Tag: spring 2011


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!


Last week was the last week of regular storytime! I’m now on a three-week break until our summer session starts. I am using the time to prepare the whole eight weeks of storytimes, as well as get the summer reading program launched.

But enough of that, this week’s theme was pigs — my favorite barnyard animal!

First book up, “Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed?” by Barney Saltzberg.

The book had the kids laughing pretty hard at all the silly ways Cornelius tries to get ready for bed! I think their favorite page spread was when he fed cookies to his fish. This book always has the moms awww-ing at the end of the book when Cornelius needs his hug before bed.

I used one of our purchased flannelboards to tell “The Three Little Pigs.” I was mildly worried that the kids would be freaked about the wolf, so I made him less scary and didn’t deepen my voice or anything. Also, our set ends with the wolf getting burned in the chimney pot and he runs away. The kids were HYSTERICAL at this point. I did not need to worry, obviously.

Next up, “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” by Laura Numeroff.

I know I say this a lot, but there are reasons why some books are classics — they just work in storytime. And this series is one of them.

Then, we did a sing-a-long of “Old MacDonald” with my Manhattan Toy finger puppets. The kids always love a good puppet show, even if it’s small!

Time for another series book with “Little Oink” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

Another series that I think is just amazing to use in storytime. I just wish that the books were bigger!

After, it was time for a counting rhyme!

Fingerplay: “Five Little Piggies”
“It’s time for my piggies to go to bed,” the great big mother piggy said.
“So I will count them first to see if all my piggies came back to me.
One little piggy, two little piggies, three little piggies dear
Four little piggies, five little piggies, — yes, they’re all here!”
Credit: Preschool Rainbow

And then I got to use my new flannelboard:

Flannelboard: Five Clean and Squeaky Pigs
Five pigs so squeaky clean
Cleanest that you’ve ever seen
Wanted to outside and play (IN THE MUD)
One jumped into the mud
Landed with a great big thud
Then there were four clean squeaky pigs (Oink, oink!)
Credit: Mel’s Desk / Miss Mary Liberry

The next book was “Pepo and Lolo Are Friends” by Ana Martín Larrañaga.

This is a great story that I’ve used several times before in storytime. I love that it is so simple, and brightly colored, and that the kids really respond to the storyline.

Then it was on to “Who Said Coo?” by Deborah Ruddell.

This was a first time using this book for me! I read it several years ago, and we purchased it for our in-house storytime collection. This is the first storytime that I pulled it out for — and the kids loved it! Animal noises are the most popular participation aspect for my kids.

Then it was on to my favorite fingerplay of the day:

Fingerplay: “Two Mother Pigs”
Two mother pigs lived in a pen (show thumbs)
Each had four babies, and that made ten (show fingers & thumbs)
These four babies were black as night (thumb in palm, wiggle fingers)
These four babies were black and white (switch hands, repeat)
But all eight babies loved to play
And they rolled and rolled in the mud all day (roll hands)
At night, with their mother, they curled up in a heap (clasp hands)
And squealed and squealed till they fell fast asleep.
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

And then we ended storytime with a rousing chorus of “This Little Piggy.”

Then, it was on to the craft portion!

Dirty pigs! I thought I found this in a Snapshot Day picture, but after seriously going through all the pictures tagged on Flickr, I couldn’t find it again. Sorry! My pig template came KidsSoup though.

Spring Animals!

I was originally supposed to be reading “spring” stories this storytime, but at the last minute, I decided I didn’t want to read any of the books I had pulled. Our craft was flexible enough that it let me change to “spring animals.” I quickly pulled new books (mostly from our in-house collection), and found rhymes in less than an hour.

I am so glad I changed the theme — this was a WONDERFUL storytime where everyone behaved like angels, and it was a great day for participation, too.

I started off storytime with “Mouse’s First Spring” by Lauren Thompson.

While this is a great book for spring, I like it even better for spring animals! Mouse and Momma go on a walk, with Momma answering Mouse’s questions about animals they meet. My kids really liked the guessing game aspect of this book, and were very happy to shout answers to clues.

