Friday, December 30, 2016

Baby Storytime

Another small crowd for baby storytime again this week because of New Years.  All the families were different from the Dec 23 crowd!


Hands are Clapping
Hello Song
Little Bear
When Cows Get Up in the Morning
Tiny Little Babies
Jingle Bells
Two Little Hands

Read Aloud

Ten Little Toes, Two Small Feet
by Kristy Dempsey; illustrated by Jane Massey

Play and Learn

School-Age Programs

At my smaller library we've had two school-age events which were fun.  In November we had an early-release Thanksgiving STEM activity.  We made Mayflower boats to float and we added pennies to see how much each boat could hold.

On December 1st we celebrated International Ninja Day!  We were disappointed that our communications department did not make us flyers for the event, so we had small turn out (about 1/2 school-age the other 1/2 preschoolers).  It was a ton of fun though and we'd like to do it again--maybe at multiple libraries (so we can get some publicity!)

Welcome Table with ninja bandanas

Find these ninja around the library (only their shadows)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle hiding well

Ninja Book Display

Obstacle course
Crawl through tunnel, hope through hoops, then throw a ninja star into a bucket

Candy Sushi!

Lego Wall

3 x 3 green plates glued onto wood then mounted to the wall.  Four mini buckets with Legos.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Storytime Party!

Actually THREE storytime parties (as I subbed Wed and Thurs).  I planned a low-key, all-ages storytime for this week between Christmas and New Years, knowing our numbers would probably be low and older siblings may come.  What's a better all around theme than parties?!


Where's the Party?
by Ruth Chan

Click, Clack, Surprise
by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

What's the best part of a party?
Balloons (0), Clown (1), Cake (3), Noisemakers (2)

Songs/Flannel Board

ABC Welcome

What Did Henrietta Bring?
Balloon to blow up

(tune: Pop Goes the Weasel)

______________ had a ______________ (color) balloon
He blew and blew and blew
His mother said he'd better stop
Whoops! (clap) Too late he popped it!

I used flannel board animals from our Brown Bear, Brown Bear set and had the animals have the same color balloon as they were.  (red, yellow, white, blue, purple, green)

At the Party
(a little something I made up that adds some pretending to storytime)

Speaking...encourage children to act out
Let's check the mail...
Oh, I have an invitation!
Run inside
Get dressed
Brush hair
Walk to the party
Knock on the door

Song (tune: London Bridges)
At the party we say hello
Say hello, say hello
At the party we say hello
At the party!

Addition verses (I let the children decide what we are going to do at the's some ideas):
Blow up balloons
Pop balloon
Hit pinata
Run and play
Eat pizza/cupcakes
Last one...Say "Thank You" (use sign language action)

Walk home
Wash our face
Brush our teeth
Go to bed

Hop, Hop, Stop!

Animal Good-byes Chant

Play and Learn

Parachute with balloons!

Balloon Toss (with paper plates taped on paint sticks)

Hula Hoops


Ring Toss

Coloring Sheet

Oh, the parachute with the balloons was so much fun!  During free play the kids mostly just tried to keep the balloons up in the air.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pets are Best Storytime

With it being the week leading up to Christmas I wasn't sure what kind of turn out we might get for storytime and if older siblings would be coming, so I planned a storytime with a wide interest appeal...PETS!


The Grumpy Pets
by Kristine A. Lombardi

The Birthday Pet
by Ellen Javernick; illustrated by Kevin O'Malley

Some Pets
by Angela Diterlizzi; illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

What pet would you like to have?
Fish, Cat, Hamster, Dog, or Unsure/Something else

The clear winner both days was...DOG!

Songs/Magnet Board

ABC Welcome

What Did Henrietta Bring?
(tune: London Bridges)

What did Henrietta bring?
What did she bring?
What did she bring?
What did Henrietta bring?
Hiding in the pocket?

(Webkins Hamster)

Are You Sleeping?
(using a variety of pets)

Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
Little dog? Little dog?
Wake up little dog
Wake up little dog
Run, run, run
Run, run, run

Before each verse I ask the kids what they think the animal will do when it wakes up.  I planned on the cat stretching, but the kids wanted climb a tree.


I did this song between the two books with half the animals; then at the end with the rest of the animals.

Who is Hiding Dog's Bone? (Magnet board)

Animal Goodbye Chant

Play and Learn

Pet Store
I brought a bunch of Webkins my girls and I have. (cats, dogs, rabbit, turtle, guinea pig, and 2 hamsters!)

Pet Food Sort

Stamp a Pet Store
I put out a variety of stamps with green ink.  The kids could stamp whatever animals they wanted in their pet store. (dogs, cats, rabbits, fish, turtle and animal paw prints)

Pet Pattern Blocks (from PreKinders)



A Few Tips from the Field

1.  Did you know you can reword picture book text to make it more interactive in storytime?  (I didn’t for the longest time…I was a ‘read every word exactly’ kind of girl)

One of my favorite books to read in the winter months at storytime is “Don’t Wake Up the Bear”.  I have tweaked the wording just a bit so the children can participate in the story.  The text reads, “You may come in”, whispered the hare, “But don’t wake up the bear.”  Before I read the book I teach the children “BUT…Shhhh! Don’t wake up the bear.”  By emphasizing the word “but” then saying and doing the motion for “shhhh!” it gives the children time to be ready to whisper the phrase “Don’t wake up the bear.”

