The Plan



The Adventures of Max and Pinky Superheroes by Maxwell Eaton III
The Day I Lost My Superpowers by Michael Escoffier
Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod
Today I Will Fly by Mo Willems

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Superheroes”
Five superheroes ready to fly,
Here comes a villain. Stop that guy!
This superhero can save the day.
Off he/she flies — up, up, and away!
Credit: Jbrary

Folder Story: “My Many Colored Capes”

Action Rhyme: “Superman”
Put your hands way up high (raise arms up in air)
Like Superman flying across the sky (assume flying position)
Fly to the left, now fly to the right (lean to your right, then left)
Now show me your muscles with all your might,(make arm muscles)
Now Superman’s putting his suit away (bring arms down slowly)
So he can go flying another day (rest hands in lap)
Credit: Sunflower Storytime

Superhero Madlibs (I wrote this and yes, feel free to use.)

How It Went

Site Information
At this location, I do two storytimes and each group has their own theme/storytime. Today’s group was the Pre-K and school age classrooms. I read to 39 people total.

This particular facility selects themes for me to do ahead of time to tie into their curriculum.

I really enjoyed being able to read to school-age kids since it’s not my norm. Since it was a combined classroom visit, I did bring flannelboards and some action rhymes. The school-age kids totally bought into it though and participated with glee. They absolutely LOVED the Mad Libs and I was glad that I wrote it. Best books were “Today I Will Fly” and “Superhero ABC”. One of the teachers really enjoyed “The Day I Lost My Superpowers” though!

Interactive Play Space: Veterinarian Office


After I took down our Bakery shop, I wanted to go with a quicker and easier play center. I present…the Veterinarian Office:


[A quick recap of the reusuable supplies: Constructive Playthings Create It Space, Target White Plastic Bins, & Target Grey Plastic Bins.]

Here’s the break-down on each of the items including cost and where to get them!


1. Patient List: $3.79 for Velcro from Michaels.
This was a hand-made item. I laminated the blank Patient List and also laminated pictures for each animal in our center. I used the Velcro dots to make this an area for kids to practice ordering. I wanted to provide this option for the children who are not yet writing to be able to “take” patients and ordering/sorting is a great early math skill.

2. Waiting Room: no cost.
I pulled some extra chairs from another area of the library and used them to create a waiting room for the patients and their owners to wait in. Originally, I planned on pulling old magazines and stocking the area with them but I was concerned that they’d be mixed up in the library’s general collection. The kids have brought their own reading material though — if the piles of books I’ve seen around the space are any indication.

3. All About My Pet: paper & clipboard, no cost.
I made a worksheet for kids to write and talk about why their animals are visiting the veterinarian’s office that day. These were both general supplies found around our workroom. [This was a test situation to see if doing a post office was possible later on. I wanted to see if markers/crayons/pencils would wind up on the walls. In the Parent Tips, it asks parents to accompany their kids to ask for writing utensils at the desk.]

4. Leashes & Collars: $5 for two leashes and three collars from Dollar Tree.
I bought the tiniest collars that I could find and once I adjusted them down to the lowest level, they fit the Beanie Babies. The leashes make for an adorable scene as kids “walk” their animals through the department.

5. Toys: $4.99 for balls from Target & $2 for rope & bone from Dollar Tree.
I wanted to find toys other than dog toys, but nearly every cat toy had me worried about choking hazards — a lot of the ones at Dollar Tree had bells or feathers. I figured that cats would chase balls, right?

6. Veterinarian Tools: $35.99 part of the Vet Kit from Amazon.
I purchased this when it was discounted for $23.99. Watch the price for a while before you buy it; it will go up and down. I loved that this kit came with tons of vet supplies and the carrier was the cutest thing ever.

7. Bowls: $2 from Dollar Tree.
Just a small little touch, but it’s really sweet to see kids making their animals “eat” and “drink” from these. Also a very small purchase!

8. Pet Carriers: one from the Vet Kit & one purchased on eBay for $5.
There are tons of play pet carriers available online and I just wanted to make sure that no fights would break out if I only had one. I was lucky enough to catch the same carrier (though slightly larger) for a small price!

