The Books: 


Extension Activities: 

Fingerplay: “Houses”
Here is a nest for a robin. (cup hands)
Here is a hive for a bee. (make fist with one hand, wrap other hand around it)
Here is a hole for a bunny. (make circle with thumb and index finger)
And here is a house for me. (put arms above head with fingers touching at an angle)
source: Susan M. Dailey

Action Song: “In and Out the Doors” (tune: “Go In and Out the Window”)
Step in and out the front door. (take a step forward, then back)
Step in and out the front door.
Step in and out the front door.
Then make a doorbell sound. (say “ding dong”)

Jump in and out the back door. (jump forward, then back)
Jump in and out the back door.
Jump in and out the back door.
Bend down and touch the ground. (touch ground with hand)

Slide in and out the side door. (slide to one side, then other)
Slide in and out the side door.
Slide in and out the side door.
And then turn all around. (turn around)

Step in and out the front door.
Jump in and out the back door.
Slide in and out the side door.
Then sit yourself right down. (sit down)
source: Susan M. Dailey

Stick houses

I had a volunteer glue together all the houses and I pre-cut (4.5×4.5) the papers. I let the kids color the houses with markers and then draw a picture of what makes them happy. This craft went really well with the book, Mr. Pine’s Purple House.



The first storytime of the new year I wanted to focus on saying “hello” and “goodbye.” So here’s what we did:

The Books:


Extension Activities:

Song: “Hello Everybody!” by Carole Peterson (Cd: Sticky Bubble Gum…and Other Tasty Tunes)
Hello, everybody, how do you do?
How do you do? How do you do?
Hello everybody, how do you do?
I like you, to-day!

If you like the color red, pat your head!
If you like the color blue, pat your shoe!
If you like the color green, pat your knees!
I like you, to-day!
Other verses:
If you like choo choo trains, blow your whistle! (toot, toot)
If you like ice cream, say yum! (rub your tummy)
If you like dinosaurs, let me hear you roar! (roar)
source: Macaroni Soup

Action Rhyme: “How Do You Say Hi?” (do actions as they are said)
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!
Source: Storytime Katie

This one has become a favorite of ours. I use it every time when we begin storytime.

Flannelboard: “Can We Find?” (tune: “The Muffin Man”)

Can we find a _ _ ?
A _ _? A _ _?
Can we find a _ _?
We want to say hello!
(hide five different animals/items under the houses. Look for each one after singing the refrain. Greet each item with a loud hello when found)
source: Storytime Katie

This flannel board was super easy because I used animals that I already had from another flannel board and house from yet another flannel board that I had. Plus, it was a lot of fun having the kids find the animals. Afterward I asked them how they thought that animal might say “hi!”

Goodbye song: “It’s Time to Say Goodbye” by Dr. Jean


Handprints with different ways to say “hello” and “goodbye”
I found this cute idea over at Storytime Katie and thought it would go perfect with Rachel Isadora’s book. To save a bit of time I printed off a template for the hands and our amazing clerks cut them all out for me. I also created a document with all the ways to say “hello” and “goodbye” in several different languages (including what language it was). This was a great craft for our storytime theme. I’ve included them below. 



hand template



This week we talked about friends; what we like to do with our friends, it’s okay to disagree with friends, working together, and what it means to be a good friend.

The Books:


Extension Activities:

Poem: “With a Friend” by Vivian Gould
I can talk with a friend
And walk with a friend
And share my umbrella in the rain.

I can play with a friend
And stay with a friend
And learn with a friend
And explain.

I can eat with a friend
And compete with a friend
And even sometimes disagree.

I can ride with a friend
And take pride with a friend
A friend can mean so much to me!

Action Song: “Friend of Mine” (tune: “Mary Had a Little Lamb”)
Will you be a friend of mine,
A friend of mine, a friend of mine?
Will you be a friend of mine
And (insert action) around with me?
source: Johnson County Library

This song was great! I started with jumping then let the kids suggest different things to do. I even had one little boy in my Wednesday afternoon class that suggested we do Ring Around the Rosy. It was a lot of fun. 

Parachute Fun: “Freeze Dance” by Kids DJ’s Party Songs
After reading Will You Be My Friend? we talked about how all the animals had to work together to help rebuild Bird’s nest, so we were going to have to work together to have fun with the parachute. It worked too!

kids dj's party songs

Fingerplay (or Game with our Hands): “One Hand Can Wave”
(put your hands behind your back)
One hand can wave (bring one hand out, then put it back)
One hand can snap (bring the other hand out, leave it out)
But it needs a friend…
to clap, clap, clap.

I found this on JBrary and thought it was so cute! My Tuesday morning class had so much fun they wanted to do it over and over and over and over again. Watch the video, you won’t be sorry.

Friendship bracelets!
I let the kids make two friendship bracelets (one for them, one to give to a friend) out of chenille stems and pony beads. I encouraged parents to let the kids put the beads on themselves because it helps build their fine motor skills, which will then help them later when they are learning to write. They turned out really cute and the kids had a lot of fun making them. One girl asked if she could make more because she couldn’t choose which friend to give it to.




