Tag Archives: pre-k

Getting dressed storytime


Last week we talked about clothes and getting dressed in my preschool, pre-k, and Book Buddies storytimes.

Bubbles: Hello Bubbles and 1 little 2 little 3 little bubbles

Opening song: We hit our knees together

Opening rhyme: Two little dickey birds/Open them, shut them

Letter of the day: P (pajamas, pants, pink)


pollys pink pjsPolly’s Pink Pajamas, by Vivian French and Sue Heap.  (E HUMOR FREN).  I made sure to emphasize the “P” sounds while reading this one aloud.









ella sarahElla Sarah Gets Dressed, by Margaret Chodos-Irvine (E SELF CHOD).










jesse bearJesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom and Bruce Degen (E BEARS CARL)  Pre-K especially loved identifying the rhyming words in this book.  They thought it was hilarious when I asked them if they wore their “pants that dance” today.  Heeheehee…  Look here for a cute paper doll activity to go with this book.










joseph had a little overcoatJoseph had a Little Overcoat, by Simms Taback.  (E FOLK TALES TABA).  There is a fold and tell version of the story here.











One Two Buckle My Shoe (This one has hand motions)

Hat and shirt, pants and shoes (to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes).  We started slowly and got faster and faster!

Closing game:  Rhyme cube

Closing Rhyme:  This is big

Closing song: My hands say thank you



bearsI have a bunch of stuffed bears and a bunch of assorted Build a Bear Workshop clothes, so I pulled them all out and we had a dress-up bear party!  This activity was even better than I could have hoped!  The kids used their motor skills to put the clothes on the bears and talked about what article of clothing the bear was wearing, what color it was, and why the bear was dressed that way (I see that your bear has a backpack on.  Is he going to school?)  This is definitely an activity I would repeat!









Preschool and Pre-K storytimes–Owls!


001Preschool storytimes are Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. at the Leesburg Library and Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. at the Oakland Library.  Preschool storytimes are immediately followed by playtime with developmentally appropriate toys like these.  Playtime is a great time for social interaction–for kids and parents/caregivers alike!








Opening song: We hit our knees together

Opening rhyme: Two Little Dickey Birds/Open Them Shut Them

004Good-Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins. (E BIRDS HUTC).  The daytime noises of Owl’s fellow tree-dwellers keep Owl awake, but when night falls, owl has the last…screech?  This is a nice, simple story with a repetitive structure–perfect for retelling!







003Wow! Said the Owl, by Tim Hopgood.  (Available through PINES).  Owl is accustomed to sleeping through the day, just as a little owl should.  But one day, Owl becomes curious and stays awake so that she can enjoy all of the colors that daytime has to offer.





008Flannelboard: Five Hoot Owls.  I changed the rhyme slightly to reinforce the colors (Five hoot owls sitting in a tree the [red] one flew away, now how many do we see?)






009Little Owl Lost, by Chris Haughton. (E BIRDS HAUG).  Little Owl has fallen from his nest and lost his mother.  Squirrel tries to help find her based on Little Owl’s description.  The kids laughed like crazy each time Squirrel says “Here she is!  Here’s your mommy!” and it was a completely different animal.  And it is totally heartwarming how happy the kids are when Little Owl finds his mom at the end.  I really don’t know why everyone in the world doesn’t want my job.  It’s just the best.




Rhyme: Wide Eyed Owl.

Rhyme cube

Closing rhyme: This is big (Mel’s Desk)

Closing song: My hands say thank you

owl puppetCraft: owl puppet.  Playing with puppets is a great way to promote narrative skills.  Store-bought puppets can be expensive, so making puppets is an affordable alternative.  This week we made an owl puppet by coloring this sheet and attaching it to a paper bag.  A fun game to play with this puppet might be to point out colors with the puppet and say “Wow! said the owl–look at that blue sky!”





The Pre-K storytime was pretty much the same as the preschool one, except I added a brief introduction with my owl puppet, Olivia (pictured above).  Olivia asked “Who? Who? Who keeps talking?  I’m TRYING to sleep!”

