Preschool Storytime: Chickens

Even beyond all the farm books, there are lots of great picture books featuring silly chicken characters. And I had fun finding lots of great rhymes and songs to go along! We did do “soup” as a theme last week – I did not call attention to the fact that many of us associate chickens with soup, though!

NOTE: I’ve realized that the tunes “Do Your Ears Hang Low” and “Skip to My Lou” are rooted in racism and can be harmful. I’ll no longer be using “Shake, Shake, Shake” during storytime, as it uses the “Do Your Ears” tune. There are lots of great shaker egg songs that can be used instead. Thankfully, “I Know a Chicken” is actually a Laurie Berkner song, and actually uses a completely different tune (and I was just oblivious!) Use that instead!

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Early Literacy Tip: Talking about words that rhyme helps children become more aware of the smaller sounds in words, (which is the early literacy skill “phonological awareness”). Pick a word (like “sleep”) and see if your children can think of a rhyming word. If that is too hard, then see if your children can recognize a rhyming word, which is easier—does “sleep” rhyme with “cat?” Does “sleep” rhyme with “peep?”

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Intro: Can you guess what animal we’ll talk about today? It’s a funny animal that is a bird – lays eggs – eats worms and bugs and corn – wakes everyone up in the morning with a cock-a-doodle-doo – It’s a chicken!

Rhyme with Flannel: All Around the Barnyard
All around the barnyard
The animals are fast asleep
Sleeping cows and horses
Sleeping pigs and sheep
Here comes the cocky rooster
To sound his daily alarm
“Cock-a-doodle-doo!”
To wake the sleepy farm! (“wake” all the animals)
Credit: Storytime Katie, flannel from Oriental Trading

Flannel with barn, tree, rooster, hen, chick, and horse, cow, pig and sheep laying on their sides.

Here’s a story about a chicken who doesn’t lay her eggs where she’s supposed to. I decided to start with this book because it has great actual photographs of chickens on a farm, including different varieties.
Read: Tillie Lays an Egg by Terry Golson & Ben Fink

Shaker Egg Song: I Know a Chicken
(tune of Skip to my Lou) **SEE NOTE ABOVE**
Oh, I know a chicken and she laid an egg
Oh, I know a chicken and she laid an egg
Oh my goodness, it’s a shaky egg!
Shake your eggs like this! Fast!
Repeat, changing the final action: slow, in a circle, etc.
Credit: Laurie Berkner Band, via Storytime Katie

**SEE NOTE ABOVE**
Shaker Egg Song: Shake, Shake, Shake
(tune of Do Your Ears Hang Low?)
Credit: Storytimes and More via Yogibrarian

Fingerplay with Flannel: Ten Fluffy Chicks
Five eggs and five eggs, (show hand with five fingers, then the other)
And that makes ten (put hands together)
Sitting on top is mother hen (one hand folds over other)
Cackle, cackle, cackle, (clap, clap, clap!)
And what do I see? (hands out, questioning)
Ten fluffy chicks as yellow as can be (ten fingers up again)
Credit: Mel’s Desk, flannel printout from Sunflower Storytime

Read: Bedtime for Chickies by Janee Trasler

I loved learning this song for Hispanic Heritage Month and am happy to use it for other themes! I start by explaining what’s happening in the song: In English, we interpret the sounds of chicks as “peep” or “cheep,” but in Spanish we say “pío.” And these chicks wander away from their mother and get hungry and cold. But the mother hen is a good mama, so she finds food for them, corn and wheat, and gathers them under her wings to get warm and go to sleep. But the next day, the silly chicks do it all over again! I left the flannel up with the yellow chicks showing.
Song: Los pollitos dicen (The Chicks Say…)
Los pollitos dicen, pío, pío, pío
cuando tienen hambre, cuando tienen frío (hambre=rub belly, frío=rub shoulders)
La gallina busca, el maíz y el trigo
les da la comida, y les presta abrigo
Bajo sus dos alas, acurrucaditos,
duermen los pollitos hasta el otro día (duermen=lay head on hands, sleepy)
Pío, pío, pío dicen los pollitos
cuando tienen hambre, cuando tienen frío
Credit: traditional, watch: https://youtu.be/a7zUbmjUtDM

Can be done with fingers or toes (à la “This Little Piggie”), but it’s easier to do on fingers in storytime!
Fingerplay: This Little Chick
(add one finger at a time, ending with thumb OR pinky)
This little chick got into the barn
This little chick ate all the corn
This little chick said he wasn’t well
This little chick said he’d go tell
But this little chick said “Peep, peep, peep” (wiggle last finger)
“Please be quiet, I’m trying to sleep!”
Credit: Handley Regional Library System (CO)

I held up my chick, hen, and rooster flannel pieces in the video, but in person, I’d encourage kids to do a different motion for each verse.
Action Song: The Chickens in the Coop
(tune of Wheels on the Bus)
The chicks in the coop go peep, peep, peep
Peep, peep, peep, peep, peep, peep
The chicks in the coop go peep, peep, peep, all day long!

Additional verses:
The hens in the coop go bok, bok, bok…
The roosters in the coop go cock-a-doodle-doo…
Credit: Storytime Hooligans

Read: Chicken Story Time by Sandy Asher & Mark Fearing

Action Song: If You’re a Chicken and You Know It
(tune of: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
If you’re a chicken and you know it, flap your wings (flap, flap)
If you’re a chicken and you know it, flap your wings (flap, flap)
If you’re a chicken and you know it, and you really want to show it,
If you’re a chicken and you know it, flap your wings (flap, flap)

Additional verses:
Search for worms: scritch scratch (scratch ground with foot)
Eat some corn: peck peck (move head in pecking motion)
Cluck hello: bok bok (nice and loud!)
Get in your nest: settle settle (wiggle bottom and get low)
Credit: adapted from Jen in the Library

Craft: Chicken Puppet
Crafty Pammy has made this simple but adorable chicken puppet based on our last book, Chicken Story Time. To give it my own flavor, I suggested families look at different breeds/varieties of chicken and choose one to decorate their puppet like. I chose to make mine a Brahma! I was told by one mom that this was her kid’s favorite craft, and that he continues to play with his chicken puppet weeks later!

Cardstock white chicken puppet on a jumbo craft stick, decorated with black feathers on the back of the neck and tail, red comb and waddle, yellow beak, and big black and white eyes.

I also booktalked these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Chickens to the Rescue
by John Himmelman
Chicken Wants a Nap
by Tracy Marchini & Monique Felix
Acoustic Rooster & His Barnyard Band
by Kwame Alexander & Tim Bowers

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 3/2/21.

Storytime Handout:

Storytime handout with suggested book list and rhyme and song lyrics.