I had this prepped for bug storytime, and it definitely worked for this theme too:

Action Rhyme: “Bumblebee, Bumblebee”
Bumblebee, bumblebee
Landing on my nose
Bumblebee, bumblebee,
Now he’s on my toes
On my arms, on my legs,
On my elbows!
Bumblebee, bumblebee,
He lands and then he goes!
Credit: Mrs. Jones – Insects

Then it was time for another animal who likes to hide — I read “Where is Tippy Toes?” by Betsy Lewin.

My group was so caught up in this story, and they loved the cut-aways in the page pieces. I was very proud when one of the kids guessed a bed at the end of the book.

Next up, I sang-read “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” by Jane Cabrera.

I love that this book gives the opportunity for parents to join in with me. Nearly everyone sang, and it really encouraged the kids to go ahead and sing, too. Also, the cute little twist of a baby at the end of the song always gets a good crowd laugh.

After, I launched into “Baa Baa Black Sheep” with my popsicle stick props, and everyone kept singing with me! YAY.

And then it was time for a fingerplay to introduce the next animal we were going to read about. I’ve used this three different times this spring:

Fingerplay: “Here Is a Bunny”
Here is a bunny with ears so funny
And here is his home in the ground
When a noise he hears, he pricks up his ears
And he jumps to his home in the ground

And then, I read “Wee Little Bunny” by Lauren Thompson.

Thompson’s books are perfect for storytime, all of them. I normally don’t use an author twice in storytime, but I cannot help but be in love with all of Lauren Thompson’s books. You’re lucky that I didn’t use “Little Quack” too.

Instead of reading “Little Quack” for ducks, I did the classic “Five Little Ducks” song, with flannelboard pieces I made about a year ago now. A lot of my kids caught on, and my parents too, and wound up singing along with me.

Next up, I brought out “Charlie Chick” by Nick Denchfield.

Do you want a surefire way to have every kid laughing their head off at the end of storytime? Bring out “Charlie Chick.” Sarah brought this book to my attention a long time ago, and I immediately ordered a used copy from Amazon. This is a GREAT pop-up book, and I cannot wait to use this book again. And I’m sure that my kids will be thrilled to see it again as well.

Our craft was from an Oriental Trading kit, and was a huge success.

Such a positive storytime, I’m so glad I switched my theme!

Play and Pretend!

Last Thursday was my regular weekly storytime — and I had choosen to do my theme with play and pretend, choosing all different kinds of books.

First up, I read “Knuffle Bunny” by Mo Willems.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I adore Mo Willems. Like practically worship at his feet. His most recent release “Amanda and Her Alligator” has made me reconsider my “no reptiles/alligator/crocodile storytimes EVER” stance. (I’m terrified of snakes and thus, don’t like the idea of devoting a storytime to them!)

Anyway, “Knuffle Bunny” was my first Willems book and will always remain my favorite. And it doesn’t hurt that the kids adored that title, too. After we had a brief talk about our favorite toys, I read “Joey and Jet” by James Yang.

This book was another book I found while shelf-reading our collection. It’s a great book about a dog who chases a ball, with lots of prepositions. The kids were very involved in this storytime, and I had one little boy who kept repeating what I read after me, quietly to himself. Such a great literacy moment!

Then, I told the kids my favorite outside toys was kites — perfect segue into the flannel:

Flannelboard: “Five Little Kites”
One little kite in the sky so blue,
Along came another, then there were two.
Two little kites flying high above me,
Along came another, then there were three.
Three little kits, just watch them soar,
Along came another, then there were four.
Four little kites, so high and alive,
Along came another, then there were five.
Five little kits dancing across the sky,
What a sight to see, way up so high!
Credit: Step By Step — Kite Theme

Afterwards, we discussed the kite colors, practiced counting in English and in Spanish, and waved goodbye to each kite before I pulled out “Not a Stick” by Antoinette Portis.

