Story Times

Fruit Story Time (Toddler)

Hello songs

Book 1: The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

Theme Song:

Apples & Bananas

I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas
I like to eat eat eat apples and bananas
I like to oot oot oot ooples and banoonoos
I like to oot oot oot ooples and banoonoos
Upples and banuhnuhs
Aypples and banaynays
Eeples and baneenees

Re-focus song

Book 2: The Little Mouse, the Red Rip Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Favorite songs including the Bananas Unite! song and goodbye!


Story Times

Bear Story Time (Toddler)

Hello songs

Book 1: Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera

Theme Rhyme:

Two Little Black Bears

Two little black bears sitting on a hill
One named Jack and one named Jill
Run away Jack, run away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill
Two little black bears digging in the snow
One named Fast and one named Slow…
Two little black bears digging in the ground
One named Quiet and one named Loud..

Re-focus Song

Book 2: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Finished with some of our favorite songs and goodbye!

Early Literacy Workshops

Early Literacy Workshop: The Power of Pretend

This is a workshop I conducted on the importance of playing pretend. The workshop was conducted with our regular Family Storytime crowd of grown-ups with children ages 0-5. I framed the workshop as a regular story time, but included early literacy tips at appropriate moments throughout the workshop.

Book 1: Not A Box by Antoinette Portis

Theme Song: This is a sort of made up song, I originally found a version of it in some strange YouTube video, but edited it to better suit our workshop. Of course we did some pretending for each line of the song.

The Pretend Song
It’s fun to be this
It’s fun to be that
To leap like a lamb
To climb like a cat
To hop like a frog
To swim like a fish
To trot like a horse
To eat from your dish (om nom nom nom nom nom)
It’s fun to pretend
To play make believe
It’s fun to pretend
Or just to be me!

Re-focus song

Book 2: Meeow and the Little Chairs by Sebastien Braun

We ended by using pretend to sing some of our favorites songs such as Tick Tock (pretending to be a cuckoo clock) and Snake in the Grass (pretending to be a snake). 


The following are the tips we discussed throughout our workshop:

  • Playing pretend is important because it helps our child develop:
    • Vocabulary
    • Language
    • Social skills
    • Problem solving skills
  • What can we play pretend with at home or on the go?
    • Boxes
    • Clothes and costumes
    • Pots and pans
    • Stuffed animals and dolls
    • Subway cards and old credit cards
  • Encourage your child to tell a story by asking open ended questions while they are playing:
    • What is this character doing?
    • Where are they going?
    • How do they feel right now?

At the very end I also gave out this nice handout I found that summarized our workshop well:


Story Times

Bug Themed Story Time (Toddler)

Hello songs

Book 1: Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi

Theme Song: The Insect Song

Sung to: “The Wheels on the Bus”

The firefly at night goes blink blink blink
Blink blink blink blink blink blink
The firefly at night goes blink blink blink
All around the town

The bees in the flowers go buzz buzz buzz….
The ants in the grass go march march march…
The crickets in the leaves go chirp chirp chirp…
The caterpillar in the field goes creep creep creep….

Re-focus song

Book 2: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner

Favorite songs and goodbye song!



Story Times

Feelings Story Time (Toddler)

This story time was specifically about feeling GRUMPY!

Hello songs

Book 1: Hooray for Hat by Brian Won

Theme Song:

How Are You Feeling?
(tune of Hickory Dickory Dock)

How are you feeling today?
Oh how are you feeling today?
I’m happy and glad, happy and glad,
That’s how I’m feeling today.

How are you feeling today?
Oh how are you feeling today?
I’m grumpy and cross, grumpy and cross,
That’s how I’m feeling today.

How are you feeling today?
Oh how are you feeling today?
I’m sleepy and tired, sleepy and tired,
That’s how I’m feeling today.

How are you feeling today?
Oh how are you feeling today?
I’m frightened and scared, frightened and scared
That’s how I’m feeling today.

How are you feeling today?
Oh how are you feeling today?
I’m happy and glad, happy and glad,
That’s how I’m feeling today.

Re-focus song

Book 2: Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer

Favorite songs and goodbye!

Class Visits

Snow/Winter Story Time (3-K Class Visit)

Hello Song

Book: Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda

Theme Song:

See the little bunnies sleeping ’til its early noon
Come and let us gently wake them with a merry tune
Why so still
Are they ill
Wake up soon
Hop little bunnies hop hop hop! Hop little bunnies hop hop hop!
Hop little bunnies hop hop hop! Hop little bunnies hop hop hop!

