Month: April 2011

Bunny Storytime!

Two weeks ago was “Snapshot Day” in Illinois libraries. It’s an advocacy campaign designed to show daily usage in a library. Participants are able to complete surveys about their library. For our part, Youth Services put together four activities that day. And of course, one was storytime. Because it was on a different day than my normal storytime hour, I had a smaller crowd of seven kids and our theme was bunnies.

Started off storytime with “Max’s Chocolate Chicken” by Rosemary Wells.

I grew up loving these books and still adore Rosemary Wells. This is a great one all about finding Easter eggs and getting candy and of course, Max being mischievous. I love how Ruby bosses him around, and so do the kids. (This was my one and only Easter book, and I asked parents before hand if they minded an Easter book being shared. I was ready to go with “Goodnight, Moon” instead if anyone had a problem.)

Next up, a new book by a favorite author — “What’s the Matter, Bunny Blue?” by Nicola Smee.

This is a great book for rhymes. Bunny Blue has lost her grandma, and she’s something of a mess. The kids laughed a lot when I was boo-hooing as Bunny Blue, but they kept insisting that we would find her grandma so I know that they weren’t worried. A great read-aloud book!

Then, we tried our own hands at locating a bunny. She was hiding under some Easter eggs. The kids got to practice naming colors, and since we were such a small crowd, I let everyone come up and take their own guesses off the board. (And I had the houses on stand-by for bunny to hide under if needed.)

Since the kids were a little wiggly after moving around, we did a quick rhyme to sit them back down:

Action Rhyme: “Little Rabbit”
I saw a little rabbit go hop, hop, hop
I told that little rabbit to stop, stop, stop
He wiggled his ears and crinkled his nose
And wiggled, wiggled, wiggled right down to his toes.
Credit: Modified from Preschool Education Music & Songs

Next up, I got to use a small board board because our crowd was smaller: “In My Meadow” by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich.

I actually bought this book to possibly make a flannelboard out of it. (I’ve loved this board book/puppet series since I first saw them in bookstores last year.) Well, time got away with me and it was still in my storytime drawer so I brought it down to use as a puppet moreso. The kids LOVED getting to pet bunny at the end of the book. And since it was so short, I read it twice!

Then, I did a little rhyme with puppets:

Puppets: “There’s Something In My Garden”
There’s something in my garden
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound…
A frog is what I found!
(SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK, A mouse is what I found! / CAW CAW CAW, A crow is what I found! / THUMP THUMP THUMP, A rabbit is what I found!)
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

The kids were spot on with their guesses, but they were still very excited when I pulled out a puppet of the animal from behind my back. After, I read “What Does Bunny See?” by Linda Sue Park.

Another great guessing book, this time guessing what colors and flowers Bunny sees in her garden. Which brought us to our fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Here is a Bunny”
Here is a bunny with ears so funny (hold up index and middle fingers for ears)
And here is his hole in the ground (make a circle with the other hand)
At the first sound he hears, he pricks up his ears (extend two fingers)
And hops in the hole in the ground (fingers jump into the hole)
Credit: Early Literature

And then our next book, “Bunny Fun” by Sarah Weeks.

This book was a fun deviation from a lot of the normal bunny books. This one was about a little bunny who was stuck inside on a rainy day and all the fun he came up with. My kids were very excited to see activities that they do (blocks, coloring, etc.). Super cute.

Fingerplay: “Little Bunny”
There was a little bunny who lived in the wood. (hold up two fingers)
He wiggled his ears as a good bunny should (wiggle on head)
He hopped by a squirrel. He hopped by a tree. (hop, hop)
He hopped by a duck. And he hopped by me. (hop, hop over fist)
He stared at the squirrel. He stared at the tree. (stare, stare)
He stared at the duck. But he made faces at me! (stare, make faces)
Credit: Texas State Library

That was a hysteric fingerplay. The kids could not stop laughing when we made funny faces. After a good laugh, I read our last book for the day, “Little White Rabbit” by Kevin Henkes.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of books by Kevin Henkes. So, it should come as no surprise that I love this newest one by him. It’s such a good calming, end-of-storytime read.

All that was left was our craft, which I had purchased from an Oriental Trading craft kit:

Flannel Friday: Froggy Gets Dressed

This is a flannel all set to go for “Clothes” storytime towards the end of the month.

