Saturday, October 14, 2017

Touch a Fire Truck Storytime

A huge turnout for our Touch a Fire Truck Storytime!!  I knew our small library would draw a big crowd so I put out tarps on the lawn so we had an outdoor storytime!  Thankfully the weather was really nice.  We ended up with over 90 people at the program! (Our usual storytimes pull in about 30)  I think everyone had a good time.


Fire Engine Man
Andrea Zimmerman & David Clemesha

Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake
Eileen Christelow


When I'm a Fire Fighter!
(tune: Here we go 'round the Mulberry Bush)

Set the stage...we are fire fighters, asleep at the fire station

This is the way the alarm sounds
The alarm sounds
The alarm sounds
This is the way the alarm sounds
When I'm a fire fighter!

This is the way I jump out of bed
...I slide down the pole
...I put on my gear
...I drive the truck
...the siren sounds
...spray my hose

We walked next door to the fire station.  The firemen had pulled out the engine.  We gathered around and watched the fireman put on (and explain) his gear.  The kids got to get their picture taken with the fireman.  The kids also got to go inside the fire truck.

I had some outdoor activities back at the library for any kids who wanted to go back and play.

We will definitely be doing this storytime again next fall!!

1, 2, 3 Count with Me!

Our first Math Mash-up of the school year.  Counting and Cardinality  (see Learning Pathway in Numeracy)  It was not one of my favorite next Math Mash-up I will be 'mathemitizing' regular books instead of focusing directly on the math concept.  I think they make a much better storytime.

Dog Loves Counting
by Louise Yates

Bear Counts
by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
I commented to parents that this is a great book to read one-on-one as there are many other things to count on each double page spread.

Pirate Storytime

Two Pirate storytimes with two different sets of books.  I liked all of them, but my second group needed shorter books.

Pirate Treasure Hunt!
by Jan Peck; illustrated by Adrian Tans

Peg Leg Peke
by Brie Spangler

I Love My Pirate Papa
by Laura Leuck; illustrated by Kyle M. Stone

Bubble Bath Pirates!
by Jarrett J. Krosoczka


When I was one I sucked my thumb
The day I went to sea
I jumped aboard a pirate ship
And the captain said to me:

We go this way (lean to left)
And that way (lean to right)
And forwards (step forwards)
And backwards (step backwards)
Across the deep blue sea! (spin in a circle)

Play and Learn

Dig for gold coins in the sand

Go on a treasure hunt around the room finding pirate related pictures

I found this cute song after storytime...I'll put it here to remind me for next time!

The Busy Pirates
(Start verse from a crouching position)

The pirates stand up
The pirates sit down
The pirates are running
All around town.
But where is their Captain?
Look carefully
He's snoring loudly
Beneath a tree.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Balloon Storytime

After attending a workshop at Starting Strong entitled "More Than a Mess!" I just had to try painting with balloons!  This was a super fun, successful storytime!


A Balloon for Isabel
by Deborah Underwood; illustrated by Laura Rankin

Don't Wake UP the Tiger
by Britta Teckentrup

Graph Question
What is your favorite color balloon?
Blue (4), Yellow (3), Red (5), Green (3)


If You're Happy and You Know It
with additional verse about blowing up a balloon--then having it POP!

Flannel Board

(tune: Pop Goes the Weasel)

__________(name/animal) had a ___________ (color) balloon
He/she blew and blew and blew
His/her mother said "You'd better stop!"
Oops! Too late he/she popped it!

Play and Learn

Paint with Balloons!

I love the differences between these two children
and how they interacted with the balloons and paint!

Up Houses with do-a-dot

Play with balloons

Fun and Learning with Balloons!
  • Count how many times your child can hit the balloon and keep it up in the air
  • Count how many times you and your child can hit the balloon back and forth to each other
  • Balance a balloon on a cup; toss the balloon in the air and try to catch it on the cup
  • Walk on the different lines while tapping the balloon to keep it in the air

Friends Storytime

I was able to do this storytime twice; once with preschoolers and the second with an all ages group.  Both times hugely successful!


Ella and Penguin: A Perfect Match
by Megan Maynor; illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet

by Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper

How do you show kindness to your friends?
Play together (5)
Give a hug (2)
Help (2)
Share (3)


Two Little Friends
(tune: 5 Little Ducks)

Two little friends went out to play
On a bright and sunny day
They jumped, they ran, they had such fun
So they called another little friend to come,
"Come and play!"

Continue up through 5

They played and played till the day was done!

Magnet Board

Hide and Seek Friends Curious George

Curious George is playing hide and seek
Is he under the __________(color) hat?
Let's take a peek!