Preschool Storytime: Soup

In the colder months, I just love a hot bowl of soup. This session was pushed back one week due to a snow day closure, so I was extra prepared… One thing that was a challenge, though, is that so many of the songs and rhymes are presenting the same info. How to make soup, the steps involved, the motions of stirring and adding to a pot. I did my best to mix it up but it still felt a little repetitive to me as I was presenting. Perhaps I should have just cut a couple activities and made it shorter overall.

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Early Literacy Tip: Some songs tell a story or have a logical sequence, like “Make the Soup.” Children learn what comes next. Recounting an event using a song helps them understand how narrative works and helps break down tasks step by step. Try adapting this to another task, like getting dressed or getting ready for bed.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Discussion: When it’s cold outside, a hot bowl of soup sounds really tasty! It helps to warm you up, and there are so many kinds. What kinds of soup can you think of?

Action Rhyme: Stir the Soup
Stir the soup in the pot,
Oh, boy, it’s really hot
Stir it fast, really fast
Stir it really, really slow
Stir it high, stir it low
It’s still hot, let’s blow
Stir it fast like you should.
I think it’s done! Mmmmmmmm! It’s good!
Credit: Johnson County (KS) Library

Have you ever helped make soup from scratch? Let’s see what it takes. I also provided a scan of the soup recipe from the back of this book in my take-home packets.
Read: Soup Day by Melissa Iwai

Action Song: Make the Soup
(tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush)
Come and help me make the soup
make the soup, make the soup
Come and help me make the soup
One cold and frosty evening

Additional verses:
First you put the pot on the stove …
Then you pour the water in …
This is the way we add some veggies …
This is the way we stir the pot …
Now it’s time to take a sip …
Credit: Johnson County (KS) Library

Action Song: The Soup is Boiling Up
(tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
The soup is boiling up (hands corkscrew up)
The soup is boiling up
Stir it slow, around we go (stir)
The soup is boiling up
Sub kinds of soup: chili, daal, ramen, noodles, etc.
Credit: Jbrary

Read: Soup for One by Ethan Long

You can do this one as a fingerplay or by adding green pompoms to a play pot. When the peas “jump” out of the pot, they’ll go everywhere and cause some giggles. If you’re doing this one in person, you can give each child a “pea” and count up as many peas/kiddos as you have.
Fingerplay: Pea Soup
(begin with five fingers up)
One little pea jumped into the pot,
And waited for the soup to get hot (fold one finger down)

(count down)
Finally, the soup got so very, very hot,
That all the little peas jumped out of the pot!
(open hand jumps)
Credit: Librarian is on the Loose blog

Screenshot from storytime video, showing Ms. Emily holding a blue and orange play kitchen soup pot in one hand and a small green pompom in the other.
Pea Soup

Action Song: I Feel Crazy, So I Jump in the Soup
I feel crazy so I jump in the soup
I feel crazy so I jump in the soup
I feel crazy so I jump in the soup
I jump jump jump in the soup

Additional verses:

…swim…gallop…splash…sit…
Credit: Laurie Berkner, from the album “Victor Vito”

Read: Is That Wise, Pig? by Jan Thomas

Who likes alphabet soup? It’s fun to see if you can spell words or just find certain letters. Let’s sing our ABCs!
Song: ABCs

Ukulele Song: Noodles in My Soup
(tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It)
There are noodles, noodles, noodles in my soup
There are noodles, noodles, noodles in my soup
There are oodles, oodles, oodles
Of the most delicious noodles
There are noodles, noodles, noodles in my soup
(repeat with other soup ingredients, but keep 3rd & 4th lines)
Credit: Librarian is on the Loose blog

Craft: Alphabet Soup
Construction paper soup bowl! This was pretty easy – I asked a volunteer to cut out circles and spoons, and provided a generous snack-sized bag of Alpha-bits cereal to glue down and snack on. (I provided a copy of the nutrition facts and ingredient list from the box so caregivers knew exactly what was in the cereal.) Kids were encouraged to draw the soup ingredients that they like in addition to adding the cereal.
Warning! Alpha-bits cereal is NOT made the way it used to be, it seems. All of my pieces were very puffy and misshapen, and I could only identify a couple of actual letters – maybe an A, I, D, L, maybe a weird E or F. It was very disappointing. You may have better luck with actual dry alphabet noodles (though that doesn’t have the added benefit of being a snack on the side).

Craft of a bowl of soup with an orange placemat, blue bowl, light brown soup, and gray spoon.  The soup has colored ingredients like celery, mushrooms, peas, and carrots, and has alpha-bits cereal glued to it.  Caption says "Ms Emily's Alphabet Soup!"

I also booktalked these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Every Color Soup
by Jorey Hurley
Perfect Soup
by Lisa Moser & Ben Mantle
A Soup Opera
by Jim Gill & David Moose

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 2/23/21.

Storytime Handout:

Handout including suggested books, rhyme and song lyrics.

Preschool Storytime: On-the-Fly Snow Day Edition!

We had a snow day back in February on my usual storytime Tuesday. I debated just cancelling, but since I have the ability and the setup for virtual storytimes at home from when we were in lockdown, I decided to do a short improvised version. I looked through my personal book collection for something that would be seasonally appropriate and decided to go with the first chapter of Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel, all about a snowstorm! A couple more songs and a rhyme about sledding, and I was set. I had about an hour and a half between when I decided to do it and air time, but that turned out to be just perfect. I think it was one of my highest viewed (during the live), too!

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Fingerplay: Here’s a Hill
Here’s a hill (tilt one arm like a hill)
And here’s a hill (tilt other arm like a hill)
All covered with snow (fingers wiggle down)
I’ll put on my coat (mime)
And jump on my sled (jump in seat)
And ZOOM, down the hill I will go! (clap hands, slide past each other)
Credit: The Holiday Zone via Storytime Katie

Read: Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel excerpt: Chapter 1 – The Guest

Song: Hoot, Hoot Went the Little Brown Owl
Hoot, hoot went the little brown owl one day (cup hands around mouth)
Hoot, hoot went the little brown owl
Hoot, hoot went the little brown owl one day
And they all went hoot, hoot, hoot!

But… We know owls go (clap) lah-di-dah-di-dah! (wiggle arms up and down)
(Clap) lah-di-dah-di-dah, (clap) lah-di-dah-di-dah!
We know owls go (clap) lah-di-dah-di-dah!
They don’t go hoot, hoot, hoot!