As with a ton of my flannels, I got this template from KizClubFroggy template.

I love the way his jacket turned out even though I opted not to do the flannel striping. My co-worker really digs his socks. I am excited about using this one and I think the kids will really like Froggy. He’s just so cute!


A new storytime session, yay! I’m back for another six weeks of storytime fun. (Then another three week break, followed by my giant eight-week summer reading session. I’m looking at two to three storytimes a week…but I promise I’m only doing one theme.)

For this session, I switched up the welcome song. The kids liked “The More We Get Together” well enough, but it didn’t always serve to shake out their sillies before stories started. I’ve also added in an opening song to gently remind them of the storytime rules (sit down, hands to self). Hopefully they’ll take that to heart.

Welcome Song: Clap and Sing Hello!
We clap and sing hello.
We clap and sing hello.
With our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello.
(We wave and sing hello; we stomp and sing hello)
Credit: Storytime Songs

Opening Song: If You’re Ready…
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Make your hands all nice and neat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
Credit: SJPL Hello & Goodbye Songs [Link no longer works]

And now, on to the actual theme of today’s storytime — TRUCKS. I’m going to be short on the summaries today, because basically the kids LOVED trucks and freaked out with JOY every time there was a new truck — eagerly shouting out the color of the truck, the name of the truck, where the truck was, that their mom/dad has a truck, if they wanted that truck, if that truck was smelly, etc. This was par for the course for the whole storytime and I see no need to keep rehashing it.

First up, “A Truck Goes Rattley-Bumpa” by Jonathan London.

Great book, love the noises and the variety of trucks in it. This is a good series, by the same author who does the Froggy books. Then, it was on to another variation of the Thumbkin fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Where Are Trucks?” (Thumbkin)
Where is pick-up truck? Where is pick-up truck?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you.
Drive away. Drive away.
(Tow truck, dump truck, moving truck, firetruck)

For this one, I made little trucks flashcards (kind of) and popped them behind my back. The kids were really amused with this activity. I almost wish I had little toy trucks instead to really wow them.

Next up, “Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble!” by Patricia Hubbell.

We have all of Hubbell’s transportation books at the library and they go out all the time. A great series for kids obsessed with transportation.

Action Rhyme: Windshield Wiper
I’m a windshield wiper (bend arm at elbow and hold fingers up)
This is how I go (swing arm back and forth)
Back and forth, back and forth (continue motion)
In the rain and snow
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

This action rhyme was so much fun, we did it several times. One of my boys lamented that he missed the snow. I kind of failed on the flannelboard front this week — I hid cars behind our set of houses and we looked for truck’s best friend…red car! (Or orange car or yellow car…etc.)

Next, I read “Tip Tip Dig Dig” by Emma Garcia.

Another fabulous series that I adore. There’s also a car book and a tools book. The kids needed to get up and move, so we went ahead and did this action rhyme next:

Action Rhyme: “Open the Truck Door”
Open the truck door, climb inside
I get to help my mommy drive
Fasten the seat belt and shut the door
Start the engine, hear it roar
Turn the corner and step on the gas
If the road is clear, we may pass.
Credit: Librarian Lisa

The next book…”The Little Dump Truck” by Margery Cuyler.

I used this one, in particular, because it focused on one kind of a truck instead of just naming different trucks. A quick round of “Old McDonald Had a Truck” and then I moved on to my last book of the day, “I Love Trucks” by Philemon Sturges.

This is my favorite of all the books because it prominently features my favorite truck: ice cream truck! A great way to end storytime.

Our craft for today was a garbage truck that I lovingly stole from Sarah…again.

As always, some kids enjoyed gluing more than others while some focused on coloring. All had a really good time today!


Another round of afternoon storytime was last week, on Tuesday. Our theme was spring which was perfect because the weather had been so nice and kind to us last weekend (we hit the 80s on Sunday), and the kids are definitely hitting spring fever. [Unlike this week, where it SNOWED this morning. Oh, Chicago, why do you hate me so?]

Our first book for today was “Mouse’s First Spring” by Lauren Thompson.

I’ve used the Mouse books as a way to introduce a lot of the seasons in other storytimes, but I really enjoyed the spring edition because it’s a guessing game of objects and animals in the springtime. My kids really this as a warm-up activity. By the end of the book, everyone was shouting guesses! Next, we did the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” three different ways, which is always a crowd-pleaser.

