Category: Family Storytime

Families: Manners

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

Books

manners

Mine! by Sue Heap*
Monster, Be Good! by Natalie Marshall
Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony*
Share by Sally Anne Garland

Early Literacy Tip
As children mature, they realize that certain behaviors cause certain responses. Having good manners means responding politely to people when they address you. Rhymes like “Where Is Thumbkin?” can help teach that.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: “Juice Box Heroes”*

Featured Track: #6 Please & Thank You*

Flannelboard: All the Little Germs*

Flannelboard: Thanks a Lot*

Prop Story: Be Polite, Applesauce* (Flannel Friday forthcoming!)

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Ants Go Marching
  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging From a Tree
  • Green Says Go*
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • Two Little Blackbirds
  • Way Up High in the Apple Tree

How It Went

This was an okay storytime, I’ll be honest. I had a set of toddlers that wound up getting really cranky (and eventually leaving) and it threw off the whole group. Luckily, our saving grace were the flannelboards and dancing to the music — loads of kids came up and requested a twirl or spin from me and it was pretty darn adorable. Our “Be Polite, Applesauce” was probably the most successful part of storytime — they love seeing puppets!

Families: Bears

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

Books

bears

Bear Counts by Karma Wilson*
Bears in the Bath by Shirley Parenteau
Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
Welcome Home, Bear by Il Sung Na*

Early Literacy Tip
Imagination plays a critical role in problem solving and learning. You can nurture your child’s imagination by playing games like “Sleepy Bear”.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: “The Apple Tree and the Honey Bee”*

Featured Track: #1 Dancing Bear*

Flannelboard: All Kinds of Bears*

Flannelboard: Polar Bear!*

Fingerplay & Puppets: “Two Little Bears”*
Two little bears sat on a hill, (hold up two fingers)
One named Jack and one named Jill. (wiggle each finger)
Run away, Jack; run away, Jill, (put fingers behind your back)
Come back, Jack; come back, Jill. (bring fingers back)
Credit: Childhood

Song & Puppet: “Sleepy Bear” (Tune: “Thumbkin”)*
Where is bear? Where is bear?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you this winter?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep. Go to sleep.
(Have kids shout “WAKE UP BEAR” to do the song again.)
Credit: Preschool Education Music & Songs : Animals > Winter

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Ants Go Marching
  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging From a Tree
  • Green Says Go
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • *

  • Two Little Blackbirds
  • Way Up High in the Apple Tree

How It Went

Future Flannel Friday coming to show the flannelboards I made for this program!

This was a very rambunctious storytime. I had kids moving around every which way and really not wanting to sit still. I was so happy I had a bunch of puppets and flannelboards to catch their attention. Their favorite book was Welcome Home, Bear. I think the newer Bear books by Karma Wilson might work better as one-on-one reads. And “Dancing Bear” off Bari Koral Family Rock Band’s new album was an awesome song to dance to!

Families: Books

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

Books

books2

Book, Book, Book by Deborah Bruss*
Elephant’s Story by Tracey Campbell Pearson
My Book Box by Will Hillenbrand*
Where Are My Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi*

Early Literacy Tip
It’s important for children to have a good feeling for book-sharing time. Remember that you don’t need to finish a book in one sitting. If your child’s not in the mood, close the book and come back to it.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: “The Bossy E”*

Featured Track: #5 More Books for Me*

Flannelboard: Five Little Books*

Folder Story: Alpha-Gator*

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Ants Go Marching
  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging From a Tree
  • Green Says Go
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • Two Little Blackbirds
  • Way Up High in the Apple Tree
  • *

How It Went

What a great storytime! The kids REALLY enjoyed today’s music selection, so I recommend that you add THE BOSSY E to your list of storytime music. They also really loved Alpha-Gator which I got from Flannel Friday’s Nik! I pushed my group today and read three books — I probably should have skipped My Book Box since we were starting to get antsy, but they still did fine. “Five Little Books” with puppets is another sure-fire crowd pleaser!

