Category: Preschool Storytime

Preschoolers: Water

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson*
Puddle by Hyewon Yum**
Rain by Linda Ashman
Wave by Suzy Lee**

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Wiggleworms Love You**

Featured Track: #18 Rain, Rain Go Away

Flannelboard: I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean**

Flannelboard: Ten Little Umbrellas & Ten Little Raindrops*

Prop: Slippery Fish*

Letter of the Day: W**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree*
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum*
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
My class was very quiet this morning. But I sure did pick the right theme for this week — we’ve got nothing but rain happening here in Illinois. I started with Puddle since I thought the kids might relate to being stuck inside at this point in our weather. It was a hit! They were really enthralled even though they all knew that there would be a puddle at some point because of the title. All the Water in the World was kind of a flop today, but it has worked for me in the past at storytime. They also really liked counting “Ten Little Umbrellas & Raindrops” with me!

Tuesday morning
This morning’s class was a bit disrupted. We had to switch classrooms because of election day in our state, so we were in a small group study room. It was a bit weird. But the kids came alive during “I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean” and I had one friend who had already read the book. I asked him to keep it a secret until the end, but I let him say the last line with me. But my favorite part of this class was when I became “too tired” to read our last book — Wave — and had the kids read it to me. They loved being able to tell me what was happening in the pictures. I had one friend who kept tracking the path of the seagulls and letting me know where they were. I had another friend who liked speaking for the little girl: “Don’t do that, ocean!” “::raspbery::” “Ahhhhh runnnnn!” It was a great experiment and I would definitely use a wordless book again in storytime!

Preschoolers: Reptiles

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut*
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom**
Snip Snap What’s That? by Mara Bergman**
Turtle Island by Kevin Sherry

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Mr. Jon & Friends**

Featured Track: #6 Snake in the Grass

Flannelboard: Five Little Turtles*

Prop: Alpha-Gator*

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

Letter of the Day: R**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree*
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
Well, folks, it happened. I did a reptiles storytime after swearing for years never to do one. And it was wonderful! The kids absolutely loved the two books that we read Snip Snap, What’s That? and One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree. But! I will say that I think you need to know your group very well to read two “scary” books in a row. Since the library does registration, I not only know the names of patrons, but also the ages. And my classes are skewing towards a 4.5 year-old average age.

Tuesday morning
I had five extra kids (two six-year-olds, a five-year-old, and two four-year-olds) in class today because of spring break. I picked a good week to read the “scary” books! This group were very patient listeners and really wanted to engage with books this week, so we managed to read three books. All of the books are propped up on a table so the kids can see the titles as they come into class. My Tuesday class loves trying to guess the letter of the day based on the books I’ve got out. I also let them vote to pick what books to read this morning and that worked out great. We had some great discussions about covers and how they chose what book to vote on. They picked Clarabella’s Teeth because “it looks funny”. I asked them what made them think the book was funny and got a variety of answers: the toothbrush, her smile, “it just does”. It was just wonderful to hear their predictions and let them have some choices.

Preschoolers: Calendar

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

All Year Round by Susan B. Katz*
Hap-Pea All Year by Keith Baker
An Orange in January by Dianna Hutts Aston*
Today is Monday by Eric Carle**

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: H.U.M. All Year Long**

Featured Track: #6 Like a Windy Day

Flannelboard: Thanks a Lot

Flannelboard: What’s the Weather**

Letter of the Day: C**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree*
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum*
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
I have to admit that the Calendar theme was planned for the middle of last session. But when a cold knocked me out for a week, I recycled it into this session. I scheduled it first because winter is rapidly leaving Illinois, but that a mistake. The theme is a bit too quiet for a first week and I had one kiddo that absolutely refused to sit down after we sang our opening song. (I generally pick a guaranteed hit — dinosaurs, alphabet, colors, etc. as a week one theme.) That being said, they paid great attention during An Orange in January and made great predictions about what would happen next. And they were DELIGHTED when I read Today is Monday because it was Monday when I read it!

Tuesday morning
On the other hand, this group was baffled that I read Today is Monday because it wasn’t Monday. (There’s a good segue between groups for you!) This group really enjoyed tracing shapes in the air during All Year Round. All Year Round does a nice job of staying away from holidays, but it does have a heart as February’s shape and does talk about changing pumpkins to jack-o-lanterns in October’s spread. A heads-up for those wanting to remain 100% holiday free at storytime.

