Tag Archives: storytime

Ready, Set, Read!–1, 2, 3!


Bubble machine (sing Hello Bubbles and One Little Two Little Three Little Bubbles)

Opening song: Hands are Clapping (to the tune of Skip to My Lou) Hands are clapping, clap clap clap, hands are clapping, clap clap clap, hands are clapping, clap clap clap, clap your hands my darlings.  (feet are stomping, bodies are wiggling)–I think this one was in this year’s early literacy summer reading manual

Opening game: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (sing 3 times–first time slow, second time a little faster, third time “super sonic speed”)

photo(11)Book: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean (E CATS LITW)








photo(15)Flannelboard Activity: My groovy (red) buttons.  I printed these buttons onto different colored paper, laminated them, and put a bit of velcro on the back.  I handed these out to the kids and instructed them to come up with their button when I called that color.  Then I said “My buttons, my buttons, my groovy (red) buttons.”  The kids with red buttons came up and put them on the flannelboard.  Then we counted how many red buttons we had.  We did this for each color.  Then we went back and counted the total number of buttons.







photo(6)Song: Bubble Bubble Pop.  I made these cards and we sang the song demonstrated adorably (as always) by the Jbrary girls here.








photo(12)Book: One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Jane Cabrera (E COUNTING CABR)








photo(10)Book: Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd (E COLORS DODD)









Parachute activity: 3 little monkeys jumping on the bed

Parachute activity: Zoom! Zoom! Zoom! We’re Going to the Moon!

For both of these we put my three monkey puppets on the parachute and sang/recited the rhymes.  Three Little Monkeys got a little out of hand (they all fell off and some bumped their heads prematurely) so we had to put some of them back on.  It wasn’t perfect, but boy, did we have fun!  This is something I definitely want to incorporate more in my future storytimes.



photo(14)Closing game: animal action cube–we toss this at the end of storytime and imitate an animal.  This has really been fun!








Bubble machine and playtime

Craft and activity: bingo markers and teddy bear counter sorting

photo(9) photo(7)





Oceans storytimes


Wow!  I can’t believe summer is here again!  For my final storytimes of the spring term, I wanted to choose a science-related theme that allowed me to start talking about our Fizz Boom READ summer reading program.  I decided that the ocean was perfect!  I used some combination of these books, songs, and activities at both of my preschool storytimes, my pre-k outreach storytime, and my Book Buddies storytime for children of all ages and abilities.

commotion in the ocean Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andrae and David Wojtowycz (E OCEAN ANDR).










pout pout fishThe Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen. (E FISH DIES)  For some reason I had never read or used this awesome book before.  This is a fantastic read-aloud that is now on my list of faves!  Pre-K especially had a great time saying “Blub Bluub BLUUUUUUUUUB” with me.









ten little fishTen Little Fish by Audrey Wood and Bruce Wood.  (E COUNTING WOOD)  Counting concept book that counts backward from ten and then up again.  I love this book and used it for all three groups.  The rhyming text makes it easy to predict which number is coming next: “Ten little fish, swimming in a line.  One dives down, and now there are…”








rub a dub subRub a Dub Sub, by Linda Ashman and Jeff Mack. (E OCEAN ASHM) Again, rhyming text is so helpful for phonological awareness.  There are also some uncommon animal names that are great for vocabulary building, such as marlin, wrasse, and eel.  The illustrations are so cute and colorful.  (I *just* realized that is the same Jeff Mack who wrote and illustrated my beloved “Good News Bad News” and “Ah Ha!”  The guy is a genius!)








Song: There’s a shark

Song: Once I caught a fish alive

paper plate fishCraft: paper plate fish.  I found many versions of this on Pinterest.  You cut a wedge out of the paper plate and staple or glue it on to the side as a tail.  We decorated ours with dot markers and glued on pieces of aluminum foil and a wiggly eye.






ocean pupptsPretend play with ocean puppets.  The kids had a great time with this!