Next, I introduced our next book by first doing a fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Here is a Bunny”
Here is a bunny with ears so funny (hold up index and middle fingers for ears)
And here is his hole in the ground (make a circle with the other hand)
At the first sound he hears, he pricks up his ears (extend two fingers)
And hops in the hole in the ground (fingers jump into the hole)
Credit: Early Literature

And that brought us to the next book, “What Does Bunny See?” by Linda Sue Park.

This is another book that my group had a lot of fun, in this book they got to guess the colors of flowers. I have some color masters in storytime — they always know every color! And naming the flowers was a good way to increase vocab and also get them prepped for our craft later on. And that also led us into a quick song:

Song: “Ten Little Flowers” (Tune: Ten Little Indians)
One little, two little, three little flowers
Four little, five little, six little flowers
Seven little, eight little, nine little flowers
Ten flowers in the spring.
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
So they’ll grow up tall
Credit: Modified from The Holiday Zone

Our next book was “Hurray for Spring!” by Patricia Hubbell.

This book has a lot of different spring activities which is a nice contrast to objects or animals or weather. I asked this kids after each spread if they had done the activity shown. It will not surprise you at all to know that everyone has done everything…even if they really haven’t.

I loved this fingerplay, and we repeated this one four or five times, the kids giggling the whole time.

Fingerplay: “During the Spring”
During the spring, it often showers (flutter fingers down)
Or the sun shines for many hours (form circle in the air with arms)
Both are good for the flowers! (cup hands and extend arms like flowers)
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

And then, I led the kids in singing our flannelboard: “Five Little Ducks.”

Followed by our next book, “Dimity Duck” by Jane Yolen and Sebastien Braun.

This is one of my favorites. I love the wonderful alliteration and sounds from saying names like Dimity Duck and Frumity Frog. Last but not least (I mean I’m doing a whole bugs only theme in May), I wanted to talk a bit about spring bugs. First with a butterfly…

Song & Puppet: “Flutter, Flutter, Butterfly”
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the spring sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the spring sky
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

And then with a lot of different bug in “Bumblebee, Bumblebee, Do You Know Me?” by Anne Rockwell.

This book was one of those books that should have gone over really well, but I had one little boy act out during the whole time. One of my kids asked, “Miss Katie, why can’t he sit down and listen?” Needless to say, since this book isn’t a linear story, I did skip a few page spreads to get us to the end of storytime and our craft. For craft, we made felt and foam flower bouquets, which came in a kit from Oriental Trading.

This kit was a huge hit! Some of the kids required some parental help, but most of the kids figured it out themselves.

ALSC: Unusual Storytime Themes


For my first post ever at the Association of Library Services to Children blog, I asked about unusual storytime themes! Do you have any favorites? Let me know by clicking over and visiting the ALSC blog.

Flannel Friday: The Pizza That Sally Made

Well, I did my best to find a flannelboard I’ve done that fits in with the theme “One World, Many Stories” as several other Flannel Friday participants are doing. And the only one I could think of was this adaptation of “The House That Jack Built” which is a British nursery rhyme with many possible origin stories, according to Wikipedia.

I used this in “Red” storytime almost a month ago now!

I just freehanded this one since it’s such familiar shapes. And here’s the text:

This is the crust that Sally made.
This is the sauce, so red and so sweet,
These are the olives, so black and salty,
These are the peppers, so green and crunchy,
This is the pineapple, fresh from Hawaii,
This is the salami, that makes it Italian,
This is the cheese, so gooey and chewy,

This is the tummy, so hungry and lively,
That devoured the pizza made with the cheese, so gooey and chewy,
That went on top of the salami, that makes it Italian,
That went with the pineapple, fresh from Hawaii,
That went with the peppers, so green and crunchy,
That went with the olives, so black and salty,
That went on the sauce, so spicy and sweet,
That went on the crust that Sally made.
And that was the pizza that Sally made!
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

I do this as the original poem does, where you add one element and repeat all the previous ones, building until you get to the last verse. The kids really liked the repetition in this one and began chanting along with me.

Flannel Friday: “Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me”

This week I’m featuring the other flannelboard that I made on the plane ride to and from ALA’s Midwinter Conference this January: “Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me.”

