Category: Family Storytime

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

Books

families-pizza

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!

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

Books

families-opposites

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.

Families: Crayons

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-crayons

A Day With No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin*
Red by Michael Hall*

Early Literacy Tip

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Raffi’s “Raffi In Concert”*

Featured Track: #7 De Colores*

Flannelboard: “I Have a Crayon”*

Flannelboard: “Harold and the Purple Crayon”*

Song: “I Draw See Shapes” (Tune: London Bridge)*
I draw see a circle shape, circle shape, circle shape
I draw see a circle shape, how about you?
(Little square, triangle, rectangle, diamond)
Credit: Modified from The Story Place

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

I added “Red” by Michael Hall after I got a copy at ALA. It is a beautiful book about learning to accept yourself as you are no matter what you are labeled as and the families loved it. The kids were great at guessing in “I Have a Crayon”, but “Harold” went over a bit meh. I’m wondering if kids aren’t as familiar with him anymore. “Monsters Love Colors” was a great ending story. The only downside of this storytime was that “De Colores” was stuck in my head ALL DAY.

Families: Sick & Ouches

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-sickouches

Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson
Boo Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard*
Buzzy’s Boo-Boo by Harriet Ziefert
Llama Llama Home With Mama by Anna Dewdney*

Early Literacy Tip

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Jim Gill’s “Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes”*

Featured Track: #1 The Sneezing Song*

Flannelboard: “All The Little Germs”*

Flannelboard: “Band-Aids”

Puppets: “Ah-Choo! Ah-Choo!”*
Farmer’s nose tingles (point to nose)
Farmer’s nose twitches (wiggle puppet)
And he is going to sneeze!
Ah-choo, ah-choo, ah-choo!
Ah-choo, ah-choo, ah-choo!
(Cow, moo-choo / pig, oink-choo / chicken, bawk-choo)
Credit: Modified from SurLaLune Storytime

Songs: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”*
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”
Credit: Childhood

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

“Llama Llama Home With Mama” went over great! The flannelboard “All the Little Germs” was so fun & interactive! And the kids were very enthusiastic with the “Ah-Choo!” rhyme. Lots of fun sneezing during the sneeze song too.

Families: Blankets & Teddies

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-blanketsteddies

Bear In the Air by Susan Myers
Fly Blanky Fly by Anne Margaret Lewis*
Kiki’s Blankie by Janie Bynum
Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket by Tatyana Feeney*

Early Literacy Tip

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Ralph Covert’s “Ralph’s World”*

Featured Track: #1 Freddy the Teddy Bear*

Flannelboard: “Ten Teddy Bears”*

Flannelboard: “A Blanket for the Princess”*

Prop: “I Once Had a Blanket”*
I once had a blanket, it was fluffy and new
I once had a blanket, and its color was blue!
I once had a blanket, the prettiest I’ve ever seen
I once had a blanket, and its color was green!
I once had a blanket, soft as a pillow
I once had a blanket, and its color was yellow!
I once had a blanket, at the foot of my bed
I once had a blanket, and its color was red!
Credit: Anne’s Library Life

Puppet: “Where Is Bear?”*
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 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

“Fly Blanky Fly” was great for movement and imagination. The kids had a great time even though it was a smaller group today likely due to yucky weather. “Ten Teddy Bears” was a great flannelboard, which the kids loved. I had another set of new families with great compliments and that makes me so happy.

Families: Birds

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-birds

Charlie Chick by Nick Denchfield and Ant Parker*
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard*
I’m Not Cute by Jonathan Allen
Peck, Peck, Peck by Lucy Cousins*

Early Literacy Tip

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Elizabeth Mitchell’s “You Are My Little Bird”*

Featured Track: #4 Little Bird, Little Bird*

Flannelboard: “Ten Fluffy Chickens”*

Flannelboard: “Five Little Birds”*

Prop: Bird Sticks*

Puppets: “Two Little Blackbirds”*

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

I have the sweetest story ever to share. A young lady got a wishing ball from her grandmother for her birthday. Her grandma told her that she had three wishes with it. Her first wish? That grandpa would take her to storytime next week. AWWWW. “Grumpy Bird” was the most successful book and the most fun, but using the bird sticks (a paper bird attached to a popsicle stick) during “Peck, Peck, Peck” was a great prop idea for this crowd.

Families: Hats, Mittens, & Scarves

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-hatmittens

Little Owl’s Orange Scarf by Tatyana Feeney**
The Mitten by Jan Brett
Red Hat by Lita Judge
Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kushkin*

Early Literacy Tip

It is difficult for children to isolate finger movement. However, it is necessary for holding a pen or pencil to write. That’s why we practice finger plays and rhymes!

