Posts tagged ‘time’

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.

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:

Bugs Story Time

We began, as usual, with my opening song “If You Want to Hear a Story.” I introduced our theme for the week (which got quite a few “Ewwws” from the girls in attendance), but I promised that we’d have some fun while reading about creepy crawlies. I even started off with a rhyme they all knew–“The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

Then, we read Some Bugs by Angela DiTerilizzi
This is a cute little story about finding bugs. It’s a quick read, and the kids liked the rhymes. It’s a nice introduction to the varied world of bugs.

Then, I brought out Miss Edna (as the kids at my first branch named her) my Old Lady puppet. I bought her on Amazon, and I’ve used her many times as an interactive addition to story time. With all the Old Lady books out there, she’s been my best investment because I can use her year-round. This was actually the first time I used her with the original There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly story. It went over very well, as Edna always does. The kids love feeding her and getting involved in the story.

After that, it was time for a fingerplay, so we did “Bumblebee, Bumblebee” from Preschool Education:

Bumblebee, bumblebee, landing on my nose.
Bumblebee, bumblebee, now he’s on my toes.
On my arms, on my legs, on my elbows.
Bumblebee, bumblebee he lands and then he goes.

Our next book was Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk.
This is a very cute book about not judging someone prematurely. It’s a great rhyming and counting book with some very nice illustrations that kept the kids engaged. They eventually felt sorry for Miss Spider, despite her “ickyness” that one child observed.

After two books, we needed to get up and move. So, we added some actions to the “Insects Song” from Mrs. Jones’ Room:

(Sung to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”)
The firefly at night goes blink blink blink
Blink blink blink blink blink blink
The firefly at night goes blink blink blink
All around the town

The bees in the flowers go buzz buzz buzz….
The ants in the grass go march march march…
The crickets in the leaves go chirp chirp chirp…
The caterpillar in the field goes creep creep creep….

Then, while we were moving and engaged, we read Can You Make a Scary Face by Jan Thomas

This is a very cute book that you can get active with. The kids loved making the faces and doing all the other instructions in the book. I love it when I find books that get them moving and engaged.

An action song was next, so I went with one of my favorites–“Can You Move With Me.” I used this in my dance story time, and it was very popular. Since it mentions how various bugs and other creepy crawlies move, it fit well with the theme. It’s from Music Therapy Tunes.

(To the tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low”)
Can you wiggle like a worm?
Can you squiggle? Can you squirm? (wiggle)
Can you flutter? Can you fly like a gentle butterfly? (flap arms like wings)
Can you crawl upon the ground (crawl hands on ground)
Like a beetle that is round?
Can you move with me? (clap)

Can you flip? Can you flop?
Can you give a little hop?
Can you slither like a snake?
Can you give a little shake?
Can you dance like a bee
Who is buzzing round a tree?
Can you move with me?

Since we were standing and having fun, I added “The Ants Go Marching” as a fun action song to keep things moving.

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb,
And they all go marching down, to the ground, to get out of the rain.
(two, tie his shoe; three, climb a tree; four, shut the door; five, take a dive)

Our last book was The Very Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

This is a great book about bullying and catching more flies with honey than with vinegar. The kids thought it was entertaining and funny when the little ladybug challenged all the larger animals.

This week we ended with our flannel rhyme. We did “Butterflies” from Miss Meg’s Storytime:


The first to come to the garden bed
Is a lovely butterfly of brilliant RED
Then in comes another and that makes two
Fly right in my friend of BLUE
“The garden is fine, the best I’ve seen”
Says the butterfly of softest GREEN
Our garden needs a sunny fellow
Fly in butterfly with wings of YELLOW
Little friend of PURPLE, fly in too
The garden is waiting for a color like you
ORANGE, orange you’ve waited so long
Fly right in where you belong
Butterflies, butterflies, you’re such a sight
Flying together – what a delight!

For our craft this week, we made bug “fossils” out of toy plastic bugs and air dry clay. I also had a Grouchy Ladybug craft out for that week that I’d found on Buggy and Buddy.


