Categories
Story Times

Days of the Week Storytime

This was two storytimes over one week, so I used the same theme song but read two different books at each one, so four books total.

Books:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Got to do the classic right?

Monday is One Day by Arthur Levine

A sweet, simple book that helps kids understand why children and their grown-ups have to separate each day (such as the parent going to work)

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

A folktale (I think) in which seven blind mice discover a new “something” and explore it each day to find out what it is.

Today is Monday by Eric Carle

Another lovely but lesser known days of the week book by Eric Carle. This has also been turned into a song so it was fun to read it through, then sing the song together.

Song of the week:

A cool Addams family tune, easy to do with or without the recorded music: Addams Family Days of the Week (I play my music on Spotify but I know not everyone has it so this is the Youtube link)

As always we end storytime with some favorite songs and goodbye songs.

Honorary Mentions:

I didn’t end up reading these two books at storytime but they could also work well.

It’s Monday Mrs. Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson

A silly book in which Mrs. Jolly Bones has to do some chores, but gets everything all mixed up!

The Big Five by Bella Makatini

A grandpa teaches his grandchild about the five most common animals from his African homeland.

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Story Times

Wellness Storytime

I was a touch nervous about this story time because the main theme song is a slow, meditative tune. However, it was a great success even with the large crowd our story times get. Grown-ups and kids alike loved the chance to stop and breathe. I did two story times over one week with the same theme song, so I’ll just include all the books I read (2 books for each story time, total of 4).

This a great story time for themes of wellness, getting hurt or feeling sick. I did it for New Year’s as I know lots of people are thinking about wellness during this time of year!

Books:

Poor Little Rabbit! by Jorg Muhle

I love Muhle’s simple, interactive Little Rabbit books. I particularly like how this one normalizes talking about blood and how to care for your body when you get mildly hurt.

Kiss Baby’s Boo-Boo by Karen Katz

Karen Katz, always an easy hit. This one also has a page in which the child’s teddy bear kisses the boo-boo. Love the nod to self-soothing.

Calling Dr. Zaza by Mylo Freeman

Another beloved series. I’ve read this one many times! Dr. Zaza spends the day curing her stuffed animals many ailments.

Little Faces Big Feelings: What Emotions Look Like by Amy Morrison

Love the real photos in this one!

Theme Song: Breathe In Breathe Out by Nancy Kopman

As always we also did some hello, goodbye, transition and favorite songs.

Categories
Story Times

Cats & Colors Storytime

I was a little nervous about this storytime because the cat song I found is a little weird, but we had so much fun! I ended up doing both of my theme song options because we were just having a great time.

Hello songs

Book 1: Cat’s Colors by Jane Cabrera

I only recently discovered this lovely Jane Cabrera book in which a cute cat asks readers to guess her favorite color. Lovely for storytime.

Theme Song 1: Do Cats eat Ice Cream? by Desmond Dennis

This is a weird song by Youtube personality Desmond Dennis. I can’t speak to any of his other content whatsoever but my group definitely enjoyed the song. I especially like that the song is in an R&B style, which you don’t hear often in children’s music.

Re-focus song

Book 2: Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin & James Dean

Had to do the classic!

Theme Song 2: I See Something Blue by Super Simple Songs

I really dislike most songs about colors to be honest. Most recorded music color songs are just not suitable for storytime, but this one is a great choice. Slow but not too slow, and repetitive but not annoyingly so.

Favorites and goodbye!

Categories
Story Times

Community Jam Session, an Activism/Civic Action Story Time

This was a special storytime I conducted as part of an ongoing civic engagement program at my library system. It was lots of fun but I do wish I’d practiced more beforehand. A great name for this story time is “Community Jam Session.”

Hello songs

Book 1: Drum City by Thea Guidone

A rhythmic book about a kid who brings the community together by conducting a drum march through the city. Children follow along behind the main character, playing all kinds of makeshift drums.

Transition/re-focus song

Book 2: Bing, Bop, Bam Time to Jam! by Valerie Bolling

A community comes together for a weekly jam session!

After the second book, I handed out a bunch of assorted instruments so we could have our community jam session. We played and sang along to the following songs:

Play On Your Instruments by Judi Cranston (song begins at :40 seconds in)
Shake Your Maraca by Little Groove
Shake Shake Shake by Nancy Kopman
Egg Shaker Song by Mister Q

Goodbye song

 

 

Categories
Story Times

Peek-a-boo/Hide and Seek Story Time (a not so spooky Halloween-ish option)

This was a wildly successful story time that I did for the Halloween “season.” I don’t specifically do Halloween story times because many in my community don’t celebrate, so I would call this a Halloween-ish story time. For this story time I thought a lot about fear. What actually scares toddlers and babies? Losing track of your grown-ups can be pretty scary right? So, for my first book I chose a book about (temporarily) losing track of a parent. My second book was a hide and seek book that I thought might encourage families to play a little hide and seek themselves at home.

The hide and seek theme played right into our theme song of the week as well. More details below!

Hello songs

Book 1: Mommy, Where Are You? by Leonid Gore

There are many “lost my mommy” books out there. I like this one for its large, simple text. Large flaps to lift also help make the book more interactive.

Theme Song: Peekaboo! by Cocomelon (I could not find a good version on Youtube so this is the Spotify link)

I am truly not a fan of CoComelon in any way but I must admit this song was a HIT. I printed out and laminated simple versions of the characters mentioned in the song (a wizard, a spider, and a pumpkin), then I gave the characters out to a few choice grown-ups before story time with instructions to hide them until the right moment. Children and grown-ups alike had such fun looking for the characters to pop up around the room!

