Preschool Storytime: Hello & Goodbye

This was the end of my storytime season – at my library we take the month of May off for planning our summer reading program. We start back up in June, and I’ll be doing OUTDOOR STORYTIMES! I’m very excited to be seeing the kids and caregivers in person again (and a little scared, too – will I remember names? Will it be terrible? Have I lost all my in-person skills?) Deep breath – we’ll be good.

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

Early Literacy Tip: Helping children cope with transitions is something we caregivers can do mindfully, whether going from one activity to another or going to a new school or moving to a new house. Ease into transitions by creating or continuing routines that evolve as a child gets older. A goodbye routine might be a special hug and kiss, but can evolve into pat and a smile by the time they are “big kids.” Simple songs can signal going to bed (it’s time to go bed, it’s time to go bed, heigh-ho the derry-o, it’s time to go to bed) or time alerts (5 minutes until bed… 3 minutes until bed…) As you show your child ways to cope, they will develop their own internal transition skills.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Rhyme: How Do You Say Hello?
Hey! Hi! Howdy! Yo!
There are many ways to say hello!
Wave your hand. Nod your head
Smile big or wink instead
Blow a kiss. Tip your hat
Shake your hands. Give a pat
Of all the ways to say hello,
Here’s the way I like to go…
HELLO! (choose your favorite!)
Credit: Storytime Katie

In this book, a little girl named Carmelita loves to say hello to all the people in her neighborhood. Many of them speak a different language, so she’s learned to say hello many different ways.
Read: Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora

Fingerplay: Where is Thumbkin?
Where is Thumbkin? Where is Thumbkin?
Here I am! Here I am!
How are you today, friend? Very well, I thank you!
Say goodbye. Say goodbye.
Credit: adapted from the traditional

Action Song: Say Hello to Your Toes
(tune of London Bridge)
Say hello to your toes, to your toes, to your toes!
Say hello to your toes. Hello, toes!
(repeat for knees, tummies, elbows, middle, etc.)
Credit: Storytime Secrets
via the Reading Room

Fingerplay: Open, Shut Them (Hello/Goodbye Version)
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Put your hands down low, low, low
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Wave and say hello-lo-lo!

Open, shut them, open, shut them
Raise your hands up high, high, high
Open, shut them, open, shut them
Wave and say goodbye, bye, bye!
Credit: One Little Librarian

This one is a little long, but it’s so sweet.
Read: Hello Goodbye Dog by Maria Gianferrari & Patrice Barton

Using this farm set from Oriental Trading, I hid various animals behind farm objects, with little bits of them sticking out.
Flannel Song: Can We Find?
(tune of Do You Know the Muffin Man?)
Can we find a pink pig? A pink pig? A pink pig?
Can we find a pink pig? We want to say HELLO! (oink, oink!)
(can be used for any hide-and-seek type game at home!)
Credit: Sunflower Storytime

Action Song: See You Later, Alligator
(tune of Clementine)
See you later, alligator (wave with one hand, then the other)
In a while, crocodile (open and shut arms like a croc’s mouth)
Give a hug, ladybug (hug yourself or a loved one)
Blow a kiss, jellyfish! MWAH! (blow a kiss!)
(can you think of other goodbye rhymes? wave goodbye, butterfly, toodle-oo, kangaroo, gotta go, buffalo, take care, teddy bear, etc)
Credit: King County Library System

Discuss: This is our last storytime before our summer programs, so we’ll be saying goodbye for a little while, but I’ll be planning and getting ready to have some amazing fun storytimes for you starting again in June. This next book is about how saying goodbye to one thing always means saying hello to something else.

Read: Goodbye Brings Hello by Dianne White & Daniel Wiseman

Action Rhyme: Thank You Rhyme
My hands say thank you with a clap, clap, clap
And my feet say thank you with a tap, tap, tap
Clap, clap, clap; tap, tap, tap
We roll our hands around and we say goodbye
Credit: Mansfield/Richland County Public Library (OH)

Ukulele Song: Hello Goodbye
See songsheet for lyrics. I couldn’t resist singing this classic Beatles tune for a Hello & Goodbye theme! Honestly, it’s kind of perfect for contrary toddlers. I simplified it for storytime, but kept the full song on the sheet in case you have time or want to play the whole thing on your own. (The parts I eliminated for storytime are in gray.)
You can channel the original from the Beatles, or maybe try to embody Caspar Babypants!
If you’re in-person and not a singer, you could play these recordings instead.

Get a downloadable ukulele songsheet for “Hello Goodbye” here!

Craft: Hello Goodbye Elephant
Another simple craft from Sunflower Storytime. I love her printables! I had (too much?) fun making a purple elephant with pink polka dots.

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Say Hello Like This!
by Mary Murphy
Evelyn Del Rey Is Moving Away
by Meg Medina & Sonia Sánchez
Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!
by Cori Doerrfeld

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 4/27/21.

Storytime Handout:

Preschool Storytime: Bugs

Bugs are so fun, and I feel like kids have more of a fascination than the fear and disgust that many adults have. Maybe because they are closer to the ground? I used the unscientific term “bugs” for this storytime, since I wanted to be able to include non-insects like spiders, roly-polys, and worms. Maybe “creepy crawlies” is another synonym to use!