Story Props Page on Kizclub // “Papa” Template (Color) // Book: Eric Carle

I didn’t do any of the painting on the plane, I promise!

My favorite part about this flannel is the glittery felt I found to do the moon. And the ladder (which is just pipe cleaners and a little dab of Tacky glue on each connecting part), which took me a few hours to suss out back at the library.

I haven’t had a chance to use this flannel yet with the kids; I made it for a “Starry Night Stories” program for families this winter, but we got snowed out and no one came. I rescheduled the program for this summer, so it will be used then!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I did this program last year right around this time, and thought I would post it so that other librarians and libraries could use it!

Flannelboard: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

I knew that most of the kids attending this program had likely read the book prior to signing up. At first I was going to combat that by using the pop-up version to add a little twist. But then, I discovered flannelboard templates online and the rest was history.

(And because I still adore this flannelboard, I went and took some better pictures of it!)

My favorite piece is the butterfly wing! I did a ton of painting to get it to look at close to the book’s illustrations as I could.

After the flannel (which was a HUGE hit; I had a lot of kids “reading” the story along with me), we sang a little song with our pretend butterfly hands.

Song: “Fly Fly Butterfly” (Tune: “Skip to My Lou”)
Fly fly fly butterfly
Fly fly fly butterfly
Fly fly fly butterfly
Fly high up in the sky.
Credit: The Virtual Vine

After our storytime portion, I did a game with the kids:

Game: Caterpillar Race
Form two teams of three. The course should be about 20 feet long, marked with a start and finish line. To play this game you’ll need 4 balloons. Each team lines up single file. Each player sandwiches a balloon between herself and the person in front of her. Each team is a little caterpillar! First team to run around the cones and back while keeping the balloons between them wins. (And you can’t use your hands to get the balloons in place!)
Credit: PBS Kids Zoom

For my kids, I modified by allowing hands to help the balloons and pairing kids up instead of making teams of three. I had a lot of younger threes/fours at the program and knew that the game would be too difficult.

And then, I did two different crafts with the kids!

Butterfly/Caterpillar Craft:
• Glue pom-poms onto one side of clothes-pin. Twist 3 inch piece of pipe cleaner around top end to form antenna. Let dry.
Butterfly wings:
• Lay paper towel flat. Mix water and food coloring to make “paint.” Use paint brush to paint the paper towel. The more colors you use, the more colorful the butterfly. Allow to dry. When dry, fan fold the paper towel into approx. ½ inch sections.
Credit: DLTK Kids

I actually did the caterpillars ahead of time, using hot glue and making sure that it was nice and dry for the kids. And I SO did not want to mess with food coloring with preschoolers, so I wound up using watercolor paint. It worked just as well, with way less mess!

Bookmark Craft:
Use fingerpaint to make a caterpillar crawling across the bookmark. Add legs, eyes, and mouth with a black marker when dry. Hole-punch a hole at the top of the bookmark and tie a ribbon through it to finish it off.
Credit: Domesticali

I called each child up one at a time while they were watercolor painting and had them dip their fingers in fingerpaint to make the bookmark. Instead of taking each child to the sink after their turn — I used hand/face wipes from the store. Another way to simplify my life!

Then, while their butterflies and their bookmarks were drying, we played one more game!

Game: Butterfly Match-Up
Cut butterflies out of cardstock and then cut them in half. Hide them around the room and ask the children to help you match up the butterflies.
Credit: The Virtual Vine

Afterwards, each child got to keep the butterfly they matched up and took home both crafts. This program was a really big success as far as I’m concerned, and I had a lot of pleased parents leaving the programming room that day.


This was the third color in my daycare storytime cycle: yellow! (Orange is here. Red is here.)

Since my group tends to be a little rowdy at they settle in, I sang two songs to get them calmed down this week — our welcome song and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

After a brief recap of what colors we had already done, I showed all the books to the kids and asked what color they thought was next. Unanimously, they proclaimed it to be yellow and I opened up “Banana” by Ed Vere to start.