Additional verse:
Jump, jump went the little red squirrel one day (jump!)
We know squirrels go (clap) rub-a-dub-a-dub (running arms)
Credit: Jbrary

You know what sounds good on a cold day like today? A hot bowl of soup! What kind of soup do you like?
Ukulele Song: Noodles in My Soup
(tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
There are noodles, noodles, noodles in my soup
There are noodles, noodles, noodles in my soup
There are oodles, oodles, oodles
Of the most delicious noodles
There are noodles, noodles, noodles in my soup
repeat and sub other foods like peas, carrots, chicken, etc. (keep lines 3 & 4 the same)
Credit: The Librarian Is on The Loose

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

That’s it! No craft, no handout. Short and sweet.

This storytime was presented virtually on 2/16/21.

Preschool Storytime: Hugs

In the week before Valentine’s Day, I wanted to do something with the concept of love, but not tie it to the holiday itself. Hugs seemed like a good option. We talked about the different ways to show love and affection, but I also thought it was important to spend a little time talking about consent and the understanding that not everyone will welcome a hug. Thankfully, there have been a few children’s books that hit on this concept recently, so I was happy to feature two of these.

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Social/Emotional Learning Tip: Help your child understand that their bodies are their own and that they have the right to make decisions about their body. This includes letting your child decide if they would like to offer or receive a hug or kiss family members or friends rather than making them. Learn more about discussing consent with young children here: https://bit.ly/3cH6IIk

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Discussion: What does it mean to love someone? Do you have people in your life that you love? What do you do to show them you love them? I like hugs. How many of you like hugs?

With any rhyme that specifies left and right, I try to remember to let everyone know they can mirror me (so I do the opposite) and that it’s a hard thing to learn so parents can help their kiddos until they get the hang of their left and right.
Action Rhyme: Up and Down
Put your arms up, Put your arms down
Put them in the middle, Move them all around
One arm to the left, One arm to the right
Give yourself a hug, And hold on tight!
Credit: Mansfield/Richland County (OH) Public Library

Read: Kitty’s Cuddles by Jane Cabrera

The version I saw was “Give Mom a Hug” but I prefer to generalize for those kids who have different primary caregivers.
Action Rhyme: Give a Hug
Roar like a lion, growl like a bear
Give a hug, show you care
Hop like a bunny, flap like a bird
Quiet as a mouse now, don’t say a word
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime via Storytime Katie

Again with consent – for any bounce I offer options that kids can be bounced in laps, bounce themselves on a couch, jump, or just watch, and that tickling should only be if the child likes it.
Bounce: Bounce, Tickle, Hug
I bounce you here, I bounce you there
I bounce you, bounce you everywhere
I tickle you here, I tickle you there
I tickle you, tickle you everywhere
I hug you here, I hug you there
I hug you, hug you everywhere
Credit: Mansfield/Richland County (OH) Public Library

Bounce: Up, Up, Up
Up, up, up, in the sky like this (lift child)
Down, down, down, for a great big kiss (lower and kiss)
Up like this (lift), Down for a kiss (lower)
You’re my special baby! (hug)
(substitute your own nickname for your baby: “little pumpkin,” etc)
Credit: Mel’s Desk

Read: Hug Machine by Scott Campbell

Once again, emphasize that families can substitute any loved one for this. The “flannel” is a printout made from a Canva image I was able to customize in different colors.
Counting Rhyme with Flannel: Five Hugs
I have five little hugs that I want to give away
Who should I hug today?
I’ll hug…Mommy!
(count down using family or friends; for the last, parent hugs child)
Credit: adapted from Storytime Secrets

Five printed and laminated icons of hearts with arms embracing them in blue, purple, red, pink, and green.

Song with Stuffed Animal: Bear Song
(tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Hug, hug, hug your bear,
Squeeze him very tight
Hold him high, Help him fly,
Then hug with all your might!
Credit: Mansfield/Richland County (OH) Public Library

Action Rhyme: I Can Hug
I can hug, hug, hug,
I can hop, hop, hop,
I can kiss, kiss kiss,
I can stop, stop, stop.
I can nod my head yes,
And I can shake my head no,
I can bend my knees a little bit,
And I can sit down very slow!
Credit: Sunflower Storytime

Hugging can be great, but sometimes you don’t feel like it, or don’t feel comfortable with a hug. That’s okay. It’s always okay to say, “I don’t feel like a hug right now.” And your friends might feel that way, too, so it’s good to ask before giving hugs.
Read: Can I Give You a Squish? by Emily Neilson

Song: Skinnamarink
Skinnamarinky-dinky-dink, Skinnamarinky-doo
I love you!
Skinnamarinky-dinky-dink, Skinnamarinky-doo
I love you!

I love you in the morning, and in the afternoon
I love you in the evening, underneath the moon

Skinnamarinky-dinky-dink, Skinnamarinky-doo
I love you!
Credit: traditional, motions from Jbrary

Craft: Mail-A-Hug
This seemed like a perfect craft for our pandemic reality, so props to Sunflower Storytime for the idea and printable! In my take-home bags, I included a long length of curling ribbon and squares of construction paper that parents could use to personalize the hand prints and the arm spans of their kiddos, as well as a few random stickers. (This craft has been stuck in between a bunch of papers for several weeks so the ribbon is squished!)

Craft showing red hand cutouts decorated with marker and stickers on one side "I [heart] you & miss you this much!" and a printout of Sunflower Storytime's poem on the other, connected by red curling ribbon.

I also booktalked these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
One More Hug
by Megan Alexander & Hiroe Nakata
Nobody Hugs a Cactus
by Carter Goodrich
Will Ladybug Hug?
by Hilary Leung

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 2/9/21.

Storytime Handout:

Handout including suggested books, rhyme and song lyrics.

Preschool Storytime: Knitting & Yarn

As I was planning for a “Warm and Cozy” theme in December, I noticed that there were quite a few books about knitting that came up in my searches. I love to knit and crochet and these books were pretty darn cute. So I set them aside and planned to do a theme just on knitting and yarn.

NOTE: I’ve realized that the rhyme “Baa Baa Black Sheep” has problematic associations with racism and can be harmful. I’ll no longer be using it during storytime.

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Early Literacy Tip: Lacing activities help children develop fine motor skills, hand/eye coordination, motor planning, visual perception, improved attention, patience, and perseverance. In addition, lacing helps children practice the precursor skills for shoe tying and writing.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Discussion: What is this I have? It’s some yarn, and I’m using these needles to knit. Knitting is a way to make yarn into clothes like sweaters, mittens, hats, scarves. Do you know where yarn comes from? Our first book is about how a knitted item is made, all the way back from the wool sheared from the sheep. Did you know that the oldest piece of knitting found was a sock from Egypt in the 11th century CE!