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

Early Literacy Tip: Go ahead and use words that are unfamiliar to your children. Don’t replace words in books that they may not understand. Explain them. When you talk with them try to use the word for a specific thing. For example, if you see a bug, call it a bug, but also the kind if you know it, like a cicada or praying mantis.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

I used one of my small felt ladybugs for this – pictured below.
Rhyme: 1, 2, 3, There’s a Bug on Me
1, 2, 3, there’s a bug on me! (pretend to brush it off)
Where did it go? (look around)
I don’t know! (shrug shoulders)
Credit: Perry County (OH) Library Storytime via Library Village

Read: Some Bugs by by Angela DiTerlizzi & Brendan Wenzel

This flannel was a lot of fun to make. I have really been enjoying finding clipart and then transforming it into multilayered flannel pieces. (My favorite is little roly-poly, who curls up when you tap him (flip him over))
Flannel/Rhythm Chant: Going on a Bug Hunt
Repeat between each bug:
We’re going on a bug hunt!
We’re going to see some big ones.
What a sunny day! Are you ready? OK!

Oh, my! A bee! A black & yellow bee, Flying over the flowers. BUZZ
Oh, my! An ant! A tiny, black ant, Crawling through the grass. SHH
Oh, my! A grasshopper! A big, green grasshopper, Hopping around the tree. BOING
Oh, my! A butterfly! A pretty, orange butterfly, Floating in the sky. WHOOSH
Oh, my! A spider! A big black spider, Creeping on the tree. CREEP
Oh, my! A ladybug! A bright red ladybug, climbing up a flower. CLIMB
Oh, my! A roly-poly! A gray, armored roly-poly, hiding under a rock. ROLL
Credit: adapted from Small Town Story Time Lady Blog

Picture of felt bug hunt set, including a tree trunk, grass, flower, and rock, with a roly poly, bee, ladybug, butterfly, ant, grasshopper, and spider.
Closeup of the roly poly felt flipped to the other side, showing it rolled up in a ball.

I didn’t end up doing this one, but it’s a fun one for babies and toddlers.
Bounce: I’m a Little Beetle
I’m a little beetle and I wiggle all day (bounce)
If you get too close to me, I’ll FLY away! (lift or jump at end)
Repeat with other bugs that fly or jump:
bumblebee, ladybug, grasshopper, dragonfly…
Credit: Mel’s Desk

Song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again
Repeat with a “great big” spider and a “eensy weensy” spider, making your hands and voice match.
Credit: traditional

What a gorgeous book. I loved looking for Poppy when she was trying to blend in to the background at social functions.
Read: A Way with Wild Things by Larissa Theule & Sara Palacios

I used five of the small ladybugs from a set made by a predecessor for this song, one for the 1,2,3 rhyme above, and nine (plus three paper ones) for Ladybugs’ Picnic.
Flannel/Counting Song: Five Little Ladybugs
adapted tune of “Five Little Ducks”
Five little ladybugs climbing up my door
One flew away and then there were four

Oh, ladybug, ladybug I’m happy to play,
Ladybug ladybug don’t go away

Four… climbing up a tree… then there were three…
Three… climbing up my shoe… then there were two…
Two… playing in the sun… then there was one…
One… on my honey bun… then there were none…
Credit: adapted from Betsy Diamant-Cohen

Felt ladybugs in various sizes, including 2 large, 3 medium, and 5 small.

Movement: Bug Cube
Many librarians use a song cube during storytime, to add some interest and randomization to the familiar songs and rhymes they repeat. I saw a very cute version of this with bug movements, and decided to create my own. It fits a standard “cube” shaped tissue box. Yes, the sides are a bit larger than the top and bottom, but we’re not going to Vegas here.

Download a copy of my template here!

Picture of bug cube, showing three sides which say "march like an ant" "zip like a dragonfly" and "buzz like a bee" with an illustration of each bug.

This goes beyond the standard counting book by counting to 10 on each page, split between bugs and plants, and using all the various ways to get to ten: 1+9. 2+8, 3+7, etc.
Read: 100 Bugs! A Counting Book by Kate Narita & Suzanne Kaufman

A simple but seriously fun song that brings back the nostalgia from my own childhood, watching Sesame Street reruns. The verses go a little fast, so practice a bit so you don’t get tongue-tied. The arrows in the songsheet reminded me whether the melody goes up or down, as it changes at various parts. Listen to the original and you’ll get it. I put up 12 ladybugs on the flannel board to reinforce the number concept, using some paper ones since I only had 9 small bugs from the set I inherited from my predecessor.
Ukulele Song: Ladybugs’ Picnic
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ,8 ,9, 10, 11, 12
Ladybugs came to the ladybugs’ picnic

They had twelve sacks so they ran sack races
And they fell on their backs and they fell on their faces
The ladybugs 12 At the ladybugs’ picnic

They played jump rope but the rope it broke
So they just sat around telling knock-knock jokes
The ladybugs 12 At the ladybugs’ picnic

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ,8 ,9, 10, 11, 12
And they chatted away At the ladybugs’ picnic

They talked about the high price of furniture and rugs
And fire insurance for ladybugs
The ladybugs 12 At the ladybugs’ picnic. 12!
Credit: Sesame Street

Get a downloadable ukulele songsheet for “Ladybugs’ Picnic” here!