2.  Whisper-Shout

I stumbled upon this last week when I visited a preschool in the afternoon and a few of the kids were still napping.  We were singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and I really didn’t want wake the sleeping kids so I asked the kids if they knew how to “whisper-shout”.  When we got to the third verse we all whisper-shouted “Hooray!”  The children really enjoyed this “new way” of using their voice.  I tried it with another group of kids and they really liked it too…and bonus…it teaches executive function

3.  A Good Book

You know you found a good book when you visit a preschool after 3 months and they remember the book you read last time and hope you brought the same one to read again!  Be sure to note that book so you can use it again in other storytimes!

4.  Songs, Rhymes, Flannel Boards Don’t Have to Fit the Theme

Here’s another one that took me awhile to embrace.  I was always on the search for that “perfect” song or flannel board that would enhance my storytime theme.  Well, I have learned that the tried and true songs are almost always best…because, well, they are tried and true—and they are for a reason!  They are easy to sing, we know the words and the tune—and most parents do to, the children know or are learning these familiar songs.  Children learn by repetition and find comfort in the familiar.  I’m not saying new songs, rhymes and flannels shouldn’t be used—just don’t forget about the oldie, but goodies along the way!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Winter Storytime

With very cold weather and some snow I decided this was a great time to read two of my favorite winter books!!  I did this storytime for my preschool group in the library; as well as several outreach storytimes.  It was interesting--the outreach storytimes went fantastic, but the in-house one fell kind of flat.  Strange how that happens!


Don't Wake Up the Bear!
by Marjorie Dennis Murray; illustrated by Patricia Wittmann

Froggy Gets Dressed
by Jonathan London; illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz


ABC Storytimes

If You're Happy and You Know It

Play and Learn


Blocks (wooden; foam) to build "house" for puppet


Unit Cubes

Winter Baby Storytime

Well, winter has arrived bringing the season's first snow--and very chilly temps!

Rhymes, Songs. Bounces

The words to most of the songs can be found here

Hands are Clapping
Hello Song
Little Bear
When Cows Get Up in the Morning
Tiny Little Babies
Jingle Bells (x2) They were having so much fun!

Two Little Hands

Read Aloud Book

Baby Loves Winter
by Karen Katz

Shared Reading

A variety of Babybug Magazine books.

Play and Learn
We had a big group, so both tubs of toys were out!  Jumbo muffin tins with blocks/toys were the favorites.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rhyme Time Storytime

I used this storytime at the library for preschool and it went over so well I took it to several outreach preschool storytimes--which had mixed results.  One group loved it; another didn't.  I decided that the kids need to have a sense of rhyming before enjoying the books.


Monkey and Duck Quack Up!
by Jennifer Hamburg; illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

Rhyming Dust Bunnies
by Jan Thomas

Sheep Go To Sleep
by Nancy Shaw

Song/Flannel Board

ABC Welcome Song

Down by the Bay

If You're Happy and You Know It

Down by the Bay

Down by the bay, where the watermelons grow
Back to home, I dare not go
For if I do, my mother will say, "Did you ever see a..."

  • snake eating a cake
  • cat wearing a hat
  • whale jump out of a pail
  • King sitting in a swing
  • dragon pulling a wagon
  • fox jump into a box
  • bear sitting in a chair
  • dog kissing a frog

Down by the bay?

Play and Learn
Rhyming "worksheet" (found here)

A variety of Play and Learn toys

Friday, December 2, 2016

Baby Storytime

I missed my babies last week...but it was nice to have the day after Thanksgiving off!

Read Aloud Book

Hand in Hand
by Rosemary Wells

The words to most of the songs can be found here
Hands are Clapping
Hello Song
Little Bear
When Cows Get Up in the Morning
Tiny Little Babies
Jingle Bells
Hickory Dickory Dock
Two Little Hands

Shared Reading

A variety of Baby Bug magazines

Play and Learn

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Picture Book Month

I was afraid this was going to happen...the busyness of November caught up with me and I didn't get all my picture books posted.  But I found books for most of the days' themes so I still wanted to get them on my blog.  I found some good ones; and like I wrote before, I probably would have missed them because I am usually only looking  for "storytime books".


The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth and Harlem's Greatest Books
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie


Love Monster and the Last Chocolate
by Rachel Bright

Under the Sea

Barnacle is Bored
by Jonathan Fenske

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Give a Dog a Bone Storytime

This was an easy storytime to have put together for after Thanksgiving.  I also used one of the books I discovered during "Picture Book Month"!