Preschoolers: Numbers

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

numbers

1 Big Salad by Juana Medina*
123 Peas by Keith Baker*
One Family by George Shannon
The Very Cold, Freezing, No-Numbers Day by Ashley N. Sorenson**

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Here Comes the 123s**

Featured Track: #6 High Five!

Flannelboard: Five Little Birds**

Flannelboard: Picture Counting Windows**

Letter of the Day: N**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree**
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
Oh, this group had a great time counting with me. Their favorite book was easily 123 Peas — this group was much of the same friends from this alphabet storytime and they remembered the ladybugs. So, we went on a ladybug hunt. I wound up calling each kiddo individually to have a chance to find the ladybugs as we counted. This was an unscheduled departure from what I had planned and took up a lot of class time, but it was hugely rewarding (and very Whole Book Approach) to spend this time with a single book!

Tuesday morning
This group LOVED The Very Cold, Freezing, No-Numbers Day, which is a book that I’ve had pinned on Pinterest for quite a while to read in storytimes. And this group also requested to do “Five Little Monkeys Swinging from a Tree” in American Sign Language like we had done during Languages storytime. They also wanted to start off doing it silently, but I led them into using ASL slowly since they were having trouble remembering all the signs.

Preschoolers: Languages

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

languages

Hands and Hearts by Donna Jo Napoli*
Mañana Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul
Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora**
Spicy Hot Colors by Sherry Shahan*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Putumayo Animal Playground**

Featured Track: #13 Mdube

Flannelboard: Braille Match**

Flannelboard: Little Mouse (in Spanish)

Letter of the Day: L**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree*
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
This class heard Say Hello! and Hands and Hearts. Their favorite was definitely Say Hello! and I really enjoyed how willing they were to try new words in other languages. We repeated each “hello” several times and I did clarify any pronunciation issues to help the kids with their new words. The kids in this group *really* loved the Braille Match flannelboard and touching each of the pieces. All of the kids thought that the Braille felt “bumpy” and some of the kids counted how many bumps they felt as they touched their number.

Tuesday morning
I chose to read Say Hello! and Spicy Hot Colors in this class. They enjoyed both books equally, but their love went to signing in ASL “Five Little Monkeys Swinging From a Tree”. I learned how to sign this song from Marge Loch-Wouters and her version is available on YouTube for you to learn as well! My favorite moments from this included: loudly humming the words that we took away the first time so they wouldn’t say them, a kiddo who shouted “WHAT??” when I said we would sign the whole song without singing, and the utter pride and silence on their faces — some of them had their lips pressed together to avoid singing — as we signed together. I’m glad this activity went so well because I had a parent specifically request that I teach the kids ASL on our evaluation sheets last session. Also! I have a kiddo who is fluently reading in this class. They are always attentive and never disruptive, but I could see on their face this week the awe of learning something new and it was HUGELY rewarding.

Preschoolers: Books

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

books

I’m Not Reading! by Jonathan Allen**
Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn*
This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne*
Where Are My Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: The Bossy E**

Featured Track: #5 More Books for Me

Flannelboard: Five Little Books**

Props: Alphagator*

Letter of the Day: B**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum*
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
Both I’m Not Reading! and This Book Just Ate My Dog! really captivated the kids. They thought it was hilarious that Baby Owl was covered up by Tiny Chicks and his friends. We had a great conversation about whether or not all of my storytime friends could fit on my lap. One of my kiddos kept shaking their head and saying, “Only one of us!” I appreciated that no one decided to turn that into a hands-on learning experience, haha! We used Lola Loves Stories as a prediction text. I asked the kids what they thought Lola would be after every book that she read. They got very good at paying attention to see what she would be the next day!

Tuesday morning
The kids were very into I’m Not Reading! and trying to count the birds in this storytime. They also LOVED “Five Little Books” because I used finger puppets to check the book out and let my rabbit hop on their shoulders or my dog licking their arms (if they wanted a puppet visit, most of them did). The books were a little bit too restless while I began the second book Where Are My Books?, but they did settle down once they realized the gravity of the book’s situation. One of them commented, “No one should steal books, Miss Katie.” I’m sure my dramatic reading helped focus their attention.