007Little Owl’s Night, by Divya Srinivasan. (E BIRDS SRIN).  This book is very slow and soothing.  In my Pre-K storytimes, I placed it right before Little Owl Lost and then we finished with Wide Eyed Owl if there was time.






Pre-k storytime–Friends!


002Instead of doing a full-out Valentine’s storytime, I decided to do a storytime about friends for my pre-k groups this week.

Hello My Name is Bob, by Linas Alsenas.  (E FRIENDS ALSE)  Bob is boring, his friend Jack is not.  Despite their differences, they are the best of friends.  Since I do not dare go to pre-k without a puppet, I decided to incorporate the puppets for this storytime into this story.  [I started out with just the brown bear puppet.  I talked to him a bit, but all did was sigh sadly.  Then we read his book.  After we read the book, I got Bob out again and asked him if reading a book about himself made him happy.  He was still sad until Jack came out!  Jack pulled Bob away, saying that they were going to have ice cream, and go to Chuck E. Cheese, and then to the alligator swamp (book reference)!]

003Grumpy Bird, by Jeremy Tankard.  I LOOOOOOOVE this book!  In the past, I have used it for a feelings storytime, but in a way I think it was a perfect fit for this Friends storytime.  Bird wakes up grumpy–so grumpy he can’t even fly.  But as his friends join him, Bird remembers he has a lot to be happy about.  Since Bird’s friends copy him during the story, it was a great lead-in to the song I chose, and gave the perfect opportunity for a little trick (heh heh heh!)

Song:  Will you be my friend today?  (to the tune of Mary had a Little Lamb)

Source: CanTeach

(start clapping) Will you be my friend today, friend today, friend today?  Will you be my friend today and clap along with me?  (We did things from the book like walk, stand on one foot, jump, fly, and eating a worm!)



005My Friend is Sad, by Mo Willems.  (E WILLEMS)  I think that the Elephant and Piggie series is brilliant and just perfect for the emergent readers in pre-k, so I’ve been trying to share some of these books in storytime to get them hooked!  Gerald is sad, so Piggie tries to cheer him up by dressing up in different costumes.  However, it turns out that all Gerald really wants is to be with his friend.






I have 5 different pre-k groups, so the plan I use sometimes gets changed along the way.  My first group always has the most time, so I was able to share Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack with them.  With another class, I shared Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems instead of My Friend is Sad.  In the end, I felt that the plan I have listed above worked the best.

Pre-K storytime–Feelings


003My Many Colored Days, by Dr. Seuss (E SEUSS).  This isn’t your typical Dr. Seuss, but I really love to include it in my feelings storytimes.  Feelings can be difficult to describe, but Seuss makes them easier to talk about by relating them to colors and animals.  The book also emphasizes that, whatever feelings come and go, you are always you.







001Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems.  (E WILLEMS)  I chose this because my library’s copy of Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard seems to have gone missing (MAJOR sad face).  I was actually surprised at how well it worked with the feelings theme.  Before I started reading the book, I asked the kids what might make them sad.  Many of them responded that they would be sad if they lost their favorite toy (exactly what happens to Trixie in the book!)  Then, I asked them what if they couldn’t *tell* anyone what was wrong?  There are some amazing illustrations showing Trixie’s emotional journey from the sadness, anger and anxiety of losing Knuffle Bunny, to her joy and excitement when Knuffle Bunny is found.  I ended by telling the kids that they were lucky that they are big and can use their words to tell people how they are feeling.



Song:  H-A-P-P-Y.  This song comes from Katie at Story Time Secrets.  I made flashcards with clipart faces and corresponding words.  I pointed to the letters as we sang the song.

004If You’re Happy and You Know It, by Jan Ormerod and Lindsey Gardiner (E FEELINGS ORME)  A fun, positive way to end the storytime.  The kids always enjoy acting out how animals show it when they are happy and they know it!





