Tag: color storytimes


Let me just say for the record that purple is the HARDEST color to find books about! There’s tons of food that’s purple (plums, jelly, jam) but no books for preschoolers about that food. Someone please write a book about jelly and grapes, please!

With that being said, I did manage to find some books for this storytime, and I have to say that the books were received with great joy and happiness on behalf of my preschoolers. Previous color storytimes can be found here: red, orange, yellow, green, and blue.

First up, this is a book I found in my library’s collection, “Lunchtime for a Purple Snake” by Harriet Ziefert.

This book is very similar to Tomie dePaola’s “The Art Lesson,” which is one of my favorite books from being a child. A young girl paints with her grandfather. Her purple streak across the page turns into a snake, and they decorate the page with objects for their snake. The kids were really involved in this story!

Next up, I read “Gladys Goes Out to Lunch” by Derek Anderson.

At library school, someone used this during our storytime week and for whatever reason the book stuck with me. When I was trying to think of purple books, I remembered that Gladys was a purple gorilla, and grabbed the book off of the shelves. The kids were pretty horrified that a gorilla had escaped from the zoo. They kept saying, “She shouldn’t be out, Miss Katie!” during the reading. But when it was revealed that she was looking for bananas, lots of giggles ensued. And then everyone got a chance to be a monkey!

Action Rhyme: “Little Monkeys Swinging In the Tree”
Little monkeys swinging in the tree
All hold hands and swing with me
Swing up high and swing down low
Swing in the tree, now don’t let go!
Swing, swing like I do
Swing like the monkeys in the zoo
Credit: Step By Step — Rainforest Theme

Next up, a super short book, “Too Purpley” by Jean Reidy.

This book is about a little girl who doesn’t want to wear most of what’s in her closet. Every outfit she tries on has something wrong with it. This got a lot of laughs, especially during the polka-dot page. Afterwards, the kids and I did this song:

Action 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, a sweater, a sweater
I’m going to take a sweater, when I go out today
(Additional Refrains: Umbrella, hat, raincoat, etc.)
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

I changed the words a bit from what’s originally on the BKBS, but I went with what felt natural singing to me. (Sometimes I find that there are too many syllables in the songs, and I get tripped up as a singer.) I acted out putting on the clothes we were singing about, and so did the kids.

And then I brought out my flannelboard of “Harold and the Purple Crayon.”

I was really shocked when one of the little boys said that he knew this story! Hooray!

The next book was “Chicken, Pig, Cow and the Purple Problem” by Ruth Ohi.

This book didn’t work out nearly as well as I had hoped. My kids were confused about the fact that chicken, pig, and cow are all clay animals that the girl made — so the whole book they kept reminding me that cows were not purple. I think this book is definitely a kindergarten and up book, and will save it for them.

However, singing “Old McDonald Had a Farm” with my Manhattan Toy puppets made everything better because my cow puppet is black and white, so that fixed their world.

And then it was on to the last book of the day, “Purple” by Sarah L. Schuette.

This is technically a non-fiction book, but it works for storytime because it’s told in rhymes and has bright pictures. I just skipped over the little information boxed and everything was fine. I choose it because I needed a book about grapes and jelly, and I’m glad it worked so well!

Then, a favorite song of mine from childhood:

Song: “Peanut Butter and Jelly”
First you take the peanuts and you crunch ‘em, you crunch ‘em
First you take the peanuts and you crunch ‘em, you crunch ‘em
For your peanut, peanut butter and jelly
Peanut, peanut butter and jelly
(Grapes/Squish ‘em; Bread/Spread it; Sandwich/Eat it)
Credit: Childhood

And then our craft!

I made up this craft, basically. I have a circle scrapbook punch, punched out some purple circles and we made grape bunches. Super simple, and the kids were so much more creative than me, as always!


Week five in my daycare storytime color themes — blue! (Previous themes: Red, Orange, Yellow, and Green.)

