Giraffes – Preschool Storytime

When I was putting together my Spots and Dots storytime a while ago, I realized that a lot of the books I found were about giraffes!  I pulled them out and decided to give giraffes a whole storytime of their own.

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT: “Clap Your Hands” from Wiggleworms Love You by Old Town School of Folk Music

BOOK:

Giraffes Ruin Everything by Heidi Schulz, illustrated by Chris Robertson

MOVEMENT:
I’m a Giraffe
I’m a big tall giraffe stretching way up high (reach arms up overhead)
A big tall giraffe, I almost reach the sky (stand up on tip toes)
I eat the leaves from the tallest of trees (pretend to eat like giraffe, rub tummy)
And when I run I move with ease (run in place)
I’m a big tall giraffe stretching way up high (reach arms up overhead)
Way… up… high! (stand on tip toes)

rhyme taken from: Mansfield/Richland County Public Library

FLANNELBOARD STORY:
Count and Color Giraffes

idea taken from Making Learning Fun

Bring out one giraffe and ask the audience: “What color spots does this giraffe have?”
After the children answer sing this song:

(To the tune of “Mary Wore Her Red Dress”)
This giraffe has red spots,
red spots, red spots.
This giraffe has red spots.
Count them with me now.

Count the spots on the giraffe, then bring out another giraffe and repeat.

When you finish, bring out a blank giraffe and sing:
This giraffe has no spots,
no spots, no spots.
This giraffe has no spots.
No more spots to count.

But then I say, I do know one more thing we can count!  And we count the giraffes as I take them off the board.

It’s hard to see from my photo, but the spots my giraffes have are:
red
blue
green
orange
purple

MOVEMENT: “Shake My Sillies Out” from More Singable Songs for the Very Young by Raffi

BOOK:

Abigail by Catherine Rayner

VIDEO:
 

“Giraffes Can’t Dance” from Shrinking Violet… and more stories for young performers.  Based on the book by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:
  
Book: How Do You Say? ¿Cómo se dice? by Angela Dominguez
Book: One Word from Sophia by Jim Averbeck and Yasmeen Ismail
Book: Oh Dear, Geoffrey! by Gemma O’Neill
Book: The Short Giraffe by Neil Flory, illustrated by Mark Cleary
Book: The Starry Giraffe by Andy Bergamann
DVD: A segment from Disney’s Animal World: Giraffes and Zebras
Flannelboard: I Saw a Giraffe Drive Flannelboard

GREAT RESOURCES FOR MORE IDEAS
Fun with Friends at Storytime – Giraffe Wants a Snack! 
The Lion is a Bookworm – Storytime: Giraffes
storytime katie – Jungle!
Madison Public Library – PSST Zebras and Giraffes
Just Call Me Jamin – Giraffe Felt Board Story

HOW IT WENT:
This was a fun storytime!  Sometimes we get a pretty young group for our preschool storytimes, so I wasn’t sure if Giraffes Ruin Everything would be too old, but the kids and the adults seemed to laugh and enjoy themselves along with it. And all the dancing animals in Giraffes Can’t Dance brought giggles from the audience.

ATTENDANCE: 34 (adults and children)

*To see the words to these movements and activities I use frequently, please visit my A-capella Movements Section on my Storytime Movements and Music Page

Spots and Dots – Preschool Storytime

Since this storytime was the same week as my last infant and toddler storytimes, I just decided to carry on with the Spots and Dots Theme I used for those, but change it up slightly.

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT: “Clap Your Hands” from Wiggleworms Love You by Old Town School of Folk Music

BOOK:

Dog’s Colorful Day: A Messy Story about Colors and Counting by Emma Dodd

MOVEMENT:
I’m a Little Ladybug
I’m a little ladybug on the go (fly finger around)
Landing on an arm and then an elbow (touch arm, then elbow)
See me fly around and around your hand (circle hand with finger)
Then watch as on your thumb I land (touch ladybug finger to thumb)

FLANNELBOARD STORY:
Five Green and Specked Frogs

Five green and speckled frogs
Sat on a hollow log
Eating the most delicious bugs.
Yum! Yum!
One jumped into the pool (remove one frog from the flannelboard)
Where it was nice and cool
Now there are four green speckled frogs.
Ribbit Ribbit!