001We ended with my toucan puppet, since the toucan in the book clicks and clacks his beak when he’s happy!

Pre-K Storytime–Pumpkins!


I thought that it would be interesting to start off my pumpkin storytime with a book that discussed how pumpkins are grown.  I chose It’s pumpkin Time! by Zoe Hall and Shari Halpern (available through PINES) because it had straightforward text, good vocabulary, and vivid pictures.  A word of warning: it does mention Halloween and trick or treating specifically, but only at the beginning and end of the book, so it’s easy to skip over if you need/want to.

This is NOT a Pumpkin, by Bob Staake.  (Available through PINES).  This book is so funny, and reading it to a group of kids is even funnier!  For some reason the upside down pumpkin sent them into hysterical laughter.  Not to mention the insistent “Yes, it IS!” exclamations I kept hearing.  There is a cute “surprise” ending to this book, and I thought it was a fun, participatory addition to the storytime.

Poem with props: Jack O’ Happy.  I’ve seen this poem other places too, but the idea for the puppets came from Narrating Tales of Preschool Storytime.  In fact, mine look so similar to hers that I won’t even post them here.  I will tell you that the kids loved this poem, even more than I thought they would.  I asked them to make the same faces along with me, and they were thrilled at the ending (I changed this a tiny bit, just to make sure they understood the joke.  I said “I am Jack O’ Pumpkin Pie the YUMMIEST Jack of all!  and I rubbed my stomach while saying it).

Flannel story: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams and Megan Lloyd.  Boy, do I LOVE to tell this story.  Almost all of the kids seemed to have heard it before, so I’m glad I decided to tell it as a flannel story, just for a little variety.  (I used some of the color pieces from kizclub.com).  I’m still working on my storytelling, but this is one that I feel pretty comfortable with because of its simple structure (and the fact that my daughter made me repeat it constantly after we read it for the first time last fall!)

Pumpkin Trouble, by Jan Thomas.  Is it embarrassing to admit that I sat at my desk and actually laughed out loud the first time I read this book?  If it is, then I don’t care!  I think Jan Thomas’ other books are hilarious (What Will Fat Cat Sit On?, Rhyming Dust Bunnies) and Pumpkin Trouble is no exception.  While excitedly carving his pumpkin, Duck accidentally falls inside!   As he searches for his friends Mouse and Pig, he is mistaken for a Pumpkin Monster!  While it can be challenging to read aloud (especially to groups), I think that a book like this is great for encouraging kids to examine pictures closely to derive meaning from them in conjunction with the story.  For example, when Mouse and Pig are running from the “Pumpkin Monster”, one of them says “Hide behind the barn!”  The next page shows Duck, still trapped inside the pumpkin, saying “What barn?”  We talked about the fact that Duck couldn’t see the barn, then we predicted what was going to happen next.  This kind of discussion is good for developing reading comprehension and narrative skills.

Before I left, I had to bring out my duck (really, my nondescript multipurpose bird) for a quick hello.  He noticed a pumpkin…then promptly fell in.  “Did that pumpkin just quack?”


Pre-K storytime–Pockets!


The Pocket Dogs, by Margaret Wild, Illustrated by Stephen Michael King.  (E DOGS WILD)  Have you ever carried a dog in your pocket?  Well, Mr. Pockets has two very tiny dogs, Biff and Buff, who ride in his pockets.  One day, Mr. Pockets’ pocket got a hole in it and Biff fell through!  Biff is lost!  Will he ever be able to find Buff and Mr. Pockets again?









Flannelboard game:  What’s in my pocket?  This idea came from So Tomorrow, where you can find the cute rhyme that goes with it.  For some reason a majority of the kids got all of them except the clock!  Maybe because we use cell phones instead of clocks and watches these days?






Max Cleans Up, by Rosemary Wells.  (E RABBITS WELL)  It’s no secret around here that I LOVE Max and Ruby and that I LOVE this particular book.  I used it earlier this year along with a prop for a clean/dirty storytime.  I did it without the prop this time because I had so many other props going on, and i do so love Rosemary Wells’ illustrations.