Read: Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep by Teri Sloat & Nadine Bernard Westcott

NOTE: Since this storytime I’ve learned that this rhyme has problematic associations with racism. I will no longer be using it. I think in the future I would use this felt set to discuss different colors of wool without using the rhyme.
Nursery Rhyme: Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Baa, baa black sheep have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full
One for the mister, One for the dame
And one for the little boy who lives down the lane

Baa baa ___ sheep have you any wool?
Yes, ma’am, yes ma’am, three needles full
One to mend a jumper, One to mend a frock
And one for the little girl, With holes in her socks

Baa baa ___ sheep have you any wool?
Yes, child, yes, child, three bags full
One for the kitten, One for the cats
And one for the guinea pigs to knit some woolly hats

Baa, baa naked sheep have you any wool?
No, friend, no friend, I’m cold right through
Baa, baa naked sheep, what can we do?
Knit a sweater for me and you!
Credit: traditional, final rhyme and flannel via Piper Loves the Library

Sheep flannel set.  Includes sheep with pink, green, red, dark gray, blue, and brown wool, plus a "naked" sheep and a green/pink/blue/orange striped sweater to add to the naked sheep.

I was pretty proud of myself for writing a new knitting verse!
Action Song: These Are My Glasses
These are my glasses, And this is my book
I put on my glasses, And open up the book
Now I read, read, read, And I look, look, look
I put down my glasses and…
WHOOP! Close up the book

These are my glasses, And this is my yarn
I put on my glasses And start to knit my yarn
Now I look, look, look, And I knit, knit, knit
I put down my glasses and…
WHOOP! It’s time to quit
Credit: Laurie Berkner, from the album Whaddaya Think of That?
(second verse by Ms. Emily)

Read: Cat Knit by Jacob Grant

This flannel was a labor of love. I am so pleased with how it turned out, even though it was a lot of work! Click the link for more on how I made it, plus a downloadable template.
Counting Rhyme: Ten Balls of Yarn
Ten balls of yarn, sitting in a bowl
One fell out and started to…. ROLL
It bounced on my foot and there it sits
How many balls are left to knit?
(Count down to one)
Credit: Canton Public Library (MI)

Flannel set for "Ten Balls of Yarn" Includes blue, white, purple, green, pink, brown, red, yellow, orange, and black.

Song: Click Clack Went the Knitting Needles
(tune of Mmm Ahh Went the Little Green Frog)
Click, clack went the knitting needles one day (pretend to knit)
Click, clack went the knitting needles
Click, clack went the knitting needles one day,
and they both went click clack click!

But… We know needles go (clap) la de la de la (wave arms)
(clap) la de la de la, (clap) la de la de la!
We know needles go (clap) la de la de la,
they don’t go click clack click!

Roll, roll went the big ball of yarn one day (roll arms)
We know yarn goes (clap) rub a dub a dub (running arms)
Credit: Canton Public Library (MI)

This was a song that my predecessor played every week in storytime, and it’s a favorite with many of our regulars. I stopped doing it every week, but sprinkled it in every so often. This is the first time I did it for a virtual program – it seemed so appropriate for a knitting theme!
Recorded Song: Tap Your Sticks
Credit: Hap Palmer, from the album Rhythms on Parade

I like to knit, but it took me some time to learn how. And I wasn’t very good at it at first! Just like the girl in our next book.
Read: A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards & G. Brian Karas

Action Rhyme: Mittens Up
Put your mittens UP, put your mittens DOWN
Hold your mittens together, and turn around!
Put your mittens UP, put your mittens DOWN
Put your mittens flat down on the ground.
Credit: One Little Librarian

With “movie magic” I added a knitted item to my ensemble for each verse. One benefit of pre-recorded storytimes! I didn’t do this song for my Facebook Live version since I ran out of time.
Ukulele Song: I Wish I Were a Fuzzy Wuzzy Blanket
(tune of the Oscar Mayer Jingle)
Oh I wish I were a fuzzy wuzzy blanket
That is what I’d truly like to be
‘Cause if I were a fuzzy wuzzy blanket
Everyone would snuggle up with me!

Additional verses:
…fuzzy wuzzy beanie …
…fuzzy wuzzy scarf …
…pair of fuzzy mittens …
Credit: Book Besotted Librarian Blog

Click here for a ukulele songsheet of this tune (words are for Pepperoni Pizza)

thumbnail of "I Wish I Were a Pepperoni Pizza" ukulele songsheet
screenshot from YouTube showing Ms. Emily wearing a knitted sweater, scarf, hat, and fingerless mittens, with a knitted blanket over one arm, with her ukulele, at the end of playing "I Wish I Were a Fuzzy Wuzzy Blanket"
ALL THE KNITS!

Craft: Y is for Yarn Lacing Card
Not exactly a craft this week, but a lacing activity. I asked a volunteer to pre-cut the Ys from craft foam, punched holes, and provided a length of yarn that had tape on both ends (imitating a shoelace). This correlated with our Early Literacy Tip for the week. Craft idea from The Lion is a Bookworm.

Photo of green foam letter "Y" laced with red yarn.

I also booktalked these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Extra Yarn
by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen
Leave Me Alone!
by Vera Brosgol
Knit Together
by Angela Dominguez

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 2/2/21.

Storytime Handout:

Handout with suggested books and rhyme/song lyrics

Preschool Storytime: Animals Eating Animals

So… someone on Storytime Underground mentioned they did an Animals Eating Animals theme and my mind started whirring! I loved it and tucked it away for a future idea. When I did a callout on the site a couple of months later in preparation for this session, I got lots of great ideas, but a few people who said “That’s a weird theme.” Which, sure, it is. BUT – if you look at the number of available books and songs and rhymes that tie in, it’s really not that weird. There’s definitely a basis in the natural world, though I went “silly” instead of “scientific.” And lots of kids seem to love stuff that is just a little taboo – underwear, snot, slime, bugs. So I went in full throttle and had a lot of fun goofing with Animals Eating Animals. I even got to wear my dinosaur dress, and used a TON of props, which I love.