St. Patrick’s Day Story Time

Unfortunately, this is my last week for story time at my current library. I am moving and hoping to find a new position within the library system in my new hometown, but that might be a while. So, I’ll post my plans from this week and slowly put up the plans I’m leaving for my temporary replacement to do for the rest of the semester as things slow down and I get settled into my new home.

This week, I introduced our theme by talking about what St. Patrick’s Day celebrated, wearing green, and a few other things. Then, we sang “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

After that, we did the “Wearing Green” fingerplay from A Storytime Year: A Month-to-Month Kit for Preschool Programming by Susan Dailey

“I wore a green shirt (Point to shirt)
I wore a green tie (pretend to tie)
I wore green pants (point to pants)
Can you guess why (hold out hands in questioning manner)
I wore a green hat (point to head)
So you can see (nod head)
On this St. Patrick’s Day You can’t pinch me! (shake head no and pinch fingers in air)”

Our first book was The Story of the Leprechaun by Katherine Tegen

This was a pretty cute book that explained what leprechauns are and had a cute twist at the end. It also introduced our rainbow theme. which led us to do the “Rainbow Dancers” action rhyme from last week.

We also did the “Five Little Leprechauns Digging For Some Gold” action rhyme from The Holiday Zone.
“Five little leprechauns digging for some gold. (Digging motion)
One slipped and fell into a hole. (Falling)
The others called a fairy who them told, (Calling)
‘No more leprechauns digging for gold!’ (Shaking finger)

Four little leprechauns digging for some gold…
(And so on)

No little leprechauns to dig for gold! (Shrug shoulders)
All the five are down in the hole. (Hold up five fingers, then point down.)
Above them stands a fairy who loudly scolds. (Hands on hips)
‘I told you to stop digging for that gold!’ (Shaking finger)”

Our second book was The Littlest Leprechaun by Justine Fontes

This is a very short board book that talks about a leprechaun who is a bit…different. I included it, mainly, for my younger class of 2 year olds. Most of the St. Patrick’s Day books I found were on the longer side, so I broke that up with this book. I also did That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting for my older kids.

Then, we sang “I’m a Little Leprechaun” also from Holiday Zone.
(To the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”)
“I’m a little leprechaun
Dressed in green,
The tiniest man
You’ve ever seen.
If you ever catch me, so it’s told
I will give you my pot of gold!”

“Dance, Dance, Leprechaun, Dance” song from Jen In the Library.
(To tune of “Skip to My Lou”)
“Dance, dance, leprechaun dance.
Dance, dance, leprechaun dance.
Dance, dance, leprechaun dance,
Do a dance for me.


Sit, sit, leprechaun sit.
Sit, sit, leprechaun sit.
Sit, sit, leprechaun sit.
Sit for our next story.”

“Leprechaun, Where’s Your Gold” flannel rhyme from Jen In the Library.
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(Before you start this flannelboard, hide the gold behind one of the colored pots)
Leprechaun knows he has some gold, but he has so many different pots, he doesn’t know where it is!
Let’s see if we can help him find it!

Leprechaun, leprechaun, tiny and bold.
Where, oh where is your gold?
What does the _(color)_ pot hold?”

Our last book was Good Luck Bear by Greg Foley

This was a cute introduction to the four-leaf clover (which we’d return to for our walk-in activity.