Mini puppet show based on Boing by Nick Bruel.  (book available through PINES).  My little girl has a huge stuffed kangaroo that we refer to affectionately in my family as Kangaroo Jack.  My husband makes up cute stories about Kangaroo Jack and his antics, and my little girl loves it.  And she LOVES Kangaroo Jack.  I wasn’t too sure that she would let me borrow him, but she did!  I took a page from Recipe for Reading and decided to fill his pocket with real objects.  I didn’t have a grasshopper puppet, so I just skipped that part.  I also didn’t have a koala bear, so I randomly chose to replace him with a monkey (I’m so sorry, Mr. Bruel!)  Even though I took some major liberties with the story, the kids really enjoyed it.

For those who don’t know, the story goes like this.  Little kangaroo can’t jump.  Frog comes up and says “jumping is easy, watch me!”  Kangaroo still can’t jump.  Rabbit comes up and says “jumping is easy, watch me!”  Kangaroo STILL can’t jump.  Kangaroo gets discouraged.  Koala (monkey) comes up and asks what’s wrong.  Kangaroo says he can’t jump.  Koala (monkey) asks what is in his pocket, and Kangaroo reveals a bunch of random stuff.  Once he takes all of it out, he tries again and he can JUMP!

I just filled Kanagroo Jack’s pocket with stuff I had in my office.  Some sunglasses, a piece of candy, a glue stick, a pencil, a leaf, and a purple crayon.  (I did have a few astute observers who asked “What’s in his pocket?” way too early in the story!)  After he takes everything out, I got the kids to chant with me “Try again!  Try again!  Try again!”  Then we count to three and he jumps!  It was so sweet how happy they were for poor old Kangaroo Jack!








Pre-K Storytime: Cats!


I’m back!  I got to go back to Pre-K for the first time today, and I was SO excited.  I love reading to 4 and 5-year-olds because they love to laugh and participate in the stories I tell them.  FUN!

I go to the Pre-K once a week to read to all of the classes.  They come in two classes at a time, so I have five twenty minute sessions in all.

Since I have never met these kids before, I briefly explained to them who I am and what I do as the children’s librarian for the public library.  I asked each group if any of them had ever been to the public library and most of them raised their hands (yay!)  Then, I told them that I wanted to tell them something about myself so that they could get to know me.  I got out my kitty puppet and told them that I love cats!  I showed them this sweet cat puppet (Pound Purries–blast from the past, huh?) and told them about my childhood pet, a cat named Smokey.



Big Cat, Small Cat, written and illustrated by Ami Rubinger.  I really like the concept of this book.  Each page has two sets of opposites, and the words rhyme so that you can guess the adjective describing the last cat.  For example, the first page reads “This cat is big.  This cat is small.  This cat is short.  This cat is…”  The illustrations, for the most part, really depict the kind of cat described in the text.  My only problem with this otherwise wonderful book is that, toward the end, the scheme sort of breaks down.  “This cat is young.  This cat reached old age.  This cat is on the moon.  This cat is in a…”  Meh.  I think the book would have been stronger if it had just stuck to the basics.  The ending was also a little troublesome because it references bedtime, which obviously didn’t apply in our case.  All that being said, this book was a lot of fun to read.  The participation factor was high and the illustrations were funny, which made it a great icebreaker.



Pete the Cat, written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean.  This is a cat who needs no introduction.  All you have to do is hold it up and children lose. their. minds.  As a children’s librarian, I have to tell you that I LOVE it when kids shriek with excitement over a BOOK.  Warms my heart.  Anyway, as you all probably know, Pete loves his white shoes so much that he sings a song about it.  He encounters some surprises along the way, but “it’s all good.”  Great book, great message.  I think everyone should own a copy of this book.  Period.








