought an inflatable globe I bought at a teachers’ supply store with me to illustrate how many countries there are in the world and how where we live is just a small dot in one country.

Then, we sang “Hello To All the Children of the World”
Hello, Bonjour, Buenos dias!
G’day, Guten-Tag, Konichiwa…..
Ciao, Shalom, Do-Brey dien,
Hello to all the children of the world!
We live in different places from all around the world.
We speak in many different ways!
Though some things may be different,
We’re children just the same-
And we all like to sing and play!
There are children in the deserts,
And children in the towns,
And children who live down by the sea!
If we could meet each other,
To run and sing and play
Then what good friends we all could be!

Our first book was How to Make Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman

Because I was focusing on travel more than specific countries and cultures in this story time, I had a bit more trouble finding books. This was the first one I found that fit what I was seeking. It worked well with my theme, and the kids enjoyed some of the moments with the leopard and parachuting from the plane in Vermont.

Then, I used a flannel one of the former librarians made for “My Aunt Came Back.”
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This is a call and response rhyme where I read the first line, the children repeated it, and we all did the action.
“My aunt came back…
From Old Japan…
And brought for me…
A paper fan (fans self).

Other verses:
My aunt came back from Holland too
And brought for me a wooden shoe.

My aunt came back from Old Chile
And brought for me an itchy flea.

My aunt came back from the county fair
And brought for me a rocking chair.

My aunt came back from the city zoo
And brought for me a monkey like you!”

Then, we talked about how kids in different countries might not speak English which perfectly introduced our next song because we sang “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” first in English, then we sang it in Spanish. (This was also the time I planned to sing “Are You Sleeping” in English and then in French since we have a lot of Spanish speakers and a lot of French speakers, since we do live in Louisiana, but time didn’t often allow it.)

Our second book was Emma’s Turtle by Eve Bunting

This was an adorable book about a turtle who thinks he’s traveling to all the wonderful places in the world that his owner (Emma) tells him about, but he’s really only walking through his own backyard. I liked it because it showed the kids that we can learn about the world in the comfort of our own homes, and they liked it because it was pretty silly.

Then, we just had to sing “It’s a Small World.”

The World Turns Round and Round by Nicki Weiss, but I didn’t have time for that either. Apparently I was a little to eager and ambitious when planning this story time.

I also seriously considered reading I Am the World by Charles R. Smith Jr. This would be a great addition for an older around the world story time, but I didn’t think my 2-4 year olds would enjoy it quite as much.

After that, we talked about all the stuff you need to bring with you when you go on a trip, and we danced to “Bring Your Clothes” by Laurie Berkner. This is such a cute action song, and my kids kept asking if we would do it again next week. I told them that we had a new song for next week that would be just as much fun!

I also really wanted to sing the “Kookaburra” song to represent Australia, and I did manage to squeeze it in at a few of my story times, but I was surprised that very few kids had ever heard of it. I guess I owe my cultural education to Raffi growing up.

Then, we did the “My Hands” rhyme in a few different languages that I found in Travel the Globe: Story Times, Activities, and Crafts for Children.
My hands say “thank you” with a clap, clap, clap.
My feet say “thank you” with a tap, tap, tap.
Clap, clap, clap.
Tap, tap, tap.
Turn around and take a bow.
Thank you!

Then, we said it again in a few different languages like Spanish (Gracias), Mandarin (Xie Xie or “shay-shay”), Italian (Grazie or “gratzee-eh”), etc.

We sang our usual “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and that was it.

This week, our craft was to make Nesting Dolls from Russia. I found a cute poem about them in Babushka’s Mother Goose by Patricia Polacco that I read to introduce the craft. It was very simple. The kids just colored their dolls, cut them out, and glued a small pocket to the back so they could stack. This was from the Russia story time in Travel the Globe: Story Times, Activities, and Crafts for Children.
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I was lucky enough to find some around the world stickers from Dollar Tree last semester soon after I decided I wanted to use this theme. I picked up a pack, figuring the kids would want the people and places stickers, but the flags were by far more popular. I handed them out, and, when time allowed, I would point to the location of each child’s country on the inflatable globe.
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Family Story Time

This week, we started off with “If You Want to Hear a Story,” our usual opening song. Then, I introduced the theme this week.

After that, we did the “My Family Fingerplay” from KiDiddles.
This is mama, kind and dear (point to thumb).
This is papa, standing near (point to index finger).
This is brother, see how tall (point to middle finger).
This is sister, not so tall (point to ring finger).
This is baby, sweet and small (point to pinky).
These are the family, one and all (wiggle all fingers).