One Hundred Bones
by Yuval Zommer

Bark, George
by Jules Feiffer

What do you think dogs like to do the most?
Play with a ball (4)
Go for a walk (3)
Dig (3)
Bark (4)


ABC Welcome

(flannel board)

Two Feet

I can walk on two feet
On two feet, on two feet
I can walk on two feet
All day long

Additional verses:
Hop on one foot

My Hands

Play and Learn


Feed the Animals

Wooden Beads

Straws and Connectors

Pool Noodle Blocks

Coloring sheet

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Counting Storytime

This week I did this storytime on both preschool days.  With it being Thanksgiving week the groups have been fairly small.


Christopher Counting
by Valeri Gorbachev

Dog's Colorful Day
by Emma Dodd

Feast for 10
by Cathryn Falwell


Five Little Ducks

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear--Counting Variation 
1 bear, 1 bear turn around
2 bears, 2 bears touch the ground
3 bears, 3 bears dance on their toes
4 bears, 4 bears touch their nose
5 bears, 5 bears reach up high
6 bears, 6 bears touch the sky
7 bears, 7 bears bend down low
8 bears, 8 bears touch their toe
9 bears, 9 bears jump up now
10 bears, 10 bears take a bow
11 bears, 11 bears stomp their feet
12 bears, 12 bears take their seat

I did a few Thanksgiving songs on Wednesday

10 Little Turkeys

1 little, 2 little, 3 little turkeys
4 little, 5 little, 6 little turkeys
7 little, 8 little, 9 little turkeys
10 little turkeys.

Run, run, run little turkeys
Run, run, run little turkeys
Run, run, run little turkeys
Thanksgiving's almost here!

Five Turkeys
(tune: My Bonnie)

5 turkeys were getting quite nervous
Thanksgiving soon would be back
So one turkey put on a duck suit
And now he says, "Gobble, gobble, QUACK!"

Continue counting down.

Play and Learn

Dog's Colorful Day Dauber Activity

Roll the Dice--move that many spaces

Pom-pom Counting

Clothespin Counting



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"All By Myself" Storytime

It's always exciting for children when they can say "I can do it myself!", although parents are not always that thrilled when children really "can't".  But this is all part of learning and growing up!  The books today were to encourage parents to let their children try and encourage success, as well as pointing out many of the things children can or will be able to do on their own soon.


All by Myself
by Ivan Bates

Look What I Can Do!
by Nancy Viau; illustrated by Anna Vojtech

Bear's Big Day
by Salina Yoon

For my 2nd storytime (with a younger group) I used this book instead

I'm 3! Look What I Can Do
by Maria Carluccio


ABC Welcome

The Wheels on the Bus

Hop, Hop, Stop!

Play and Learn

Pool Noodles (cut into 6th, with side cut so they can be put on the side of a table)


Busy Bags:
Crazy Straws
Paper Clips


Coloring Sheet

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Picture Book Month--Kids/Babies

Hand in Hand
by Rosemary Wells

A great book to read in baby storytime to teach/remind parents the things babies learn through interaction with their first and most important teacher--their parents!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Picture Book Month--Insects

Stories from Bug Garden
by Lisa Moser; illustrated by Gwen Millward

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Screen Time

Did you know that in October the American Academy of Pediatrics announced newrecommendations for children’s media use?  For young children the recommendations have not changed significant:
  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming, and watch it with their children to help them understand what they're seeing.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.

Recently I attended a half-day workshop taught by Stacey B. Landberg about screen time and children.  One of my “take aways” was to meet parents where they are.  Instead of emphasizing the AAP’s recommendations of little to no screen time, try instead to focus on encouraging parents to increase other activities and offering other “nudges” that increase interaction between parent/caregiver and child. 

Some examples:
  • Low Tech (or No Tech) Tuesday
  • Media Free Meal/Screen-free snacks
  • Digital Free Dinners
  • Screen-Free Sundays
  • Media Free Morning
  • No screen after 7pm
  • Tech-free home zones
  • Outside play twice a day
  • Book sharing before bed
  • TV-free kids’ rooms
  • Interacting with our voices and eyes
  • Putting an end to background TV
  • Pretend play twice a day
  • Daily Development Activities (e.g. Vroom)
  • Replacing sedentary screen time with physical screen time (yoga videos, Go Noodle)

Picture Book Month--Travel

Special Delivery
by Philip C. Stead; illustrated by Matthew Cordell

How will Sadie get an elephant to her Great-Aunt Josephine--"who lives almost completely alone and could really use the company"?  Certainly not by mail!  She will have to deliver it herself (by way of a plane, alligator, train, and ice cream truck!)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Such a Little Mouse
by Alice Schertle; illustrated by Stephanie Yue

Mouse stays busy throughout the year in his meadow home.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


Ketzel the Cat Who Composed
by Leslea Newman; illustrated by Amy June Bates

Based on a true story--Author's Note in the back.  
Hear Ketzel's composition here.