Thumbnail of ukulele songsheet

Craft: Clothespin Dragonflies
A simple but fun 3D craft. I knew we had some sparkly pipe cleaners in our supply closet, which sealed the deal. Thanks to Crafty Morning for the inspiration!

Picture of dragonfly craft using a wooden clothespin with blue and green marker stripes, googly eyes, and sparkly wings made from silver and green pipe cleaners.

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Backyard Bugs by Jill McDonald
Stories from Bug Garden
by Lisa Moser & Gwen Millward
(seriously charming!)
There’s a Bug on My Book!
by John Himmelman

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 4/20/21.

Storytime Handout:

Handout including book suggestions, rhyme and song lyrics.

Preschool Storytime: In the Garden

Another classic springtime theme. I loved that there were some good recent titles about gardening!

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

Early Literacy Tip: When your children are playing, think about what words you might write or what signs you can make to make the play more language-rich. For example, if children are playing gardening, you might ask what plants they are growing and then make signs for them, saying the letters as you spell the words.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Discussion: Have you noticed all of the new growing things in the world? Do any of you have a garden or some plants that you’ve helped to grow? A garden can be outside in your yard, or you can grow some great plants in pots or in a window garden. Let’s see how a plant grows from a tiny seed. What does it need? Water, soil, sunshine!

Garden tableau: the word garden spelled at the top, five flowers, butterfly, carrot, worm, and lettuce leaf.

Fingerplay: Dig a Little Hole
Dig a little hole, Plant a little seed
Pour a little water, Pull a little weed
Chase a little bug, Heigh-ho, there he goes!
Give a little sunshine, Grow a little rose
Credit: SurLaLune Storytime via Storytime Katie

Read: The Hidden Rainbow by Christie Matheson

Song: Will Our Flowers Bloom?
(tune of Wheels on the Bus)
The seeds from the pack go in the ground (poke with finger)
In the ground, in the ground
The seeds from the pack go in the ground
Will our flowers bloom?

additional verses:
The rain from the sky goes drip drip drop… (flutter fingers)
The sun above is bright and hot… (arms make a circle)
Our little seeds are sprouting fast… (fingers grow upward)
(last line) Look! Our flowers bloomed! (spread hands)
Credit: Storytime with Miss Jennifer

Flannel Rhyme: Five Little Flowers
Five little flowers growing in a row
The first one said, “We need rain to grow.”
The second one said, “Yes, we need water!”
The third one said, “Whew, it’s getting hotter!”
The fourth one said, “Look, there are clouds in the sky.”
The fifth one said, “I wonder why?”
Then “BOOM” went the thunder, (clap hands)
And “ZAP” went the lightening (draw zig-zag in air)
That springtime storm was kind of frightening.
But were the flowers scared? No, no, no. (shake head)
They knew they needed rain to grow, grow, grow.
Credit: Adventures in Storytime

Felt set with a sun, grey clouds, lightning bolt, three raindrops, and five different-colored flowers, pink, blue, orange, purple, and yellow.

I LOVE the little worm protagonist with his one sneaker!
Read: Goodnight, Veggies by Diana Murray & Zachariah OHora

I found these cute carrot flannels at Target before Easter last year, so adapted a flower rhyme. They kind of remind me of the carrots from the book Creepy Carrots!
Flannel Counting Rhyme: Out in the Garden
Out in the garden growing in the sun
Were 4 tasty carrots and my mommy picked one! (nom, nom!)
Out in the garden growing in the sun
Were 3 tasty carrots and my daddy picked one! (nom, nom!)
Out in the garden growing in the sun
Were 2 tasty carrots and the baby picked one! (nom, nom!)
Out in the garden growing in the sun
Was 1 tasty carrot and and I picked that one! (nom, nom!)
Credit: adapted from Pasadena Public Library (CA)

Felt pieces of carrots with googly eyes and smiles

I tried to pair an animal and what they might be after in the garden for each of these.
Guessing Game: Something In My Garden
There’s something in my garden, Now, what can it be?
There’s something in my garden,That I can’t really see.
I hear its funny sound…. RIBBIT – RIBBIT – RIBBIT
A … FROG is what I found! RIBBIT – RIBBIT – RIBBIT

Repeat with other animals found in a garden. I used:
Ribbit – Frog – bugs from a lettuce plant
Thump – Rabbit – nibbling a carrot
Squeak – Mouse – tasting a blackberry
Caw – Crow – pecking at some corn
Buzz – Bee – gathering pollen from a flower
Wiggle – Worm – chewing an old leaf
Flutter – Butterfly – sipping nectar from a hyacinth
Credit: Storytime Katie

Laminated printed "flannel" showing a frog, lettuce plant that has bugs on it, rabbit, carrot, crow, corn, mouse, blackberry, worm, flat brown leaf, hyacinth flower, bee, and butterfly.