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Carole Peterson Stephens’s “H.U.M. Highly Useful Music Kids Can Sing”*

Featured Track: #2 The Mitten Song*

Flannelboard: “Froggy Gets Dressed”*

Flannelboard: “FIve Little Snowmen”*

Prop Song: “Boots, Jacket, Scarf, & Hat”*
(I brought all my winter wear in and put it on prior to singing the song with the kids. It was one of those days in the library when the heat was on full-blast. Yikes, I was warm!)

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

Everyone laughed so hard when I was getting dressed in my winter wear. One of my little girls was very upset when I was matching the snowmen’s scarves and doing it wrong on purpose. “Little Owl’s Scarf” was a great success and a book that I was glad worked so well in storytime. And as always, there were huge laughs during “Froggy Gets Dressed”!

Families: Pets

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-pets

If You Were a Dog by Jamie A. Swenson
Matilda’s Cat by Emily Gravett*
Pet Shop Lullaby by Mary Ann Fraser
This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Byrne*

Early Literacy Tip

When you enjoy a book, let your children know that you like it and why. Sharing your enjoyment gives them a positive attitude towards books. This positive attitude will influence them when they get to school and learn to read. Let your child choose books and tell you why he/she likes them.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Laurie Berkner’s “Best of Laurie Berkner Band”*

Featured Track: #13 The Goldfish*

Flannelboard: “Dear Zoo”*

Flannelboard: “B-I-N-G-O”*

Prop: “Scat the Cat”

Song: “How Much Is That Doggie In the Window?”
How much is that doggie in the window? (arf! arf!)
The one with the waggley tail
How much is that doggie in the window? (arf! arf!)
I do hope that doggie’s for sale
Credit: Childhood

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

“This Book Just Ate My Dog” is fabulous fun and a book I definitely recommend for preschool aged storytimes! “Dear Zoo” remains one of my most successful flannelboards ever. And yes, I did repeat “The Goldfish” from earlier in the session when we did ocean as our theme. But the kids just loved it so, so much. I felt the repeat was more than justified.

Families: Weather

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-weather

Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle
Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood

Early Literacy Tip

Scientific studies of the brain suggest that a child’s natural approach to learning is through play. Songs about weather can be followed by games. Tell your child what you are doing as you pretend you are twirling an umbrella or stomping in rain puddles.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Caspar Babypants’s “More Please!”*

Featured Track: #1 Take the Sun*

Flannelboard: “What’s the Weather?”*

Flannelboard: “Fall Is Not Easy”

Song: “If All of the Raindrops”*
If all the little raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops
Oh, what a rain it would be!
I would stand outside with my mouth open wide,
Ah ah-ah ah ah-ah ah ah-ah
If all the little raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops
Oh, what a rain it would be.

If all the tiny snowflakes were cupcakes and milkshakes
Oh, what a snow it would be!
I would stand outside with my mouth open wide,
Ah ah-ah ah ah-ah ah ah-ah
If all the tiny snowflakes were cupcakes and milkshakes
Oh, what a snow it would be!

If all the bright sunbeams were jellybeans and ice cream
Oh, what a sun it would be!
I would stand outside with my mouth open wide.
Ah ah-ah ah ah-ah ah ah-ah
If all the bright sunbeams were jellybeans and ice cream
Oh, what a sun it would be!
Credit: Childhood

Song: “Rain Is Falling Down”*
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
[Repeat until kids are worn out.]
Credit: Modified from King County Library System

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

Pop-up books are so stellar; they completely grab everyone’s attention, so “Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book” was definitely the winner today. There was a lot good singing and dancing. And the kids were really good at talking about the weather during the “What’s the Weather?” flannelboard.

Families: Boxes

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-boxes

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell*
Meeow and the Big Box by Sebastien Braun*
My Book Box by Will Hillenbrand
Not a Box! by Antoinette Portis

Early Literacy Tip

Let children explore using their imagination. We’ve all seen the time after we’ve unpacked a new item or toy and our child is more interested in the box than the toy. Let them imagine whatever they want the box to be!

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Wiggleworms’s “Wiggleworms Love You”*

Featured Track: #4 Little Red Caboose*

Flannelboard: “Building Blocks”

Flannelboard: “Color Zoo”*

Prop: “Memory Box”*

Fingerplay: “I Have a Little Turtle”*
I have a little turtle
He lives in a box
He swims in a puddle
And he lives on the rocks
He snapped at a mosquito
He snapped at a flea
He snapped at a minnow
And he snapped at me
He caught the mosquito
He caught the flea
He caught the minnow
But he didn’t catch me!
Credit: Childhood

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

This was our time change this past week, so the kids were extra wiggly. The kids sat super well for “Meeow and the Big Box”, but really wanted to come up during “Dear Zoo” and lift the flaps for me. (Luckily I stand for this storytime and there’s no chance of them getting ahead of the flaps.) I skipped the “Building Blocks” flannelboard because I worried that I didn’t have enough pieces for all the kids. (I have fifty pieces.)