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Early Literacy Tip: Preschool children have wonderful imaginations. Encourage pretend play and find ways to expand it so that children explore different situations and characters. You can enrich their play by following their lead, adding new words, offering “what if” situations, and incorporating writing and print into their play. This kind of play adds to their “sense of story”.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Discussion: Out in the wild, a lot of animals eat other animals to stay alive. This makes them carnivores, or meat-eaters, or omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. What about you? Are you a carnivore, omnivore, or even a herbivore (only eat plants – another word is vegetarian)? One thing I love is that there are a lot of really funny stories and songs about animals eating animals! How about turtles? They eat bugs and fish – here’s a rhyme about that:

Fingerplay: There Was a Little Turtle
There was a little turtle (make fist)
who lived in a box (cover fist with arm)
he swam in the puddles (fist wiggles like swimming)
he climbed on the rocks (fist climbs up opposite arm)
He snapped at a mosquito, he snapped at a flea (pinch with thumb and fingers)
He snapped at a minnow, he snapped at me
He caught that mosquito, He caught that flea (clap each time)
He caught that minnow
But he didn’t catch me! (waggle finger)
Credit: Jbrary

Read: Swallow the Leader by Danna Smith & Kevin Sherry

Flannel & Song: Slippery Fish
Slippery fish, slippery fish, sliding through the water,
Slippery fish, slippery fish, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!
Oh, no! It’s been eaten by an …

Jellyfish … floating in the water
Octopus … squiggling in the water
Tuna fish … flashing in the water
Great white shark … lurking in the water

Humongous whale, humongous whale, spouting in the water,
Humongous whale, humongous whale,
Gulp! … Gulp! … Gulp! … BURP! (Cover mouth)
Excuse me!
Credit: Jbrary (see motions there)

This is one of the first flannels I made – about 2 years ago now. I think I saw it on a video, took a screenshot, and based the design on that. But I went back to see if I could find either my printout or the original video and couldn’t find it. I do wish the whale was facing the other direction (I guess I could just put another eyeball on the back) and the sizes were increasingly big, but I make it work!

slippery fish flannel, including small green fish, pink jellyfish, gray octopus with pink suckers, white tuna with pink fins, a gray shark, and a blue whale.

I’m not sure if I do Baby Shark the same way the viral video does, but it’s the way I’ve always done it!
Action Song: Baby Shark
(motion shark jaws opening and closing throughout, motions getting bigger with larger relatives)
Baby shark, doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo (x3) Baby shark!

Baby (thumb and pointer) … Sister (whole hand)
Brother (both hands) … Grandma (both hands, fingers curled)
Momma (arms from elbows down) … Daddy (whole arms)

SHARK ATTACK!! AAAAAHHH!
Swim away (swim motion) doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo (x3)
Gotcha! (tickle)
Credit: traditional

Based on this post on Literary Commentary, I asked one of our volunteers to make me a George box to retell this classic story. She did an amazing job and this is the second time I’ve gotten to use this prop. It’s a lot of fun, and a good opportunity to show that books can be acted out!
Puppet Retelling: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

I love the jazzy tune of this song, and chose it over Five Green and Speckled Frogs, which is another option for this theme and my prop, which I fashioned after the instructions on the Kenton County Public Library’s page. I have an alligator puppet I considered using, but the logistics seemed just too much – holding the log in one hand and flipping the frogs with the alligator puppet on the other hand while singing is a little beyond my coordination.
Counting Song: Five Frogs, Sittin’ on a Log
Five frogs were hoppin’ on a log
One hopped off into the pond
Then a big alligator came a-swimmin’ along
He went, “Chomp! Mm-mm.” Now he’s gone. (Count down)
Credit: Anna Moo

prop for Five Frogs: consists of a paper towel tube covered by 5 strips.  one side of the strip depicts a green frog with spots sitting on a brown log.  When the strip is flipped to the bottom of the tube, it shows a light blue wave of water.

With a snake prop: the head sticks out from under your arm, and as you say “moa,” pull so the body is exposed.
Poem: Boa
Just when you think you know the boa
There’s moa, and moa, and moa, and moa!
Credit: King County Library System

Photo of plush snake made from a man's tie in browns with a hexagonal pattern and black toy safety eyes.

I’ve seen a lot of videos doing this with a prop – some kind of play tunnel that you leave collapsed at the floor then slowly bring up around your body. If I had one, I’d have used it! As it is, I found a snake plush in our basement so just held and moved that.
Song/Poem: Boa Constrictor
(your arm or your grownup can be the snake)
I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor, a boa constrictor, a boa constrictor.
I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor,
And I don’t like it– one bit.
Well, what do you know? It’s nibblin’ my toe!
Oh Gee! It’s up to my knee! Oh My! It’s up to my thigh!
Oh Fiddle! It’s up to my middle! Oh Heck! It’s up to my neck!
Oh Dread! It’s upmmmmmmmmmmffffffffff…
Credit: Shel Silverstein, from the book Where the Sidewalk Ends

I think this is the book that I first thought of when contemplating this theme! Here’s how I introduced it: “This next book has a lot of great rhythm! I love that the author talks about being visually impaired in his bio, so the way the book SOUNDS was very important to him.”
Read: One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom & Brendan Wenzel

Silly Story: Herman the Worm
I was sittin’ on my fencepost, chewing my bubblegum (chew, chew, chew, chew)
Playin’ with my yo-yo – wee-oo! wee-oo!
When along came Herman the worm
And he was this big (measure a small worm with fingers)
And I said: “Herman? What happened?”
“I ate my mother!”

(Herman gets bigger and bigger, eating more family members, then
goes back to being tiny)

…And I said: “Herman? What happened?”
“I burped!”
Credit: traditional, via Jbrary

Craft: Bark, George Story Retelling Activity
This was a printable that came straight from Making Learning Fun. I didn’t have time to pick up snack-sized bags, so I used sandwich size and just made sure the bottom was where George’s belly was. I had a volunteer precut the holes and I taped the plastic bag on the back so the kids just had to color and cut out their animals.

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Poor Little Guy
by Elanna Allen
The Wolf, the Duck, & the Mouse
by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen
I Saw Anaconda
by Jane Clarke & Emma Dodd

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 1/26/21.

Storytime Handout:

Sheet with book suggestions and rhyme/song lyrics

Preschool Storytime: Magic

gif of a man in a unicorn shirt, long curly hair, and a mustache waving his fingers and saying "magic."  The word magic appears at the bottom with a rainbow sparkle.

Magic shows and magic tricks are fun for all ages. I think I was inspired to do this storytime by seeing the book Hat Tricks and Jbrary’s “Little Bunny in a Hat” rhyme in the same week. I bought myself the Folkmanis Rabbit in a Hat puppet and away we went! I made a “magic wand” using a roll of black construction paper with white paper tips on each end, which worked just fine for what I needed in the Abra-cadabra and Hat Trick rhymes. I considered doing an actual magic trick but didn’t leave myself enough time – plus I wasn’t sure how well it would go on video. If I did this theme in person, I’d definitely want to do some magic!

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Early Education Tip: Counting songs are great ways to introduce children to consecutive numbers and counting. To mix it up, count up AND down, use your non-dominant hand for counting, and occasionally count from or to a number outside of 5 or 10, as we did today in “Six Magic Rabbits.”