Ahhhh! Spiders!

In the spirit of Halloween we did a story time all around spiders.  Normally, I am terrified of spiders but I had a lot of fun with this story time.  I usually have a story time box that I use to introduce the children to the theme for the week but this week I told them the story of “The Dark, Dark Woods.”  In the dark, dark corner of the dark, dark room, that was in the dark, dark house, located in the dark, dark woods, there was a dark, dark, chest.  I warned the kids first that it might be a scary story and I hoped that they didn’t get too scared.  😉  In the dark, dark chest Miss Lori and I like to put some silly things like: a small plunger, a giant baby bottle, a rubber chicken, anything but the scary object.  I pulled out several of these silly things one at a time after I would restart the story, by the end most of the kids were able to recite it with me.  Very last I pulled out Alan, our Folkmanis tarantula.  It was really fun.

Now let’s get to it.

The Books:


On Tuesday we read Are You a Spider, I didn’t read The Very Busy Spider because it was not available.  Besides I like adding nonfiction books into our storytime.  It gives us an opportunity to learn cool new things, like that spiders have 8 eyes!  Fun new fact.

Extension Activities:

Flannel Board: Five Little Spiders
by Jean Warren (adapted by Kathryn Roach)  I took what Kathryn had done and changed a few of the animals that made the spider fall.

Song: There’s a Spider on the Floor
I gave the kids black pom poms for spiders and played the song by Raffi one day.  I felt that the Raffi version was a little slow for my liking so after the first time we sang it.  I like singing it more anyway because then the kids can make suggestions for where the spider is next.  

Art Activity: Paper Plate Spiders


Things to Do at Home:

I thought that this cute watercolor resist spider web was super cute!


I am sad that I didn’t get to do the squirrel storytime myself.  I was out of the library for both of my storytime days so I asked Miss AnneMarie and Miss Lori to help me out with storytime this week.

Wiggle Workout: This is the Way I Move (tune: Mulberry Bush)
This is the way I touch my nose, touch my nose, touch my nose,
This is the way I touch my nose, when I’m at storytime!
…jump up and down…
…balance on one foot…
…spin in a circle…
…touch my toes…
….stretch up high…
…sit in my spot….
source: TeachingMama
(I altered it to say “storytime” instead of “preschool” and I left out “hop like this”).

The Books:


Extension Activities: 

“Three Little Acorns”
[Three] little acorns hanging on a tree
Saying to a squirrel, “No, you can’t catch me!”
The wind came along, and one tumbled down.
And the squirrel dug a hole and put it in the ground.

No little acorns hanging on the tree.
The snowy winter came and was cold as can be.
But the hungry little squirrel knew just what to do
It dug up those acorns saying, “I caught you!”

We explained to the kids that squirrels hide their acorns so they have them for winter so they are very good at remembering where they hid them.  We put some acorns around the storytime area and had the kids pretend they were squirrels gathering acorns for the fall.  After they had their acorns gathered I had them hide them.  We read another story and then I had the kids try to remember where they hid their acorns and gather them up.

Art Time:

I really like to give the kids different objects to paint with beside a paint brush, so when I found this activity that used toothbrushes to paint I knew we had to do it.  The template can be found at The Mailbox, along with our take home worksheet, Holey Acorns, a counting activity.  The squirrel is holding a walnut shell but if you have a child with allergies I found these fun pumpkin shaped marshmallows at the grocery store that would be fun too.


It’s Pumpkin Time!!

Wiggle Workout: This is the Way I Move (tune: Mulberry Bush)
This is the way I touch my nose, touch my nose, touch my nose,
This is the way I touch my nose, when I’m at storytime!
…jump up and down…
…balance on one foot…
…spin in a circle…
…touch my toes…
….stretch up high…
…sit in my spot….
source: TeachingMama
(I altered it to say “storytime” instead of “preschool” and I left out “hop like this”).

The Books:

  1787031 1393883

It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! was such a fun book.  We counted how many pumpkins mouse had and I had the kids make the faces that mouse had painted on the pumpkins.  I have to say that there were some pretty good sad faces, it would be hard to say “no” to.  Not only that it was a great segue to our craft of making friendly, plumply, dumply pumpkins.  I love Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin not only because simple rhyming text is fun to read but I also really like how it talks about all the things that you can make with pumpkins.  The best was when it asked if Peter (the main character) was going to make pumpkin pickles with his pumpkin.  The kids all scrunched up their faces and said, “Ewww!”  It was awesome!  It’s Pumpkin Time! is a great book for teaching about the life cycle of a pumpkin.  Afterwards I reviewed the sequence of a pumpkins life cycle with the kids.  They did great at remembering.

Extension Activities:

Rhyme: 5 Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, “Oh my it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air.”
The third one said, “But we don’t care!”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run.”
The fifth one said, “We are ready for some fun!”
Then OOOhh OOOhh went the wind
And out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

We also did the Pumpkin Chant.  This is a super fun chant that, again, talks about all the fun things that you can do with pumpkins.  Out of respect for the author, Jane Willis Johnston, I won’t write the chant here but you can find it on her blog Word Wind Publishing.  JBrary also did a cute video of it that can be found here.  The only thing that I did different from what JBrary did was instead of clapping on our laps then hands then laps again, (I found this to be a little bit difficult for the kids, we spent more time focusing on the clapping than on the words) I just had the kids clap their hands 3 times while saying, “Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin.”  


