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