Tag: spring 2011


This week, I did a baby themed storytime. I mean, who doesn’t love babies? And there are some great books all about babies. I started off with “Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes” by Mem Fox.

Not only is this book very sweet, repetitive (that’s a good thing!), and theme-appropriate, it’s also a great way to show diversity in picture books. All of the babies are different skin colors, and there’s even a sick baby. (The kids were very intent on telling me that the baby’s getting medicine in the picture…well, this is the season for medicine with all the colds we’ve had in storytime the past few weeks!)

After our quiet start, I went straight into a noisy book with “The Baby Goes Beep” by Rebecca O’Connell.

I don’t know what it is about listening to me make noises, but the kids were enamored and fascinated by all the different sounds that the baby makes in this book. I only had kids join in with me during the “beep” and “splash” parts though — not exactly sure why those sounds were better, but oh well.

Next up, our flannelboard: Baby Animals Matching. I got this fabulous template from Mel’s Desk, and began working on a felt version. Time got away from me though (and I didn’t count on doing three storytimes this week!), so I wound up just using laminated pieces with a felt backing. I started by putting all the mommy/daddy pieces on the board, and pulled out a baby piece. I then moved it around the board, and the kids told me “up” or “down” until all the babies were matched up. A big hit!

A quick fingerplay — “Pat-a-Cake”
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can
Roll it, and pat it, and mark it with a “B”
And put it in the oven for baby and me
Credit: Childhood

And then, I moved on to the next book in the pile, “All of Baby Nose to Toes” by Victoria Adler.

Another quieter book with a great refrain of “Who loves baby’s nose?” and an answer of “Me! I do!” The kids loved chiming in on this one. I had the kids continue sitting for the action rhyme. (Normally, I do have them stand up and stretch, but the kids were so calm and well-behaved today that I didn’t want them to move and break their good behavior.)

Action Rhyme: “One Little Baby”
One little baby rocking in a tree (hold up on finger/rock arms)
Two little babies splashing in the sea (two fingers/pretend to splash)
Three little babies crawling on the floor (three fingers/crawl fingers on knee)
Four little babies banging on the door (four fingers/pretend to knock)
Five little babies playing hide and seek (five fingers/cover your eyes)
Keep your eyes closed now…until I say…PEEK! (uncover eyes)
Credit: Perry Public Library

I went with a low-key entrance to our high-energy ending, and started with “Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy” by Denise Fleming.

This book was definitely the biggest part of my inspiration for this theme — I really wanted to build a storytime around this book with its soft pictures, and sweet animals. I am pleased to say that it definitely had a calming effect on all the kids, and so I launched straight into a song: “Rock-A-Bye Baby” and then into our last fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Baby’s Nap”
This is a baby ready for a nap. (hold up index finger)
Lay him down in his mother’s lap. (place finger on open palm of other hand)
Cover him up so he won’t peep. (wrap fingers around finger)
Rock him till he’s fast asleep. (rock hands back and forth)
Credit: Thomas Memorial Library

And, then, I brought out the loudest book ever created — “Shake It Up, Baby!” by Karen Katz.

This is another one of the board book sets that we have in our in-house storytime collection. I love getting to pass out books to each child so that they can read along with me. The other amazing part of this book is that there are rattle beads in the spine — and cues in the text to shake the book. The kids had a TON of fun shaking these books, and I was very proud when they returned the books to the bookshelf without any tears, too!

(My storytime kids are so good at cleaning up — they always put away their own floor cushions, and pass the glue and crayons back in. I am seriously like a proud mama as they help me clean up.)

Anyway, our craft for today was a simple paper baby bib.

Both templates were just simple Google Image searches, and filtering by line drawings. Teens, once again, cut everything and I did the hole punching/tying.


Today, in honor of spring ALMOST creeping up on Chicagoland (well, it’s in the upper thirties, heh), storytime theme was sheep! And on a special note, I woke up with a very hoarse voice — this was my first storytime without the ability to really change my voice and let me say I don’t ever want that to happen again!

After our welcome song, I went ahead and held up my first book, asking the kids if they knew what animal we would be reading about today. Of course, I had one of my boys shout out, “SHEEP,” so I was good to go with “Wee Little Lamb” by Lauren Thompson.

This is a super cute story about a shy lamb who keeps hiding behind his mother despite other animals asking him to play. This book turned into a “who can shout the new animal the loudest” game, and while I think everyone enjoyed the book, I couldn’t raise my voice to be heard over them, so I had to whisper, which did get them to calm down.

Next up, I read “Counting Ovejas” by Sarah Weeks.

This is a bilingual book, and a great choice for my community. I wish I could read in Spanish more often, but most of my Spanish is just basic vocab — which worked for this story (colors, numbers, sheep, “goodbye” and “good night” were the only words needed)! I really think that my Spanish-speaking families REALLY appreciated this, and the kids all had a great time identifying colors regardless of their preferred language.

A quick song with one of our adorable finger puppets: “Baa Baa Black Sheep” before moving on to “Sheep in a Jeep” by Nancy Shaw.

This silly, rhyming story went over well — I have got to try and find this book in a larger format thought, because our little picture book is not big enough for a large group. (Thankfully, we were on the small side group-wise today.) This series is one of the reasons that I wanted to do a sheep storytime!

And then, I did our flannelboard: “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” followed by this super cute fingerplay that I modified from Hubbard’s Cupboard’s post about Mary Had a Little Lamb.

