Tag: scratch art

Dinosaur Dance!

The Plan



Dinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein
Dinosaur Vs. the Library! by Bob Shea
RAWR! By Todd Doodler


Game: “Steg, Steg, T-Rex”
Yep. This is Duck, Duck, Goose. It’s a tried and true game for preschoolers that always leads to lots and lots of giggling.

Game: “Dino Egg Hunt”
We have a ton of leftover eggs from various crafts. I hid ten of each color (pink, blue, green, and purple) and broke the kids into four teams, giving them each a color bucket that corresponded to the egg colors. I asked them to only take their color eggs so that everyone could participate. When their team finished, I awarded them their own dinosaur finger puppets that I got at Target earlier in the summer.

And then, it was time to DANCE!

Dance Mix


We Are the Dinosaurs (Laurie Berkner)
Dinosaur Dance (We Kids Rock)
Dino-5 Theme Song (Baby Loves Hip Hop Presents The Dino5)
Dinosaurs A to Z (Dinosaur Train)
I Am a Palentologist (They Might Be Giants)

For “We Are the Dinosaurs” and “Dinosaur Dance”, the kids, grown-ups, and I followed the directions in the songs. During the the “Dino-5 Theme Song”, I had the kids dance their finger puppets around. The finger puppets really helped them take a break instead of going full-force. During “Dinosaurs A to Z”, some of the kids joined me in shouting out the letters with me as I tried to make the letter shapes with my body. And for “I Am a Palentologist”, I had scarves for them to dance around with as our final cool-down.



And as (almost) always, we did finish with a craft. This was another quick Oriental Trading scratch art kit. The kids enjoyed it, but I did find that a lot of them ran out of time to scratch ALL the color off. (As so many of them try to do!)

How It Went

I had a ridiculous amount of fun at this program and I’m so happy to report that the kids did too. They busted some great moves and had a lot of good times in the air conditioning. I also had a giant blow-up TRex that I got for summer decorations. Afterwards, the kids who wanted photos took photos by him giving me some wonderful photographic memories of this day!


The Plan



The Ant and the Grasshopper by Ed and Rebecca Emberley
Bugs By the Numbers by Sharon Werner
Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek
I Love Bugs by Emma Dodd

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Five Hungry Ants”
Five hungry ants, marching in a line,
Came upon a picnicwhere they could dine.
They marched into the salad,they marched into the cake,
They marched into the pepper….uh oh, that was a mistake!
(count down)
Credit: Miss Mary Liberry

Flannelboard: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

Action Rhyme w/ Puppet: “Flutter, Flutter Butterfly”
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the summer sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly
Floating in the summer sky
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

Action Song: “Ants Go Marching”
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!
The ants go marching one by one, the little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground, to get out of the rain
Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom
(Two/tie shoe; Three/climb a tree)
Credit: Childhood


For the first summer reading session, I went with a craft where I could easily have extras available in case we got swamped with registrations: scratch art! This is what my demonstration art looked like. I scratched some simple lines for the kids and showed them how you could write as well. I had a lot of preschoolers practicing their letters while my smaller kiddos worked on making the colors come out.

How It Went

Thursday morning

The kids absolutely loved “Five Hungry Ants” on the flannelboard. (Both groups did, but the Thursday morning kids were especially excited by the flannels.) The biggest book success of the day was “Bugs By the Numbers.” The kids loved the big fold-out pages and the different kinds of bugs. I chose to only read the main fact on each page, making it a great storytime read instead of being too long.
Friday morning

This group loved “The Ant and the Grasshopper” and “Butterfly, Butterfly.” But their absolute favorite was “The Ants Go Marching.” They got really into playing around with me and acting out the song. I took it to five ants since they were having such a good time, though I was pretty darn tired by the end of it!

Socks and Shoes!

The Plan



Dog In Boots by Greg Gormley
Duck Sock Hop by Jane Kohuth
Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes by Eric Litwin
Which Shoes Would You Choose? by Betsy R. Rosenthal

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes”

Flannelboard: “Socks Match-Up”

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

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

Fingerplay: “Shoes”
(start with hands close together and move them farther apart with each pair)
Baby’s shoes
Child’s shoes
Mother’s shoes
Father’s shoes
Modified from: Youth Literature



Scratch art once again appears! My little kids cannot get enough of this stuff!