Families: Fire Trucks

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

Books

firetrucks

Dot the Fire Dog by Lisa Desimini*
Fire Engine No. 9 by Mike Austin*
Firefighter Ted by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lemaitre
Firehouse! by Mark Teague

Early Literacy Tip
Young children are able to absorb an amazing amount of information on topics of interest to them. They become experts, often knowing more than we do on some subjects. By taking advantage of their eagerness to learn, you can build their scientific knowledge.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: “Ladybug Music”*

Featured Track: #10 Big Fire Truck*

Flannelboard: One Brave Firefighter*

Flannelboard: Calling All Firetrucks*

Action Song: “Hurry, Hurry Drive the Fire Truck”*
Action Rhyme: “Hurry, Hurry”
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel)
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel)
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel)
Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! (ring bell)
(Turn the corner (lean over to one side, then the other), climb the ladder (pretend to climb), spray the water (pretend to spray a hose).)
Credit: Childhood

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Ants Go Marching
  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging From a Tree
  • Green Says Go
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • Two Little Blackbirds
  • Way Up High in the Apple Tree

How It Went

This was my first Family Storytime since springtime! So many of my families have new siblings or friends and it was great to see new faces. I also had a fair amount of new families which was also wonderful. This was such an engaging storytime. I highly recommend that you add “Fire Engine No. 9” to your storytime shelves. A great book with vivid images and chances to make all the amazing fire sounds had my kids mesmerized.

Families: Art

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

Books

families-art

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle*
Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont*
Monsters Loves Colors by Mike Austin

Early Literacy Tip
Children like to explore works of art that use a variety of materials and approaches to color, line, shape, texture, pattern, and space. Find different illustrations for a favorite song; talk about similarities or differences.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: “Rock and Roll Garden” Bari Koral Family Rock Band*

Featured Track: #6 Colors*

Flannelboard: Mouse Paint*

Flannelboard: Six Paintbrushes/What Hue Is Missing?*

Props: Magic Paintbrush Folder Story

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Hands Are Clapping
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Mister Sun
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear*
  • Thumbkin
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star*
  • Wheels on the Bus

How It Went

My favorite part of today started before storytime even began. I always stand at the doorway and greet the families as they arrive. This week I had a kiddo stand at the doorway, put their hand on their hip and say, “Miss Katie, when are you coming in? It’s time for stories!” The dancing during Mouse Paint to mix up the colors was phenomenal. And this was our last week of spring session and I was still picking up new people!

Families: Garden

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

Books

families-garden

A Closer Look by Nancy McCarthy*
Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn*
Maisy Grows a Garden by Lucy Cousins
My Garden by Kevin Henkes*

Early Literacy Tip
Watching a seed turn into a plant is a magical experience for most children. They are fascinated by the process.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: “More Please” by Caspar Babypants*

Featured Track: #5 Rocks and Flowers*

Flannelboard: Planting a Rainbow*

Flannelboard: Six Little Bumblebees*

Props: Ten Little Flowers*

Props: Sunflower Life Cycle*

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Hands Are Clapping
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes*
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Mister Sun
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • Thumbkin
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Wheels on the Bus

How It Went

The books were all fairly short (and we got through THREE), and I still had a ton of time for extension activities. One of my little boys did not think I could “plant” a rainbow because plants go in the ground and rainbows are in the sky! He was pleasantly surprised when I accomplished my task. One family stayed afterwards to continue dancing to Caspar Babypants. (I play music as families arrive and leave.) And the props/puppets were AWESOME.

Families: Rain, Clouds, & Rainbows

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

Books

families-raincloudsrainbows

It Looked Like Spit Milk by Charles Shaw*
Little Cloud by Eric Carle
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood*

Early Literacy Tip
Helping children to see the order in which things take place, like in the book “Wow! Said the Owl” helps them develop the mathematical concept of sequencing.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Bandwagon by Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights*

Featured Track: #10 Little Cloud*

Flannelboard: Ten Little Umbrellas & Raindrops*

Prop: Rainbow Stew* (I used the pieces from “Lunch” and made a quick rainbow piece. Directions for the story are in the link!)

Song: “These Are the Colors”*
Red and yellow, green and blue
These are the colors over you
Red as a flower, green as a tree
Yellow as the sun and blue as the sea
Red and yellow, green and blue
These are the colors over you
Credit: Read Sing Play

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Hands Are Clapping
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider*
  • Mister Sun*
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • Thumbkin
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Wheels on the Bus

How It Went

“It Looked Like Spilt Milk” was still a surprise to the kids even though I had said that we would be talking about sky stuff all throughout our storytime. I passed out scarves during “Little Cloud” and I have to say that the song would have been too long without the scarves. (I really try to aim for 2:30 mark for my storytimes.) “Rainbow Stew” blew their minds and they were so impressed that I could make a rainbow from fruits and veggies.