Activities: I got both of the following activities from the awesome Prekinders.

fish bingoOcean bingo–the template is Prekinders (see link above).  I randomly wrote in letters and put letters on scraps of paper in a container.  The kids each chose a card and a dot marker.









fishing activityfish activity closeupFishing for numbers.  Again, directions for this activity can be found on Prekinders.  The rod is a wooden dowel with yarn and a magnet attached.  The fish each have a paper clip on them.  I like the versatility of this activity–older kids added the dots on the fish together and younger kids just counted the dots.








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!








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).


Storytime and Crafternoons start THIS WEEK at Redbone Library!


Starting this week, Ms. Joy will be offering a preschool storytime and school-age crafts at the Redbone Library!

Preschool Storytime (ages 2-5) will be on Monday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. at the Redbone Library.

Crafternoons will begin after school (starting at 3:30 p.m.) on Thursday afternoons.  The Redbone LEGO Club will meet on the third Thursday of each month (September 20, October 18, and November 15).

These events are sponsored by the Lee County Library and are free and open to the public.  For more information, call 903-8871.

Coming June 1–BRAND NEW Rubber Ducky Club!


The not-so-great news:  This Monday is our last Baby Storytime of the season!  😦

The GREAT news: Registration for your brand new Rubber Ducky Club begins on June 1!  Why should young children be left out of the fun and excitement of summer reading?  They shouldn’t!  The Rubber Ducky Club is a summer reading program designed specially for children ages 0 to 36 months, and it focuses on early literacy skills that have been connected to future success in school.

How it works:  When you register, you will receive a Rubber Ducky Club packet.  This packet includes an early literacy activity log for June and one for July.  Complete all six early literacy activities on the June log during the month of June, then turn in the log at the library for a rubber ducky (while supplies last).  Complete all six early literacy activities on the July log (for a total of twelve completed activities).  Turn in the July log at the library by July 13 for your very own book (while supplies last).  Books will be awarded at our last meeting, the Indoor Campout, on July 16.

Registration:  Required, begins Friday, June 1.

Events:  Storytime and playtime for Rubber Ducky Club members at 10:00 a.m. at the Leesburg Library on the following dates:  June 4, June 11, June 25, July 9, and July 16.

Sponsored by the Lee County Library.  Free and open to the public.

F/M/I call (229)759-2369


HeadStart visit–I Can’t Sleep!


Last Thursday was my last storytime for HeadStart.  😦  I have been seen them once a month at their school and once a month at the library since February, so I will really miss them!  I decided to use our last storytime to tell them about our summer reading program, Dream Big–READ!

Of course, my troublesome bear puppet Grizz had to make an appearance:

Grizz was too excited about summer reading to sleep, so I decided to do an “I Can’t Sleep!” storytime!









I did two of the same books I used for our Teddy Bear Sleepover in March: Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems and Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein.  In this post, I want to note two things that I did differently.

First, since this group was all younger kids (ages 3-5), we sang Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed using my monkey glove puppet.  As suggested by Hi Miss Julie! I ended with kissing the monkeys’ boo-boos, covering them with a blanket, and we sang them to sleep with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  This is a fantastic idea, and the kids loved it!






I also read Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson.  I prepared by setting out a purple crayon and taping a large white sheet of paper on the board.  Near the beginning of the story, Harold draws a moon, so I drew a moon.  Harold draws many other things throughout the story, but I decided not to draw them for simplicity’s sake.  I just drew the moon at the beginning and read the rest of the book up until this point: “Then, suddenly, Harold remembered.  He remembered where his bedroom window was, when there was a moon.  It was always right around the moon.” (draw window and curtains around the moon).  It was very effective to do it this way, and it jazzed up the story a little bit.




I ended with telling them about some of the things we have coming up for summer reading and distributing stickers and coloring sheets to the kids, and handing the teachers a stack of packets to send home for parents.

