Tag: clothespin crafts

Alligators & Crocodiles!

The Plan



The Big Wide-Mouthed Frog by Ana Martin Larranaga
Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut
Egad, Alligator! by Harriet Ziefert
Snip Snap! by Mara Bergman

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Little Alligators”
One little alligator swimming in a pool
Another comes along and now there are two
Two little alligators swimming by a tree
Another comes along and now there are three
Three little alligators swimming near the shore
Another comes along and now there are four
Four little alligators swim, splash, and dive
Another comes along and now there are five
Five little alligators having lots of fun
Mama calls, “It’s time for bed!” and now the fun is done!
Credit: Esther Storytimes

Action Rhyme: “Alligator Alligator”
Alligator, alligator
Long and green
Alligator, alligator,
Teeth so mean
Snapping at a fly
Snapping at a bee
Snapping at a frog
But you can’t catch me!
Credit: Esther Storytimes

Fingerplay: “The Crocodile Loves to Swim”
The crocodile loves to swim
Sometimes he opens his mouth wide
But when he sees me on the shore,
Down in the water he’ll hide.
Modified from: SurLaLune Storytime

Song with Finger Puppets: “Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree”
Credit: Childhood



I got the idea for this craft from Family Fun Crafts. You can just imagine all the kids “biting” paper and “snapping” at noses, right?

How It Went

This was a super fun storytime! I loved the books that I chose and the kids had a great time with “Snip Snap” — which was one of the first books I learned to read to kids, way back in library school. The clothespin alligator was a huge success and the kids chased each other around the room, “biting” with their alligators.

Letter W!

The Plan


Alistair and Kip’s Great Adventure by John Segal
The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book by Lucy Cousins
One Watermelon Seed by Celia Barker Lottridge
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

Extension Activities

Flannelboard Puzzle: “Letter W”

Flannelboard: “Watermelon Counting”

Flannelboard & Song: “What’s the Weather?” (Tune: Clementine)
What’s the weather, what’s the weather,
What’s the weather, everyone?
Is it windy, is it cloudy,
Is there rain, or is there sun?

Action Song: “Winter Hokey Pokey”
You put your mitten in, you take your mitten out
You put your boots in, you take your boots out
You put your hat in, you take your hat out
You put your coat in, you take your coat out

Song: “Baby Beluga”

Song: “Watermelon Patch Song”
Watermelon, watermelon (make a circle with arms)
On the vine, on the vine (wiggle arms)
Sweet and red and juicy, sweet and red and juicy (rub tummy)
Please be mine! Please be mine! (palms together, pleading)


Another storytime craft brought to you by Pinterest, originally from Blissfully Domestic! I had the teen volunteers pre-cut and pre-glue these, the kids at daycare colored them in. These crafts were IMMEDIATELY hung up in their classroom and the kids kept checking the window to see if the weather had changed so they could move their clothespin, haha!

How It Went

You want to know how to wow a group? Bring out a pop-up or action book. The kids sat awestruck when “Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book” was pulled out. I had to do the actions three or four times before they were ready to move on to the next page. Also, the kids loved telling me how wrong I was when I was doing the watermelon match-ups!


Ack! This storytime post got lost in my queue — this was weeks and weeks ago at this point!

I started off storytime with “Ella Sarah Gets Dressed” by Margaret Chodos-Irvine.

This is a super cute book about a little girl who has made up her mind on exactly what she will be wearing! Every family member tries to suggest a more reserved outfit, but Ella Sarah will not yield! This one elicited a lot of laughter from parents, and I prompted the kids several times, “Do you like Ella Sarah’s outfit?” and one little girl said, “It’s the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.” Clearly a winner with both!

Next up, I read “New Socks” by Bob Shea.

While this is a wonderful book, and I am totally in love with it — I’m not sure that the kids really knew what was going on. I think that this book would work much better as a one-on-one book instead of a group read. But that’s storytime! You learn as you go sometimes.

After our first two books, I whipped out my flannelboard of “Froggy Gets Dressed.” Instant hit, folks! Hysterics all around when everyone realized that Froggy forgot his underwear. And I had one little boy ask his mom if he remembered his underwear that morning. Thankfully, he did!

A quick action rhyme from my childhood:

Action Rhyme: “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe”
One, two, buckle my shoe
Three, four, shut the door
Five, six, pick up sticks
Seven, eight, lay them straight
Nine, ten, begin again // that’s the end!
Credit: Childhood

And then it was on to “Too Purpley” by Jean Reidy.

I used this book in “Purple” storytime earlier this year, but had to use it again for this storytime! There’s tons of different kinds of problems with this little girl’s clothes. This storytime session’s favorite page was the page with lots of tags — apparently I have a lot of kids who hate tags, and a lot of parents who wanted to point that out!