I opened up storytime with one of my absolute favorites: “Grumpy Bird” by Jeremy Tankard.

The kids were very quick to point out that Grumpy Bird is a crank! I love doing voices for this book. I use a light voice for all of the animals except for Grumpy Bird. For Grumpy, I put a hand on my hip and huff a sigh before saying his lines in a deep, cranky voice. My kids were very happy when Grumpy Bird mellowed out and “got happy” at the end of the book.

An easily modified fingerplay for our theme:

Fingerplay: “Two Little Bluebirds”
Two little bluebirds sat on a hill,
One named Jack and one named Jill.
Fly away, Jack; fly away, Jill,
Come back, Jack; come back, Jill.
Credit: Childhood

And then it was on to “Hooray for Fish” by Lucy Cousin.

Of course, we talked about the ocean being blue, but my kids let me know when other blue fish popped up in the book. This is such a successful storytime book.

Then, I got to use my “I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean” flannelboard for the first time since making it! Some of the kids were familiar with this book, and I’m always really happen when they get to experience a familiar story in a new way.

Then, I led the kids in an action rhyme to introduce our next blue object — a bunny!

Action Rhyme: “Little Bunny”
I saw a little bunny go hop, hop, hop
I told that little bunny to stop, stop, stop
He wiggled his ears and crinkled his nose
And wiggled, wiggled, wiggled right down to his toes.
Credit: Modified from Preschool Education Music & Songs

And then, I read “What’s the Matter, Bunny Blue?” by Nicola Smee.

The rhymes in this book make it a great read-aloud. I especially liked using this book for blue storytime because the rhymes are all based off the word “blue.” A great emphasis for the theme! Then, we did a fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Here is a Bunny”
Here is a bunny with ears so funny (hold up two fingers for ears)
And here is his hole in the ground (make a circle with the other hand)
At the first sound he hears, he pricks up his ears (extend two fingers)
And hops in the hole in the ground (fingers jump into the hole)
Credit: Early Literature

And then it was on to “Little Blue Truck” by Alice Schertle.

When my library had started its in-house storytime collection, we purchased this title and I am sad to say that it sat on the shelf for a full year before I grabbed it for blue storytime. This is a wonderful book with trucks, animals, and a good lesson for preschoolers. I’m so glad that I re-discovered it on our shelf.

Then, I used some prop sticks to sing this song:

Fingerplay: “Where Are Trucks?” (Thumbkin)
Where is pick-up truck? Where is pick-up truck?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you.
Drive away. Drive away.
(Tow truck, dump truck, moving truck, firetruck)

This kids really loved this activity! Never underestimate the allure of a familiar tune with new words!

Our last book for this week was “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles G. Shaw.

The refrain of this book was easily picked up by my kids, and as I turned the pages on our big book they eagerly guessed what shape the cloud was. And when we finished the book with the reveal that it had been a cloud the whole time, the kids and I talked about different cloud shapes.

We played our flannelboard, “Can We Find?” with blue objects hidden under the houses, and then I sang one last song to tie into our craft project for the day:

“One, Two, Three, Four, Five”
One, two, three, four, five, (hold up fingers one by one)
Once I caught a fish alive. (put hands together and wiggle like a fish)
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, (hold up fingers one by one)
Then I threw it back again. (make throwing motion)
Why did you let it go? (hold hands out asking why)
Because it bit my finger so. (shake hand, as if hurt)
Which finger did it bite? (hold hands out asking why)
This little finger on my right. (wiggle pinky finger)
Credit: Childhood

For craft this week, each child received a blue fish and was able to paste on different colored scales to their fish. A great hit!


And another catch-up for storytime posts — this time it’s my daycare series on colors. (Previously, we’ve already done Red, Orange, and Yellow.)

I opened up storytime with a crowd-pleaser, “Where is the Green Sheep?” by Mem Fox.