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

I wanted this to be just a tad bit longer, so I added the two lines in the middle.
Fingerplay: Magic Finger
Magic finger in the air, Magic finger in my hair
Magic finger on my fist, Magic finger on my wrist
Magic finger on my shin, Magic finger on my chin
Magic finger on my hip, Magic finger on my lips (shhhh!)
Credit: adapted from YouthLiterature.com via Storytime Katie

Before reading, I encouraged the kids to watch the pictures carefully, then at the end asked if they thought Anton REALLY did do magic
Read: Anton Can Do Magic by Ole Könnecke

Rhyme Game: Abra-cadabra
(children act as the “spell” indicates)
Abra-cadabra, Alaka-zitty
When I say KAZAM you’ll all be kitties! KAZAM!
Abra-cadabra, Alaka-zoo
When I say KAZAM you’ll all be kangaroos! KAZAM!
Abra-cadabra, Alaka-zion
When I say KAZAM you’ll all be lions! KAZAM!
Abra-cadabra, Alaka-zow
When I say KAZAM you’ll all be cows! KAZAM!
Abra-cadabra, Alaka-zap
When I say KAZAM you’ll all take a nap! KAZAM!
Abra-cadabra, Alaka-zids
When I say KAPOW you’ll turn back to kids! KAPOW!
Credit: libraryfun.home.blog

Picture of a construction paper wand and a puppet of a white rabbit in a black top hat.

This one was a little tricky to stuff the items into the hat puppet and keep them all plus the rabbit hidden – it might work better with an actual hat than with the Folkmanis puppet.
Rhyme with Puppet: Hat Trick
Magic, magic, in my hat!
I’ll pull out a rabbit – (pull anything other than a rabbit)
Ahhhh! What is that?!
(repeat until ready for the rabbit)

Magic, magic, in my hat!
I’ll pull out a rabbit –
See! Look at that!
Credit: SLC Book Boy

I love Hattie the Rabbit so, so much.
Read: Hat Tricks by Satoshi Kitamura

Flannel Rhyme: Six Magic Rabbits
Six magic rabbits, each in a tall black hat
Along comes a magician who gives each one a pat
Then she waves her magic wand high above their ears
Abracadabra, poof! One rabbit disappears!
(Count down to one)

One magic rabbit, in a tall black hat
Along comes a magician who gives him a pat
Then she waves her magic wand high above his ears
Abracadabra, poof! The last rabbit disappears!
Credit: Libraryfun.home.blog

flannel of six identical black hats with six identical white rabbit heads on top as if appearing from the hats

Before this rhyme, I mentioned that knowing our left and right is a learned skill (and not an easy one!) so grownups can help, or they can mirror me.
Puppet Rhyme: Little Bunny in a Hat
Little bunny in a hat, Sitting so still (begin with bunny hidden)
Will she come out? Yes she will! (bunny pops out of hat)
She looks to the left (turn puppet left)
She looks to the right (turn puppet right)
She looks straight ahead (turn puppet to front)
And pops out of sight (hides in hat again)
Credit: Jbrary

Fingerplay: Bunnies Up!
(index and middle finger make bunny ears if you don’t have a puppet)
Bunnies up! Bunnies down!
Hold your bunny & turn around
Bunnies up! Bunnies down!
Put your bunny on the ground
Credit: One Little Librarian

I love the super-dramatic tone of this title. Be sure to read it in your best circus announcer voice!
Read: Max and the Won’t Go to Bed Show by Mark Sperring & Sarah Warburton

In this song, the bunny isn’t doing magic – but someone else is!
Fingerplay Song: Little Bunny Foo Foo
Little bunny Foo Foo, hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice, and bopping ’em on the head
Then down came the Good Fairy, and she said:
“Little bunny Foo Foo, I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice, and bopping ’em on the head”
I’ll give you two more chances, Then I’ll turn you into a goon!
The next day…
(Repeat, one more chance)

“I gave you three chances. Now I’ll turn you into a goon!”
(POOF!)
And the moral of the story is: “Hare today, goon tomorrow!”
Credit: traditional

Craft: Magic Rabbit in a Hat Puppet
Since I had so much fun with my puppet, I wanted the kids to have something they could use to recreate our rhymes and games. I used the images shared on Libraryfun.home.blog, printed them on white cardstock, and included a jumbo craft stick and some sparkly star stickers for this easy craft.

picture of magic rabbit in a hat craft - paper white rabbit with a bow tie is attached to a craft stick, then put through a slit in a black paper hat.  The rabbit can peek up through the hat or be hidden below the rim.

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
The Magic Box
by Katie Cleminson
Milo’s Hat Trick
by Jon Agee
A Small Surprise
by Louise Yates

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 1/19/21.

Storytime Handout:

rhyme sheet with book suggestions and rhyme and song text

Preschool Storytime: Bathtime

What a fun theme! You get to combine bubbles, body parts, and bath toys into one!

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Early Literacy Tip: Bath time is a wonderful opportunity to encourage play and imagination! You can be pirates or sea turtles, or you can use bubbles to practice fine motor skills and finger dexterity. Learn more ways bubbles can be beneficial here: http://mamaot.com/11-benefits-of-playing-with-bubbles/

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Fingerplay: Bubbles
A small bubble (make a circle with your fingers)
A medium sized bubble (make a large circle with your hands)
A great big bubble I see (make a large circle with your arms)
Now let’s count them, are you ready?
1 –2 – 3 (make 3 circles again)
POP! (clap hands loudly once)
Credit: Sunflower Storytime

Read: Time for a Bath by Phillis Gershator & David Walker

Scarf Warmup:
Wave your scarves high, then low
Wave them fast, then slow
Count to three and throw them in the air, then CATCH!

Scarf Song: This Is the Way We Wash Our Head
(tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush)
This is the way we wash our head
Wash our head, wash our head
This is the way we wash our head
So early in the morning
(repeat and “wash” different body parts with scarf – as Abby says in her original post, this is a great opportunity to introduce or reinforce less common body part language – “thigh,” “ankle,” “elbow,” “shoulder,” “jaw,” etc.)
Credit: Abby the Librarian

Scarf Song: Washing
(tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes)
Wash your head, shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes)
Wash your head, shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes)
Wash your eyes and ears and mouth and nose –
Wash your head, shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes)
(repeat and speed up)
Credit: adapted from the traditional

Read: How Do You Take a Bath? by Kate McMullan & Sydney Hanson

Flannel Song: Five Elephants in the Bathtub
One elephant in the bathtub, going for a swim
Knock, Knock (clap, clap)
Splash, Splash (pat knees twice)
Come on in! (motion with both hands to come in)
(repeat up to five)

Five elephants in the bathtub, going for a swim
Knock, Knock (clap, clap)
Splash, Splash (pat knees twice)
They all fell in! (wave arms wildly)
Credit: traditional, flannel pattern from Sunflower Storytime

Flannel for Five Elephants in the Bathtub.  Includes bathtub and 5 elephants: green, yellow, orange, purple, and blue.

