Fairy Tales!

The Plan



The Three Bears by Byron Barton
The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett
The Foggy, Foggy Forest by Nick Sharratt
Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Knights in Shining Armor”

Flannelboard: “Princess Wore a Red Dress”

Fingerplay: “Two Little Dragons”
Two little dragons sitting on a hill
One named Jack, one named Jill
Fly away Jack, one named Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill
Credit: Modified from childhood

Prop Story: “Three Little Pigs”

How It Went

Site Information
At this location, I do two classrooms. One is a two-year-old classroom and the other is a combined three-year-olds to six-year-olds classroom (basically three classrooms pile into one classroom). I was always directed to the two-year-old room first.

For this room, I did not read either of the princess books. We stuck with the Barton version of “The Three Bears” for its simplicity and repetition. And “The Foggy Foggy Forest” because it’s a great little guessing game. The kids really liked the “Princess Wore a Red Dress” flannel since I let them get up and dance it out.

Three-Year-Olds — Six-Year-Olds
I specifically brought both “Falling for Rapunzel” and “The Princess and the Pig” for this classroom mix because I knew the older kids would love these stories. I typically do a longer storytime for this group because they are very attentive. Perhaps the most memorable event of the day was that it was one of the hottest days of the summer and the power went out during storytime. I kept going (there was enough light from windows) with “The Three Bears” while some of the teachers left the room to set-up the backup generator. Everything was fixed by the time I finished the book, but it was memorable, that’s for sure!

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Toddlers: Fall

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan



Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell*
Kitten’s Autumn by Eugenie Fernandes*
Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson***

Early Literacy Tip

It takes five to twelve seconds for children to respond. We need to be patient after asking a question.

Theme Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Little Pumpkins”***

Flannelboard: “Ouch”***

Action Song: “The Leaves Are Falling Down”*
Song: “The Leaves are Falling Down” (Tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”)
The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
Red, yellow, green, and brown
The leaves are falling down
Credit: Preschool Education – Songs: Fall

Fingerplay: “Way Up High In the Apple Tree”***
Way up high in the apple tree (stretch arms up high)
Two red apples smiled at me (hold up two fingers)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (make a shaking motion)
Down came the apples… (make a downward motion)
And mmm, they were good! (smile and rub stomach)
Credit: Childhood

Repeating Extension Activities

  • The Elevator Song*
  • Open, Shut Them***
  • Put Your Hands Up High*
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear*
  • This Is Big**

How It Went

Tuesday morning
I had an amazing time dancing with two of my toddlers during “Put Your Hands Up High”. We had an extended quacking session and two of my girls came over to dance with me, holding my hands. (Which made singing the song hard, but that is life!) They really enjoyed “Ouch”, but we only got through one book this session.

Tuesday afternoon
My biggest afternoon crowd yet! I had two kids that were really good at participating this week and another toddler really opened up after being very reserved the last class. Our song cube rolled the ABCs today and one caregiver/toddler pair were very excited because the child was wearing an ABC shirt!

Thursday morning
Can I just say that “The Elevator Song” is pure joy? Also, flannelboards were a huge hit today. Storytime started late because of the toddlers had an accident and had to run to the bathroom. I was very happy that it didn’t happen on the rug because I’m just not sure how I would have been able to have storytime…

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Welcome to my first post about Discovery!

At my library, our 3-6 year-old storytime is an “on our own” storytime. Children are dropped off by their parents or caregivers who must remain in the library and be back at the storytime room five minutes before storytime is scheduled to end. Parents often write on our evaluation sheets that while they appreciate the chance to prepare their child for school, they also miss being in class with their child.

And as many of you are aware when I changed jobs last year, the Spring session of storytime was already scheduled for me. Fall 2014 was the first time I was creating the schedule and assigning which librarian would do which program. I knew that I wanted to create a preschool program that parents and caregivers would attend. But what…?

After brainstorming a ton of ideas, I still didn’t know where to start. So I decided to do everything. But instead of doing a seven-week iPad storytime or a seven-week STEM storytime, I would create a storytime test-kitchen. And that’s what Discovery! became.

For the Fall session, I did the following themes:
Play: Parachute
STEM: Body Science
Music & Rhythm
Nursery Rhymes
Movement: Yoga
Technology: iPad
Art: Process Vs. Product

I just started the Spring session last week and these are my themes:
Play: Throwback Games
Art: Mini-Masters

Movement: Obstacle Course
STEM: Dinosaur Science
Engineering: Blocks
And a TBA

In fall, Discovery! was advertised as an hour long program. This spring, we’ve adjusted that to a forty-five minute program. Our youngest (the 3yos) definitely burned out faster than our oldest (the 6yos), so forty-five minutes felt like a better plan. So far, I’ve got a lot of my regulars and some new faces!