This book was seriously made for storytime. With great rhymes, a driving task (find the green sheep), and a wonderful refrain for the children to say with you — it’s always a perfect fit!

[Side story: my three-year-old twin cousins came to my sheep storytime this winter and one of the girls, when I saw them next, looked at me and said, “We read stories about sheep. Where is the green sheep?” AWESOME. Storytime retention!]

After the kids found the green sheep, I went ahead with a modified version of “Baa Baa Black Sheep” that Abby suggested a long time ago, using different sheep colors. And somehow…I wound up finding Mel’s pop stick puppets and made my own to go with the song.

Next up, I asked the kids to name a bunch of green things, and one of the first things named was grass — direct segue into “In the Tall, Tall Grass” by Denise Fleming.

I love the bright green grass, and the many different kinds of bugs in this book! The kids enjoyed naming the different bugs, and I flipped back a few times through the book to rename some bugs. Then, we talked about things growing and that they’re green which led us to vegetables…and some peas:

Fingerplay: “Five Green Peas”
Five green peas in a peapod, pressed (make fist)
One grew, two grew, and so did all the rest (raise fingers one at a time)
They grew and grew and they did not stop (stretch fingers wide)
Till one day that peapod just had to go…POP! (clap)
Credit: Harris County Library

Followed by the adorable, “Little Pea” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

This book is always a big hit, and it remained so at this reading. It’s always a surprise for the kids to find out that Little Pea hates candy and loves his vegetables. This leads to a lot of laughs. My only sadness with this book is that it’s such a small book — someone please adapt it to a big book size so that it’s better equipped for storytime, please!

Now it was time for some green monsters to show up. I did my version of “Go Away Big Green Monster” by Ed Emberley on the flannelboard. This is a great participation story and I love doing it on the flannelboard so that the kids can shout away that scary old big green monster. Then, a little activity to get them settled back down:

Action Rhyme: “Monster, Monster”
Monster, monster, turn around
Monster, monster, touch the ground
Monster, monster, reach up high
Monster, monster, touch the sky
Monster, monster, touch your nose
Monster, monster, grab your toes
Monster, monster, touch your knees
Monster, monster, sit down please
(Which as we all know is just “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear.”)

And then it was on to “Lizette’s Green Sock” by Catharina Valckx.

This was a very sweet story about a little duck who finds a green sock while walking one day and sets off to find its match. My kids are always very concerned where there is something missing in a story, and they pay close attention until the end to make sure that everything turns out all right.

Then it was time to shift gears to our last green animal of the day — frogs!

Started off with a flannel version of “Five Green and Speckled Frogs.” And then a brief little puppet show:

Poem & Puppets: “The Frog on the Log”
There once was a green little frog, frog, frog
Who played in the wood on a log, log, log
A screech owl sitting in a tree, tree, tree
Came after the frog with a scree, scree, scree
When the frog heard the owl in a flash, flash, flash
He leaped in a pond with a splash, splash, splash!
Credit: Preschool Education

And then our last book for the day, “One Frog Sang” by Shirley Parentau.

The kids joined me in making all the different frog sounds in this book, and it was definitely a big hit. And then it was time for our flannel game, “Can We Find?” followed by our goodbye song, and then our craft!

Craft was from Busy Bee Kids Crafts. Everything was pre-cut; kids assembled using Glue Dots.


This was the third color in my daycare storytime cycle: yellow! (Orange is here. Red is here.)

Since my group tends to be a little rowdy at they settle in, I sang two songs to get them calmed down this week — our welcome song and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

After a brief recap of what colors we had already done, I showed all the books to the kids and asked what color they thought was next. Unanimously, they proclaimed it to be yellow and I opened up “Banana” by Ed Vere to start.