Read: One Little Lot by Diane C. Mullen & Oriol Vidal

Ukulele Song: Apples and Bananas
(begin with the correct pronunciation, then change the vowel sounds for each verse to a, e, i, o, and u)
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas
I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas

I like to ate, ate, ate ayples and ba-nay-nays
I like to ate, ate, ate ayples and ba-nay-nays

I like to eet, eet, eet eeples and ba-nee-nees
I like to eet, eet, eet eeples and ba-nee-nees

I like to ite, ite, ite iples and ba-ni-nis
I like to ite, ite, ite iples and ba-ni-nis

I like to ote, ote, ote oples and ba-no-nos
I like to ote, ote, ote oples and ba-no-nos

I like to ute, ute, ute uples and ba-nu-nus
I like to ute, ute, ute uples and ba-nu-nus
Credit: Raffi, from the album One Light, One Sun

Download a ukulele songsheet for Apples and Bananas

thumbnail of apples and bananas ukulele songsheet

Craft: Cupcake Liner Flowers
I provided a blue construction paper background, various cupcake liners in different colors and sizes, and several strips of green construction paper that they could cut or tear into any kind of leaf shape. Thanks to Storytime Katie and Literary Hoots for the inspiration.

Flower craft made from cupcake liners on a blue background with strips of green construction paper as leaves and stems.

I also booktalked these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
A Peaceful Garden
by Lucy London & Christa Pierce
Up, Down, and Around
by Katherine Ayres & Nadine Bernard Westcott
Anywhere Farm
by Phyllis Root & G. Brian Karas

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 4/13/21.

Storytime Handout:

Handout with suggested books, rhyme and song lyrics.

Preschool Storytime: Colorful Stories

There’s just something about spring that makes me want to do stories about colors! And the retelling of White Rabbit’s Color Book is kind of magical.

A “color” storytime is also a good opportunity to talk about race in an explicit way in storytime. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do but just have not felt there was a comfortable “in” to get there. Of course, it’s not about me (a white woman) being comfortable. There’s some fear of messing up and fear of possible push-back, but none of those are good reasons to avoid talking about race in an age-appropriate way. I consulted with a librarian of color that was kind enough to offer feedback and went for it. There was no push-back that I’m aware of and I hope that it was a good way to educate both kids AND their parents that it is okay and necessary to talk about race even with young kids.

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

Early Education Tip: Research shows that children form race-related ideas long before they’re ready to talk about race and racism… awareness of race begins as early as infancy! No matter their age, all children collect clues from their experiences to make sense of the world, so early, honest, and age-appropriate conversations really matter. Check out the Sesame Street Workshop’s excellent resources and videos for every age:
https://www.sesameworkshop.org/what-we-do/racial-justice

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Discussion: [For my virtual audience: To get ready for today’s storytime, please grab 1 or 2 scarves, bandanas, washcloths, or even a t-shirt that has a rainbow color – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple.] Now that it’s starting to be springtime, I’m noticing lots and lots of colors outside, how about you? New leaves, new flowers! Let’s do some rhymes and songs that celebrate colors! Let’s get warmed up by identifying some colors and shapes.

Rhyme Game: Pink Square, Pink Square
Pink square, pink square, what do you see?
I see a … blue circle looking at me.

Blue circle, blue circle, what do you see?
I see a … green rectangle looking at me.
Credit: Sunflower Storytime

Flannel of colorful shapes: pink square, blue circle, green rectangle, red heart, yellow 5 pointed star, purple diamond, and orange triangle.

I have a flannel for this book, but it felt like I had a lot of props and flannels going on with this storytime, so I decided to just read the book this time.
Read: Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd

Flannel of "Dog's Colorful Day" including the black and white dog figure and colored dots: red, brown, pink, blue, gray, yellow, purple, orange, and green.

Rhyme: Blue is the Lake
Blue is the lake (point to the floor)
Yellow is the sun (point to the sky)
Silver are the stars when the day is done (wiggle fingers)
Red is the apple (make circle with hands)
Green is the tree (raise arms over head like branches)
Brown is the cookie for you and me! (rub tummy)
Credit: Harris County Public Library via Librionyian

Action Song: If You’re Wearing…
tune of “Do You Know the Muffin Man”
If you’re wearing red today, red today, red today
If you’re wearing red today,
Would you touch your head?

Additional verses:

brown … touch the ground
blue … tie your shoe
white … take a bite
green … look mean
black … touch your back
gray … shout “hooray!”
Credit: adapted from Lego Librarian

Discussion: There’s one color that doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it’s a beautiful color that we all have with us all the time! It’s BROWN, and everyone’s skin has some brown in it. The thing that makes our skin brown is called melanin, and that’s also what helps color our hair and our eyes. Some people have a lot of melanin, and some people only have a little bit. There are some people whose bodies don’t produce melanin at all, but that’s quite rare. In this next book, a little boy describes all the different colors of brown in his family! No one has exactly the same color. I love how he gives them all beautiful names.

