This is an ironic storytime post — it’s nothing but a plan! This storytime was supposed to happen the Thursday following ALA’s Annual Conference, and I was out of town until Wednesday at the conference. My staff forgot to do reminder calls the night before and no one showed up for storytime!

In my community, reminder calls are so important.

So, here’s what I planned to do and how I planned it:

I start off by picking 4-5 books. I’m a moody reader by nature and will almost never read all five, but I like to have options in case storytime isn’t working out the way that I planned.

I choose “An Island in the Sun” by Stella Blackstone to start off storytime. I adore Blackstone’s books. I think they are age-appropriate and that the illustrations are always eye-catching. I also really like rhyming stories, and prefer to start off storytime with a rhythm.

I had “Sail Away” by Donald Crews because whenever you do a transportation storytime, you have to include one by Crews! Obviously, my favorite is “Freight Train,” but what I like about Crews’s books are the quick, short text getting the point across in simple language for kids.

I inter-library loaned “Alistair and Kip’s Great Adventure” by John Segal for a different program and fell in love with it for storytime. It’s a very simple story about two friends who build a boat and wind up having a great adventure. It’s a bit of a different pick than what I normally choose because it’s a linear story with a little dialogue in the illustrations.

Another book that I was surprised by was “I’m Mighty” by Kate & Jim McMullan. It’s the story of a tugboat who pulls boats to and from the dock. The illustrations are bold, bright, and colorful. I hoped that the theme of being small would resonate with my preschoolers.

Last, but not least — a settle-down book — “Boats for Bedtime” by Olga Litowinsky. I loved the ending of this book, and really thought it would be a great end to a storytime.

Other than my starting book and ending book, the others would have been moved around as I went. And I never plan where my extension activities are going to go, because I try to meet the needs of the kids as we go. If they need to get up and move before the next story, we do that. If they’re okay with sitting for a flannelboard before moving, we do that.

Flannelboard: “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!

Action Song: “Riding ‘Round in My Little Boat”
Riding ’round in my little [red] boat
Riding ’round in my little [red] boat
Riding ’round in my little [red] boat
Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom, splash!

Song: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

And our very simple craft came from DLTK’s awesome craft section: Halves Boat Preschool Craft.

The biggest “wow” with this craft would be using tissue paper!

10 comments on “Boats!

  1. Leah
    March 24, 2011 at 4:33 pm #

    Is there a tune to Riding ‚ÄėRound in My Little Boat? I can’t figure it out. Just stumbled upon your site and love it! ūüôā

    • Katie
      March 24, 2011 at 4:43 pm #


      I use “Ten Little Indians” as the tune. And when I switch up colors, I use “lil” instead of “little” for purple and orange.


  2. Leah
    March 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Thank you! That is perfect – I’m doing a storytime on boats this week. ūüôā


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