One of my favorite activities this week was this action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “Red, Red”
Red, red is the color I see
If you’re wearing red, then show it to me!
Stand up, take a bow, turn around
Then sit back down right on the ground!
(Additional colors: blue, black, brown, purple, pink, white)
Credit: Perpetual Preschool

The kids were REALLY good at playing this one — they were very careful to examine all their pieces of clothing and their shoes before standing up. Afterwards, we read “Bear Gets Dressed” by Harriet Ziefert.

This is a great lift-the-flap book that tells the weather forecast and then invites the reader to guess what kind of clothes Bear will need to wear. The kids were very enthusiastic shouting out answers to the book’s questions. Since we just finished talking about the weather — we sang a very appropriate weather song:

Song: “I’m Going to Take a Sweater” (Tune: Jolly Good Fellow)
I’m going to take a sweater, a sweater, a sweater
I’m going to take a sweater when I go out today
When I go out today, when I go out today
I’m going to take a sweater when I go out today
(Additional: Umbrella, hat, raincoat, etc.)
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

And then followed it up with a VERY successful action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “Old Shoes, New Shoes”
Old shoes, new shoes,
(Child) is wearing (description) shoes
One, two, three four,
Now I stomp them on the floor!
Credit: Preschool Education

I am going to repeat this one as often as I can. The kids really enjoyed stomping on the floor, and I had some very creative descriptions during this one. My favorite was “shoes shoes.”

The last book for the day was “Polly’s Pink Pajamas” by Vivian French.

This book was a big hit because when I pulled it out I had a little girl proclaim that it was her favorite book! Well, you know that when kids endorse something, everyone is immediately interested in it. It was a great way to end the program.

Afterward, it was time for our craft!

I got this idea from the Best Kids Book Site. My teens cut out the clothes and the kids colored and strung them on the yarn clothesline. I thought this was a great idea and that the kids would really be able to be creative with their clothes. I had several kids who colored the clothes they were wearing that day!

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.


For whatever reason, during this session we have a ton of little boys! Ten boys to six girls, which is really different from what I’m used to. I’m finding that I need a lot more action rhymes/songs to get those wiggles out. Anyway, I decided to cater to my boys and do a dinosaur storytime!

We started off with “The Littlest Dinosaur’s Big Adventure” by Michael Foreman.

I wanted to start off storytime with a quiet one instead of going straight into roaring. I also liked that this story was just about dinosaurs, and didn’t have any people in it. A lot of the books that I previewed were about dinosaurs living with people — which isn’t bad, just not exactly what I wanted. Next, we practiced some shapes with “Shape by Shape” by Suse Macdonald.

I did our flannelboard & song next — “Ten Little Dinosaurs” — which is just the tune of “Ten Little Indians” and dinosaurs. And then we did this action rhyme that I found this poem by Nancy Klein on The Childrens Museum of New Hampshire’s website.

Spread your arms, way out wide
Fly like Pteranodon, soar and glide
Bend to the floor, head down low
Move like Stegosaurus, long ago
Reach up tall, try to be
As tall as Apatosaurus eating on a tree
Using your claws, grumble and growl
Just like Tyrannosaurus on the prowl

And then we read my favorite dinosaur book: “Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime” by Bob Shea.

While we did enjoy roaring with dinosaur, this one did require a little bit of explanation at the end. The kids weren’t really sure what had happened — why dinosaur had stopped roaring. I had to explain that dinosaur was sooooo tired from roaring that he went to bed! I love this book’s colorful images and vivid dinosaur destroying scenes.

Next, I got to use our brand-new storytime mitt and dinosaurs shapes! So incredibly happy with this purchase.

“Five Funny Dinosaurs”
Five funny dinosaurs letting out a roar.
One went away, and then there were four.
Four funny dinosaurs munching on a tree.
One went away, and then there were three.
Three funny dinosaurs didn’t know what to do.
One went away, and then there were two.
Two funny dinosaurs having lots of fun.
One went away, and then there was one.
One funny dinosaur afraid to be a hero.
He went away, and then there was zero.

And finally, we finished up with “I Dreamt I Was a Dinosaur” by Stella Blackstone and Clare Beaton.

I love Stella Blackstone books. They have simple, rhyming text and always really colorful pictures. This book was done with felt/sequin pictures and is such a great settle down book for the end of storytime. One of my little boys laid down on the rug and put his hands under his head for this one.

“Dinosaur, Dinosaur”
Dinosaur, dinosaur, turn around
Dinosaur, dinosaur, touch the ground
Dinosaur, dinosaur, reach up high
Dinosaur, dinosaur, wink one eye
Dinosaur, dinosaur, touch your nose
Dinosaur, dinosaur, touch your toes
Dinosaur, dinosaur, slap your knees
Dinosaur, dinosaur, sit down please

Our craft project was a super simple one that a co-worker had used for her K-3 dinosaur program — clothespin dinosaur!

Super easy. I glued the eyes down ahead of time; teen volunteers cut out the dinosaur shape. All the kids had to do was color and clip!