Our last story was “The Good/Bad St. Patrick’s Day” from A Storytime Year. This was an interactive story that you can act out with the kids. At the end of each section, you ask them if what just happened was good or bad, and each question is misleading. It’s really a cute story and ends with handing out a pot of gold to the kids. You could get chocolate coins or just butterscotch candy.
“One beautiful St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to take a walk. But after I’d walked for a little while, it started raining, and I didn’t have my umbrella. Is that bad?
No, that’s good because the flowers needed the rain and there was a cave where I could get out of the rain. Is that good?
No, that’s bad because when I stepped into the cave, I fell down, down, down, down, down, down a dark tunnel. Is that bad?
No, that’s good because I landed on a soft, fluffy, bed. Is that good?
No, that’s bad because a little man stood at the food of the bed. He stared and glared and scowled and growled at me. Is that bad?
No, that’s good because the little man was a leprechaun. Perhaps you know that leprechauns have pots of gold that they have to share with the person who catches them. Is that good?
No, that’s bad because I caught the leprechaun, but he wouldn’t tell me where his pot of gold was. Is that bad?
No, that’s good because I decided to go on a treasure hunt to find his gold. Is that good?
No, that’s bad because I climbed up, up, up out of the tunnel. I looked high and low. I looked here and there, but I couldn’t find the gold anywhere. Is that bad?
No, that’s good because while I was looking, the rain stopped and the sun came out and there was a beautiful rainbow. now perhaps you know that leprechauns often hide their gold at the end of a rainbow. Is that good?
No, that’s bad because the leprechaun and I had to walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk and walk until we came to the end of the rainbow where I finally found this pot of gold (bring out pot) which I’m going to share with you. Is that good?
No, that’s great!”

Then, for my older classes, we did the”Five Little Instruments” flannel from Travel the Globe: Story Times, Activities, and Crafts for Children by Desiree Webber.

I just printed out pictures of the five instruments, laminated them, and put Velcro on the back to secure them to the board.

Then, for walk-in, we did a shamrock hunt which was inspired by A Storytime Year. I copied the provided pictures of three and four-leaf shamrocks onto green paper, cut them out, and hid them around the children’s room for the kids to find after story time. Then, we did the shamrock passing game, also from A Storytime Year. I gave them one child a four-leaf clover and the rest three-leaf clovers. Then, I started playing some Irish music. They passed the clovers until the music stopped, and whoever had the four-leaf clover got a sticker. I did this until each of them got a sticker (since we only had about seven kids this week, it didn’t take long).

While we had been doing this, my coworker had been prepping sponges with face paint. She just did a line of each of the colors of the rainbow on a sponge for each child. So, all I had to do when we were ready was swipe a sponge across each child’s cheek or hand so that they each got a beautiful rainbow!

And that wraps up my last story time at this branch. I hope to see you all in the future!

Weather Story Time

To begin, we talked a bit about how the weather changes every day. I asked them what the weather was like today because, luckily, it was rainy every day this week, which gave an easy answer. Then, we sang “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, I said I knew a song they all would know about the rain, and we did “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” fingerplay.

Our first book was Hello, Sun by Dayle Ann Dodds

This is a short book that just introduces some of the kinds of weather and how fast they can change. It discusses how to dress for the weather and what fun you can have outside. It’s sweet, and it rhymes, so it went over well.

Then, we sang “Rain is Falling Down” action rhyme from Fingerplays and Action Rhymes.
“Rain is falling down, splash! (clap hands)
Rain is falling down, splash! (clap hands)
Pitter, patter, pitter, patter. (pat hands on thighs)
Rain is falling down, splash! (clap hands)

Sun is peeking out, peek-a-boo! (peek)
Sun is peeking out, peek-a-boo! (peek)
Peeking here, peeking there, (peek around both sides of hands)
Sun is peeking out, peek-a-boo! (peek)”

After that, we read our second book:  Boom, Boom, Boom by Jamie A. Swenson

This is a cute, rhyming, book that talks about how thunderstorms can be scary. All of the boy’s pets eventually get scared and want to sleep in his bed to be safe. Things get a little crazy as you continue to count the animals!

Then, we sang “If All the Raindrops” from Barney like we sang for our Food theme.