I think this is a great book to start off storytime with because it warms kids up by creating a lot of discussion moments. With only two words in the book (banana and please), it also gives the reader opportunities to play with tone of voice and I really appreciated that! The kids had a good time telling the book to me as well. This led us into a very silly song…

Song: “Apples and Bananas”
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays
I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays
I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees
I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and bee-nee-nees
I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and bi-ni-nis
I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and bi-ni-nis
I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos
I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and bo-no-nos
Credit: Childhood

Followed by another book about a yellow fruit, “Lemons Are Not Red” by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

This worked much better in daycare storytime than in regular storytime this week, and I think it was just because my daycare kids were much more talkative than my regular storytime kids. After the book, I went straight into our flannelboard game:

Flannelboard Game: “Can We Find?” (Tune: Muffin Man)
Can we find a yellow cat, yellow cat, yellow cat?
Can we find a yellow cat? We want to say hello.

Last week, the daycare teacher told me that the daycare was learning about the color pink and the letter “P” this week, so I did put a pink heart behind one of the houses. The kids were SO surprised when we uncovered a pink heart! I might try hiding a different color item every week.

Next up, “Little Quack” by Lauren Thompson.

I knew that this would be a hit, because it is one of those books that seems to capture their attention every single time I read it. Anyways the book has great repetition, lots of great counting, and a sweet story. The kids in this session were very eager to cheer Little Quack on as he prepared to jump. That led us to our duck action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “Little Duck”
I saw a little duck go hop, hop, hop (hop three times)
I told the little duck to stop, stop, stop (hold up hand for stop)
I went to the window to say, ‘How do you do?’ (handshake)
He wagged his little tail and away he flew! (shake tail and fly away)
Credit: Childhood

And then, I introduced our next yellow object — school bus — by doing my “Seals on the Bus” flannelboard. Whenever I do this flannel, the kids and I always wind up singing the book which is part of the fun. After our first bus, the kids were ready for a book about buses, “School Bus” by Donald Crews.

As with all Donald Crews books — this is a great way to introduce transportation to kids! Short words on each page; bright illustrations; engaging storylines. I love that these books have stood up over the years!

Next, I introduced our last yellow item with a puppet — bumblebee! I buzzed him around the room for a few and the kids were very excited to meet him. I promised that they could all come up and pet the bee after we finished storytime if there was good behavior!

First up, another flannelboard: “Six Little Bumblebees!” (I couldn’t resist using two in this storytime — they were both so perfect for the theme.)

Six little bumblebees sitting on a hive
One flew away and then there were five
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Five little bumblebees sitting on the floor
One flew away and then there were four
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Four little bumblebees sitting in the tree
One flew away and then there were three
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Three little bumblebees looking at you
One flew away and then there were two
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
Two little bumblebees sitting in the sun
One flew away and then there was one
Bumblebee, bumblebee fly away!
Bumblebee, bumblebee happy all day!
One little bumblebee left all alone
He flew away, safe to his home
Credit: Modified from Monkey Business Creative

And then the last book for storytime, “Little Bea” by Daniel Roone.

This book JUST came out last week, but when I read the review ahead of time I pre-ordered it for our storytime collection. This is an adorable story about a bee who visits all her friends in one day. There’s great rhyming text, sounds, and even knock-knock jokes! I’ll be using this one again in “Bugs” storytime later on this spring.

One last song…

Song: “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee”
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
Won’t my mommy be so proud of me?
I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee
Ouch, it stung me!
(Squishing, what a mess; Washing up, now I’m all clean!)
Credit: Childhood

(And yes, I did cut out the licking and barfing parts. Not for storytime!)

Our craft was a bee finger puppet that the kids colored, printing off from KidsSoup. My teens once again cut and glued everything — the kids just colored!


The second color in my colors storytime cycle: orange! (Red can be found here.) I have to admit I was a little frazzled because I did not know my group was coming. (They missed a week and didn’t call to let me know they were still interested in coming.) But a librarian is ALWAYS prepared to go.

Started off storytime with “Where Is Tippy-Toes?” by Betsy Lewin.