    Next we did an extension activity for Pete.  I put a flannelized Pete up on the board and told the kids that I wondered what color his shoes would turn if he stepped in other things.  Basically, I made a set of flashcards.  On one side was a picture of something and the word (oranges, grapes, lemons, grass, bubbles) and the other side had a colored shoe with the name of the color, like this:

Cat Secrets, by Jef Czekaj.  I introduced this book by asking the kids what a secret was.  Most of them could tell me that it was something you didn’t want other people to know about.  In this book, the cats want to make sure that ONLY cats are present before they reveal all their feline secrets (wouldn’t we just like to know why they act so crazy sometimes?  What?  Just me?)  This book is so funny, but I did have some reservations about using it for storytime.  It’s sort of challenging to read aloud, since there are three different cats, so you more or less have to use different voices for them.  There is also something of a trick ending, which might annoy some people (personally, I think it’s funny).  The best thing about it that it has high participation (listeners have to meow, purr, and stretch to prove their cathood) and it definitely gets their attention with lines like “Hey, you!  Yes, you!  You don’t look much like a cat!”  Overall, it was fun to read and well received by the kids.


What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas.  (For some reason, I only had time to read this one with the first group.  Still, I love it and want to share it with you as a very good candidate for a cat storytime).


Pre-K Suggested Reading List


As many of you know, my daughter is in Pre-K this year.  My husband and I went to orientation last night, which is where I heard about the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) website.  This website contains lots of good information and resources, so I encourage you to check it out if you have a child in the Georgia Pre-K program.  What I want to share with you today, however, is the Book List.  This is a list of suggested books recommended by DECAL as age appropriate material for children in the Pre-K program:

“Many concepts and early literacy skills can be strengthened by using high quality children’s literature as the basis for learning.  Research has shown that reading to your child daily can have a dramatic impact on future school success.  The suggested reading book list provides a useful list of high quality, age appropriate children’s literature.”

For your convenience, I have printed out a copy of the list and gone through PINES to determine which titles we have and where they are located.  I have placed the list in a bright yellow paper folder next to the Accelerated Reading (AR) lists in the Easy Readers section at the Leesburg Library.  Also, remember that just because we don’t have a title at our library doesn’t mean we can’t get it for you–just ask any library staff member for assistance.

The early years leading up to kindergarten are so important to your child’s future success in school.  Reading to your child every day not only reinforces skills that they are learning in school–it is also an excellent way for you to relax and reconnect together after a busy school day.


Pre-K and Daycare visit–Frogs!


I can’t believe the school year is almost over already!  Next week will be my last visit with pre-k 😦  This week I gave them all summer reading program stickers in the hopes that they will visit me this summer!  Anyway, I started both of these storytimes by taking out my frog puppet.  I asked the kids some questions about him, like what color he is, what he says, how he moves around, and what frog babies are called.  This was the perfect lead into my first selection:





The Caterpillar and the Polliwog, by Jack Kent.  Okay, so this book is a little old (copyright 1982) and a teensy big long, but I have loved it ever since one of my professors read it to my class in library school.  Whenever I choose a book that is on the long side and sort of quiet, I do it first, when the kids are at their best listening capability.  Then, I pick extra loud and boisterous ones for the rest of the storytime (I’m sure their teachers love me for that–ha!).  Anyway, this engaging story is a good way to sneak in information about butterfly and frog life cycles, as well as conveying the ever-important message of self love and acceptance.  Love this book!






Song: Five Green and Speckled Frogs.  I found the idea and instructions for this brilliant little contraption on Mel’s Desk.  It’s made from a paper towel roll, and you can turn the tabs down every time a frog decides to jump in the pool.






The Wide-Mouthed Frog, by Keith Faulkner, Illustrated by Jonathan Lambert.  This pop-up book is storytime GOLD (In fact, I’m about to pin it onto our Pinterest board of favorite storytime books–check it out!).  The very first illustration is a great big frog with a great big fly on his great big tongue.  I used that opportunity to ask the kids why they thought a frog might need a “long, sticky tongue.”  The frog goes on to ask other animals what they like to eat, until he comes to a big green ALLIGATOR!  You should have seen the looks on the kids’ faces when that big alligator popped up!  This book is hilarious, and I got multiple requests to read it again!