Preschoolers: Shapes

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

shapes

Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix
City Shapes by Diana Murray*
Go, Shapes, Go! by Denise Fleming**
Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong*
Round is a Tortilla by Roseanne Thong*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Forest Friends’ Nature Club Album**

Featured Track: #4 Shapes Are Everywhere

Flannelboard: Color Zoo

Flannelboard: The Shape Story**

Letter of the Day: S**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree**
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
This was my first session on Monday mornings and it went pretty well. I had a kiddo that did so good for the first fifteen minutes and then asked to go to the bathroom. Then, they all wanted to go to the bathroom. Luckily, I was able to clarify with the group that only the first kiddo needed to go. This morning I read Round is a Mooncake & Round is a Tortilla and had the kids trace the shapes in the air. And I invited the kids to come up to the book and find shapes in the page spreads that asked readers if they could find more shapes. It worked SO WELL. I really liked using both titles and talking about the different examples of shapes that we saw.

Tuesday morning
This is my large group (19 kids) and there is a bit more class management that’s needed for everyone to remember to sit still and follow directions. That being said, we had a really interactive class today that involved chomping monkeys, acting like shapes in Go, Shapes, Go! and finding shapes in City Shapes. Our flannelboard story really captivated this audience. They really enjoyed telling me what color shape and the name of the shape. And they were guessing very quickly after the new shape was placed what the shapes made together.

Preschoolers: Manners

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

manners

Blocks by Irene Dickson*
Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman
Please Mr. Panda by Steve Antony*
One Word From Sophia by Jim Averbeck & Yasmeen Ismail*
That’s Not Mine by Anna Kang

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Juice Box Heroes*

Featured Track: #6 Please and Thank You

Flannelboard: All the Little Germs*

Flannelboard: Thanks a Lot

Letter of the Day: M*

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum*
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
I didn’t get to do a Monday class because I was at ALA Midwinter. But my fabulous co-worker covered for me and the kids had a good time!

Tuesday morning
We had a great time at storytime today. This storytime included a visitor from our administration department to take pictures and they caught an EPIC grumpy face from me on film as we were talking about how some of the animals might be feeling in Please Mr. Panda. I really loved using Blocks in a preschool setting because it wasn’t just a story; it became a conversation starter about how using manners and being kind can make us all feel better. SOCIAL JUSTICE IN STORYTIME.

Preschoolers: Pumpkins & Apples

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

pumpkinsapples

Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington
Penguin and Pumpkin by Salina Yoon*
Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch by Mary Peterson & Jennifer Rofe*
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson**

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Ladybug Green Music**

Featured Track: #2 Apples and Bananas

Flannelboard: Five Little Apples**

Flannelboard: Five Little Pumpkins

Letter of the Day: A & P**

Props: The Pumpkins Are Here**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum*
  • Movement Cube*

How It Went

Monday morning
I had an AMAZING turn-out for my last class. And a wonderful storytime. The kids were shocked when I said that I had two Letters of the Day because we were talking about two things: pumpkins and apples! They really enjoyed guessing what animal might be coming next to eat the apples during our flannelboard and they had a great time talking about how much of the apple the different animals ate. They also really enjoyed having their own foam pumpkins as we did the rhyme “The Pumpkins Are Here”!

Tuesday morning
Another wonderful class comes to a close. I had a great job using two letters — I had enough objects in my Letter buckets to let each kid hold an object or a letter. They were really excited to be helpers for me. I absolutely love using Tap the Magic Tree in storytime because it’s so interactive and really gets everyone involved. This group had a little bit of trouble settling down after our flannelboard and action rhyme, but it eventually happened!

Preschoolers: Alphabet

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

alphabet

ABCs on Wheels by Ramon Olivera
LMNO Peas by Keith Baker*
Oops Pounce Quick Run! by Mike Twohy*
Square Cat ABC by Elizabeth Schoonmaker
The Turn-Around Upside-Down Alphabet Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Here Comes the ABCs*

Featured Track: #15 Who Put the Alphabet in Alphabetical Order?

Flannelboard: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom*

Letter of the Day: A*

Props: Foam Letters on the Parachute*

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum*
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
My storytime crowd was very talkative this morning! One of my kiddos announced that we were reading a ladybug book when I pulled out LMNO Peas and another kiddo immediately said, “No, it’s an ALPHABET book.” I immediately ended the argument by saying, “Well, maybe there is a ladybug, let’s keep our eyes out!” Little did I know! There’s a small ladybug on nearly every page spread in the book and my group had a great time looking for it. We spent a bit more time on this title, but it was time well-spent in my opinion!!

Tuesday morning
No storytime today, sadness! It was election day and our meeting room serves as our local polling place.