This is another author and series that I adore. I love that this is basically a build-in guessing game, and that the kids and I talked throughout the book about what the stick was going to be. I also love the “not a stick!” refrain that my kids naturally started shouting with me.

After this book, I had an epiphany to just let them pretend and bounce around in storytime. I called out different actions from the book, and the kids galloped around the room, etc. Then, we did a favorite of mine from library school:

Action Rhyme/Bounce: “The Noble Duke of York”
The noble Duke of York, he had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill, and marched them down again.
And when you’re up, you’re up. And when you’re down, you’re down.
And when you’re only halfway up, you’re neither up nor down.

I always do this one several times, the last time super fast. This exhausts the kids and they are ready to sit back down for another book, which for this storytime was, “Higher, Higher” by Leslie Patricelli.

This is such a simple concept book: girl on swing, father pushes her, she keeps calling out “higher, higher.” The kids eagerly “read” this one out loud with me. It was really funny when she met her space alien friend who is also on a swing; the parents and kids were giggling pretty hard then. Then, I led the group in our session stretcher:

Fingerplay: “Itsy Bitsy Spider”

And on to the last book of the day, “Playground Day” by Jennifer J. Merz.

I’ve used this book before and it was a hit. This time, I had a cranky little boy call out that animals were stupid (Mom quickly took him out of the room) but that broke the spell for all the kids. No one wanted to guess the animals after that. Luckily, I skipped ahead a few pages and ended storytime by singing “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” I’m just glad the song went over well.

For our kite, we revisited the kites from earlier and made this kit from Oriental Trading:

Ta-da! (I really loved this craft.)


Last week, my storytime theme was flowers and the garden!

I started off storytime with a great book, “My Garden” by Kevin Henkes.

This is a great book that would work for a lot of different themes — imagination is definitely one to remember for this book — but I did choose to use it for a bit of whimsy in this storytime. The kids really responded to the idea of this story, and once we were finished, I let them talk about what would happen in their gardens. One kid said he would grow monster trucks and dump trucks.

Next, I read “Up, Down, and Around” by Katherine Ayres.

This book has a great end refrain for repeating (first plant is up; second is down; third is around), and the kids jumped on it at first, but as they repeated it they got louder and louder until I’m pretty sure the book had no meaning for them anymore. Oh, well. Afterwards, I had to get their energy out, so I did this:

Action Rhyme: “Dig a Little Hole”
Dig a little hole (dig)
Plant a little seed (drop seed)
Pour a little water (pour)
Pull a little weed (pull up and throw away)
Chase a little bug (chasing motion)
Heigh-ho, there he goes! (shade eyes)
Give a little sunshine (make sun)
Grow a little rose (smell flower, eyes closed)
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

And then, it was on to our next book, “Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert.

I did not get Lois Ehlert’s books as guaranteed hits, but let me tell you — the kids were CRAZY excited about this book. (And my daycare set LOVED “Waiting for Wings.”) I have now been properly schooled by the preschoolers. The kids and I alternated reading this one. I read the text on the page, and then they were allowed to call out a color. After that, I told them what flower name was next to that color. It worked out so well, I know that I had a great time reading it with them.

And then, after a brief introduction on how bees help flowers, I did our flannelboard: Six Little Bumblebees. (Text for the flannel can be found on my Yellow storytime plan.)

And then an awesome little fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Watch It Bloom”
Here is a green leaf (hold out one palm)
And here is a green leaf (hold out other palm)
That, you see, makes two (hold up two fingers)
Here is a bud (cup hand together)
That makes it a flower (slowly open hands)
Watch it bloom for you (slowly open hands)
Credit: Perry Public Library

And my second to last book, “Zinnia’s Flower Garden” by Monica Wellington.

With this book, I got to talk a little bit about the names of flowers again since Zinnia is both the main character and the name of a flower. During this book (and after several choruses from the whole storytime about waiting for flowers), a little girl sighed and said, “Flower waiting is so hard.” Awww.