I first saw this book in one of Sarah’s Storytime Contenders posts and immediately put it on a list that I keep of books that I want to incorporate into a storytime one day. Tippy-Toes’s bright orange fur gave me the perfect opportunity for this week. This was an instant attention grabber and the kids eagerly stayed with the book until the sleepy ending.

I tried to match activities with books, instead of doing a bunch of color extensions. So, after reading about Tippy-Toes, I led the group in a little kitten fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Kitten”
A kitten is fast asleep under the chair [Hide thumb under one hand.]
And I can’t find her anywhere. I’ve looked everywhere! [Circle eyes.]
Under the table and under the bed. [Peek under each hand.]
I looked in the corner and then I said: [Motion to come.]
“Come Kitty, come Kitty, this milk is for you. [Cup hands for dish.]
And out cam the kitty calling, “Meow, meow.” [Thumb walks across lap.]
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

Next, a last minute find in the orange category, “Waiting for Wings” by Lois Ehlert.

I was SO happy to find this book because it features Monarch butterflies, which are orange. A lot of other butterfly books are wonderful, but they don’t feature Monarchs as much as I wanted them to. The kids really enjoyed this one, I think because of the vibrant colors (they were quick to point out any orange on the page) but also because of the size of the book and the size of the pages.

Then, I used our Folkmanis butterfly finger puppets to do this song:

Song & Puppet: “Flutter, Flutter” (Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle)
Flutter, flutter butterfly,
Floating in the spring sky
Floating by for all to see,
Floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly,
Floating in the spring sky
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

Then, we played a slightly different version of “Can We Find?” that I used two weeks ago in Hello, Goodbye storytime.

Flannelboard Game: “Can We Find?” (Tune: Muffin Man)
Can we find an orange cat,
An orange cat, an orange cat?
Can we find an orange cat?
We want to say hello!

I just used all orange items hidden behind the houses. This was once again a BIG hit, and I was so pleased that by the last verse I had almost every kid singing along with me.

Then, continuing in our participation elements, I had the kids read me “Orange Pear Apple Bear” by Emily Gravett.

I always introduce this book as only having four words, and most of the time I have the kids read it along with me, if they want to. This time, I asked them to read me a book and after teaching the four words to them, they did it! We only had one major misstep — when bear was pear bear, because the pear shape wasn’t as obvious — and the kids were very proud of themselves for reading me a book.

I let our action rhyme introduce our next orange item.

Action Rhyme: “Pumpkin, Pumpkin”
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)
Once you were a seed so small (pinch fingers together)
Now you are a great big ball (make a big circle overhead)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (make a big circle)
Credit: Step by Step — Pumpkin Theme

And then, I read “Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch” by Mary Peterson and Jennifer Rofe.

This is such a good book for storytime. It’s got a great build to action and a nice, soft ending. When I introduced the book and told them the title, I asked the kids why a piggy was at a pumpkin patch. The unanimous answer was that piggies live in pumpkin patches, silly Miss Katie!

I did a quick modified “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear” just substituting Dinosaur instead of Teddy Bear like I did in dinosaur storytime.

After thoroughly wearing them out, we sat back down to read “Brontorina” by James Howe.

I know I say this all the time, but I LOVE this story. And so did the kids. I was very proud of their behavior during this one — it was the longest book and I did save it for last — and the kids completely rose to the occasion. (Also, I think the story is JUST THAT GOOD to capture their attention.)

After the last book, I did a quick flannelboard: “Ten Little Dinosaurs” (tune of “Ten Little Indians”), of which three of the dinosaurs in my homemade set are orange!

And that brought us to our craft: dinosaur finger puppets!

This was a great craft, and the kids were tickled by my dinosaur wearing her ballet shoes.

(I believe that Sarah’s friend drew this for her dinosaur storytime — the file was in her storytime folder on our library’s network, but Sarah has it uploaded for download on her site!)