Read: Brown: The Many Shades of Love by Nancy Johnson James & Constance Moore

I encouraged kiddos to use their scarves for this if the wanted to.
Flannel/Scarf Song: Bubble, Bubble, Pop!
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, change the number and/or color of fish)
Credit: Jbrary

Flannel of fish with googly eyes.  There are 1 red, 2 blue, 3 green, and 4 purple fish of various hues.

Scarf Song: Rainbow Dancers
Rainbow dancers let’s get ready
Hold your scarves nice and steady
You’ll hear the colors of the rainbow
Listen for your time to go:
Shake red… Shake orange… Shake yellow…
Shake green… Shake blue… Shake purple…
Red scarves – turn around! Orange scarves – up and down!
Yellow scarves – reach up high! Green scarves – fly, fly, fly!
Blue scarves – tickle your nose! Purple scarves – touch your toes!
Everybody dance around
Swirl your scarves up and down!
Shake purple… Shake blue… Shake green…
Shake yellow… Shake orange… Shake red…
Rainbow dancers dance around
Scarves swirl up and down
Our colorful dance is at an end
Thank you, thank you, all my friends
Credit: Jbrary

Flannel Retelling: White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker
I used the fantastic tutorial on Sunflower Storytime to put this together. I couldn’t find colored pails, so I covered white pails with felt.
Some tips I learned:
• Make sure the pails are well ABOVE the eyeline/camera line of your audience, so they can’t see inside
• PRACTICE
• Arrange the rabbits in the order that you’ll be exchanging them in the pails, but try to separate them if possible.
• Felt sticks to itself (as we all know!) You may need to draw out your “hop, swish, swish, swish” and maybe add some kind of flourish so that you have time to release one rabbit and pull out another without them sticking
• PRACTICE!

Since it’s springtime, let’s end with a rhyme about rain! Get your scarves out!
Scarf Song: Rain on the Green Grass
Rain on the green grass (flutter scarf downward)
Rain on the tree (arms up like branches)
Rain on the rooftop (fingers peak together like a roof)
But NOT on me! (hold scarf above head)
Repeat with different colored items: yellow duck, pink flower, blue stream, brown squirrel, etc.
Credit: King County Library System

Craft: Rainbow
Simple, simple craft, inspired by Storytime Katie. In my instructions home, I emphasized the idea of creative freedom, and making this a “process” craft instead of a “product” craft. Process-focused art gives a child an open-ended project so they have the opportunity to express themselves in the art. I provided the rainbow template and some tissue paper squares, but also suggested using other mediums – paint, crayons, markers, or colored pencils instead of or in addition to the tissue squares.

sheet showing a black and white rainbow arc with colorful tissue paper squares glued to it.
Image from Storytime Katie

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Red Is a Dragon
by Roseanne Thong & Grace Lin
Are Your Stars Like My Stars
by Leslie Helakoski & Heidi Woodward Sheffield
Mix It Up!
by Hervé Tullet

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 4/6/21.

Storytime Handout:

Handout including suggested books, rhyme and song lyrics

Preschool Storytime: Hide & Seek

As is often the case, this theme was inspired by noticing several cute picture books on the topic of hiding, seeking, and peek-a-boo. The challenge, then, was to choose titles that were different enough to be interesting, rather than rehashing the same shtick over and over. This is a great theme to use scarves and the ever-popular Little Mouse flannel game.

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

Early Literacy Tip: Peek-a-boo is a game that helps develop object permanence, which is part of early learning. Object permanence is an understanding that objects and events continue to exist, even when they cannot directly be seen, heard, or touched. Did you know baby’s age affects how they play peek-a-boo?
0-3 Months – Baby just watches and may smile or coo
3-6 Months – Helps baby visually track if you “peek” from different spots
6-9 Months – Baby becomes curious and might laugh because they enjoy the game
9-12 Months – Baby imitates you and may use early language by saying “boo”
12+ Months – Baby might initiate the game by covering their eyes

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

I found a number of these different-sized ladybugs made by a predecessor. They are sewn and have some kind of crinkly material in the middle – I’m not sure what they were used for before. But I used one of the smallest ones to “hide” on my body. Using a “itty bitty” voice for the ladybug parts makes it more silly and fun.
Rhyme with Flannel: Hide and Seek Ladybug
Ladybug, ladybug, where are you?
I’m right here beside your shoe.
Ladybug, ladybug, where could you be?
I’m right here upon your knee.
Ladybug, ladybug, did you give me the slip?
I’m right here sitting on your hip.
Ladybug, ladybug, where did you go?
I’m right here, perched on your elbow.
Ladybug, ladybug, are you here?
I’m right here, over on your ear.
Ladybug, ladybug, you’re gone I suppose?
I’m right here sitting on your nose!
Credit: Canton Public Library (MI)

Flannels of different sized ladybugs - picture shows 2 large, 3 medium, and 5 small

Read: Where’s Lenny? by Ken Wilson-Max

Scarf Rhyme: Little Bo Peep
Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep (hide scarf behind you)
And doesn’t know where to find them
Leave them alone and they’ll come home (bring scarf out)
Wagging their tails behind them (shake scarf)
Credit: Jbrary