How It Went

This was a particularly wonderful storytime for me because it took place during our school system’s winter break. I got to see a lot of kids who had “graduated” from storytime come back with younger siblings. I had a great time hearing about their new classrooms and teachers and friends. The kids LOVED the extension activities and in particular, the fingerplay “Shoes.” During the books I read about teaching them the fingerplay, a lot of the kids played along as Dog tried on different kinds of shoes.


The Plan


Leaves by David Ezra Stein
The Leaves on the Trees by Thom Wiley
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
When Autumn Falls by Kelli Nidey

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Fall Is Not Easy”

Flannelboard: Leaves by Colors

Action Rhyme: “Raking Leaves”
I like to rake the leaves (make raking motion with hands)
Into a great big hump (pretend to pile leaves)
Then I move back a bit (take a step or two back)
Bend my knees and jump! (jump)
Credit: Step By Step

Song: “The Leaves Are Falling Down” (Tune: Farmer in the Dell)
The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
Red, yellow, green, and brown
The leaves are falling down
Credit: Preschool Education

Song: “Ten Little Leaves”
One little, two little, three little leaves,
Four little, five little, six little leaves,
Seven little, eight little, nine little leaves,
Ten little leaves fall down.
Credit: Modified from Childhood


This craft was a scratch art kit from Oriental Trading. The kids love scratch art!!

How It Went

This was a very quiet storytime. The kids were engaged, but not very responsive. Unless, that is, that I was singing. Then they sang along and got up and moved around. So I did a LOT of singing in this storytime, including “The Leaves on the Trees” book.

Moon and Stars!

The Plan


How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Papa, Please Get the Moon by Eric Carle
When the Moon Smiled by Petr Horacek

Extension Activities

Flannelboard: “Four Little Stars”

Flannelboard: “Hey Diddle Diddle”

Action Rhyme: “Bend and Stretch”
Bend and stretch, reach for the stars
There goes Jupiter, here comes Mars
Bend and stretch and reach for the sky
Stand on tip-e-toe, oh so high!
Credit: Preschool Kids

Action Rhyme: “Moon Ride”
Do you want to go up with me to the moon? (point up)
Let’s get in our rocket ship and blast off soon! (climb in, seat belt, blast off)
Faster and faster we reach to the sky (jump and reach)
Isn’t it fun to be able to fly? (hands out)
We’re on the moon, now all take a look (look around)
Sit back down, and I’ll read you a book. (sit down)
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

Song: “Twinkle, Twinkle”


This was a scratch art kit purchased from Oriental Trading. If you haven’t used scratch art at your storytimes yet, I would highly suggest it!

How It Went

This was such a great, GREAT storytime session. We were packed — I hit my highest ever attendance for a storytime and I think everyone had a wonderful time. I could not even pick a favorite book because they all went over so well. I think that “Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me” might have edged the others out because of the flaps/pop-ups, but other than that, all the books were on equal footing. They had a great time with the extension activities and the craft was adored by all. Afterwards, I had to direct several parents on where to buy their own scratch art because it was such a hit!


Last year, I presented a Christmas themed storytime (separate from our regular sessions) for families. By the time I had written everything about it up, it was January! So I saved it to post for this holiday season. So, here it is — in the old blog format — a Christmas storytime!

First up, I opened with “Bear Stays Up For Christmas” by Karma Wilson.

I love the Bear series! This story is very sweet, as Bear’s friends to try to keep him awake for Christmas. This led to a couple different reminders/discussions about how bears sleep for winter. The kids were very into trying to help keep Bear up — they really wanted him to see Christmas.

After, I read “I Love Christmas” by Anna Walker.

I love the simplicity in this book. There is one page spread in this one that refers to a nativity — I read it at my storytime, but my community is very Catholic, so be aware! This book was definitely a favorite of the group. It spurred many discussions on what their favorite parts of Christmas were. Next, I introduced our first song:

Action Song: “Let’s All Do a Little Clapping” (Tune: We Wish You a Merry Christmas)
Let’s all do a little clapping
Let’s all do a little clapping
Let’s all do a little clapping
And spread Christmas cheer.
(Jumping, bending, twirling)
Credit: Preschool Education

The kids really got into this song, there were tons of giggles during it and after. To settle them down again, I launched right into our fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Here is the Chimney”
Here is the chimney (Make fist, enclose thumb)
Here is the top (Palm of hand on top of fist)
Open the lid (Remove hand quickly)
And out Santa will pop (Pop up thumb)
Credit: Sunflower Storytime

And then it was time for our next book, “I’m Not Santa!” by Jonathan Allen.