Flannelboard: My Froggy Valentine, by Matt Novak.  I only did this at my daycare visit, because I already did it for pre-k for Valentine’s Day.  The Daycare group loved it every bit as much as the other groups did.  I even got applause! 🙂






Jump! by Scott M. Fischer.  The concept of this story is pretty simple–the bug sleeps until he sees a frog and then he JUMPS!  The frog sleeps until he sees a cat and then he JUMPS!  I had the groups stand up and jump when the story said to, and boy, did they love that!  It was a little chaotic, but very FUN.  The only complaint I have about the story is that it is sort of anti-climactic.  We jumped a bunch of times and then the last two spreads don’t really have any words on them.  I ended by saying “let’s jump one last time on the count of three–1, 2, 3 JUMP!”  They seemed pretty satisfied with that.





With the daycare group, I opened with “We hit our knees together” and “This is Big, Big, Big”, then closed with “My hands say thank you,” like we always do.








Pre-K visit–Fruit


At my visit last week, I learned that the pre-k classes were going to a strawberry patch for a field trip.  I thought that this week, I would use the storytime to help them tell me about it.

Apple Countdown, by Joan Holub, Illustrated by Jan Smith.  Even though it’s about apples instead of strawberries, this turned out to be the perfect book to help lead the kids in telling me about their field trip in an orderly way.  I introduced this book by saying that, even though it’s about apples and not strawberries, we could read it and compare their trip to the trip taken by the kids in the book.  The book is ostensibly a countdown book, but I think it might have been stronger as just a plain old field trip book.  It covered things like being excited about the field trip (“were you guys as excited as Jose?”), wearing nametags, riding a bus (“did you get to ride a bus?”), and having the teacher explain what they might see.  The countdown device got a little tortured toward the end ” ‘Three pies for us!’ says Russ.  ‘How many slices are there?’ asks Claire.  ‘Two times six, plus eight,’ says Kate.”  Uh–what?  Still, it’s a nice book, and I’m really glad I found it.


The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, by Audrey and Don Wood.  Mouse has found a beautiful, red, ripe strawberry that he wants to pick.  But what if the BIG HUNGRY BEAR tracks down the strawberry?  It seems that no matter how hard Mouse tries, he will never be able to hide his beautiful strawberry from that greedy bear.  Almost every group of kids started pointing and talking excitedly as soon as I pulled this book out.  Most of them had read it before, and they were crazy about it!  It was so fun to read, and I will definitely be using it again and again in the future.





Flannel: 5 little strawberries.  This idea (like so many others!) came from Mel’s Desk (she also generously shared a template for the strawberries there).  I used yellow puffy paint for the seeds instead of sewing them on.  I also altered the words to the rhyme to say “Mouse came and ate one” instead of “Bear came and ate one” so that I could use my mouse puppet to take them off the board and “eat” them.  The kids really liked this flannelboard, and I did too!  I also used the different shapes and sizes of the strawberries to ask them about the strawberries they picked (“were they all the same, or were they different shapes and sizes?”)





Lunch, by Denise Fleming.  While this book doesn’t have any strawberries in it, it does have a hungry mouse, which made it tie in nicely with the previous book and flannel.  The story is pretty simple–Mouse is so hungry that he eats through a variety of fruits and vegetables.  What makes the book so interesting is the beautiful illustrations and the way they are structured on the page.  In the right-hand corner, there is part of a fruit or vegetable, and the words above it suggest what it might be–this invites the children to guess what is coming.  It mostly worked except for the first one (turnip) so I just read that one, then pointed to the others and gave them time to guess.  They had a lot of fun with it!




We ended with allowing them to feed strawberries to Mouse.  (For a few classes, I told them that Mouse was scared of the word “Bear” but they got a little carried away with yelling “Bear!”, so I eventually stopped doing that—don’t tell anyone….hehehe)