Scarf Song: One Bright Scarf
One bright scarf waiting for the wind to blow
Toss it up high, and wave it down low
Wiggle it fast, and wiggle it slow (hide the scarf)
Hey! Where did it go? (bring out) Here it is!
Credit: Jbrary

Scarf Game: Peekaboo
Peekaboo, where are you hiding in your… PLACE!
PEEKABOO!
Peekaboo, I see you and your smiling… FACE!
PEEKABOO!
Credit: Jbrary (link no longer available)

Strangely, the game played in this book is hide and seek, not peek-a-boo.
Read: Peek-A-Boo Bunny by Holly Surplice

Flannel: Little Mouse
Little mouse, little mouse,
Are you in the _____ house?
I always knock on the door before seeing if Mouse is home!
Credit: ubiquitous – I can’t remember where I first saw this long ago

Flannel for Little Mouse.  Includes different sized houses (1, 2, or 3 storey) in different colors: green, red, orange, yellow, brown, pink, and blue) and a small mouse.

Fingerplay/Tickle: Here Is the Beehive
Here is the beehive, But where are the bees?
Hidden away, Where nobody sees
Watch and you’ll see them
Come out of the hive: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…
They’re alive! Buzz, buzz, buzz!
Credit: Jbrary

Read: The Elephants’ Guide to Hide-and-Seek by Kjersten Hayes & Gladys Jose

Ukulele Song: Mr. Sun
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Please shine down on me
Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Hiding behind a tree

These little children are asking you
To please come out so we can play with you

Oh, Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Please shine down on me
Credit: Raffi (from the album Singable Songs for the Very Young)

Get a downloadable ukulele songsheet for “Mr. Sun” here!

thumbnail of Mr. Sun ukulele songsheet

Craft: Hide and Seek House
Kids get to craft their own lift-the-flap picture. I included pictures of a dog, cat, or mouse to color and hide behind the door, but of course kids can draw whatever they please.

Download a free printable for this craft!

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Where’s Baby?
by Anne Hunter
Everybunny Count!
by Ellie Sandall
Hide ‘n’ Sheep
by Jennifer Sattler & Benson Shum

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 3/23/21.

Storytime Handout:

handout which includes suggested books and rhyme and song lyrics

Preschool Storytime: Green

This was a milestone storytime for me. It was the one that I had planned and ready to go March 17, 2020, but was abandoned because our library closed March 16th. Because it was tied up as a St. Patrick’s Day alternative, I never used the theme later on while doing virtual, but held on to it to use in March 2021. So getting this ready for this year had a lot of “capital F” Feelings surrounding it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really into doing holiday themed programs, but would prefer to celebrate some secular aspect of popular holidays. Thus, instead of going on about leprechauns, rainbows, and Catholic saints, I focused this theme on the color green.

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

Early Literacy Tip: “Crossing the midline” is when we move our arm or leg across the middle of our body to perform a task. Crossing the midline is vital to the development of using both sides of the body together, such as putting on shoes and socks, writing and cutting. Practice crossing the midline by: playing with bubbles, cutting or drawing across a page, playing catch, and encouraging children to reach with one hand to touch their opposite foot, arm, ear, etc.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Discussion: We’re talking about the color green today. What are some things that are green? If you’re in person, you could shuffle the books around based on the answers you get – frogs, trees and grass seem to be common responses. I also mined my flannels for anything that was green!

Lots of green flannel pieces, culled from many sets.  Includes dark and light green apples, alien, yarn, snake, turtle, chameleon, truck, rectangle, and two trees.

Bounce Song: Bumping Up and Down
Bumping up and down in my little green wagon
Bumping up and down in my little green wagon
Bumping up and down in my little green wagon
Won’t you be my darling?

Additional verses:
Driving around in my little green car… stroller… bicycle… etc.
Credit: adapted from Raffi

Additional or Alternative Action Rhyme: I Had a Little Turtle
I had a little turtle (make turtle with fist – thumb is the head)
His name was Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water (glub, glub)
He ate up all the soap (munch, munch)
And when he woke up next morning
He had bubbles in his throat! (bubbly noises)
Credit: Jbrary

Read: One Frog Sang by Shirley Parenteau & Cynthia Jabar

The turtle verse might be my favorite of all the variations!
Song: Mmm-ah Went the Little Green Frog
Mmm-ahh (stick out tongue) went the little green frog one day,
Mmm-ahh went the little green frog
Mmm ahh went the little green frog one day,
And they all went mmm, mmm, ahh
But… We know frogs go (clap) sha-na-na-na-na (wiggle arms)
(clap) Sha-na-na-na-na, (clap) Sha-na-na-na-na
We know frogs go (clap) sha-na-na-na-na
They don’t go mmm, mmm, ahh!