Then, we did the “Magical Rainbow Stew” flannel that the youth facilitator before me made and left.
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“Take an apple, put it in a pot.
Stir it, stir it, stir it a lot.
Take it out, and what will it be?
The prettiest red you ever did see!
(Repeat with Orange/orange, Banana/yellow, Pear/green, Blueberries/blue, and Grapes/purple)”
The kids loved this flannel! They kept trying to peek into the bowl to see how I did it. A few of my classes managed to figure it out after I finished because they looked into the bowl while I was giving out stickers, and they kept saying, “Oh, it’s just *pretend* magic!” It was so adorable!

“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” rhyme from childhood:
“It’s raining, it’s pouring.
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed and bumped his head
And couldn’t get up in the morning.”

Our third book was The Thingamabob by Il Sung Na

This is a silly book about an elephant who doesn’t know what an umbrella is. When he finds one, he asks all his friends and tries out a few things in an attempt to figure out what it is. Eventually, he figures it out when it starts raining. The kids loved it and kept calling out what the “thingamabob” was.

Then, we did the “Rainbow Dancers” Scarf Rhyme that I found at Storytime ABC’s. (Instead of buying scarves, I went to the dollar store and bought cheap spools of ribbon, cut them into equal sections, and passed those out.)
“Rainbow dancers let’s get ready
Hold your scarves nice and steady.
You’ll hear the colors of the rainbow.
Listen for your time to go.

Shake red…
Shake orange…
Shake yellow…
Shake green…
Shake blue…
Shake purple…

Red scarves turn around,
Orange scarves up and down.
Yellow scarves reach up high,
Green scarves fly, fly, fly.
Blue scarves tickle your nose,
Purple scarves touch your toes.

Everybody dance around,
Swirl your scarves up and down.

Shake purple…
Shake blue…
Shake green…
Shake yellow…
Shake orange…
Shake red…

Rainbow dancers dance around,
Scarves swirl up and down.
Our colorful dance is at an end.
Thank you, thank you, all my friends.”
The kids went crazy for this! I’m glad I planned to do it two weeks in a row. (We’ll be doing it again for my last story time next week for our St. Patrick’s Day theme.)

Our last book was Little Cloud by Eric Carle

This was a great last book to wrap up weather and to get the kids involved by calling out the shapes that Little Cloud turns into.

Then, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and that was the end.

This was actually a STEM week for us. For walk-in, we talked about the science behind rain, and we did an experiment to see how it works. We just took some mason jars, filled them with water, squirted a glob of shaving cream on top to be our cloud and put some drops of food coloring on the “cloud” until it got heavy enough to rain in the jar. Then, we talked about the science behind other weather, rainbows, etc. Because of all this, we didn’t do a craft. We didn’t end up having time, but I had prepped a wind detector craft with a hanger, some string, a different kinds of paper (tissue paper for light breezes, printer paper for something a bit stronger, cardstock, and cardboard).

Food Story Time

To start off this story time, I introduced the theme, and we sang, “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, for my small story times, we did the “Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar” rhyme and substituted each child’s name.
“Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?
____ stole the cookies from the cookie jar.
Who me?
Yes, you.
Couldn’t be.
Then, who?”

Then, we sang the “If All the Raindrops” song from Barney.
“If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops,
Oh, what a rain that would be!
Standing outside with my mouth open wide.
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!
If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops,
Oh, what a rain that would be!

If all the sunbeams were bubblegum and ice cream,
Oh, what a sun that would be!
Standing outside with my mouth open wide.
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!
If all the sunbeams were bubblegum and ice crea,
Oh, what a sun that would be!

If all the snowflakes were candy bars and milkshakes,
Oh, what a snow that would be!
Standing outside with my mouth open wide.
Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!
If all the snowflakes were candy bars and milkshakes,
Oh, what a snow that would be!”

Then, we read our first book: Burger Boy by Alan Durant.

This is an adorable book about the phrase “You are what you eat.” The kids loved it when he turned into a walking burger and was chased around by dogs, angry cows, and other hungry kids.

After that, we sang the “Peanut Butter and Jelly” song.
Peanut, peanut butter, jelly!
Peanut, peanut butter, jelly!