Puppet time: Pets, hugs and “feeding” time with bunny puppet Carrots!

Activity time: With this class I always do an activity at the end of our story time. Sometimes it’s artistic, sometimes science-y, whatever fun I can think up that has to do with our theme of the day! For this activity we played with instant snow. We talked about how the snow feels before and after we add water. We touched it and smelled it, added food coloring to mix up different colors, and the kids were very entertained when they learned that we were really playing with the stuff that goes inside diapers! Here is the “recipe” we used.

Snow Activity:

1 lb bucket instant snow (purchased for $20 from Lakeshore, one bucket makes GALLONS so you can use it for many activities))

Food coloring

Put snow in bowl, add water, then food coloring. Super easy and lots of fun!



Story Times

Shapes Story Time (Toddler)

Hello songs

Book 1: Brown Rabbit’s Shapes by Alan Baker

Theme Song: This was a combined theme song and activity. As we sang the song I held up felt shapes for the children to identify. We used four standard shapes and one squiggly crazy shape that we made up a name for!

Shape Song (to the tune of Do You Know the Muffin Man?

Do you know what shape this is?
What shape this is, what shape this is
Do you know what shape this is…
I’m holding in my hand???

Re-focus song

Book 2: Shapes at Play by Silvia Borando

Finished with some frequently requested favorite songs and goodbye!

Story Times

Cookies Story Time (Baby)


Hello songs

Book 1: The Best Mouse Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Theme Songs: These songs were both pretty short so we did two, they are both lapsit songs.

Pizza, Pickle, Pumpernickel

Pizza, pickle, pumpernickel
My little baby deserves a tickle
One for her nose, one for his toes
One for the tummy where the cookie goes

Cookie in the Oven

I’m a cookie in the oven
And I’m getting very hot!
Tick, tock,
Tick, tock
Out I pop!

Re-focus song

Book 2: Cookie by Andrea-Posner Sanchez (a Sesame Street board book)

Favorite lapsit songs and goodbye!

Early Literacy Workshops

Early Literacy Workshop: Intro to 5 Foundations of Early Literacy

This was a workshop I conducted at a local school with parents of children ages around 3-5. The following is my outline of discussion for the workshop as well as the fun activity we did at the end.

Outline for Family Literacy Workshop

Welcome, Intros

What is early literacy? (Discussion)

Definition: Early literacy is what a child knows about reading and writing before they have the ability to read and write ex: scribbling with a crayon, recognizing shapes

5 Foundations of Literacy? (Discussion)

Read, Write, Talk, Sing, Play (I like to sing it to a beat, drum on table, helps us remember)

  • Read—read together, develops literacy skills, no X amount of time per day, okay to read book okay to repeat books, not finish a book, talk about pictures only, at this age we focus on development of LOVE of reading
  • Write—develops fine motor skills making it easier for child to hold a pencil, type etc
  • Talk—vocab skills, language skills, storytelling skills, social skills, word identification
  • Sing—singing slows down words so that its easier to understand vocabulary, also introduces children to rhythm
  • Play—develops, vocab, language skills and especially problem solving skills, gross motor skills

Silly Song Break! For this workshop we sang The Bananas Unite Song and Snake in the Grass. These can be found in my favorite songs section.

Today our activity will focus on the skill of writing.

Before a child excels at writing they develop fine motor skills, small hand movements that help with things later on such as writing and holding scissors.

What are some things you can do at home for writing skills?

  • Encourage scribbling by providing many opportunities to write and draw. Keep crayons and paper on a table where children can return again and again.
  • Get magnetic letters for the refrigerator or make letters from cardboard for the children to play with.
  • Have them sign their drawings to develop hand-eye coordination and build up their writing muscles. Children also begin to understand that writing represents words.
  • Talk about what they draw, have them make up stories or write captions for their drawings so they make the connection between written and spoken language.

Today we will be using easy to find at home materials to make a fun activity that your children can play with and that you can use to play with them. This activity will help your child develop those all important fine motor skills!  As an added bonus, this activity, like many that you already do at home, covers many of the early literacy skills such as play, write, and talk when you engage with your child!

Activity: Gel Bags


  • Clear hair gel
  • Quart sized freezer ziploc bags
  • Odds and ends (beads, pennies, old jewelry, pom poms, glitter)
  • Duct tape


  • Add gel generously into one ziploc bag, then add your odds and ends
  • Close first bag, duct tape, then place upside down into second bag
  • Duct tape second bag closed for added protection against leak
  • Smush away!

Extension activity:

Tape an X or O to the bag, challenge your child to get a particular item into the middle of the O!