Additional verses:
Hiss, Hiss went the slippery snake one day… (hands snake back and forth)
But… We know snakes go (clap) shoo-be-do-be-do (jazz hands)

Slow, slow went the little green turtle one day… (one hand on other, palms down, like a shell)
But… We know turtles go (clap) cowabunga, dude! (shaka hand sign)
Credit: Jbrary (different videos for frog, snake, and turtle verses)

Action Rhyme: Funny, Funny, Froggy
Funny, funny froggy, Hop, hop hop!
Funny, funny froggy, Stop, stop, stop!
Funny, funny froggy, Don’t run away!
Funny, funny froggy, Sit and play!
Credit: Perry Public Library (OH) via Books and Bibliotheks

I thought the rebus pictures at the back of the book were perfect for a flannel, though I had to add the bug. You can download a PDF of these here. They definitely helped me keep the song straight! (Note that you sing “chick in the egg, and the bird on the egg,” changing the pattern. It took me a few practice tries to get it right)
Read/Sing/Flannel: There Was a Tree by Rachel Isadora
There was a hole (there was a hole)
In the middle of the ground (in the middle of the ground)
The prettiest hole (the prettiest hole)
That you ever did see (that you ever did see)
Oh, the hole in the ground and the green grass grew all around, all around,
And the green grass grew all around!

Add a phrase each verse until you get to:
Oh, the bug on the wing,
and the wing on the chick,
and the chick in the egg,
and the bird on the egg,
and the egg in the nest,
and the nest on the branch,
and the branch on the tree,
and the tree in the hole,
and the hole in the ground,
And the green grass grew all around, all around,
And the green grass grew all around!

Printed and laminated "flannel" pieces showing the rebus symbols from Isadora's book.  Includes hole, tree, branch, nest, egg, bird, chick in egg half, wing, and bug.

I really love how meditative and calming this song is.
Song: Standing Like a Tree
Standing like a tree (start with “prayer” hands in front of your heart)
With my roots dug down, (stomp feet)
My branches wide and open; (arms reach up and out)
Come down the rain, (fingers wiggle downward)
Come down the sun, (arms go back up and then go down, hands making a circle)
Come down the fruit to a heart that is open to be… (arms go back up, hands cup and move to heart)
Standing like a tree (repeat)
Credit: Betsy Rose, motions from Fall Creek Elementary’s video

Movement/Yoga: Tree Pose
I explained that the tree pose is a good balance builder and explained how to do it, with variations to make it easier and harder. And that it’s okay to feel unsteady or fall – it’s part of the process to get stronger.

Screenshot from virtual storytime video, showing Ms. Emily in Tree Pose.

Fingerplay: Five Plump Peas
Five plump peas in a peapod pressed (make a fist and cover with the other hand)
One grew, two grew, and so did all the rest (raise all fingers on first hand one by one)
they grew, & they grew, & they grew, & never stopped (hands get wider and wider)
They grew SO BIG that the peapod… POPPED! (hands spread as wide as possible, then clap!)
Credit: Carole Stephens

Read: In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming

You might notice a lot of people wearing green tomorrow. Let’s see what we’re wearing today! (If in person, I would hand out shamrock stickers so everyone was wearing green. For virtual, I just went with it.)
Ukulele Song: I If You’re Wearing Green Today
(tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It)
If you’re wearing green today, dance a jig,
If you’re wearing green today, dance a jig
If you’re wearing green today, dance a jig, smile and wave
If you’re wearing green day dance a jig

Additional verses:
Clap your hands… Spin around… Shout Hooray!… Stomp your feet
Credit: Sunflower Storytime via Storytime with Ms. Kelly

Craft/Activity: Cutting the Grass
I saw this activity from Little Pine Learners and thought it was really clever. Kids get scissor practice, crossing the midline, the fun of discovery, and some coloring, if they wish. I made my own set of items that could be found under the grass (that pill bug was challenging but fun!), and stapled green construction paper over the top. In my take-home instructions, I encouraged parents to tape down the white part to a table or somewhere vertical, like the refrigerator to help make the cutting a little easier. Parents and kids can go on a scavenger hunt for these items in their own yard or in a park to extend the fun and learning. Download a printable PDF of the artwork here!

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
The Croaky Pokey
by Ethan Long
Gator, Gator, Gator
by Daniel Bernstrom & Frann Preston-Gannon
Where Is the Green Sheep?
by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 3/16/21.

Storytime Handout:
I had these already printed out from 2020, so I didn’t update them. (The header is different and there’s no info on our virtual storytimes). The Red Light/Green Light song was something I would have done in person, but not virtually.

Handout including suggested books and rhyme and song lyrics.

Preschool Storytime: Pets

I’m not sure why I thought it was a great idea to do a bunch of animal-themed storytimes in the months BEFORE our animal-themed summer reading program, but here we are. Kids love animals, so it’s probably okay to do a bunch on them! There were so many great books for pets that I had lots of trouble deciding which to feature.

The flannel pieces I made from “scratch,” starting with clipart from Canva and building the layers. Since there are lots of potential pets, there was plenty of options to choose from, so I did as many animals as I could, and probably still left out a few. It was another labor of love, with some tiny pieces. Does anyone else feel like they ruin anything they add paint to? I just have NOT gotten a handle on how to make puffy paint look good. Overall, though, I’m happy with how it turned out.