Afterwards, I did a puppet rhyme and guessing game, “There’s Something in My Garden,” that I got from SurLaLune Storytime and used at Bunny storytime earlier this spring. Everyone enjoyed themselves greatly during this activity!

And then, I got to whip out the song “Green Grass Grows All Around.” I sing and do motions to a version I learned during childhood, but you can find lots of versions on the Internet. Then it was on to the last book of the day, “Peek-A-Bloom” by Marie Torres Cimarusti.

The kids fell a little bit apart during this storytime, and I did wind up skipping the last page where readers can find all the animals (and daisy which is why I did it during garden storytime!) all over again. I just kind of said, “Hooray, you did it! The end!” and closed the book. After our goodbye song, it was on to the craft:

Flower rows! This was modified from CraftScope’s post. All I did for the kids was pre-glue (with Tacky Glue) the popsicle sticks down. Oh, and the leaves were a Martha Stewart craft punch from Michaels. Kids glued the cupcake liners and leaves with gluesticks and for the buttons, they used Glue Dots. Easy peasy, and the moms LOVED this one!

Bunny Storytime!

Two weeks ago was “Snapshot Day” in Illinois libraries. It’s an advocacy campaign designed to show daily usage in a library. Participants are able to complete surveys about their library. For our part, Youth Services put together four activities that day. And of course, one was storytime. Because it was on a different day than my normal storytime hour, I had a smaller crowd of seven kids and our theme was bunnies.

Started off storytime with “Max’s Chocolate Chicken” by Rosemary Wells.

I grew up loving these books and still adore Rosemary Wells. This is a great one all about finding Easter eggs and getting candy and of course, Max being mischievous. I love how Ruby bosses him around, and so do the kids. (This was my one and only Easter book, and I asked parents before hand if they minded an Easter book being shared. I was ready to go with “Goodnight, Moon” instead if anyone had a problem.)

Next up, a new book by a favorite author — “What’s the Matter, Bunny Blue?” by Nicola Smee.

This is a great book for rhymes. Bunny Blue has lost her grandma, and she’s something of a mess. The kids laughed a lot when I was boo-hooing as Bunny Blue, but they kept insisting that we would find her grandma so I know that they weren’t worried. A great read-aloud book!

Then, we tried our own hands at locating a bunny. She was hiding under some Easter eggs. The kids got to practice naming colors, and since we were such a small crowd, I let everyone come up and take their own guesses off the board. (And I had the houses on stand-by for bunny to hide under if needed.)

Since the kids were a little wiggly after moving around, we did a quick rhyme to sit them back down:

Action Rhyme: “Little Rabbit”
I saw a little rabbit go hop, hop, hop
I told that little rabbit 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

Next up, I got to use a small board board because our crowd was smaller: “In My Meadow” by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich.

I actually bought this book to possibly make a flannelboard out of it. (I’ve loved this board book/puppet series since I first saw them in bookstores last year.) Well, time got away with me and it was still in my storytime drawer so I brought it down to use as a puppet moreso. The kids LOVED getting to pet bunny at the end of the book. And since it was so short, I read it twice!

Then, I did a little rhyme with puppets:

Puppets: “There’s Something In My Garden”
There’s something in my garden
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound…
A frog is what I found!
(SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK, A mouse is what I found! / CAW CAW CAW, A crow is what I found! / THUMP THUMP THUMP, A rabbit is what I found!)
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

The kids were spot on with their guesses, but they were still very excited when I pulled out a puppet of the animal from behind my back. After, I read “What Does Bunny See?” by Linda Sue Park.

Another great guessing book, this time guessing what colors and flowers Bunny sees in her garden. Which brought us to our fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Here is a Bunny”
Here is a bunny with ears so funny (hold up index and middle 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 our next book, “Bunny Fun” by Sarah Weeks.

This book was a fun deviation from a lot of the normal bunny books. This one was about a little bunny who was stuck inside on a rainy day and all the fun he came up with. My kids were very excited to see activities that they do (blocks, coloring, etc.). Super cute.

