Category: Family Storytime

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.

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.