I’ll see you next Monday for a write-up all about the first Discovery!, which was the parachute.

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ALSC: Documenting Storytime


Tips and tricks to remembering your storytimes in this ALSC all about Documenting Storytime. Click on over here.

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Flannel Friday: Five Pretty Sandcastles

I am thinking of the beach today, yes I am. And flashing back to a flannelboard I used in Dirt, Sand, & Mud storytime.

I used a clip-art image (available here) as a pattern to make my sandcastles. The flags are held up with a flat craft stick, in a removable felt pouch just in case I wanted to use this flannelboard with younger kids.

The rhyme and inspiration came from Katie of Storytime Secrets:

Five pretty sandcastles standing on the shore,
The tide came in (whoosh!) and then there were four.
Four pretty sandcastles standing by the sea,
The tide came in (whoosh!) and then there were three.
Three pretty sandcastles standing by the ocean blue,
The tide came in (whoosh!) and then there were two.
Two pretty sandcastles standing in the sun,
The tide came in (whoosh!) and then there was one.
One pretty sandcastle just out of reach,
The tide came in (whoosh!) but it stayed on the beach!

The kids really enjoyed when we whooshed and waved our arms at the flannel. I’m pretty sneaky and managed to snatch the sandcastles away quickly enough that I had one small person tell that the whoosh was magic.

Rebecca is hosting the round-up today! You can also check out our website, Pinterest, or Facebook!

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Babies: Rhymes

For more information on how I plan and prepare my baby storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the baby rhymes/bounces/lifts/etc., visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

For baby time, my library passes out individual copies of board books to each caregiver/child pair. I typically keep two or three to the side of me in case a baby tries to grab my copy. I read face out; caregivers read to their children.


Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr.
Pat-a-Cake by Kenyon
Rain, Rain Go Away by Caroline Jayne Church

Early Literacy Tip

Singing often breaks up syllables by assigning them different notes which makes them easier to hear.

Flannelboard: Shape Game

I hid a cat wearing a hat underneath. The cat is from my Farm Pack and the hat is from Froggy Gets Dressed.

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Cheek Chin*
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • Round & Round the Garden**
  • Tick, Tock**
  • Wake Up Toes**

How It Went

Tuesday morning
Since this was the second session of baby storytime for me, I had one little boy who stood and waited at the flannelboard for me to come in and play The Shape Game. Our board book version of “Pat-a-Cake” tripped everyone up since it doesn’t do the rhyme that our caregivers were familiar with.

Thursday morning
One of my favorite classes ever! We spent the five minutes or so before class officially started sharing what the babies had learned since the last time I saw them. So many babies learned to sit, crawl, or walk. But one father had to demonstrate his child’s skill. He learned animal noises (cow, sheep) and also what Michael Jackson says, “Ow!” It was pretty darn cute.

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Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 7/1

For the first time in our library’s history, we ran our own summer reading program — Make Some Noise! What better opportunity to do a bi-weekly music and movement dance party? This program was advertised for ages 0-7 and their families.


The Plan

Be Quiet, Mike! by Leslie Patricelli
Have you ever told a roomful of children that they can bang and stomp along with you? If you haven’t, I recommend getting some earplugs and letting the first floor patrons know ahead of time. This was a very fun and noisy read-aloud. I highly recommend it so long as you prepare ahead of time.

Parachute! (WARNING: Measure your room before you buy a chute!! This one just fits in our large meeting space, but I almost bought the next size up based on the handles…)

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
I Like to Rise — Kathy Reid-Naiman
Gotta Be Good — Ralph Covert
Ups and Downs — Jim Gill
Row the Boat — Robert Jenson
Fast and Slow — Laurie Berkner Band
Ring Around the Rosie — Caspar Babypants
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

My victory for this session was seeing one of my babies from the spring session of Baby Storytime absolutely FLOURISH in Shake, Shimmy whereas in Baby Storytime, she was withdrawn and uncomfortable. While I can’t say exactly what has caused this change, I am so very encouraged and inspired by it! The kids in general are getting so comfortable with the program and our space — I had a couple of kid running warm-up circles around the room before the crowd arrived.

(For an example of the Powerpoint and handouts that I made for each Shake, Shimmy please visit the original post.)