Fingerplay: “Little Bunny”
There was a little bunny who lived in the wood. (hold up two fingers)
He wiggled his ears as a good bunny should (wiggle on head)
He hopped by a squirrel. He hopped by a tree. (hop, hop)
He hopped by a duck. And he hopped by me. (hop, hop over fist)
He stared at the squirrel. He stared at the tree. (stare, stare)
He stared at the duck. But he made faces at me! (stare, make faces)
Credit: Texas State Library

That was a hysteric fingerplay. The kids could not stop laughing when we made funny faces. After a good laugh, I read our last book for the day, “Little White Rabbit” by Kevin Henkes.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of books by Kevin Henkes. So, it should come as no surprise that I love this newest one by him. It’s such a good calming, end-of-storytime read.

All that was left was our craft, which I had purchased from an Oriental Trading craft kit:


A new storytime session, yay! I’m back for another six weeks of storytime fun. (Then another three week break, followed by my giant eight-week summer reading session. I’m looking at two to three storytimes a week…but I promise I’m only doing one theme.)

For this session, I switched up the welcome song. The kids liked “The More We Get Together” well enough, but it didn’t always serve to shake out their sillies before stories started. I’ve also added in an opening song to gently remind them of the storytime rules (sit down, hands to self). Hopefully they’ll take that to heart.

Welcome Song: Clap and Sing Hello!
We clap and sing hello.
We clap and sing hello.
With our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello.
(We wave and sing hello; we stomp and sing hello)
Credit: Storytime Songs

Opening Song: If You’re Ready…
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Make your hands all nice and neat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
Credit: SJPL Hello & Goodbye Songs [Link no longer works]

And now, on to the actual theme of today’s storytime — TRUCKS. I’m going to be short on the summaries today, because basically the kids LOVED trucks and freaked out with JOY every time there was a new truck — eagerly shouting out the color of the truck, the name of the truck, where the truck was, that their mom/dad has a truck, if they wanted that truck, if that truck was smelly, etc. This was par for the course for the whole storytime and I see no need to keep rehashing it.

First up, “A Truck Goes Rattley-Bumpa” by Jonathan London.

Great book, love the noises and the variety of trucks in it. This is a good series, by the same author who does the Froggy books. Then, it was on to another variation of the Thumbkin fingerplay:

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)

For this one, I made little trucks flashcards (kind of) and popped them behind my back. The kids were really amused with this activity. I almost wish I had little toy trucks instead to really wow them.

Next up, “Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble!” by Patricia Hubbell.

We have all of Hubbell’s transportation books at the library and they go out all the time. A great series for kids obsessed with transportation.

Action Rhyme: Windshield Wiper
I’m a windshield wiper (bend arm at elbow and hold fingers up)
This is how I go (swing arm back and forth)
Back and forth, back and forth (continue motion)
In the rain and snow
Credit: Best Kids Book Site

This action rhyme was so much fun, we did it several times. One of my boys lamented that he missed the snow. I kind of failed on the flannelboard front this week — I hid cars behind our set of houses and we looked for truck’s best friend…red car! (Or orange car or yellow car…etc.)

Next, I read “Tip Tip Dig Dig” by Emma Garcia.

Another fabulous series that I adore. There’s also a car book and a tools book. The kids needed to get up and move, so we went ahead and did this action rhyme next:

Action Rhyme: “Open the Truck Door”
Open the truck door, climb inside
I get to help my mommy drive
Fasten the seat belt and shut the door
Start the engine, hear it roar
Turn the corner and step on the gas
If the road is clear, we may pass.
Credit: Librarian Lisa

The next book…”The Little Dump Truck” by Margery Cuyler.

I used this one, in particular, because it focused on one kind of a truck instead of just naming different trucks. A quick round of “Old McDonald Had a Truck” and then I moved on to my last book of the day, “I Love Trucks” by Philemon Sturges.

This is my favorite of all the books because it prominently features my favorite truck: ice cream truck! A great way to end storytime.

Our craft for today was a garbage truck that I lovingly stole from Sarah…again.