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

Early Literacy Tip: Even before your child can read on their own, books are a great way to work on visual literacy skills. Let them “read” the pictures to you – they’ll learn to pick up details, tell a narrative, and appreciate how illustrations can tell a story as well as text. Books like Dog in Charge or even wordless picture books are great for this exercise.

Welcome Song: We Clap and Sing Hello

Discussion: Who has a pet at home? What kind? What do you love about them? If not, what kind of pet would you get if you could? Some of us can’t have pets because we’re allergic, or we don’t have the time or live in a space to properly take care of a pet, so maybe we have pretend pets or stuffed animals.

I adapted this rhyme to fit the pets I made flannels for, and updated the names to reflect a more modern and diverse set of kiddos.
Rhyme: Pet Show
We’re having a pet show in our neighborhood
With prizes for the pets that are good
Blake’s cat is the bravest and Juan’s turtle is cute
Quinn’s dog is funny, while Will’s hermit crab sure can scoot
Ana’s bunny is softest with her silky coat
And Noor’s goldfish is pretty, though all it does is float
Lane has a chameleon that is the best at hiding
And Jin has a snake that is very good at sliding
Khari has a guinea pig that really loves to chew
But my bird’s the only one that can say, “I love you”
Credit: adapted by Ms. Emily from Stratford Library (CT)

Flannel of various pets.  Includes a chameleon, turtle, dog, goldfish, guinea pig, hermit crab, rabbit, cat, snake, and parakeet.

Read: Some Pets by Angela DiTerlizzi & Brendan Wenzel

Flannel Activity: Pet Voices
This my pet _____ . They make this sound ______.
(for example)
This is my pet fish. They make this sound: “Glub Glub”
Get creative with noises! Dog, cat, bird, snake, rabbit, lizard, turtle, etc.
Credit: Jen in the Library

Song: How Much is that Pet in the Window?
How much is that doggy in the window? Woof woof!
The one with the waggily tail?
How much is that doggy in the window? Woof woof!
I do hope that doggy’s for sale

Additional verses: (What do other animals do and say?)
Kitty…meow…whiskers so long
Bird… tweet tweet…flappity wings
Rabbit…hop hop…hoppity legs
Fish… glub glub… swimmy fins
Credit: Jen in the Library

Update 6/17/21: I recently used this song at an outreach event and played it on ukulele. It was a hit!

Get a downloadable ukulele songsheet here!

I used the template at kizclub.com for this one. I’m a little extra, so I used an exacto knife to cut out some of the white spaces before laminating. I also changed up the animal pronouns instead of defaulting male as the book does.
Flannel Retelling: Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

Printed and laminated "flannel" pieces for the book Dear Zoo.  Includes an elephant, giraffe, lion, snake, monkey, frog, camel, and dog, with crates for each.

I love this title so much. There’s some inference needed to understand what’s going on in the story, so don’t be afraid to talk it out with a younger group, but it’s just such a sweet book.
Read: Alfie by Thyra Heder

Action Rhyme: I Had a Little Turtle
I had a little turtle (make turtle with fist – thumb is the head)
His name was Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim.
He drank up all the water (glub, glub)
He ate up all the soap (munch, munch)
And when he woke up next morning
He had bubbles in his throat! (bubbly noises)
Credit: Jbrary

Action Rhyme: Can You?
(act out each line)
Can you hop like a rabbit?
Can you creep like turtle in a bog?
Can you stalk like a cat?
Can you run like a dog?
Can you slither like a snake?
Can you swim like a fish?
Can you sit down now and listen
And be as still as this?
Credit: adapted from Jen in the Library

I went back and forth on whether to read this one or Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite. Both are great. Dog in Charge is a little shorter, though, so it won out.
Read: Dog in Charge by K.L. Going & Dan Santat

Ukulele Song: The Goldfish by The Laurie Berkner Band, from the album Victor Vito

Get a downloadable ukulele songsheet for “The Goldfish” here!

thumbnail of ukulele songsheet for The Goldfish.

Craft: Fishbowl
Paper plate crafts are great. I love that it (hopefully) shows parents that they don’t need fancy art supplies to let their kids get creative. For this one, I took inspiration from Sunflower Storytime (who, in turn, credits Daisy Cottage Designs), and mine turned out to be a mix of the two. Since I had just given out cereal last week, I decided to use some leftover dried beans as the aquarium rocks, and used green tissue paper to make the underwater plant. If you don’t have beans, puffed rice would make a lighter alternative. I liked the look of the multicolored beans, though. I had two plants only because I had alternative directions on how to make two kinds, but gave the kids material enough for just one.

I also suggested these alternative titles during the permanent YouTube video.
Lola Gets a Cat
by Anna McQuinn & Rosalind Beardshaw
Take Your Pet to School Day
by Linda Ashman & Suzanne Kaufman
Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite
by Stacy McAnulty & Edward Hemingway

Closing Rhyme: Tickle the Stars

This storytime was presented virtually on 3/9/21.

Storytime Handout:

Handout including book suggestions and rhyme and song lyrics.

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.