First you take the peanuts, and you pick ’em, you pick ’em,
You pick ’em, pick ’em, pick ’em.
Then, you crush ’em, you crush ’em,
You crush ’em, crush ’em, crush ’em.
Then, you spread ’em, spread ’em,
You spread ’em, spread ’em, spread ’em.

Then, you take the berries and you pick ’em, you pick ’em,
You pick ’em, pick ’em, pick ’em.
Then, you crush ’em, you crush ’em,
You crush ’em, crush ’em, crush ’em.
Then, you spread ’em, spread ’em,
You spread ’em, spread ’em, spread ’em.

Pick” pretend to pick berries
Crush: squish something between your hands
Spread: use one hand to spread jelly over the other hand”


Our second book was Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds.

This is a cute book about barnyard animals who get tired of eating their feed and want to have a fiesta instead. It’s silly, and it teaches about foods from different cultures.

Then, it was time to sing “Apples and Bananas” by Raffi.
“I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.
(Substitute other vowel sounds, for example a long “A”:
I like to ate, ate, ate ay-pples ay-nd bay-nay-nays.”

Then, we did the “Popcorn” action rhyme.
“Popcorn, popcorn,
Sitting in a pot.
Shake it, shake it, (wiggle body)
Pop! Pop! Pop! (jump or clap hands)”

After that, we sang “Oats, Beans, and Barley Grow.”
“Oats and Beans and Barley Grow (pound fist over fist)
Oats and beans and barley grow, Oats and beans and barley grow.
Do you or I or anyone know (point at children, point at self, hands out/shrug shoulders)
How oats and beans and barley grow?  (pound fist over fist)

First the farmer sows his seed,
Then he stands and takes his ease.
Stamps his feet and claps his hands, (stamp feet, clap hands)
And turns around to view the lands. (turn around)”

Next, we did The Hungry Little Caterpillar flannel that the youth facilitator before me made and left.
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Then, we sang “C is for Cookie” from “Sesame Street.”
“‘C’ is for cookie, that’s good enough for me.
‘C’ is for cookie, that’s good enough for me.
‘C’ is for cookie, that’s good enough for me.
Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with ‘C’.”

Our last book was If An Armadillo Went to a Restaurant by Ellen Fischer.

This is an adorable book that teaches what each animal eats. The kids liked how silly it was when it talked about them ordering odd things that we eat and when it flipped that idea around and had the reader ordering bugs instead of pancakes at the end.

Then, we sang the “Vegetable Song” from Preschool Education.
(To the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle.”)
Carrots, peas, and broccoli
Vegetables are good for me
For my snack and in my lunch
Veggie sticks are great to munch
Carrots, peas, and broccoli
Vegetables are good for me

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

We didn’t make a craft this week. I just gave out goodie bags with pretzels and other little snacks.

Me Story Time

This was my second STEM week this semester. I wanted to focus on the body as well as being glad that you’re you. So, I introduced the theme, and we sang “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, I recited the “Who I Want to Be” poem from Timeless Teacher Stuff.
Has a name.
Some are different,
Some the same
Some are short.
Some are long.
All are right.
None are wrong.
My name is _______.
It’s special to me.
It’s exactly who
I want to be!”

Since it was along the same lines as the first poem and got the kids involved with some actions, I then recited “In My Mirror” from Preschool Pioneer.
In my mirror, I can see
Two little eyes that look at me.
Two little ears, one little nose,
Ten little fingers, ten little toes.
One little mouth I open wide.
Two little rows of teeth inside.
A tongue that pops both in and out,
Lots of joints that bend about.
When I look in the mirror, what do I see?
A beautiful person looking back at me!”

Then, we read our first book: I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont

This is a cute little book about liking yourself no matter how you look or how your appearance might change, that it doesn’t change what’s inside of you. The kids liked it because it was silly with purple polka-dotted lips, crazy hair, pig snouts, and all sorts of other things that happen the little girl, but the adults liked it because of the message.