Transition/re-focus song

Book 2: Where’s Lenny? by Ken Wilson-Max

A title from one of my favorites series, Lenny has easy fun playing hide and seek with dad around the house.

Favorite songs and goodbye

Categories
Story Times

Library Themed Storytime

Recently my library had an open house week. No better time to do a library themed storytime right?! This one was another big hit. It was so inspiring hearing all my patrons sing about how much they love the library (even if I was directing the singing) and we received great feedback from our regulars on this one.

Hello songs

Book 1: This Is A Story by John Schu

A sweet, not too wordy book about readers and libraries.

Theme song: The Library Theme Song

This song is sort of a combination of two other songs, which I’ll also link below. Basically I took the tune of one song, some of the lyrics of the other and also added some of my own.

Tune: Going to the Library by The Kiboomers

Some of the lyrics: Library Song by Kiwi Kidsongs

Re-focus song

Book 2: The Library Book by Tom Chapin (this is both a song and a book)

Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbhsFINv0dQ

We sang this book while also listening to the song. It went over really well, definitely practice beforehand as reading/singing/keeping up with the song at the same time is tough! You can also just read it or sing it without the song in the background.

Additional theme song: ABC Gospel by ChooChooSoul

My patrons LOVE this song. I do it occasionally as a favorite song but it fit in with our theme so I threw it in as an additional theme song as well.

Favorite songs and goodbye

Categories
Class Visits Story Times

Button Storytime

This storytime was such a HIT! I did it for both my regular toddler/family storytime and for my Pre-K class visits and both the books and songs were so well received. Personally, I remembered the song from my old summer camp but there are a few versions floating around on Youtube/Spotify. I recorded my version so you can use it!

I also really love this theme in general. Buttons are one of those things that a lot of adults ignore but children love, and also has many meanings. It could mean a physical button you push, a button you sew, or a metaphorical button that our children push when we’re having a disagreement!

Hello songs

Book 1: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean

Theme Song: Hi! My Name is Flo (Button Factory)

Lyrics:

Hi! My name is Flo and I’m working in a button factory
I have a dog and one frog
One day, my boss came to me she said, Flo, are you busy?
I said Nooooooo
She said push this button (push button with one hand)
Hi! My name is Flo and I’m working in a button factory
I have a dog and two frogs
One day, my boss came to me she said, Flo, are you busy?
I said Nooooooo
She said push this button (push button with second hand)
Hi! My name is Flo and I’m working in a button factory
I have a dog and three frogs
One day, my boss came to me she said, Flo, are you busy?
I said Nooooooo
She said push this button (push button with one foot)
Hi! My name is Flo and I’m working in a button factory
I have a dog and four frogs
One day, my boss came to me she said, Flo, are you busy?
I said Nooooooo
She said push this button (push button with other foot)
She said push this button (push button with one foot)
Hi! My name is Flo and I’m working in a button factory
I have a dog and five frogs
One day, my boss came to me she said, Flo, are you busy?
I said Nooooooo
She said push this button (push button with head or other funny appendage)
Hi! My name is Flo and I’m working in a button factory
I have a dog and six frogs
One day, my boss came to me she said, Flo, are you busy?
I said YES!

Re-focus song

Book 2: Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter

Favorite songs and goodbye
 

Categories
Story Times

Back to School Storytime

It’s that time of year! So many of my storytime regulars are going back to school or going to school for the first time. The books were fun but the song was a HIT this week. It’s a basic movement song with an added story twist. I introduced it by telling the kiddos that they’ll need their listening skills when they go to school, so we’ll practice with this fun song!

Hello songs

Book 1: Rosie Goes to Preschool by Karen Katz

Theme song: Stand Up, Sit Down by Patty Shukla (they LOOOOOVED this song)

Re-focus song

Book 2: Dinosaur vs. School by Bob Shea

Favorite songs and goodbye

Categories
Story Times

Bug Storytime

We’ve been doing storytime outside during the summer, so I love doing outdoor themes during this time. Here’s one about bugs! Both books and the song were a hit. I like this updated version of Raffi’s classic Spider on the Floor.

Hello Songs

Book 1: Butterfly Butterfly by Petr Horacek

Theme Song: Spider on the Floor by the Kiboomers

Re-focus song

Book 2: Some Bugs by AngelaDiTerlizzi

Favorite songs and goodbye

Categories
Story Times

Fruit Storytime

Orange you glad you’re doing a fruit themed storytime? Okay I had to fit one pun in there, but seriously this was berry fun! For each storytime I did this week, I read two different books but used the same fruity theme song.

Theme Song: Bananas Unite! There are many versions of this song but I base mine on the one from Jbrary.

Alt theme song: My crowd absolutely LOVES Watermelon by Justine Clarke.

Books:

Jamberry by Bruce Degen

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Two Little Monkeys by Mem Fox

Technically not about fruit but monkeys=bananas right? This was a really good one for getting the grown-ups involved. Every time we said “Cheeky,” I had the right side of the room say it, and every time we said “Chee” I had the left side of the room say it.

Guess What? – Fruit by Yusuke Yonezu

A simple book, easy to make interactive.

Honorary Mentions:

I didn’t use these books in this storytime but they would also wok well for the theme:

We’re Going to the Farmers’ Market by Stefan Page (good for younger crowd)

Lemons Are Not Red by Lauren Vaccaro Seeger (good for older Pre-K crowd)

Little Mouse’s Big Secret by Eric Battut (good for older Pre-K crowd)

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Stawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear (a classic for all ages)

As always, I started with a couple of hello songs, and ended with some favorite songs and a goodbye song.