Turtle Storytime

Today’s storytime theme was turtles! It was a fun theme and the group really enjoyed it. I can’t believe I haven’t done it before.

I only have two books to share today because my group was very talkative and had lots of energy so we did extra movement activities to help them get their wiggles out! It’s been cold lately and I think everyone has a bit of cabin fever waiting for spring to come back.

The first book we read is called Hurry Up and Slow Down and it is by Layn Marlow.

This is a very sweet book about a tortoise and a hare. The hare is always in a hurry and wants the tortoise to “Hurry Up!” However, when it comes time for the tortoise to read the hare a story, the hare worries the tortoise is going much too fast and wants him to “Hurry Up and Slow Down!” It’s a nice book and many of my kids were familiar with the tortoise and the hare which added a bit of depth for them.

We also read Turtle Splash! Countdown to the Pond By Cathryn Falwell

This is a counting book about turtles. It’s simple, but fun to read and it kept my group’s attention. We all counted together, which was a great way to keep them involved with the story. Falwall has another book that features turtles, Scoot! that is a great book for this theme.

I didn’t get to it because I ran out of time and we spent much more time moving around this week than usual.

Our craft today was really cute. It’s from this website.

It’s a turtle whose head can peek out from its shell! Everyone really liked it and the children were quite proud of what they were able to make. This craft does require a bit of cutting, which worked great today because most of the children are confident with scissors and if they needed help their parents were there to provide it. Everyone’s storytime group is different so if your group isn’t ready for scissors, this craft might require some pre-cutting. As usual, everyone’s turtle was spectacular!

I’m thankful for storytime!

Since Thanksgiving is next week, I decided to do a turkey themed storytime this week. It’s a bit early, but we don’t have storytime next week and I figured most of the kids would know it’s coming. I was right! I will be honest, I planned this way back in August and then when it came time to pull the books they were all gone! It was totally my fault and I felt silly. What ended up happening was me putting books on hold and hoping for the best. Luckily, everything worked out and we had a good time today!

First we read, I’m A Turkey by Jim Arnosky.

This is a cute book about a turkey named Tom. The kids thought this book was so funny. One interesting point in the book is when Tom points out that the next turkey the reader meets could be one of his flock or even Tom, himself! As a vegetarian, I have no problem with what this sort of insinuates. I don’t think any of the kids noticed since the book ends with gobbling and so we all gobbled like crazy.

Next we read Five Silly Turkeys by Salina Yoon.

This is a super short book about 5 very silly turkeys. Basically, it is a fingerplay that has been turned into a book. It could easily be made into a flannelboard or just be told by using your fingers.

We also read Charlie Chick by Nich Denchfield.

I have read this book before in storytime. It is definitely one of my favorite books for toddlers ( I just added to my shopping list for my 2 1/2-year-old nephew ) and fit well with this theme.  Charlie may not be a turkey but he does like to eat- and so do we on Thanksgiving!

I also read Who Hops by Katie Davis.

This is a great go-to book for storytime. It’s very funny and interactive. Books like this beg to be read in storytime.

There are lots of fingerplays and songs that are appropriate for a Thanksgiving or turkey theme. We changed our usual If You’re Happy And You Know It to If You’re Thankful and You Know It.

We played a game of “Turkey Says” and I used a turkey puppet to give directions. Basically this was a waterdowned version of Simon Says. We also discussed being thankful. Everyone got a chance to say what they are thankful for. This was my favorite part of storytime today. Lots of cute answers such as ponies, kittens, themselves, snacks at preschool (specifically fruit snacks) and family. What am I thankful for? My awesome job (the best in the world!) that allows me to spend time with my sweet, hilarious, cute and very awesome storytime kids.

For our craft this week, we put feathers on a turkey.

As usual, everyone was very creative with their turkeys. There was lots of good coloring going on, I just didn’t get any pictures. One turkey made me smile:

She told me it was the back of the turkey. Too cute!

Dog Storytime

Our fall storytime session began again today and I am super excited to be doing our 3-5 year old storytime again this year! I had a whole new group this fall because most of last year’s group had grown out of storytime and graduated on to kindergarten.  I was accustomed to an older group and a lot of these kids are on the younger side of the 3-5 range so that sort of changed things for me. But, that being said it was super fun! Everyone was so excited to be in storytime and that always makes it more fun for me. Anyway, on to the storytime!

This week’s theme was dogs. I can’t believe I’ve never done a dog theme before! The first book I read was I Don’t Want a Posh Dog by Emma Dodd.

I really love Emma Dodd’s books. The illustrations are super fun and they stories are alway a joy to read aloud. This book was no exception. It’s all about a girl who knows exactly what kind of dog she does not want. I know that the kids got a kick out of and it made for a good first book for this storytime.

Next we read Hunky Dory Ate It by Katie Evans, illustrated by Janet Morgan Stoeke.

Once again, this was a very fun book with rhyming text. It’s a very simple story, Hunky Dory eats everyone’s food and then she gets sick. This was a great book for making predictions. After each page I would ask the kids what would happen next… of course it was Hunky Dory ate it!

After that we read Do Your Ears Hang Low by Caroline Church.

This book is a cute depiction of the classic song “Do Your Ears Hang Low?”.  It was lots of fun to read and then afterwards we sang the song with all of the motions.

There are lots of dog crafts out there. I ended up finding this week’s craft in an old file from a long time ago. Sometimes I like using those crafts. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel each week.