As always, some kids enjoyed gluing more than others while some focused on coloring. All had a really good time today!


I added another storytime to each of my sessions this spring. So, now I’m doing two six-week long sessions. Because this was a very last minute decision, I went with the easiest theme I could — colors!

Started off with “Dog’s Colorful Day” by Emma Dodd.

I’ve used this in counting storytime before, but obviously this is a great fit for a color storytime. After each page, the kids named the colors that were on Dog already, reinforcing color recognition and names. I was just commenting the other day that I wish there were more Emma Dodd books, because I love them all.

Next up, a very tricky color book, “Lemons Are Not Red” by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

This book has cut-out pictures and reveals what color the object is when you turn the page. The kids loved guessing what colors the object really was, and the only one that tripped them up was the silver moon. (I heard white, gray, and moon-colored as the guesses.)

Even though the kids were really sitting nicely, I wanted to shake things up with a song!

Action Song: “Driving Round in My Car” (Tune: Ten Little Indians)
Driving round in my little red car
Driving round in my little red car
Driving round in my little red car
Zoom zoom zoom zoom zoom
Credit: Childhood

I let the kids choose what color we would sing about next. We wound up singing this song for a really long time, but they loved it. My favorite part was when one of the little boys shouted out “baby blue” — it was super cute and we did sing a verse about a baby blue car.

Next, I read “Butterfly, Butterfly” by Petr Horacek.

This book was a real treasure that I discovered one day while shelf-reading our picture books. I will be using it again for bug storytime at the end of May. Lucy discovers a butterfly one day, but when she goes to find it again – it is missing! She then finds a ton of other brightly colored bugs throughout the book. I adore the pop-up ending with the butterfly, and it was a HUGE hit in storytime. I wound up moving the book back and forth for the butterfly to flap at the kids for a few minutes.

Then I moved on to our flannelboard today: “Mouse Paint!”

I found this flannelboard template on Kizclub and tried to make it in time for Mice Storytime this winter, but it didn’t happen. I was very happy that I was able to use it here!

(As a brief note — I did not make the spiraled paint splots and I did not make the dancing mice. Instead, I asked the kids to dance for the mice and we twirled our fingers in the air and I just overlapped the new color over the old. And, I did not make the paintbrushes and instead just used a real paintbrush before putting the color splots on the white piece of felt. I am all for creative flannel pieces, but I am also a big believer in the less pieces you have and the less you move the pieces around — the better the flannelboard works.)

Our second to last book was “Freight Train” by Donald Crews.

This is such a classic, a favorite of mine from childhood! It’s a really good, quick read that is completely engaging. Also, my storytime is a majority of little boys and they flipped out when they saw the train. It was their very favorite part of storytime today. Next, I led the group in a little action rhyme to settle them down after the excitement of the train.

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
Show me your red and sit back on the ground
Credit: Everything Preschool — Colors

They had a blast doing this one, but really a lot of them didn’t follow the rules and just stood up every time. I didn’t say a word about it because it doesn’t matter to me a bit as long as they are having fun.

Last book for the day, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” by Eric Carle.

I read this book in big book form, and passed out board books to the kids to have them “read” with me. This is such a rewarding time when I see all the kids with their own books and their parents reading with them. After the kids brought their books back, I sang a song before our goodbye song just to have one last color song!

Song: “Colors We Know” (Tune: Twinkle Twinkle)
Red and orange, green and blue, shiny yellow, purple too!
These are the colors that we know, way up high in the great rainbow.
Red and orange, green and blue, shiny yellow, purple too!
Credit: Everything Preschool — Colors

Our craft for today was one that I took from Sarah’s blog — Awesome Storytime.

It was perfect and the kids came up with some amazing rainbow creations!

Well, that’s it for today. I’m now on a three week storytime break, but I’m still doing my daycare colors storytime cycle and will also be participating in #flannelfriday tomorrow!

Rainy Days!