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Toddlers: Counting

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan



Animals 123 by Britta Teckentrup**
Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker***
Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
Fish, Swish, Splash, Dash! by Suze MacDonald*

Early Literacy Tip

Singing to your children is very important. Babies as young as one week can distinguish a family memeber’s voice from a group of stranger voices. Singing helps trigger speech developments.

Theme Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “One Elephant Went Out to Play”*

Flannelboard: “Ten Fluffy Chickens”***

Puppets: “When Animals Get Up in the Morning”***

Song: “Ten in the Bed”**
There were ten in the bed (Hold up five fingers)
And the little one said, “Roll over, roll over!” (Make rolling motion)
So they are rolled over and one fell out. (Hold up one finger & surprised face)
// Count down until
There was one in the bed (Hold up one finger)
And the little one said, “I’ve got it all to myself!” (Spread out arms)
Credit: Childhood

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Dance Your Fingers*
  • The Elevator Song**
  • My Thumbs Are Going to Wiggle**
  • Open, Shut Them*
  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat**
  • Wake Up Toes*

How It Went

Tuesday morning
The flannelboard was a big hit today — we did both of them. Lots of toddlers were obsessed with petting the board and pieces. “Animals 1 2 3″ is a multi-copy board book set that a lot of kids remembered from our baby storytime. They really enjoyed passing the books in and out.

Tuesday afternoon
Caregivers have been complementing this smaller session. I’m very glad that we tried this afternoon timeslot to give families this opportunity. “Animals 1 2 3″ was also really successful here. And the group has really settled in nicely compared to last week.

Thursday morning
For this session, I tried to sit on the floor which maybe wasn’t the best idea. But this group for whatever reason loves to fight over who sits in my chair when I get up for the flannelboards. I thought removing the chair might fix the problem. But since I was on the floor, one of my toddlers volunteered to be my baby.

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Storytime Essentials: Songs That Never End


No, no, no, I’m not talking about that song.

I’m talking about songs that you can keep adding more verses to as long as you need them.

1. You Can Hear (Tune: She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain)
You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo, ROAR ROAR!
You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo, ROAR ROAR!
You can hear the lions roaring, you can hear the lions roaring,
You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo, ROAR ROAR!

Have the children suggest animals for you to sing next. Just be prepared for someone to name an animal (koala bear!) that you have no idea what sound to use. (For the record: I went with a generic chompchomp for anything I couldn’t sound out since all animals have to eat!) I originally learned this song from Perpetual Preschool.

2. When Animals Get Up In the Morning
When animals wake up in the morning, they always say hello
When animals wake up in the morning, they always say hello
And what do they say? [animal noise]
And that is what they say!

Another great animal noise song! I do tend to plan this one out more in advance since I typically use puppets with it. But it could also be turned into a game where the children pull out a puppet and have to provide the noise. I originally learned this song from Jbrary.

3. Sticky, Sticky Bubblegum
Sticky, sticky, bubblegum, bubblegum, bubblegum
Sticky, sticky bubblegum
Sticking your fingers to your head

Preschoolers with stick with this song for the whole storytime if you let them! I originally learned this from a school group that was visiting the library and got stuck without a bus for nearly an hour after their scheduled departure time! Their teachers did a great job keeping them entertained and taught all their classroom songs to me. Since I learned it by rote, my version is a little different than both the Carole Stephens and the Dr. Jean version. The closest approximation is this video.

4. Driving Round In My Red Car (Tune (approximately): Bumping Up & Down In My Little Wagon)
Driving round in my little red car
Driving round in my little red car
Driving round in my little red car
Zoom zoom zoom zoom zoom

I actually remember this song from childhood. This is a great song for color identification and also for getting the wiggles out. Invite the children to drive imaginary cars in their seats (or if you’re really feeling brave, let them drive around the room) and watch the magic happen. I couldn’t find a video that sounds anything like how I sing this, so maybe one day I’ll record my own!

5. Wake Up Toes
Wake up toes, wake up toes
Wake up toes and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wake up toes, wake up toes
Wake up and wiggle in the morning

This is a great one for babies and toddlers. Parents and caregivers can help out by touching or helping move each body part as we sing about it. This is another song that I learned from the fabulous ladies from Jbrary.

As a final note: I tend to choose opening songs that can be extended. You can read more about those in the last edition of “Storytime Essentials”. I know I missed February’s edition, but I will be back in April with a new topic!

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ALSC: Speaking Their Language


One of my favorite ALSC posts that I’ve ever written is this one about talking to parents & caregivers. when you’re a non-parent.

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