National Library Week–Pre-K storytime


As I noted yesterday, National Library Week is April 8-14.  The purpose of National Library Week, first sponsored in 1958, is to celebrate the contributions that libraries and library workers make to their communities each day.  It is also a time for people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the vast array of materials and services that their local library has to offer.

Stella Louella’s Runaway Book, by Lisa Campbell Ernst.  Stella Louella’s library book has completely disappeared!  To make matters worse, it is due back at the library!  Stella, with the help of most of the neighborhood, frantically searches for her book to avoid disappointing her much-loved librarian, Mrs. Graham.  Each person Stella encounters has read and enjoyed the book, but has passed it on to someone else by the time Stella reaches them.  This book is LONG.  In fact, I considered shortening it and telling it with flannelboard pieces.  But I loved it and my pre-k kids are almost kindergarteners, so I figured I’d try it.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they all sat through it!  I think it helped a lot that there is an element of mystery to it (I told them ahead of time that I wanted them to guess what book Stella was reading by listening to what the different people liked about it).  This is a very fun (if challenging) book to read aloud, and I recommend it for children ages 4-8.


Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don’t), by Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley.  This is a funny book about what happens when an enthusiastic children’s librarian and a reluctant reader meet.  The main character insists that she does not like reading and that she cannot understand what Miss Brooks is so excited about at circle time.  Miss Brooks, however, is undaunted, firm in the belief that every reader has her book.





The Incredible Book Eating Boy, by Oliver Jeffers.  “Henry loved books.  But not like you and I love books, no.  Not quite…Henry loved to EAT books.”  The first lines of this book say it all.  As crazy as it sounds, Henry eats books and gets smarter as a result!  Eager to become “the smartest person on Earth,” Henry starts eating three or four books at a time.  Eventually, however, the books start to disagree with him, and all of their contents become mixed up.  When Henry finally stops eating his books, he learns that he loves reading them!  This is such a funny book, and it is just perfect for this age group.  The best part, however….




Is the bite mark at the end of the book!  I told the kids that I didn’t think Henry did it.  The culprit must have been Mr. Alligator!  Because if there is anything he loves more than alligator soup, it has to be books!  We chastised Mr. Alligator (didn’t you learn anything from Henry?  We read books, we don’t eat them!)  Luckily, the kids are ever reliable in their supply of imaginary alligator soup…


Preschool and Pre-K Storytime–Leprechauns and Rainbows


In honor of upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to bring Mr. Alligator with me to Pre-K.  He donned his leprechaun hat for the occasion.  I did essentially the same storytime for preschool and pre-k, but the preschool one was a little longer.  I wasn’t able to find a read aloud-able St. Patrick’s Day or leprechaun book that we actually had in the library, so thank goodness for my Flannel Friday friends!

I started out by asking the kids if they noticed anything different about Mr. Alligator.  Of course, they pointed out his hat, and most of them were able to identify it as a leprechaun hat.  A few even related leprechauns to St. Patrick’s Day.  I told them that we would talk a little bit about leprechauns, as well as rainbows.  “Why would we talk about rainbows near St. Patrick’s Day?  That’s right!  Because leprechauns are said to hide their gold at the end of a rainbow!”

First up on the thank-you-for-saving-my-St. Patrick’s Day-storytime list is Storytime ABCs, where I found a brilliant St. Patrick’s Day version of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  My original intention for the storytime was to talk about lucky charms (hehe–not the cereal!) so that’s why I substituted the yellow horseshoe for the yellow star and the green four leaf clover for the green leaf.  The designs I just got by doing an images search on Google (ex. “ladybug coloring page”).  For more info on the flannelboard and how to tell the story, check out Storytime ABCs.  Thanks again!