Thanks, Chicago weather, for thoroughly confusing all my storytime kids. When I announced this morning that the theme would be rain, my kids immediately told me all about the snow outside. (Yes, we have just the smallest amount of a sprinkling outside.) But, I still continued on with my theme!

First up, “Raindrop, Plop!” by Wendy Cheyette Lewison.

My crowd of kids really enjoyed this read — counting is always a big hit! But I also liked that it had a great rhythm to it without having rhyming words in the text. Most of the kids joined in the counting at one point or another. After this bright and colorful book, I switched things up and used a classic, “Mr. Gumpy’s Motor Car” by John Burningham.

I wasn’t sure this story was going to catch the attention of my large group this morning, but I gave it a go. Folks, there is a reason this book is classic — the kids LOVED it. I mean, I should have known — animals, mud, spinning wheels…sure-fire hit.

Then, we practiced our session stretcher — fingerplay: “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” (It really does fit this theme, but we’ve been using it all session.)

After, I went straight into our flannelboard.

Flannelboard: “Ten Little Umbrellas” & “Ten Little Raindrops”
One little, two little, three little umbrellas
Four little, five little, six little umbrellas
Seven little, eight little, nine little umbrellas
Ten umbrellas up for the rain
Repeat with raindrops going on top of umbrellas – last line, “Ten raindrops falling down.” Pull raindrops away, counting down – last line, “No raindrops out today.” Pull umbrellas away, counting down – last line, “Everything’s put away!”

(I did make the flannel for this week using clip art, and I do promise a post on all the flannels I’ve made recently after this storytime session is done next week.)

Next, I read “Red Rubber Boot Day” by Mary Lyn Ray.

(I love this cover image — pure joy!) I choose this one because not only does it show the splashing in puddles part of a rainy day, but it also shows what kids do inside (blocks, reading, drawing, building a cave) during rainy days. My favorite part of this read-aloud was when all my little boys showed me their boots that they were wearing. I had to ask everyone who was wearing boots to raise their hands really high, and then I segued back into the book by saying, “Well, this little boy is wearing RED RUBBER BOOTS.”

Time to shake some sillies out! I led the group in back-to-back action rhymes to calm everyone down.

Action Rhyme: “Splash! Fall the Raindrops”
Splash! Fall the raindrops, (Clap hands softly)
To the ground they go; (Point to the ground)
We need the raindrops, (Wiggle fingers down from head to waist)
To help the flowers grow. (Make cup of hands for flowers)
Credit: KIDiddles

Action Rhyme: “Rain Is Falling Down”
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
The rain is falling down (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH! (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
[Repeat until kids are worn out.]
Credit: Modified from King County Library System

Next up, “Rain” by Manya Stojic.

This was one of those books that started off so well, but then the kids got too excited naming all the animals and kind of stopped paying attention to the story. So, what’s a librarian to do? Turn the page and say, “Which animal is this?” “MONKEY” “Okay, do monkeys like rain?” “YES!” Next page, rinse, repeat.

I’m not a fan of going off-book, or skipping words or pages, but sometimes the kids just need a different story. They loved the pictures, the colors are so bright and vivid, but they got overexcited. It happens!

A nice calming song…

“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”
It’s raining, it’s pouring
The old man is snoring
He went to bed and bumped his head
And couldn’t get up in the morning
Credit: Childhood

And then, I read out last book, “Wow! Said the Owl” by Tim Hopgood.

This was another hit, and their reactions today are very similar to when I read this book in bird storytime. (Again, I don’t have any overlap between my morning and afternoon groups which is so surprising to me since I plan separate storytimes in case of overlap!) A great way to end storytime what with the pretty rainbow and the last nighttime page spread.

For craft this week, we made a rain picture — a take on this Rainy Day Collage from Busy Bee Kids Crafts.

Instead of messing around with food dye, I just used pompoms. All of the umbrellas were pre-assembled.

Hello, Goodbye!

This was a new and interesting theme — I really enjoyed using all these great hello/goodbye books. Of course, my storytime (and craft) was completely inspired by my first book…”Say, Hello!” by Rachel Isadora.