Also, I did make a handout. I can email it to anyone who wants it, but my PDF Complete put its label right over the word “orange.”


Last week at regular registration storytime, I had a daycare drop-in with eighteen kids. As much as it was horrible to have to turn kids away, I simply don’t have the space (our room is capped at 35 people for fire code), and I definitely didn’t have enough craft supplies prepped for that large of a number. Instead of completely turning them away though, I offered to do a separate storytime for their group each week.

(And because I’m crazy, I can’t possibly repeat themes, partially because a lot of our crafts this session are from Oriental Trading but mostly because I get bored if I have to do the same theme twice a week. I know, feel free to tell me I’m crazy repeatedly — but it probably won’t change a thing.)

So, you now get the bonus of an extra storytime theme per week. For this session, I decided to do colors and we started at the top of the rainbow with red.

First up, “The Red Hen” by Rebecca & Ed Emberley.

I love this folk tale and have since I was a kid, but I especially enjoy the illustrations in this particular retelling. (Actually, I really love every little bit about this retelling. But my favorite part is the bright colors and creative pictures.) This story was a great introduction to the theme of “red” because I got to say “the red hen” all the time in this story and in my questions to the group.

Next, I read “Pizza at Sally’s” by Monica Wellington.

This one is a classic as far as I’m concerned. I love the borders on the text, love the little cat that helps Sally make the pizza, love the accessibility of the text (it’s not too complicated for preschool), it’s awesome. This was a great segue into the flannel that I freehanded:

Flannelboard: “This Is the Pizza That Sally Made”
This is the crust that Sally made.

This is the sauce, so red and so sweet.
That goes on the crust that Sally made.

These are the olives, so black and salty.
That goes on the sauce, so red and so sweet.
That goes on the crust that Sally made.

(Additional Verses)
These are the peppers, so green and crunchy.
This is the pineapple, fresh from Hawaii.
This is the pepperoni, so hot and spicy.
This is the cheese so gooey and chewy.
This is the tummy, so hungry and lively.
And that was the pizza that Sally made.
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

The flannelboard worked really well, except that I had one little girl who kept insisting that she only liked cheese pizza and even though I explained that this was Sally’s pizza — she was still super upset that the pizza had toppings on it. Oh, well.

Next, a book that I discovered while shelf-reading the other day, and immediately pulled for storytime, “Cars” by Patricia Hubbell.

There are thousand of car books out there, but I had a super hard time finding a fire engine book that was appropriate for 2-6. (There are a lot of longer ones, and not any really short text books.) But I love that “Cars” had a great fire engine spread, and that the book begins with a little red car. Fit perfectly into my theme. And I followed it up with a crowd pleaser:

Action Rhyme: “Hurry, Hurry”
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel back and forth)
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel back and forth)
Hurry, hurry, drive the fire truck (pretend to turn wheel back and forth)
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

And that brought me and the kids to the apple portion of the red theme, beginning with “Apple Farmer Annie” by Monica Wellington.

I try not to use two books by the same author in storytime (my bug theme will not have more than one Eric Carle, I promise!), but I love Wellington’s books, and they were so perfect for the theme and the recognizable items I had chosen. Next up, a quick fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Way Up High in the Apple Tree”
Way up high in the apple tree (stretch arms up high)
Two red apples smiled at me (hold up two fingers)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (make a shaking motion)
Down came the apples… (make a downward motion)
And mmm, they were good! (smile and rub stomach)
Credit: Childhood

And our last book, “The Apple Pie Tree” by Zoe Hall.

I really enjoyed ending storytime with this book. Especially since we’re in a seasonal shift in Chicago right now, the kids really recognized the wait for the trees to change and that the green buds were next to appear.

Finished up with this apple craft from KidsSoup.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a daycare storytime, and this craft was far too ambitious for everyone to complete without a parent helping them. I spent a lot of time running around, going from kid to kid, until everyone was done. Next week’s craft will be much simpler.