I am a glutton for a great storytime theme, and I cannot get enough of using birds. I had a great time using this theme in the fall, and knew that there were enough books to do a completely different storytime for my afternoon kids this spring. (I had no crossover between the two groups…which I still find strange.)
I started off with “How Rocket Learned to Read” by Tad Hills.
While this is a great book, it is very long, and not a book that I anticipated the littlest storytime attendees would sit for well. My average age in storytime yesterday was a little over 5, so I went with the longer book. (I had “Grumpy Bird” prepared and ready to go if we had skewed younger.) The kids did really well with the book, and my older kids were so into it that I definitely would use it again for my older ones.
Next up, a fingerplay to reward the little ones for sitting through the long book. I did “Two Little Blackbirds.” Followed by the book “Wow! Said the Owl” by Tim Hopgood.
Love this book! Love it! I already went ahead and bought it to live permanently in our storytime collection because I can think of a thousand themes (well, maybe not a thousand), but definitely day/night, birds, colors, sleep, exclamations!, rain, rainbows, that the book could be used at storytime. (I will be using it again in just a few weeks for our rain storytime.) And the kids really liked shouting out the colors as they appeared — overall, this was a success with everyone.
Then, the kids got up and stretched and we did this super cute action rhyme, one that I modify all the time to fit different themes:
Action Rhyme: “Little Bird”
I saw a little bird go hop, hop, hop (hop three times)
I told the little bird to stop, stop, stop (hold out hand for stop)
I went to the window to say “How do you do?” (handshake)
He wagged his little tail and far away he flew! (shake tail and fly away)
Next up, one of my most favorite books to read at storytime, “I’m Not Cute!” by Jonathan Allen.
There is nothing more wonderful than watching reactions when I read this book aloud. The kids LOVE this one, and I do too. There’s also a great chance for audience participation here — I always ask the kids several times if Baby Owl is cute. They always think so, and I always respond, “He is not cute!”
After I was done, I went straight into the flannelboard: “Ten Fluffy Chickens”, which I used at the last Bird storytime.
Then, the library purchased a ton of finger puppets and puppets with money we received for a Target Family Reading Grant written by one of my fabulous co-workers, and I finally got to use the hummingbird puppet this storytime!
Poem & Puppet: “Hummingbird’s Sound”
A hummingbird gets its name from the sound
Of its hum – hmm – as it darts all around.
The sound is not a song that it sings
But the fast flapping of its tiny wings!
Next book, “Riki’s Birdhouse” by Monica Wellington.
I actually previewed this one the first time I did bird storytime, but passed on it because it was too long for my ages 0-5 storytime. But it was perfect for ages 3-7 storytime. This is a sweet story about a boy who builds birdhouses and feeds the birds and watches them throughout the seasons. It was a great read for this time of year, as the seasons are slowly getting ready to turn.
Another repeat from last time:
Action Rhyme: “Little Birds, Little Birds”
Little birds, little birds, jump up and down.
Little birds, little birds, don’t make a sound!
Little birds, little birds, tip-toe to me.
Little birds, little birds, bend your knees!
Little birds, little birds, peep, peep, peep.
Little birds, little birds, sleep, sleep, sleep.
Little birds, little birds, fly to the leaves!
Little birds, little birds, sit down, please.
Credit: Greatest Resource Education Child Care
Before finishing up with “Little Quack” by Lauren Thompson.
This story is so bright and lively, and I love the counting meter at the bottom of the page spreads. This was a natural segue into our closing song: “Five Little Ducks.”
Afterwards, we made plastic cup blue birds using a kit from Oriental Trading.
The kit called for a paper cup, and to decoupage tissue paper squares to make the bird blue. I was not having ANY of that, so I just bought regular cups from the party store. (The cups were not sold with the kit anyways.)