Then, we sang “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”

After that, we did the “Dance Your Fingers Up” fingerplay from KCLS.
“Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down.
Dance them to the side, dance them all around.
Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on your head.
Dance them on your tummy, and put them all to bed.”

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

This is a cute rhyming book, but you might want to cut it down like I did for my story times.

Then, we had to stand up and sing “Shake Your Sillies Out.”

We sang “Special Me” from Preschool Education as we settled back down.
(To the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle”)
“Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I’ll be.
In this big world I can be
Anything I want to be.
Special, special, special me
How I wonder what I’ll be.”

Parts by Tedd Arnold

This is a very cute book, if you’re not familiar with it. It’s quite popular, but none of my kids had read it before. It works well with the STEM activities because you can read it once for the silliness in the story, then you can go through again and explain the science behind each thing that happens (i.e. what earwax is, why our skin flakes off, why our teeth fall out, etc.)

Then, we did the Me and My Body flannel that I made. The idea was originally from a site with a bunch of STEM ideas–the ALSC Blog.
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First, we did the regular body flannel and used flannel flashcards to learn about the parts of the body (i.e. hair, eyes, nose, etc.). Then, we did the bones on the black flannel body and discussed what bones are and why we have them. Finally, we did the organs flannel and discussed briefly what each organ does.

My walk-in kids got to do body stations for some of the organs we’d just learned about then. I have a stomach station (like ALSC recommends) with reinforced Ziploc bags to mush food in to demonstrate digestion. Then, we had paper bags to inflate to demonstrate the respiratory system. We also had paper towel tubes so they could listen to each others’ hearts for the circulatory system.

Then, we sang “Skidamarink” and our “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and that was the end.

We didn’t do a craft this week because our body stations took up all our time.

Monsters Story Time

This week, I introduced the theme, and we talked about how it was okay to be scared sometimes. Then, we sang “If You Want to Hear a Story.”

Then, we did the “Monster Hunt” from Perry Public Library.
We’re going on a monster hunt.
We’re going to find a big one!
We’re not scared, but —
What if he’s under the bed? (pretend to peek under bed)
Better go over it, squoosh, squoosh, squoosh. (walk palms on legs)
What if he’s in the closet? (pretend to open door)
Better close it, SLAM! (clap hands loudly)
What if he’s behind the curtains? (peek through hands)
Better open them, SWISH! (fly hands apart)
What if he’s in the hallway? (shade eyes)
Better tiptoe down it. (tiptoe)
What if he’s in the garage? (shade eyes)
Better stomp through it. (stomp feet)
Shhhh! (put finger to lips)
What’s that??????
AAAAAAHHH! It’s a monster! (Scream loudly and wave hands)
Stop through the garage, (stomp feet)
Tiptoe through the hallway, (tiptoe)
Close the curtains, (fly hands together)
Open the closet, (pretend to open door)
Turn on the lights, (snap fingers)
And jump into bed. (jump)
Phew! (brush brow)
We’re not going on a monster hunt again! (shake head ‘no’)”

Our first book was When a Monster Is Born by Sean Taylor

This is a cute book that teaches cause and effect, but the younger kids had a hard time following it. My threes and fours liked it a lot, though, because it was pretty silly.

Then we did a flannel based on Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley

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After that, it was time to stand up and do the “Monster Stomp” action rhyme from Perry Public Library.
“If you want to be a monster, here’s your chance
‘Cause everybody’s doing the monster dance.
You just stamp your feet, wave your arms around. (stomp, wave arms)
Stretch ’em up, stretch ’em up. (stretch up arms)
Then, put them to the ground (put hands on the floor)
‘Cause you’re doing the monster stomp. (stomp feet)
Yeah, you’re doing the monster stomp. (stomp feet)”

Then, since we were standing, we did “Monsters Galore” from KCLS.
Monsters galore, can you roar? (roar)
Monsters galore, can you soar? (flying motions)
Monsters galore, please shut the door. (clap)
Monsters galore, fall on the floor. (sit down)

Our next book was Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere

This was a cute book that all my classes loved. I thought it was pretty cute, but I was worried it might scare the younger kids. They were braver than I thought, though.