I think this is a great book to start off storytime with because it warms kids up by creating a lot of discussion moments. With only two words in the book (banana and please), it also gives the reader opportunities to play with tone of voice and I really appreciated that! The kids had a good time telling the book to me as well. This led us into a very silly song…

Song: “Apples and Bananas”
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays
I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays
I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees
I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees
I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and bi-ni-nis
I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and bi-ni-nis
I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos
I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos
Credit: Childhood

Followed by another book about a yellow fruit, “Lemons Are Not Red” by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

This worked much better in daycare storytime than in regular storytime this week, and I think it was just because my daycare kids were much more talkative than my regular storytime kids. After the book, I went straight into our flannelboard game:

Flannelboard Game: “Can We Find?” (Tune: Muffin Man)
Can we find a yellow cat, yellow cat, yellow cat?
Can we find a yellow cat? We want to say hello.

Last week, the daycare teacher told me that the daycare was learning about the color pink and the letter “P” this week, so I did put a pink heart behind one of the houses. The kids were SO surprised when we uncovered a pink heart! I might try hiding a different color item every week.

Next up, “Little Quack” by Lauren Thompson.

I knew that this would be a hit, because it is one of those books that seems to capture their attention every single time I read it. Anyways the book has great repetition, lots of great counting, and a sweet story. The kids in this session were very eager to cheer Little Quack on as he prepared to jump. That led us to our duck action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “Little Duck”
I saw a little duck go hop, hop, hop (hop three times)
I told the little duck to stop, stop, stop (hold up hand for stop)
I went to the window to say, ‘How do you do?’ (handshake)
He wagged his little tail and away he flew! (shake tail and fly away)
Credit: Childhood

And then, I introduced our next yellow object — school bus — by doing my “Seals on the Bus” flannelboard. Whenever I do this flannel, the kids and I always wind up singing the book which is part of the fun. After our first bus, the kids were ready for a book about buses, “School Bus” by Donald Crews.

As with all Donald Crews books — this is a great way to introduce transportation to kids! Short words on each page; bright illustrations; engaging storylines. I love that these books have stood up over the years!

Next, I introduced our last yellow item with a puppet — bumblebee! I buzzed him around the room for a few and the kids were very excited to meet him. I promised that they could all come up and pet the bee after we finished storytime if there was good behavior!

First up, another flannelboard: “Six Little Bumblebees!” (I couldn’t resist using two in this storytime — they were both so perfect for the theme.)

Six little bumblebees sitting on a hive
One flew away and then there were five
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Five little bumblebees sitting on the floor
One flew away and then there were four
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Four little bumblebees sitting in the tree
One flew away and then there were three
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Three little bumblebees looking at you
One flew away and then there were two
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Two little bumblebees sitting in the sun
One flew away and then there was one
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
One little bumblebee left all alone
He flew away, safe to his home
Credit: Modified from Monkey Business Creative

And then the last book for storytime, “Little Bea” by Daniel Roone.

This book JUST came out last week, but when I read the review ahead of time I pre-ordered it for our storytime collection. This is an adorable story about a bee who visits all her friends in one day. There’s great rhyming text, sounds, and even knock-knock jokes! I’ll be using this one again in “Bugs” storytime later on this spring.

One last song…

Song: “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee”
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
Won’t my mommy be so proud of me?
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
Ouch, it stung me!
(Squishing, what a mess; Washing up, now I’m all clean!)
Credit: Childhood

(And yes, I did cut out the licking and barfing parts. Not for storytime!)

Our craft was a bee finger puppet that the kids colored, printing off from KidsSoup. My teens once again cut and glued everything — the kids just colored!

Flannelboard: Kite

Joining in on #flannelfriday, I’m showing a kite flannel I made this week for “Play” storytime in April/May.

This is basically a felt base layer, some quilting squares I bought at Joanns, and a felt frame over the fabric. Ribbon for the tails, and more of the fabric for the bows. My amazing co-worker brought in pinking shears and fray check to make sure the bows stood up over time!

Here’s my rhyme:

Five Little Kites
One little kite in the sky so blue,
Along came another, then there were two.
Two little kites flying high above me;
Along came another, then there were three.
Three little kites, just watch them soar,
Along came another, then there were four.
Four little kites, so high and alive
Along came another, then there were five.
Five little kites dancing across the sky,
What a sight to see, way up so high!
Credit: Step By Step — Kite Theme

And I used the kite part of the Oriental Trading craft we’re doing to make a template, if anyone wants a copy — I will be sure to try and scan the foam piece in for you when I’m back at work on Monday!