Play and Learn

Parachute!  You need lots of friends to do the parachute!
CD Music:  Alabama, Mississippi by Jim Gill
I taught the children how we would do the parachute during the song--slowly up and down until we get to "Shake, shake, shake..." then we go fast and wild!  Then back to slow and gentle.  The second time around the kids sat under the parachute and the grown-ups did the parachute in the same manner.


  • Contact paper and tissue paper art
  • Train
  • Puzzles

All Ages

  • Blocks
  • Counting pom-poms
  • Pattern Blocks
  • Feed the Animals

The Why

An internal blog post

I was able to attend an early learning conference last week and gained a lot of great information, ideas, and insights.  I love learning new techniques, talking with like-minded individuals who love working with children, and being reminded again about “the why”.  Why do we do what we do in early learning?  Thinking about “the why” focuses me again on the important work we do with young children, their caregivers, and families.  Being reminded of “the why” also keeps me motivated and energized!

Here are three of “the whys” I took away from the conference applied directly to storytime.  Reflecting on these, and other “whys”, reminds us that we don’t do storytimes to just read a few books and sing a song or two then put out toys to play with.  We can, and should be, doing so much more!
  • Why do “messy art” in storytime?

Children learn best through open-ended play; meaning children have the freedom to interact with the environment and objects in their own way.  This includes how they interact with art supplies.  Children learn through play, experimenting, and trying new things.  Children learn best and are more motivated when their art is their own—they make the decision as to what it will be and are validated for their efforts because there is no “right” way to do it.  This adds to the child’s motivation, confidence and resilience, which are all necessary to order to continue to learn.
  • Why do math activities in storytime?

Research has shown that early math skills have the greatest predictive power to later learning.  Children need a lot of expose to math concepts, because of course, that is how we all learn, through repetition.  Math is linear—one concept builds upon the previous.  The next layer can’t be added if the child doesn’t first have a firm grasp on the previous concept, including math vocabulary.  Thus a strong foundation is needed and early math expose and activities help to build that.  Storytimes are an ideal place to point out math concepts in books, songs, flannel boards, etc. by counting, asking how many, and asking the child to verbalize math ideas.
  • Why use movement activities in storytime?

Children need time to move.  In fact, children learn better and are more focused after doing a physical activity.  Movement activities help to develop executive function, stimulates motivation, grows neurons in the brain, and improve memory.  So be sure to add some simple movement activities which could include actions with songs, stretches, yoga poses, or even a quick GoNoodle video!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Baby Storytime for July and August--Colors!

Most of the Fridays in July...and into August...(four weeks) we focused Baby Storytime around Colors!


*Clap Your Hands
(tune: Wheels on the Bus)
Take your little hands and go clap, clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap
Clap, clap, clap
Take your little hands and go clap, clap, clap
Give a little clap!
Additional Verses:

*Hello (tune: Good Night Ladies)
Hello __________
Hello __________
Hello __________
We're glad you're here today!

*Little Bear
*When Cows get up in the Morning
puppets included cow, duck, frog, mouse, dog, cat, monkey, lamb, pig, bunny (I usually do 5)
*Tiny Little Babies

Itsy Bitsy Spider
Trot, Trot to Boston
I'm a Little Teapot
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Humpty Dumpty
Jack Be Nimble
Hickory Dickory Dock


*used every week

Flannel Board

Color Butterflies

The 1st to come to the garden bed
Was a lovely butterfly of brilliant RED

Then in comes another and that make two
Fly right in, my friend of BLUE

The garden is fine, the best I’ve seen
Said the butterfly of springtime GREEN

The garden needs a sunshiny fellow,
So fly right in if your wings are YELLOW

This is all perfect I really do think
If only you’d join, butterfly of PINK

Little friend of PURPLE, take a place too,
This garden is a perfect spot for a color like you.

ORANGE, orange, you’ve waited so long
Fly right in here you belong.

Butterflies, butterflies, you’re such a sight
Flying together in summer delight!

Read Aloud Books
Baby Bear Sees Blue
by Ashly Wolff

Cleo's Color Book
by Caroline Mockford

by Denise Fleming

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle

Shared Reading

A variety of board books about colors including...

Maisy's First colors
by Lucy Cousins

Color Our World
by Elle D. Risco; illustrated by Nancy Kubo

Follow the Yarn:  A Book of Colors
by Emily Sper

Rainbow: A Book of Colors
by Jane Cabrera

Play and Learn

Color Boxes
(Colorful) Button Bottle
Stacking Cups