Since my kids love the “Five Little Monkeys,” we just had to do “Five Little Monsters.”
“Five little monsters jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said
‘No more monsters jumping on the bed!'”

Our next book was Some Monsters Are Different by David Milgrim

This is a cute book about being yourself and being proud to be different. It’s short, sweet, and to the point. The kids liked the part about eating different things and freaked out over the bugs on the plate!

Then, we did the “Monster Pokey” from Library Sparks.
(To the tune of “The Hokey Pokey”)
“You put your claws in, you take your claws out,
You put your claws in, and you shake them all about.
You do the monster pokey, and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about.”
(Other verses: horns, tail, fangs, big feet, whole hairy self, etc.)

After that, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and that was the end.

For our craft, we made shape monsters from All Kids Network so we could learn about our shapes and make some wacky creations.
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NOTE: I did this storytime for a second time at my new branch and used Bump in the Night by Edward Hemmingway, The Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine and Marc Brown, and Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli by Barbara Jean Hicks. These all went over very well with the kids, especially The Little Shop of Monsters! We also made very recognizable monsters for our craft–Cookie Monster and Elmo!

Valentine’s Day Story Time

This week, I introduced our theme, and we sang our opening song — “If You Want to Hear a Story.” Before we started reading our books, though, we did the “Heart” fingerplay from The Perpetual Preschool.
I put my hands together,
This is how I start,
I curve my fingers right around,
And I can make a heart!”

The Runaway Valentine by Tina Casey

This one is long. I didn’t find a good way to cut it don either because each thing builds off of the one before, but all my classes (except the 2 year olds because I didn’t include this book for them) had no trouble sitting through the entire story because it’s pretty cute, engaging, and funny.

After that, we did a “Matching Heart Flannel” from A Storytime Year: A Month-to-Month Kit for Preschool Programming by Susan M. Dailey. For smaller groups, you can pass out half of your hearts and say, “Oh, no! It’s a broken heart! Here is half. Who has the other part?” For larger groups, I just put each half on the board and had them match the pieces together.
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Then, we read Love Monster by Rachel Bright

This is a cute and short book about a monster who doesn’t think he’ll ever find love. It was one of my favorite books this week.

After that, it was time to stand up for the “Little Heart” action rhyme from KCLS.
“I have a little heart, (place hand over heart)
And it goes thump, thump, thump. (pat chest three times)
It keeps right on beating
When I jump, jump, jump. (jump three times)
I get a special feeling when I look at all of you. (point to kids)
It makes me want to give a hug or two! (hug self)”

We also did the “I Can Hug” action rhyme from SurLaLune Storytime.
“I can hug, hug, hug.
I can hop, hop, hop.
I can kiss, kiss, kiss.
I can stop, stop, stop.
I can nod my head for yes.
I can shake my head for no,
And I can sit down very slow.”

Our third book was Love You More Than Anything by Anna Harber Freeman

This book was kind of take or leave it. I included it mainly for my two year olds who didn’t get the first book above. It had a few cute moments, but it’s not really a story book, so it’s not particularly engaging for older groups.

Then, we sang the “Pink Valentines” song from A Storytime Year: A Month-to-Month Kit for Preschool Programming by Susan M. Dailey. I made a variety of pink, white, and red hearts out of construction paper and cardstock to hand out to the kids. Then, I went over the colors with my younger kids first before singing the song.
(To the tune of “Three Blind Mice”)
Pink Valentines, pink Valentines.
Hold it high, up to the sky.
Now put it down upon your shoe.
Then on your head, and your knee too.
Listen to me and do what I do.
With pink Valentines, pink Valentines.”
(Repeat with red and white Valentines. you can change the body parts or sing it faster or slower to make it more interesting. You can also make up new things to do with the “do what I do” like throw the heart in the air, dance, hand it to someone else, sit on it, etc.)