Little Owl is a favorite character at my library. The kids just love learning what his “I’m not” saying is for the book and shouting it along with me. It was time for another fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Christmas Time”
See the snowflakes falling (Wiggle fingers down like snow)
See the candles glow (Hold up one finger)
See the wreaths upon the door (Make circle with hands)
It’s Christmas time, I know! (Clap)
Credit: The Holiday Zone

Next, we read “The Three Bears’ Christmas” by Kathy Duval.

This was a find from the shelf — when I was shelf-reading. It was a great read because it has a built-in guessing game and a pattern just like Goldilocks. The kids were so excited to tell me that Santa was coming, each and every page spread. Then it was time for a little traditional music with some motions for the kids:

Action Song: “Up on the Housetop”
Up on the housetop, reindeer pause (point up)
Out jumps good old Santa Claus (jump)
Down through the chimney with lots of toys (point down)
All for the little ones, Christmas joys
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go? (make Santa belly, shrug shoulders)
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go? (make Santa belly, shrug shoulders)
Up on the housetop, click, click, click (snap fingers)
Down through the chimney with good St. Nick (touch ground)
Credit: Sunflower Storytime

Our flannelboard: “Ten Little Snowmen” was an in-house flannel set. I used the version that is sung to “Michael Finnigan/Ten Little Indians.” Then our last book was “Jingle-Jangle” by Nicola Smee.

This is pretty much a Christmas version of “Clip-Clop” which is one of my very favorite storytime books. During this one, I bought out our jingle bell sets and pretty much let the kids shake them as I turned the page. At the end of the storytime, we sang “Jingle Bells” before starting our craft:

Scratch art is a favorite of everyone at the library and I really liked the gingerbread house!


Our theme for summer reading this year is “Make a Splash,” so we’ll be doing water-based storytimes for the next seven weeks. This week’s theme was easy — fish!

We started off with one of my favorite books — “Hooray for Fish!” by Lucy Cousins.

The children loved looking at all of Little Fish’s friends. We had a lot of side chatter during this book — “That’s MY favorite fish! The stripey one, Miss Katie!” — but no one lost interest! When we got to the “How many can you see?” spread, we had several little ones just start counting out loud, so we took a break and counted together which was an excellent practice for our next book…”Fish, Swish, Splash, Dash” by Suse MacDonald!

I absolutely love this book — the counting is told in a cut-out format where one fish turns into two fish, and so on. Then, we you reach the end of the book, you turn the book upside down and count down from ten. You can turn the book rightside up again at the end and start over if you want to. I think if the kids were given the option, we would spend all of storytime reading just this book. But, we did move on to our flannelboard:

Flannelboard: “Five Little Fishes”
Five little fish swimming by the shore
One got caught then there were four
Four little fish swimming in the sea
One got caught then there were three
Three little fish swimming in the blue
One got caught then there were two
Two little fish swimming in the sun
One got caught then there was one
One little fish swimming straight for home
Decided he would never roam

I am trying to break out of my comfort zone by using more puppets. We sang this song with Pinkie the Fish. (The kids pretended to have their own fishes, but I should have had the foresight to make popsicle stick fish or something.)

Did You Ever See a Fishy? (Tune of “Did You Ever See a Lassie?”)
Did you ever see a fishy, a fishy, a fishy
Did you ever see a fishy, swim this way and that?
Swim this way and that way, and that way and this way?
Did you ever see a fishy, swim this way and that?

We settled back down with our next book: “Big Fish, Little Fish” by Ed Heck.

I used this book several times over the course of the summer and each time it was very popular with my storytimes and group tours. It’s such a short, simple story that really works wonderfully. Next up, an action song!

“One, Two, Three, Four, Five”
One, two, three, four, five, (hold up fingers one by one, while counting)
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, while counting)
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)

And we closed our storytime with “Fidgety Fish” by Ruth Galloway.

Our craft was very simple this week — fish scratch art! You can either make your own (most online craft stores sell “Magic Color” paper) and then you can die-cut your own shapes, or you can buy the kit online.