9. Parent Tips: free.
Again, if this was just a play center, I wouldn’t include parent tips. But this is a space where parents and children are supposed to interact. I change the tips each center and it delights me to see when parents are reading them and interacting with their child. (Now that isn’t always the case. But it is my dream!)

10. Animals: Beanie Babies donated from my house.
As a child of the 90s, my sister and I had tons of these creatures. We also were *serious* collectors and had the tags in tag protectors and never played with them. That makes perfect toys in pristine condition all set to be donated to the library now that I’m a children’s librarian!

And just a small example of the fabulous things that the kids have been writing on their play sheets!


I’ll be back in a few weeks with an update on how this center did after 300 hours of play!

Flannel Friday: Five Little Boats

And now for a recently re-done flannelboard: Five Little Boats!

This was the only flannelboard I accidentally lost in the move between my libraries. I know that it’s *somewhere*, but to be honest — it wasn’t a super great flannelboard. It was done quickly before a storytime and instead of finding it, I thought I just re-make it using this Pinterest pin as inspiration/template.

I forgot, however, the original rhyme which really doesn’t work for having two sailboats and no rowboats:

“Five Little Boats”
The first little boat went chug, chug, chug.
The second little boat went tug, tug, tug.
The third little boat went row, row, row.
The fourth little boat went ohhhh sooooo slooooooow.
Here comes the sailboat, watch it go!

So I found this rhyme “Five Little Sailboats” on Felt Board Ideas and modified it to work with my boats:

“Five Little Boats” (Tune: Five Little Ducks)
Five little boats went out one day
Over the waves and far away
With the wind, they begin to rock
One little boat returns to the dock

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

Families: Pizza

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan



The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges*
Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig*
Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington
Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin

Early Literacy Tip

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Signing Time Vol. 1*

Featured Track: Silly Pizza Song*

Flannelboard: “The Pizza That Sally Made”*

Flannelboard: “P-I-Z-Z-A”*

Puppets: “Hi, Pizza Man!”*

Action Rhyme: “Pizza Man, Pizza Man”*
Pizza man, pizza man, turn around
Pizza man, pizza man, touch the ground
Pizza man, pizza man, reach up high
Pizza man, pizza man, touch the sky
Pizza man, pizza man, find your nose
Pizza man, pizza man, touch your toes
Pizza man, pizza man, find your knees
Pizza man, pizza man, sit down, please!
Credit: Modified from childhood; idea from Awesome Storytime

Repeating Extension Activities

I had four back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I rarely used them, but here they are:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up*
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

During “Pete’s a Pizza”, one of my dads did everything with his son including tossing him in the air. It put all other kinds of participation immediately to shame! The kids had a great time dancing to “Silly Pizza Song”, but I definitely didn’t teach them all of the signs in the song. Unlike my last library, the kids loved when I put more toppings on the pizza flannelboard! One asked for bacon and potatoes!

Shake, Shimmy, & Dance: 6/15

During the summer, we’ve switched to a weekly format again! I’m packing in between 60-120 people in a room and we are DANCING ourselves silly!


The Plan

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
When re-launching a program, I always reach for a tried and true favorite. I can think of no better book than Eric Carle’s “From Head to Toe”. It’s got great movement and strong illustrations. Better yet — it’s a large book so it’s great to hold up for a big crowd!

Activity Scarves!

The Playlist

Hello & How Are You? — Old Town School of Folk Music
Sunny Day — Elizabeth Mitchell
Take Your Two Eyes — Dreamtree Shakers
Head Shoulders — Mr. Jon & Friends
Blast Off! — Joanie Leeds & the Nightlights
De Colores — Old Town School of Folk Music
Butterfly — Bari Koral Family Rock Band
Twist! Stop! Hop! — Ronno
Shake Hands With Friends — Ella Jenkins

How It Went

For a first launch, we had a great turn-out and the room was packed! I decided that for the summer we should do three prop songs at the end. Once we put the props away, the kids are cued to find a friend to shake with and then it’s time to go. It worked great today! The kids really enjoyed pinching the scarves in the middle to make a butterfly and I really enjoyed getting to tell parents about how that’s a great way to get kids ready to write.