Do you have any toys you like to play with in the tub?
Read with Flannel: Who’s In the Tub? by Sylvie Jones & Pascale Constantin

Flannel Game: Memory – What’s Missing?
Once again, I was inspired by the awesome Sunflower Storytime. I used her template but made a couple of adjustments to make the pieces look a little more like the ones in the book. The biggest change was the seal and the octopus. I HAVE to have an eight-armed octopus. 🙂 For the game after reading the book, I ask the kids to look closely at the pieces, then everyone closes their eyes and one piece is removed for them to guess/remember.

Flannel for "Who's in the Tub" book.  Includes bathtub, little boy, striped ball, yellow seal, green turtle, pink octopus, yellow duck, and blue whale.

Bubble Song: Bubble, Bubble, Pop!
(if you have bubbles, this is a great song to use them with)
One little red fish swimming in the water, (motion one finger, then weave hand back and forth as if swimming)
Swimming in the water, swimming in the water,
One little red fish swimming in the water
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, (corkscrew index fingers upwards on both sides)
POP! (clap)
(repeat; you can change to different bath toys like “one little blue boat floating on the water” or change the number and/or color of fish)
Credit: Jbrary

Ukulele or Recorded Song: Rubber Ducky
Credit: Sesame Street
As a ukulele song, Rubber Ducky is certainly not easy. It’s a jazzy tune with lots of interesting chords: the dreaded E natural, 7ths, augmented, diminished, etc. I took an “easy” version (15 chords!) and stripped it down even further. There are still 10 chords, and very few of them are common, though most are not hard shapes to make with gCEA tuning. And thankfully, they mostly flow from one to another fairly naturally with some practice. (I had most trouble with G#7 to C#m). Give it a try, it’s fun!

Get a downloadable ukulele songsheet for “Rubber Ducky” here!

thumbnail of Rubber Ducky Ukulele songsheet

Craft: Bubble Wrap Painting
Borrowing once again from Sunflower Storytime! For the take and make packets, I included a small amount of blue paint in a little 2 oz cup, a paper plate to spread the paint on, a strip of bubble wrap taped end to end to make a “cuff” that kids could put over their hand, the bathtub print out from Sunflower Storytime, and a yellow duck cut out. I encouraged kids to also draw other details like themselves or their other favorite bath toys in the scene. I didn’t make a sample for this, just borrowed the photo from Sunflower Storytime’s page.

Bubble wrap craft - bathtub with blue painted bubbles and a yellow duck.  Image from Sunflower Storytime.

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Bath! Bath! Bath!
by Douglas Florian & Christiane Engel
Get Out of My Bath!
by Britta Teckentrup
Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure
by Derek Anderson

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 1/12/21.

Storytime Handout:

Rhyme sheet with book suggestions

Preschool Storytime: Hibernation

I’m slowly catching up on recording storytimes – I’m now into 2021! Inspired by the book William’s Winter Nap used in the last session (Warm & Cozy), it made sense to theme an upcoming storytime on hibernation. Although I’ve been a librarian for over 16 years, I’m only creeping into my second year as a children’s programmer (I started as a teen librarian, then went into management). So I’ve been presenting a lot of “classic” themes that I’m sure a lot of veteran librarians have been doing forever – but they’re new to me!

This theme gave me the opportunity to learn some more facts, as well as be frustrated with inaccurate picture books! I wanted to present a variety of animals that hibernate, not just bears, but several books show squirrels as hibernators, when they are not. I think they are less active in the winter, but they definitely don’t hibernate – the ones in my yard play in the snow! So there were a few titles that were good except for these inaccuracies that I just couldn’t present. Grr.

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Early Literacy Tip: Making predictions about a book really helps children understand what they read. Comprehension is important because without it, kids don’t stay motivated to keep reading for very long. So ask your children a question or two about the book before you start reading. Talking with your child will help them get ready to read!

Discuss: When it’s cold outside, we bundle up and like to spend more time indoors. But some animals will sleep all winter long – this is called hibernation! Let’s learn more about what it means.

Read: Hibernation by Margaret Hall

I had photographs of a bear, frog, snake, and bat being active, then hibernating on the back of cards. We talked about them before starting the song.
Song: Hibernation
(tune of “Alouette”)
Chorus:
Hibernation, time for hibernation
Hibernation, time to go to sleep
Verse:
In the winter, where’s the bear?
Sleeping in his log or lair
Where’s the bear? (Log or lair)
Where’s the bear? (Log or lair) OOOOOOH!

Additional verses:
…frog? Sleeping by a pond or log
…snake? In the mud beside the lake
…bat? In a cave is where she’s at
Credit: Charles County Public Library (MD)

Fingerplay: Here Is a Cave
Here is a cave. Inside is a bear (bend fingers on one hand; put thumb inside)
Now he comes out to get some fresh air (pop out thumb)
He stays out all summer in sunshine and heat
He hunts in the forest for berries to eat (move thumb in a circle)
When snow starts to fall, he hurries inside
His warm little cave and there he will hide (put thumb inside fingers)
Snow covers the cave like a fluffy white rug
Inside the bear sleeps all cozy and snug (place one hand over the other)
Credit: King County Library System (WA)

Bear is ready to sleep, but first, he wants to remind his friends that it’s time to hibernate. Who will he meet?
Read: Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming

Action Rhyme: Brown Bear, Brown Bear
Brown bear, brown bear, turn around
Brown bear, brown bear, touch the ground
Brown bear, brown bear, reach up high
Brown bear, brown bear, touch the sky
Brown bear, brown bear, bend down low
Brown bear, brown bear, touch your toes
Brown bear, brown bear, go to bed
Brown bear, brown bear, rest your head
Brown bear, brown bear, turn out the lights
Brown bear, brown bear, say “good night”
Credit: King County Library System (WA)

I rooted around for any hibernator puppets or stuffed animals we had and came up with quite a few. I think I only did about four during storytime, though.
Fingerplay with Puppets: Sleepy Bear
(tune of “Thumbkin”)
Where is Bear? Where is Bear?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you this winter?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep. Go to sleep.
(repeat with other hibernators: hedgehog, chipmunk, turtle, bat, frog, mouse)
Credit: preschooleducation.com

photo of stuffed animals and puppets: turtle, hedgehog, mouse, bat, and chipmunk.
A few of my hibernators – not pictured: baby bear and frog who are at home!

You know I love a funny book. This one is told entirely in jokes!
Read: Knock Knock by Tammi Sauer & Guy Francis

Flannel/Action Rhyme: Sleepy Bear Roll
Five sleepy bears moving really slow
One yawns and stumbles and starts to… ROLL! (roll arms)
He rolls to a stop and begins to snore (exaggerated snoring)
How many bears are left to explore? (count down)
Credit: Canton Public Library (MI)

laminated cartoon pictures of 5 different cartoon bears, all sleeping.