Families: Buses

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

Books

families-buses

Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems*
The Little School Bus by Margery Cuyler
My Bus by Byron Barton*

Early Literacy Tip
Young children are often fascinated by vehicles. Reciting rhymes, reading books about vehicles together, and waving at them as they pass are all ways to extend this interest.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: “Yellow Bus” by Justin Roberts*

Featured Track: #4 Yellow Bus*

Flannelboard: Seals on the Bus*

Flannelboard: Maisy Drives the Bus*

Props: “Green Says Go”*

Props: “Stoplight Sorting”*

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Hands Are Clapping
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Mister Sun
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • Thumbkin
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star*
  • Wheels on the Bus

How It Went

A fabulous crowd was at this storytime! One of my new favorite themes since everything worked excellently. I was surprised that the kids knew Maisy and went wild for her but didn’t know the names of her friends. The kids all “climbed on” the Yellow Bus with me during our song and we had a conga line around the room. And they loved the props and I was glad to reuse them from my toddler cars theme!

Families: Toys

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

Books

families-toys

Found by Salina Yoon
Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney*
Ten in the Bed by Jane Cabrera*
Train by Judi Abbot

Early Literacy Tip
Scientific studies of the brain suggest that a child’s natural approach to learning is through play.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: “Ukulele Baby” The Wiggles*

Featured Track: #22 Toy Box*

Flannelboard: Big, Bigger, Biggest

Flannelboard: Ten Teddy Bears*

Props: “Where Is Truck?”*

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Hands Are Clapping
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes*
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Mister Sun
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • Thumbkin
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Wheels on the Bus

How It Went

I thought I had great transitions today. We went from “Llama Llama Time to Share” to “Ten Teddies” to “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” (sharing to sharing/body parts to body parts). One patron brought friends and came up to tell me that she phoned the library to rave about me. (The comment won a co-worker our monthly “Listening Post” award!) Another mom commented that she doesn’t know how I have so much energy!

Families: Frogs/Turtles

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

Books

families-frogsturtles

Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems
The Big Wide-Mouthed Frog by Ana Martín Larrañaga
Scoot! by Cathryn Falwell
Turtle Island by Kevin Sherry

Early Literacy Tip
Singing to your children is very important. It helps to trigger speech development and children love being sung to by their parents/caregivers.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Best of the Laurie Berkner Band

Featured Track: #8 Fast and Slow

Flannelboard: Five Turtles (Turtle Fun)

Puppets: Five Green & Speckled Frogs

Puppets: “I Have a Little Turtle”
I have a little turtle (put hands on top of one another)
He lives in a box (make box)
He swims in a puddle (swimming motion)
He climbs on the rocks (climbing motion)
He snapped at a mosquito (clap)
He snapped at a flea (clap)
He snapped at a minnow (clap)
And he snapped at me (clap)
He caught the mosquito (cup hands together)
He caught the flea (cup hands together)
He caught the minnow (cup hands together)
But he didn’t catch me! (shake finger “no”)
Credit: Childhood

Action Rhyme/Paper Frogs: “Froggies Are Cool”
Little pink froggies, if you want to be cool,
Come right up and jump into the pool!
(also green and blue)
Credit: Fun With Friends at Storytime

Repeating Extension Activities

I had lots of back-up activities in case I needed them for time. I starred which ones I used in this storytime:

  • Dance Your Fingers Up
  • Hands Are Clapping
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider*
  • Mister Sun*
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • Thumbkin
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Wheels on the Bus

How It Went

“Scoot” was a great book to practice starting and stopping; it led to a great parent tip for everyone to work on at home (if they wanted to)! The first verse of “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” was pretty quiet — I don’t think that song is as well-known here as it was at my last library. But by the end, everyone was singing along with me! I passed out paper frog puppets to the kids (made with our discontinued Ellison die-cut) to use during “Fast and Slow” and then used “Froggies Are Cool” to have them return them to the pond (a real child’s wading pool). It was EXCELLENT.