After learning about who is in the family, we sang “Where Is the Family?”
(To the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?”)
Where is papa?
Where is papa?
Here I am.
Here I am.
How are you today, sir?
Very well, I thank you.
Run away.
Run away.
(Repeat with other fingers — mama, brother, sister, the baby, and the family.)

Then, we read our first book: Ninety-Three In My Family by Erica S. Perl

I love this book. The kids loved it too because of how silly it was. It’s kind of long, so I cut out the bit about going out as a family, but it still worked.

Then, we sang “My Special Friend” from The Music and Rhyme Station.
(To the tune of “BINGO”)
I have a very special friend and Mommy is her name-o.
M-O-M-M-Y, M-O-M-M-Y, M-O-M-M-Y,
And Mommy is her name-o!

There was also a flannel I used to illustrate the claps. It just had each letter cut out of flannel as well as a bunch of hands to put over each letter when it isn’t spoken. It’s a good way to keep everyone on the same page, especially with younger children.

Then, it was time for our second book: Daddies Do It Different by Alan Laurence Sitomer

This was a pretty cute book that compared Mommies and Daddies and how they do things like tuck someone into bed, go to the grocery store, make breakfast, etc. It’s pretty cute, and there are a few jokes that the parents will appreciate too.

After that, we had to include our furry family members! So, we sang “How Much Is That Doggie In the Window?”

Our last book was: Just Like My Mom/Dad by Jorge Ramos

This is a nice book to teach us how we’re all alike in our family, and there is a bilingual component that you could use for your story time.

Then, we sang “Skidamarink” and our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song,” and that was it. We did not make a craft this week.


Trains Story Time

As usual this week, we began with “If You Want to Hear a Story,” and I introduced the theme this week.

Then, we sang the song “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.”

After that, we read our first book: Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker.

This book is a little long, so I had to trim it a bit to maintain interest, but the animals and toys on board the train kept the kids pretty interested throughout the book, especially once we got to the ice cream car!

Then, we sang the “This Little Train Flannel” song from SurLaLune Storytime.
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(Sung to the tune of “This Old Man”)

This little train, painted black
It comes chugging down the track
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This little car painted blue
It has seats for me and you
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This little car painted yellow
It shimmies and shakes like a bowl of jello
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This little car, painted green
It’s the fanciest car you’ve seen,
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This little car; it is grey
It takes you places far away
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

This caboose; it is red
It will take you home to bed
With a “Choo-choo; Toot-toot”
Hear the whistle blow
This little train goes chugging home.

Then, we sang ” Train” from Preschool Education:
(To the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)
Ride, ride, ride the train
Quickly down the track
Clickety clack, Clickety clack
When will you be back?

Our next book was And the Train Goes by William Bee.

This book had a bit of audience participation with all the repetitive noises the train makes, but it does drag a bit at the end. I had a bit of trouble finding good train books for the age groups I work with. I was surprised there wasn’t more of a selection.

Then, we sang “Down By the Station” and “Little Red Caboose.”

We did the “Little Choo-Choo Train” rhyme from Bklyn Public Library.
Here’s a little choo-choo train
Chugging down the track (move arms in a “chugging” motion
Now it’s going forward (lean forward)
Now it’s going back (lean back)
Now the whistle blows
Whoo! Whoooo!
What a lot of noise it makes (cover ears)
Everywhere it goes.

Our last book was The Goodnight Train by June Sobel.

This book was pretty cute, and the kids got a kick out of the weird train cars (especially the bathtub). They also liked finding the hidden pictures in the smoke and clouds. It was the biggest hit out of all the books at this story time.

Then, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song,” and that was it. We didn’t do a craft this week.

Dinosaurs Story Time

Then, This week started off like all the others with our opening song: “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, we did the Dinosaur, Dinosaur Rhyme from Kidsparkz.
“Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, stomped around.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, shook the ground.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, some gave fear.
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs,  we wish you were here.”

Then, we read The Super Hungry Dinosaur by Martin Waddell.

This is a cute story that the kids seemed to enjoy, especially when the dinosaur finally got some spaghetti.

After that, I performed a Draw and Tell Story called “William and Warble” from Draw-And-Tell: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Viewing, Shaping by Richard Thompson.

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This is really a cute story, but I’m not sure if it was my poor drawing skills or an issue with the way I retold the story. The kids didn’t get that it was a dinosaur. Maybe I should have taken a few art classes before attempting this one!

Then, we read Shape by Shape by Suse Macdonald.

This was a cute story that really challenged the kids with harder shapes to identify than just your usual triangle, square, and circle. Almost all of them recognized the creature at the end by about the fifth page or so.