Be Mine, Be Mine, Sweet Valentine by Sarah Weeks.

All my classes enjoyed guessing what each animal got their valentine as a gift, even if some were not very obvious and difficult to guess (like the otter). It was a fun little guessing game for them.

Then, we sang “Skidamarink” and our “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and that was all.

This week for my walk-in story time, we made portable hugs to give as gifts to relatives we don’t get to see (and give real hugs to) often. All you have to do is have the kids trace each of their hands on cardstock, cut them out, and attach a ribbon to the bottom of each hand so they can be wrapped around a person.
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Space Story Time

We started off, as usual, with our opening song — “If You Want to Hear a Story,” I explained the theme, and we started with our first book — The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara

This is an incredibly cute twist on the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. I enjoyed incorporating a little science and testing my kids’ knowledge of the solar system too. They thought it was pretty cute, but it is a little long for younger audiences. I cut this book out of my two year old story time.

Then, we sang the “We’re Flying” Action Song from Preschool Education.
(To the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”)
“We’re flying to the moon.
We’re flying to the moon.
Blast off, away we go.
We’re flying to the moon.

Other verses:
We’re walking out in space…
We’re landing on the moon…
We’re flying back o Earth…”

After that, we read Green Wilma, Frog in Space by Tedd Arnold

This book was surprisingly confusing for some of my classes who didn’t understand the difference between the alien and the frog, but the classes who did understand liked it. I guess it should be used for four years and up.

Next, we sang “If You’re Going to the Moon, Wear Your Boots” originally from KCLS.
(To the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
“If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots,
(stomp, stomp)
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots,
(stomp, stomp)
If you’re going to the moon, this is what you have to do,
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots,
(stomp, stomp)

Additional Verses: If you’re going to the moon, wear your gloves (clap, clap)…
If you’re going to the moon, wear your helmet (pat, pat)…”

While we were standing, we also sang “I’m a Little Rocket” originally found at KCLS.
(To the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”)
“I’m a little rocket, pointing at the moon
Raise arms above head
Now I’m getting fueled up,
We’ll be ready soon
Stand up straight and tall
When it’s time to board me, then I’ll say
Slowly bend down and crouch, arms above head
Blast off! Zoom! We’re on our way.
Jump up and shout”

I originally found the idea for my “Five Little Men in a Flying Saucer” flannel from Storytime Katie.
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“Five little men in a flying saucer
Looked around the world one day
They looked left and looked right
But they didn’t like the sight
So one man flew away

Four little men in a flying saucer…(count down).”

There isn’t really a pattern for this flannel, so I just had to draw it all by hand to create my own, but I think it turned out well. It was my first real adventure in making a flannel without a pattern.

Our last book was Little Rocket’s Special Star by Julia Sykes

This was a cute little book that all my classes enjoyed. It’s short, sweet, and has sparkly pictures; so, everyone wins!

Then, we did the “Twinkling Stars” fingerplay from the Perry Public Library.
“At night I see twinkling stars (wiggle fingers)
And a great big shining moon (arms overhead in circle)
My mama tucks me into bed (fists under chin)
As she sings this goodnight tune…”

That fingerplay transitioned us nicely into singing “Twinkle, Twinkle.”

As we sang “Twinkle, Twinkle,” I handed out stars I’d made of yellow construction paper to every child. Then, we played and sang”Catch a Falling Star” and danced with our stars.

Catch a falling star (reach up high with your star)
And put it in your pocket (bring it to your pocket — hands on thighs)
Never let it fade away (shake finger “no”)
Catch a falling star (reach up high with your star)
And put it in your pocket (bring it to your pocket — hands on thighs)
Save it for a rainy day (hold star to chest with both hands)

Then, we twirled around on the verses.

After that, we sang our “Goodbye, Goodbye” song, and that was the end.

This week, for walk-in, we made rocket ships out of cardstock, construction paper, aluminum covered (cardstock) circles, and cotton balls.
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