Fingerplay: “The Lamb Went”
The lamb went…
Around the cow in the corn (trace circle in palm)
Under the haystack (go under the hand)
Up the hill and down the hill (go up the arm and down the arm)
Over the fence (go above the hand)
Through the door (slide hands and clap)
And was back in time to meet the teacher (trace circle in palm)

Originally this was a storyboard idea, with pictures introduced to tell the story. I just added some fingerplay actions instead! Next book, “No More Blanket for Lambkin!” by Bernette Ford and Sam Williams.

I love this book about some friends who set out to play laundry, and wind up putting holes in a beloved blanket. The day is saved, of course, by the end of the book. Such sweet illustrations, nice big text for little eyes (or the storytime librarian reading on an angle!), and a great story.

I also found this action rhymes at Hubbard’s Cupboard, and it can be sung to “Five Green and Speckled Frogs,” but since my voice was only getting hoarser as I went, I opted just to say it. I made up my own actions for this one as well.

Action Rhyme: “Five White and Fluffy Sheep”
Five white and fluffy sheep (hold up five fingers)
In the pasture fast asleep (hands under head, lean over)
Their wool kept them cozy all night long (hug yourself)
Snore! Snore! (make snore sounds)
The farmer slipped away with one (hold up one finger)
And sheared the wool till he was done (clap)
Then there were 4 white fluffy sheep (hold up four fingers)
Baa! Baa! (baa!)
Credit: Hubbard’s Cupboard

A quick nursery rhyme of “Little Bo Peep” before our last book, “Where Is the Green Sheep?” by Mem Fox.

I’ve used this book in storytime before (and we have a big book version of it), and I have to say, it is easily one of my faves. The kids enjoy the suspense, they like trying to identify the sheep by the pictures, and the ending is so adorable that it obviously leads to giggles and choruses of “Silly sheep.”

Our handprint lamb/sheep craft comes from First School today.

My teens had everything cut out (including a trace of my hand for each child), and kids just assembled and glued some cotton balls to make their sheep fuzzy. Super cute!


After quite a journey — storytime break of three weeks, but the library’s phone was out last night so I couldn’t do reminder calls and was pretty much convinced that storytime *wouldn’t* happen — SEVEN of my regulars showed up without fail and I got to do my storytime!

Wonderfully ironic that I feel such love for them for coming, and my theme was love today! (I actually modified a storytime from Afternoon Storytime about Valentine’s Day, but…Chicago got hit with a blizzard and the library closed, so no storytime. And rescheduling after the holiday seemed silly.)

First book up, “Sweethearts” by Jan Carr.

This is the only Valentine’s Day book that I did read at storytime. I love this sweet story about a little panda leaving valentines all over his house for his family. And the kids really enjoyed counting how many valentines he hid on each page spread. We talked about loving our families, and then I asked the kids if they could love anything else. One girl answered with her bear, which was super cute. And I replied that you could love some bugs, which led us into the next book, “I Love Bugs” by Emma Dodd.

I *LOVED* reading this one during this particular storytime! I had a little boy who kept saying, over and over, “Spider? Does he love spiders?” and when we got to the spider page, he said, “ACK I HATE SPIDERS.” I almost fell out of chair laughing. So adorable. Other than that, this book offers a great opportunity for kids to name the bugs in the pictures — vocabulary! I quickly talked about hearts and love before launching into this version of BINGO.

Flannelboard: “H-E-A-R-T”
There is a shape and it means love
And heart is its name-o.
H-E-A-R-T, H-E-A-R-T, H-E-A-R-T,
And heart is its name-o!
Credit: Everything Preschool

I made a quick flannel with five hearts and the letters glued on to help the kids keep track of when to clap and when to say the letter. And using the heart shape led us straight to the next book, “My Heart is Like a Zoo” by Michael Hall.

I adore this book, and used it at wild animal storytime last year, as well as at a zoo storytime over the summer, and will probably use it again at jungle storytime this summer! I was thrilled to work it into a love theme. After seeing all the animals made of hearts, I invited the kids to learn to make their own hearts with this fingerplay:

Fingerplay: “Heart”
I put my hands together,
This is how I start
I curve my fingers right around,
And I can make a heart!
Credit: Perpetual Preschool

And then, I went straight into the theme song, “Skinnamarink” by Sharon, Lois, and Bram, which is from my childhood, and I did not have to refresh my memory on any of the motions or lyrics. For those unfamiliar, the song ends with a kiss — which was a perfect segue into the next book, “I Kissed the Baby” by Mary Murphy.

This book has a great call-and-response that one of my kids immediately picked up on. After every “I [saw] the baby, did you [see] the baby?” he responded, “YES, YES, I DID!” except for one case when he responded, “No, but my sister did.” Cue heart melt! A quick action rhyme:

Action Rhyme: “Little Heart”
I have a little heart, (place hand over heart)
And it goes thump, thump, thump (pat chest three times)
It keeps right on beating,
When I jump, jump, jump (jump three times)
I get a special feeling, when I look at you. (point to child)
It makes me want to give you a hug or two. (hug yourself)
Credit: The Best Kids Book Site

Which led us to our very last book, “Henry in Love” by Peter McCarty.

This book is adorable, and a great example of sweet, first love. But because it’s an older read, I was prepared to substitute it if the kids were wiggly or done with storytime. But I had amazing behavior during storytime — like remarkable best behavior ever, with kid participation and no running around, and clapping and singing; storytime librarians will understand what I mean! So, this was a great way to end our program for the day!

And our craft for the day was an Oriental Trading kit left over from the Afternoon Storytime that didn’t happen — bear plates with hearts!