After that, we did the Pretend Dinosaur Action Rhyme from The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Website:
Spread your arms, way out wide
Fly like Pteranodon, soar and glide
Bend to the floor, head down low
Move like Stegosaurus, long ago
Reach up tall, try to be
As tall as Apatosaurus eating on a tree
Using your claws, grumble and growl
Just like Tyrannosaurus on the prowl

Then, we did a Five Little Dinosaurs Flannel, also from The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Website:
Five enormous dinosaurs
Letting out a roar–
One went away, and
Then there were four.
Four enormous dinosaurs
Crashing down a tree–
One went away, and
Then there were three.
Three enormous dinosaurs
Eating tiger stew–
One went away, and
Then there were two.
Two enormous dinosaurs
Trying to run–
One ran away, and then there was one.
One enormous dinosaur,
Afraid to be a hero–
He went away, and
Then there was zero.

Then, we sang “I’m a Mean Old Dinosaur” which was also from The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Website (they have a lot of great dinosaur ideas!):
(To the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a mean old dinosaur.
(Make a mean face)
Big and Tall
(Gesture hands big and tall )
Here is my tail, here is my claw.
(Gesture hands behind your back for tail and make claw hands)
When I get all hungry
(rub your tummy)
I just growl
(kids grrroooowwwlll)
Look out kids I’m on the prowl.
(Teacher walks around students acting like a dinosaur)

Then, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye Song,” and that was it.

For our craft this week, we made a paper dinosaur out of the letter “D.” I got the idea from Little Page Turners.

Cowboy Story Time

This week I went a little out of my interest zone and did a cowboy theme. I live in an area where cowboys are big. Everywhere you go, you see cowboy hats, shirts, belt buckles, and boots. So, I figured it would be a hit. I was right. We started out with our usual, “If You Want to Hear a Story” song.

Then, we sang “I’ve Been Riding On the Range” which I found on the CCPL website.

(To the tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”)
I’ve been riding on the range,
All the livelong day.
I’ve been riding on the range,
Herding doggies on their way.
Can’t you hear the cowboys shouting,
Can’t you hear the cowboys shouting,
“Doggies move this way!”

Then, we read our first book Are You a Horse by Andy Rash

This was absolutely adorable and, to be honest, this was the book that convinced me to do this particular theme even though I don’t really like cowboys myself. The kids loved it!

Then, in some of my groups, we sang “BINGO,” but he was obviously a horse instead of a dog.

Then, we read our second book–Let’s Sing a Lullaby With the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas

This was a pretty cute book too, and it’s fun to read and have the kids guess what the shadows are. I ended up making up a tune for the lullaby which went over well.

After that, we had a cowboy flannel. I found the idea for this flannel on Making Learning Fun. It even has the pattern and everything.
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Cowboy wore a red bandana red bandana, red bandana.
Cowboy wore a red bandana all day long.
(Repeat with other colors.)

Then, we stood so we could sing and act out the “Western Animals Song” that I found on the Perry Public Library website:

(To the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”)
The coyotes on the prairie go howl, howl, howl
Howl, howl, howl,
Howl, howl, howl.
The coyotes on the prairie go howl, howl, howl.
All day long.

The rattlesnakes on the prairie go rattle, rattle, rattle…
The horses on the prairie go neigh, neigh, neigh…
The cows on the prairie go moo, moo, moo…
The jackrabbits on the prairie go jump, jump, jump…

Then, we sang and acted out “I’m a Little Cowboy” which I also found on the Perry Public Library website:

(To the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a little cowboy,
Here’s my hat.
Here are my spurs,
And here are my chaps.
As soon as I get up,
I work all day.
I get on my horse,
And ride away.

Then we read our last book–Giddy Up, Cowgirl by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

This was an okay book. I liked it because it was one of the few cowgirl books that was short and cute. The kids sometimes didn’t get all the humor, but the teachers and parents liked it.

We did our final fingerplay–“Ten Little Cowboys” which I found on Sunflower Storytime.

Ten little cowboys standing in a row. (Hold up 10 fingers)
When they see a pretty cowgirl, they bow just so. (Bend fingers down)
They ride to the left (Move hands to the left)
And they ride to the right (Move hands to the right)
Then they close their eyes (Close eyes and hands)
And sleep all night (Put cheek on hands)

Then, we sang, “Goodbye, Goodbye” and it was time to go.

For this week’s craft, I just traced the shape of a cowboy boot onto brown, pink, black, and tan construction paper and let the kids go crazy with little sparkles, crayons, some sequins, etc.

Fairy Tale Story Time

This week I did a theme that I can see myself repeating and repeating. I loved this theme, and there’s so much to work with. I felt like I was making the toughest decisions of my life while selecting books this week because there were so many good choices! Plus, getting to dress up like a princess and wear a tiara is always fun in my book!