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

Discovery! Parachute


I did a second parachute program in the spring sessino of Discovery!. Here’s our playlist:

1. Introduction & Rules: Do not walk on the parachute. If Miss Katie asks you to find a spot on the wall, you need to put a hand on the wall. Caregivers, I need your help to watch out for our little ones. We don’t want anyone to trip on the parachute. If anyone does step on the chute, we need to stop what we’re doing until everyone is safe again. Thanks!

2: Read “Higher, Higher” by Leslie Patricelli: I read “Higher, Higher” while the kids/caregivers sat on the floor. As we read each page, we raised the parachute higher and higher until everyone was standing at the end of the book and I was reading under the chute so the kids could still see. This worked out beautifully and was a very engaging way to read the book.

3. “Take the Sun” by Caspar Babypants: We worked on different parachute directions with these next two songs. This song was up and down. Eventually kids got bored and started running under the parachute which was fine by me. When that happens though, I do stick my head underneath and police kids that might be running too fast or aren’t aware of their surroundings.

4. “Fast and Slow” by Laurie Berkner Band: Shaking the chute fast and slow absolutely brought the kids back to holding the chute. I cannot describe the shrieking that occurs when I tell the kids that they can shake fast again.

5. “The Tempo Marches On” by Jim Gill: I tried very hard to get the kids to shake slow at the beginning of this song and to shake faster towards the end. Thankfully the parents helped make that happen!

6. “Boom Boom” by Bari Koral Family Rock Band: This song has actions (stand up, jump up, spin around, comb your hair, shut the light) which I adapted for the parachute — stand up, jump up, kids spin while parents hold the chute up, give yourself static hair, and curl up under the parachute. This was incredibly fun and was a great transitional piece for our next book.

7. Read “Monsters Love Colors” by Mike Austin: I made this interactive by asking the kids to shake the chute while sitting to help mix the colors. I also had the secondary colors scarves in bags, prepared to toss on the chute when we “made” that color. The kids thought that this was magic and were so happy when another color joined the chute. I kept the scarves on the chute for the next song.

8. “All My Colors” by Ralph Covert: We had another round of shaking the chute since the kids were ready to get back up again. Afterwards, they all found the wall and I collected the scarves by walking on the parachute.

9. “Pass & Clap” by Michael Plunkett: This is a song that’s supposed to be used with bean bags, but I had the kids/caregivers sit back down and pass the chute around the circle. This is a great chance to develop some teamwork skills. One of my kids struggle with this and mom pulled her away from the chute since she couldn’t/wouldn’t pass it.

10. “Peek-a-Boo” by The Learning Groove: A really quick fun game from Mr. Eric & Mr. Michael. I asked the kids to crawl under the chute and their caregivers lifted it slightly so the kids could peek out. Lots of laughter with this one.

11. “Popcorn” by Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights: I made paper popcorn again out of recycled materials and the kids shook the chute. After a while, I invited them to go underneath and “pop” the popcorn off the parachute. This was a great way to get the paper off of the chute without having them find another wall to do it safely.

12. “Rocks and Flowers” by Caspar Babypants: This last song, the kids went underneath the chute and crawled around to pick up the paper and bring it to me!

Another successful parachute program! I absolutely love playing with the kids and the parachute. It brings back such fond memories of when I was in school and we did the parachute. Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures though because it’s so difficult to try and lead this program and document it at the same time.

Flannel Friday: Maisy Drives the Bus

This week’s flannelboard is inspired by Jane of Piper Loves the Library! After she posted her Maisy Drives the Bus flannel, I knew I had to recreate it!

(For those of you who may not have access to the book since it’s out of print, here’s a YouTube video where the book is read aloud.)

Like Jane, I omitted Eddie’s part in the bus. And I tried the stained glass technique of backing the felt pieces with a black outline — I love how it looks! But I didn’t want a head to fall off accidentally and traumatize a child, so I made doubles of the head to ride on the bus.

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

Families: Opposites

For more information on how I plan and prepare my family storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan. Some activities go unstarred because I only do this program once a week.