I Am a Rainbow, by Dolly Parton.  Building on the familiar concept of assigning colors to feelings, Dolly Parton extends the metaphor to make us all rainbows.  This book definitely has an important message that is ideal for preschoolers: “It’s not always up to you, the way that you feel.  But how you act IS a different deal.”  I like the idea of embracing the complete range of human emotions and not being ashamed of them, yet empowering children that they can choose how they act–i.e., just because you feel mad doesn’t mean that you have to strike out at someone.  This book didn’t completely knock my socks off, but it fit well in the theme and had a good message.

Elmer and the Rainbow, by David McKee.  Okay, so the Pre-K kids LOVE Elmer.  But really, who doesn’t?  Anyway, this book was perfect for my rainbow theme.  Before we started this book I asked the kids how many had seen a real life rainbow.  Then I asked them when rainbows happen.  Most of them said after a rain, so then we talked about how special it is to see a rainbow, since you don’t see one after every rain.

Oh, no!  One day, after a rainstorm, Elmer looks up to see a colorless rainbow!  He sets out to find the end of it, determined to give the rainbow his colors.  But even if he does find the end of the rainbow, what will happen to Elmer when he gives away his colors?  Again, this book has a really sweet message.  When Elmer gives his colors to the rainbow, he and his friends discover that some things come in endless supply.

Another thanks-for-saving-my-St. Patrick’s Day-storytime shout out has to go to In the Children’s Room for this beautiful rainbow flannelboard idea and original poem.  My set is pictured to the left, but to see the original and find the poem, stop by In the Children’s Room.

I did this a little differently with the different groups.  Since I have a smaller group for my preschool storytime, I handed out my colored scarves before we started this rhyme.  Then, as I called out each color, the child with that color scarf stood up.  Then we waved the scarves to Living in a Rainbow, track 5 on Jump and Jive with Hi-5.

In my larger, pre-k groups, I had them stand up if they were wearing the color that I called out.  This worked surprisingly well, although some kids weren’t wearing any colors in the rainbow (pink, brown, black).  I told them ahead of time that if we got to purple and they hadn’t stood up yet, to go ahead and stand up when I got to purple.

With the pre-k groups, we ended by asking if anyone had some extra-special rainbow alligator soup for Mr. Alligator.  Of course almost all of them did.  The just can’t get enough of that alligator! 🙂

Hooper Humperdink…? NOT HIM!










New version:  Illustrated by Scott Nash (2006) 









Old version:  Illustrated by Charles E. Martin (1976)

Okay, I just rediscovered my love for this book.  It’s funny, I had completely forgotten about it until I started looking for titles to read for storytimes during the week before Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2.  As soon as I saw the title, I remembered it, even though the copy that my library has is illustrated by a different person.  As I began flipping through the pages, exact phrases came back to me like old friends.  I remember a particular fondness for “I’ll have to order more ice cream!  I’ll need about ten tons, I think.  But NONE for Hooper Humperdink!”  Ten tons of ice cream?  How that must have captured my imagination as a child!

It’s funny how reading the same book during different phases of your life can change your interpretation of it.  As a child, I remember loving this story.  In fact, I think it was one of my favorites.  Now, of course, I feel sorry for Hooper (for those who aren’t aware, the entire book is about the speaker throwing a party and inviting friends from every letter of the alphabet, but will not invite Hooper because of some inexplicable issue he/she has with him).  True, at the very end, the speaker grudgingly decides to invite Hooper.  I’m tempted to share this one for storytime because of my fond memories, but I have to wonder if the speaker’s modest change of heart at the end is enough to get the message across that excluding people isn’t nice?  I just don’t know.  (Now that I think of it, though, children often recognize bad behavior of characters in books and are eager to point it out and correct it.  Maybe we can discuss how it wasn’t nice to want to exclude Hooper for no good reason, but that it was good the speaker finally did the right thing.)

So, we all know “Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.”  Out of curiousity, what is your favorite “out of the way” Dr. Seuss book?

Also, does anyone have suggestions for Dr. Seuss activities, such as crafts, songs, and/or flannelboards?