We made a dog house this week. It’s very basic. The kids just cut out a dog and a house, glued it on a sheet of paper and then decorated it.

Fishy storytime

This week’s storytime was all about fish. There are so many great fish books out there, it is hard to pick just a few for storytime.

We started with Smiley Shark by Ruth Galloway.

This is a fun story about a shark who scares away all of his potential friends with his huge smile. Luckily, they learn the value of having a friend like him and they end up being friends. This is a fun book to read in storytime because the kids always think the shark is going to be mean, even though the title clearly states that he is smiley. It always leads to a fun discussion.

Next we read Bright Stanley by Matt Buckingham.

This is about a little fish named Stanley who loses his friends. That seems to be a theme with fish books. Anyway, he is shiny and bright and that helps him find them. This is an exciting book to read just because of the foiled scales on Stanley, the kids really like that. It’s in the same vein as the Rainbow Fish books by Marcus Pfister.

We only read two books today because we played some games and also did a fun flannel board. I gave each child a different color piece of felt and they added it to the fish on the board. I have done this before and everytime it’s a huge success. I call out the colors by name so they have to identify what color they are holding and then get to come up.

Our craft was a similar idea. They had to put scales on fish. This craft is very much like the craft I did for a previous fish storytime except this time I used a paper plate and they tore the scales from paper. I don’t know which one was more popular. They both worked great!

The picture isn’t the greatest of the actual craft, but this is the best one I was able to get. You can see the paper plate fish on the left. My favorite part of the picture is actually hard to see. One of my favorite storytime kids (who am I kidding, they are all my favorite!) made an all yellow fish, you can see it on the right. He told me it was his own Stanley to take home. The same child came up to me prior to storytime and said “I AM SO EXCITED FOR STORYTIME MISS SARAH!!!!” It melted my heart. And that, my friends, is the perfect example of why I have the absolute best job in the whole world.

Hoo! Hoo! Owl Storytime

After what has seemed like the longest storytime break ever- we are back!!

I was very excited to start this session with an owl storytime! There are some very cute books all about owls that I knew my storytime kids would enjoy.

We started out with A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na.

I think this is one of the most beautiful picture books to come out last year.  I just love the illustrations and the kids really enjoyed this calming story.

Next we read Wow! said the Owl by Tim Hopgood.

This is a great story all about an owl who decides to stay up during the day to see all of the beautiful colors. This was a fun book to read because not only did it teach the children that owls sleep during the day (What? Who knew?!) but also reinforces colors. The illustrations are bright and beautiful and the kids liked guessing which color each page was about.

Next we read one of my favorite owl books, Owl Babies by Martin Waddell.

This is such a sweet story about three owl babies who wake up and their mother is not there. The children were all worried about the owls but were not too worried that the owl babies’ mother would be missing for too long.

For our craft, we made owl masks. These were perfect because they looked just like the owls in Owl Babies.

It was very easy to make. Just cut out some eye holes, attach a beak and some cotton balls and you have yourself one cool owl mask


This week we went under the sea and had a fish storytime.

We started with Not Norman by Kelly Bennett.

I have been wanting to do this in a storytime for a long time. It’s so cute and was very popular with the kids. It also opened up the conversation to discussing our pets.

Next we read Little Fish, Lost by Nancy Van Laan.This a great book about a little fish who loses his mom and meets all sorts of nice animals while he is looking for her. Of course they are reunited and it’s a happy ending.

We finished this week with Fish is Fish by Leo Lionni.

I really like Leo Lionni and had planned on reading another book by him, Swimmy, but then I saw this one on the shelf and decided to switch it up. It’s about a fish who is friend with a tadpole who learns that its ok be different. It’s a beautiful book and was a good way to end storytime.

For our craft this week, we put scales on fish!

 Gluing is very popular with the kids, they could glue all day long. So I made lots of colored circles for them to glue and they had a ball.


Our theme for storytime this week was Pigs. Good thing I had planned to do this theme this week and not last week. Last week it probably would have been in poor taste due to all of the Swine Flu craziness going on. Luckily, no one cares about swine flu this week so I could go forward with my theme.

We began with Z-Z-Zoink! by Bernard Most.

zoinkI read about this book a bit online before choosing it for storytime. I have to say, it is a great addition to my storytime repertoire! It is repetitive, which makes for a fun chorus of Z-Z-ZOINKS! throughout the story.

Next we read If You Give A Pig A Pancake by Laura Numberoff, illustrated by Felicia Bond.

if you give a pig a pancakeI will be honest, I have always been a skeptic when it comes to the If You Give books by the Numeroff and Bond combo. I received If You Give a Mouse a Cookie from my friend Meredith when I was in first grade so it has always been completely astounding to me that these books are still coming out. This being said, my skepticism was quickly shoved aside when I read If You Give A Pig A Pancake to the group this morning. The kids were into this book and found the pig hilarious. I guess this is just another case of me allowing my adult judgment carry too much weight.

We finished with Pepo and Lolo Are Friends by Ana Martin Larranaga.

pepo_loloThis is a very simple but sweet story about two friends, Pepo and Lolo. It is a charming book to read and although it is a fairly simple story, the children really enjoyed it.

For craft this week, we made pig masks. I found the template here: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/Mask.shtml

For a little more excitement for this craft, I had the children glue on a pink felt nose. I also swapped out the elastic band and had them connect popsicle sticks with masking tape instead.