Counting/Ukulele Song: The Bears Go Marching
The bears go marching one by one, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The bears go marching one by one, Hurrah! Hurrah!
The bears go marching one by one,
The little one knew that autumn was done
And they all go marching down to their den
Because winter had set in, boom, boom, boom

Additional verses:

…two by two… little one stopped to sneeze : “ahh-choo!”
…three by three… little one stopped to scratch a tree
…four by four… little one stopped to eat just a bit more
…five by five… little one stopped to whisper : “nighty-night!”
Credit: Ram Sam Storytime

Get a downloadable ukulele songsheet for “The Bears Go Marching” here!

Thumbnail of ukulele sheet

Craft: Sleeping Bear Den
I ordered some foam leaf stickers to go with this craft, but they didn’t come in time. Either way, I think it’s simple and cute. Inspired by the project at Glued To My Crafts blog. Bear image from Play Create Explore.

craft with 3 jumbo craft sticks colored brown and glued into a triangle, with a grey construction paper triangle glued to it plus a picture of a sleeping bear.  Cotton balls are glued to the top and bottom to represent snow.

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Over and Under the Snow
by Kate Messner & Christopher Silas Neal
Old Bear
by Kevin Henkes
I Don’t Want to Go to Sleep
by Dev Petty & Mike Boldt

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 1/5/21.

Storytime Handout:

handout with suggested books and rhyme/song lyrics

Preschool Storytime: Warm & Cozy

In another attempt to avoid holiday programming while still celebrating a universal happy winter feeling, my last storytime of December was focused on the feeling of “coziness.” I invite the kids to think about what makes them feel cozy, and remind them that different people may have different things that make them feel that way. In general, though, we feel cozy when we are warm, secure, fed, and loved – something every child (and adult!) needs and deserves.

You can see the virtual program that does not include the full books read aloud here.

Early Literacy Tip: One of the best things you can give your children is the enjoyment of books and reading. By allowing your children to participate as you share books with them, you can keep them engaged around the book. Feel free to have them turn the pages, to stop and talk about a picture, or ask an open-ended question to keep their interest. Of course, if they are not enjoying it, don’t force them to sit still. Try again at another time – it’s fine to have several abbreviated reading times throughout the day if they’re enjoyable rather than forcing a longer session. Your child’s attention span and tolerance for longer stories will increase in time.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

I hadn’t really used any fingerplays that specify right and left hands before, so I asked on the Storytime Underground Facebook page what best practices were. Many people do the opposite so that children can mirror them and use the correct hand, while specifying for parents that’s what they’re doing. I think it’s good to emphasize that it’s a hard concept and parents can gently help until kids get it. There was also discussion about ableism and excluding kids that may not have two hands/fingers which is great food for thought.
Fingerplay: Warm Mittens
I wiggle my left mitten (wave hand)
I wiggle my right (wave hand)
Inside of my mittens (make “mitten” hands)
So warm and so tight
I wiggle my pinkie (wiggle pinkie)
I wiggle my thumbs (wiggle thumbs)
So when I make snowballs (cup hands together)
My hands don’t get numb (shake out hands)
Credit: Adventures of a Bookworm

Read: Winter is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer

Rhyme: Cozy Night
One fluffy quilt on my bed (mime shaking out a blanket)
Two little pillows for my head (fold hands under head)
Three teddy bears to hold so tight (hug self)
Now I’m ready for a cozy night! (rub arms)
Credit: Literary Hoots

Action Rhyme: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground
Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach up high
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky
Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your knees
Teddy bear, teddy bear, sit down please!
Credit: traditional

Sometimes it feels like winter is gray and colorless. What do you think?
Read: A Day So Gray by Marie Lamba & Alea Marley

This flannel, which Mel’s Desk does with an autumn theme, always feels cozy to me, so I wrote an alternative ending for winter.
Flannel Rhyme: Blue is the Sky (Winter Edition)
Blue is the sky
Yellow is the sun
Silver are the stars when the day is done
Orange is the fire
Green is the tree
Brown is the cocoa for you and me
Credit: adapted by Ms. Emily from Mel’s Desk

Flannel for "blue is the sky" with blue blob, yellow sun, two aluminum foil stars, a fireplace with an orange flame, a dark green conifer tree, and a red mug with light brown cocoa and white marshmallows.

Download the template for winter pieces here! (Original at Mel’s Desk for sky, sun, and stars)

Thumbnail of flannel template for blue is the sky.

Pull laminated pieces out of a hat or basket. Do as many or as few as your group has patience for! End with a hug for kiddos and caregivers.
Flannel: Looking for a Hug
I’m looking for something warm and snug
You open your arms and give a great big…
…rug? NO! …bug? NO! …mug? NO! …plug? NO! …pug? NO! …slug? EW, NO! …hug? YES!
Credit: Pasadena Public Library

Laminated clipart of a green rug, cartoon ladybug, blue mug, orange electrical cord and plug, pug dog, yellow slug, and an icon of a "hug" - pink heart with arms around it.

William is ready to get nice and cozy for a nap, but something happens! Let’s find out.
Read: William’s Winter Nap by Linda Ashman & Chuck Groenink

Rhyme: Chilly Day
When the day is chilly (shiver)
And I don’t know what to do
Mama gives me my sweater (mime putting on sweater)
I put it on and say, “Thank you!”

But when I am still chilly (shiver)
From the snowy winter storm
Papa puts a blanket over me (mime pulling up a blanket)
But still I’m not quite warm

So when I am still chilly (shiver)
I know just what I should do
I say, “Mom & Pop, I’d like some warm cuddles from you!”
(give yourself a hug, or hug a loved one)
Credit: Storytime Stuff

Action Song: Cocoa Pokey
(tune of the Hokey Pokey)
You put your mug in, you take your mug out
You put your mug in, and you shake it all about
You do the cocoa pokey and you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about!

Additional verses:
You put your spoon in… stir it all about…
You put your cocoa in… sip it all up…
You put your marshmallow in… slurp it all up…
Credit: So Tomorrow blog

Craft: Mug of Cocoa
This was a kit from Oriental Trading that we’d had extras of. I don’t see it on their site any longer, though. Photo credit to them.

Picture of hot cocoa ornament craft.

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate
by Carol Diggory Shields & Hiroe Nakata
In My Anaana’s Amautik
by Nadia Sammurtok & Lenny Lishchenko
Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep
by Jane Yolen & Heidi EY Stemple & Brooke Dyer

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 12/15/20.

Storytime Handout:

Storytime handout with suggested books and rhyme/song lyrics.