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

Then, I introduced my fairy wand (the example craft from this week) in a game of Fairy Godmother Says. Whenever I waved my wand, they had to do what I said. It came in useful for gentle reminders to sit  criss-cross applesauce, keep our hands in our cookie jar, and keep our lips zipped. I got this idea from Sunflower Storytime.

“I brought my magic wand to story time today, and when I wave it, you must do exactly as I say. Magic wand says jump, wiggle in your seat, clap your hands, croak like a frog, etc.”

Then, we read our first book: The Wizard, the Fairy, and the Magic Chicken by Helen Lester

This was a cute book that the kids really go into. It was silly and had everything kids love (or love to hate) like talking animals, magic, monsters, kissing, etc. I’d highly recommend it!

This week’s flannel is another one for which I cannot claim credit. The youth facilitator before me made it and left it. It was so cute that I had to use it again this year! The flannel story was “Five Comfy Mattresses.”
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I found the words on The Voices Inside My Headphones. I’m not sure where they came from originally.

5 Comfy Mattresses Under a Sleeping Princess
But the top one was too pinchy and she found a…crab!

4 Comfy Mattresses Under a Sleeping Princess
But the top one was too squishy and she found a….banana!

3 Comfy Mattresses Under a Sleeping Princess
But the top one was too hot and she found a….sun!

2 Comfy Mattresses Under a Sleeping Princess
But the top one was too buzzy and she found a…bee!

1 Comfy Mattress Under a Sleeping Princess
But it was TOO lumpy and she found a…pea!

So she ate the pea and fell asleep.
Then, it was time for a song. So, we sang “I Am.” I have no idea where I found this song, but here it is:

I am the king of running. I run and run and run. My subjects all run with me and we have so much fun!
I am the queen of jumping. I jump and jump and jump. My subjects all jump with me and fall down with a bump!
I am the prince of turning. I turn and turn and turn. My subjects all turn with me. It’s an easy thing to learn.
I am the princess of dancing. I dance and dance and dance. My subjects all dance with me and sit when they get the chance.

Our second book was Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

This was about the time when my kids started asking if this was fairy tale week or chicken week. It just so happened that a lot of the good fairy tale books I found had chickens. They seemed to like this one, more so with my older kids who were more familiar with how the stories *should* go than with my little ones, but it was good fun.

Then, we stood up for “The Duke of York” action rhyme.

The Grand Old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men.
He marched them to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again.
And when they were UP, they were UP!
And when they were DOWN, they were DOWN!
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither UP nor DOWN!

Our third book (in some of my older classes) was Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen

I chose this book partially because I wanted to read The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko but wasn’t sure if my kids would get it or not and, then, wanted a book along the same lines and partially just because it was pretty cute. It isn’t like your typical view of princesses at all. They’re playing soccer and baseball, planting gardens, protecting princes from evil knights, and rescuing themselves throughout the book. I really thought it was a cute, non-traditional book for a fairy tale theme.

Then, we did another draw and tell story: “The Princess and the Critter” from Draw and Tell: Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Viewing, Shaping by Richard Thompson.

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This week’s draw and tell was a bit longer than the circus story but also a bit shorter than the pirate theme. I think it was a pretty good length. The only issue was that, even after singing about dragons and talking at length about them, the kids still seemed to think it looked like a dinosaur. But they seemed to like the story and helped out at the end by yelling out what scared the king and brave knights.

After that, it was time to stand up for an action song. I chose “Curtsy Like a Princess” from Miss Katie’s Story Time Wiki:

(Tune: Skip to My Lou)
Curtsy like a princess just like so
Curtsy like a princess just like so
Curtsy like a princess just like so
Curtsy like a princess!

Bow like a prince just like so…
Juggle like a jester just like so…
Fly like a fairy just like so…
Roar like a dragon, just like so…

Our last book in all my story times this week was Oh So Brave Dragon by David Kirk

I’ll admit that I was torn this week with book selection. There are just so many good fairy tale books! I guess that’s why I did four books instead of my usual three. I know everyone loves The Sunflower Sword by Mark Sperring and Miriam Latimer, but I didn’t choose that one. I subbed for our youth facilitator last year during her fairy tale theme week, so I knew that she’d read that one to all the kids last year, many of whom still come to story time. Though I loved it, I wanted something new. So, I started on a quest to find a cute, short, book about dragons, and I succeeded. Oh So Brave Dragon is just oh so cute! It gets the kids involved with the roaring and they seemed to like the pictures and how the dragon befriends the other forest critters even after scaring them initially. Overall, I’m very happy with this choice.

Then, we sang “Goodbye, Goodbye,” and that was it!

This week, I couldn’t make up my mind whether to offer two crafts or one. So, I prepped both and planned to make up my mind at the last minute. I couldn’t decide between a fairy wand or a paper plate crown.

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