After we read It’s Pumpkin Time! I used this to help reinforce the life cycle of a pumpkin.  I asked the kids if they remembered what a pumpkin starts as then went from there.  They did pretty good.  I think the hardest one to remember was the plant.  And since I thought that this activity was so cool, I gave them the template to take home and make their own.  The template with instructions can be found at Kids Activities Blog.  Super fun!

I always find the cutest rhymes and extra activities and sometimes we just don’t have time to cover everything.  So here is a cute pumpkin poem and song that you can do at home:

One day I found two pumpkin seeds
I planted one and pulled the weeds.
It sprouted roots and a big long vine
A pumpkin grew; I called it mine
The pumpkin was quite round and fat
I really am quite proud of that.
But there is something I’ll admit
That has me worried just a bit.
I ate the other seed, you see
Now will it grow inside of me?
I’m so relieved since I have found
That pumpkins only grow in the ground!

Song: Pumpkin, Pumpkin
(tune: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)
Pumpkin, pumpkin orange and round,
Sitting right there on the ground
Once you were a seed so small
Now you are a great orange ball
Pumpkin, pumpkin orange and round,
rolling, rolling on the ground.

Art Time:

For our art project we made our very own plumply, dumply pumpkins to go along with the book.  I really liked this activity because it was something different from the usual painting and it involved cutting and lacing.  Great for fine motor development.  This craft was inspired by I Can Teach My Child.  I changed it up just a little.  Instead of using a paper bag we used a sheet of construction paper.  I had the kids fold it hamburger style, draw their pumpkin on and cut it out.  I also added the cute little green vine piece.  I always remember my pumpkins having a bit of the vine left on them.  🙂


More Fun At Home:

I always find a ton of fun activities that I would love to do but there just isn’t enough time during story time to do them.  So I’ve decided to add some of them here in case any of my parents would like to do them at home with their kids.

Pumpkin Pie Playdough – How fun would this be!  The imagination can go wild with playdough.  It would also be fun to add to a fall sensory bin with different kinds of autumn squash, orange and yellow block, leaves, anything that reminds us of fall. A recipe can easily be found by searching.  Here’s one that I found over at No Time For Flash Cards.

Early Literacy Tip:
Rhyming helps with phonological awareness.  This helps children identify that words have smaller parts so when they begin reading they are able to sound out words easier.


Wiggle Workout: This is the Way I Move (tune: Mulberry Bush)
This is the way I touch my nose, touch my nose, touch my nose,
This is the way I touch my nose, when I’m at storytime!
…jump up and down…
…balance on one foot…
…spin in a circle…
…touch my toes…
….stretch up high…
…sit in my spot….
source: TeachingMama
(I altered it to say “storytime” instead of “preschool” and I left out “hop like this”).

Our air conditioning in the library has not been working for the last two weeks.  Hopping up and down and spinning in circles got really warm by my Wednesday at 1:00 class so we had to do a quieter version without so much movement.  🙂

The Books: 


Extension Activities:

Flannel Board: “Fall Is Not Easy”
I was inspired by Storytime Katie and created some new sets of leaves for the tree to try and change to in the fall.  The kids tried to help the tree change her leaves by closing their eyes and thinking really hard about fall leaves.  They all laughed and thought it was fun to see what silly leaf set I put up next.

Song: “Leaves are Falling” (tune: London Bridge)
give kids scarves to be the leaves or give them silk leaves to act out

Autumn leaves are falling down
Falling down, falling down
Autumn leaves are falling down
All around the town

Wind will blow them round and round
Round and round, round and round
Wind will blow them round and round
All around the town

Drifting gently to the ground
To the ground, to the ground
Drifting gently to the ground
All around the town.

Take a rake and rake them up
Rake them up, rake them up
Take a rake and rake them up
All around the town
source: JBrary

This was so fun!  I gave each of the kids two leaves and had them be the trees trying to hold on to their leaves as long as possible.  At the end I took the remaining leaves and tossed them up in the air.  We raked them up and tossed them in the air again.  It was a lot of fun creating piles and tossing them up.  We sang the last verse again and I had my helpers help me put them back in the basket.  All the kids were a great help picking up all the leaves.

Another fun rhyme that we didn’t have time to get to is “The Little Leaf.”  You can have your kids hold onto a leaf and make the motions to go with the rhyme.  Here are the words:

The little fall leaf stays on the tree (Hold the leaf in the air)
Until the wind comes round. (Flutter the leaf)
The leaf sails right (Flutter the leaf right)
The leaf sails left (Flutter the leaf left)
Then it tumbles to the ground! (Release the leaf and let it fall)

(I can’t remember which website I found this from but it was submitted by Suzanne Moore from Tucson, AZ.  Thanks Suzanne for the awesome rhyme).

Art Time: Fall Leaf