When this book came into the library last fall, I made an immediate beeline for it and was determined to plan a storytime around it. I love the book’s concept; I love the illustrations (and also Isadora’s fairy tale retellings); and I love other languages. Followed this one up with a second hello song:

Song: “The Hello Song”
Hello, hello, hello.
It’s time to say “hello.”
Hello, today, to all my friends,
Hello, hello, hello.
Credit: Library Voice

I didn’t really know the tune of this, so I wound up making it up. And I can’t really describe it. I do that a lot when I have no idea how it goes. The kids never notice! And then we did this song as an action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “How Do You Say Hi?” (Do actions as they are said.)
Hey! Hi! Howdy! Yo!
There are many ways to say hello!
Wave your hand. Nod your head.
Smile big or wink instead.
Blow a kiss. Tip your hat.
Shake your hands. Give a pat.
Of all the ways to say hello,
Here’s the way I like to go…HELLO!
Credit: Transitional Songs

This song worked so well as an action rhyme — the kids had a lot of fun doing all the motions, and I did have them stand up to do it, too. Next up, a funny book for the awesome weather that Chicago had today: “Hello, Sun!” by Dayle Ann Dodds.

This is about a little girl who sees the sun, and goes outside to play only to have the weather spiral away from her, eventually snowing. (Sounds familiar, right, Chicagoans?) Each page spread ends with uh-oh before greeting the new weather, “hello wind!” and the kids really loved it when the uh-oh happened. Afterward, we did this awesome flannelboard that I was inspired to tweak:

Flannelboard: Can We Find? (Tune: The Muffin Man)
(Hide six different items under the houses. Look for each one after singing the refrain. Greet each item with a loud hello after finding.)
Can we find a red cat?
A red cat? A red cat?
Can we find a red cat?
We want to say hello!

We have a flannelboard set — “Color Bears and Other Stories” — that has a ton of different animals and objects in rainbow colors. And inside, it suggested using this song to play a game hiding items behind houses. I changed the ending line to fit out theme.

Next up, “Hello, Is This Grandma?” by Ian Whybrow.

I *adore* this book. It has fold-out pages, and tells a great story about a little boy named Logan who calls a variety of animals while trying to phone his grandma on the phone. It is a little bit scary (when crocodile shows up and wants to cook Logan for lunch), but none of my kids had any problems with it.

We did our session fingerplay — “Itsy Bitsy Spider” followed by “Where is Thumbkin?” (Thumbkin is kind of a hello fingerplay!)

Then I read, “Hello, Day!” by Anita Lobel.

Before I started the book, I asked the kids how they thought animals said hello. And I had one little boy who clucked as his answer. Well, after reading this book all the kids knew how animals said hello! (And I have to say that one of my four-year-olds is an EXCELLENT noise maker. We’re talking pig snorts instead of saying oink — amazing.)

Our last book for the day was another board book that we have purchased multiple in-house copies, “Hello, Animals!” by Smriti Prasadam.

This is a simple black and white book (with shiny color inserts) that the kids easily read along with me because all they had to remember was “hello, [animal on page].” I also really liked that some of my babies were exposed to books that are perfect for them — simple black and white contrast books.

I did sing two goodbye songs this week:

Song: “Shake Hands”
Shake hands with friends cause it’s time to go
Shake hands with friends cause it’s time to go
Shake hands with friends cause it’s time to go
I hope I’ll see you another day.
Credit: Barney…which I did not know until this moment. I learned this in library school.

And then, the goodbye song we sing every week:

Closing Song: “We Wave Goodbye Like This” (Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)
We wave goodbye like this,
We wave goodbye like this,
We clap our hands for all our friends,
We wave goodbye like this.

Our craft for this afternoon was hello/goodbye hands. My amazing co-workers came up with this one during a brainstorm session. Most of the hellos were in the first book, “Say, Hello!” and the goodbyes were easily Googled. Teens cut out hands, taped popsicle sticks on, and cut out all the words as well. My kids just happily glued.