The Plan



Animal Opposites by Petr Horacek*
Black? White! Day? Night! by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang*
Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox*

Early Literacy Tip

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Wiggleworms’s “Songs for Wiggleworms”*

Featured Track: #13 Open, Shut Them & #26 In & Out the Window*

Flannelboard: “Big, Bigger, Biggest”*

Flannelboard: “I’m the Biggest Thing In the Ocean”*

Repeating Extension Activities

I had four back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I rarely used them, but here they are:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider*
  • Thumbkin

How It Went

Winter is getting to the whole group. We were restless and crazy during this storytime and it went a little short on content; I just went with more music than usual. “The Biggest Thing In the Ocean” was a huge mega hit and bascially saved the storytime. “You Are (Not) Small” was a big of a flop; it really does work better as a beginning reader.

Staying Safe!

The Plan



Be Careful and Stay Safe by Cheri J. Meiners (some pages clipped)*
How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe? by Jane Yolen*
Llama Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney*
Please Play Safe! by Margery Cuyler
Yes, No, Little Hippo by Jane Belk Moncure*

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Little Cat” (with updated hats)

Puppet Glove: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”

Props: “Green Says Go”

Props: “What Is My Job?” Sung to: “Are You Sleeping?”
What is my job?
What is my job?
Can you guess?
Can you guess?
Who am I?
Who am I?
*Other verses: I help people get well (doctor). I make meals for you (chef). I keep your pets healthy (veterinarian). I put out the fires (firefighter). I grow food for you (farmer). I help you cross the street (crossing guard). I can help you stay safe (police officer).
Modified from: Preschool Education, Music, & Songs

Action Rhyme: “Hurry Hurry”
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck
Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep!
(Turn the corner, spray the water, climb the ladder, save the people)
Credit: Childhood

How It Went

Site Information
At this location, I do two storytimes and each group has their own theme/storytime. Today’s group was the toddler, two-year-old, & three-year-old classrooms. I read to 45 people total.

This particular facility selects themes for me to do ahead of time to tie into their curriculum.

When I first got the request for staying safe for two-year-olds, I was really concerned about overwhelming the kids with fears instead of reassuring them. Thank you very much to my Twitter friends for offering suggestions. Most of the suggestions went too old for my kiddos, but it got me thinking. I went with a bit of a community helpers theme and that worked great.

I used “Llama Llama and the Bully Goat” to remind kids that they can always find their teachers for help (since we were in a daycare facility that was perfect). “Yes, No, Little Hippo” was by far the best one and the one that the toddlers understood the most. “How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe?” might have been more successful if I didn’t have the CUTEST kid who yelled, “Dinosaur!” every time I turned the page. Most of the kids and teachers dissolved into laughter. I managed to keep a straight face, but it was pretty hysterical.

Toddlers: Play

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



Higher Higher by Leslie Patricelli**
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis*
Playground Day by Jennifer J. Merz
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia***

Early Literacy Tip
Playing with other children at a young age, experiencing the fun of taking turns and sharing are great ways to learn important social and emotional skills. During our break, schedule playdates to take place in our Family Center!

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Songs for Wiggleworms***

Featured Track: #18 Milkshake***

Flannelboard: “Go Away Big Green Monster”*

Flannelboard: “Red Crane, Red Crane”**

Finger Puppets: “Five Little Monkeys”***

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Everyone Can March***
  • Open, Shut Them***
  • Roly, Poly**
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***

How It Went

Tuesday morning
A huge group today, full of wiggles. I was, of course, sad to say goodbye to the kids leaving — moving up to preschool storytime. But one of my favorite families is moving away! :( I didn’t do the flannelboard with this group today and one of my kids was sad. Two of my caregivers shared stories with me: one little one says my name the whole drive home every week and the other one practiced our “Name-Oops” rhyme in his sleep!

Thursday morning (9:30)
“Red Crane, Red Crane” didn’t work so well with this group since the caregivers tried to recite it with me. “Higher Higher” worked much better as an opening book. This group was very concerned that the monkeys were okay so I put them on the glove again. Two of my kids loved jumping with the monkeys.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Once again, I’m sad to say goodbye to my toddlers. But I’m especially sad to say goodbye to a lot of the kids in this session since I’ve had them since I came to the library in the spring of 2014. This group really enjoyed “Go Away Big Green Monster” and shouting “GO AWAY!” with me.


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