Other verses:
Count down until there are no more frogs left.

MOVEMENT: “Shake My Sillies Out” from More Singable Songs for the Very Young by Raffi

MOVEMENT: My Wiggles*

BOOK:

Press Here by Hervé Tullet

MOVEMENT: Itsy Bitsy Spider*

VIDEO:
 
“The Most Wonderful Egg in the World” from Giggle, Giggle, Quack …and more Funny Favorites. Based on the book written and illustrated by Helme Heine

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:
    
Book: Abigail by Catherine Rayner
Book: Roly-Poly Egg by Kali Stileman
Book: Spots in a Box by Helen Ward
Book: Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier
Flannelboard: Pretty Ladybug
Video: “Giraffes Can’t Dance” from Shrinking Violet… and More Stories for Young Performers based on the book by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees
Video: “The Dot” from The Dot…and More Stories to Make You Feel Good based on the book by Peter H. Reynolds (I think this would work better with school aged audiences, but putting it here so I remember)

GREAT RESOURCES FOR MORE IDEAS
slc book boy – The Most Wonderful Egg in the World Flannelboard
Jen in the Library – Spots and Dots – Infant Storytime
Jen in the Library – Spots and Dots – Toddler Storytime

HOW IT WENT:
I love that there are enough books on this topic that you could do it for such a wide range of ages.  Plus enough additional materials to make it work too.  You could also add in books on any type of animal with dots – cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, etc.  Yay for variety.

This was my first time reading Press Here in a group setting, and I wasn’t exactly sure how it would go.  I did have a gaffe where I pressed a dot to my left, instead of to the audience’s left, so I need to make sure and remember that the next time I tell the story.  It did make a few kids want to come up and touch the pages, but for the most part having the kids do the activities with me from their seats worked just fine.  I would use it again.

ATTENDANCE: 30 (adults and children)

*To see the words to these movements and activities I use frequently, please visit my A-capella Movements Section on my Storytime Movements and Music Page

Spots and Dots – Toddler Storytime

Spots and dots!  We had fun with these two elements during our last Toddler storytime of the Winter session.

SONG: Welcome Song

MOVEMENT: “Wake Up Toes” from Morning Magic by Joanie Bartels

MOVEMENT:
Open Shut Them*

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE: sign for “Polka Dots”

taken from Costello, Elaine Ph.D.  Random House Webster’s American Sign Language Dictionary.  1994.

BOOK:

Spectacular Spots written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale

MOVEMENT: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” from It’s Toddler Time by Carol Hammett and Elaine Bueffel

COUNT & RHYME SONG:

10 Ladybugs

Counting time, it’s counting time
So let’s all sing a simple rhyme

Ten little ladybugs here we go
Let’s all count them as I put them in rows.
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Ten little ladybugs, again we go
Now let’s count them nice and slow
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Ten little ladybugs, in neat rows
Let’s count them as away they go
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

FLANNELBOARD:
Dog’s Colorful Day

Based on the book Dog’s Colorful Day: A Messy Story about Colors and Counting by Emma Dodd

Dog has an adventurous day!  Each interaction he has gives him another color dot on his usually white fur.

MOVEMENT: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” from Songs for Wiggleworms by the Old Town School of Folk Music

MOVEMENT: Itsy Bitsy Spider

BOOK:

Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

MOVEMENT: “Two Little Blackbirds” from Fingerplays and Footplays by Rosemary Hallum and Henry “Buzz” Glass

VIDEO:

“Spots” from Good Morning Maisy

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:
 

Book: Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
Book: Animal Spots and Stripes by Britta Teckentrup
Book: Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier
Book: Spots: Counting Creatures from Sky to Sea by Carolyn Lesser, illustrated by Laura Regan
Book: Spots, Feathers and Curly Tails by Nancy Tafuri
Flannelboard: 5 Green and Speckled Frogs

GREAT RESOURCES FOR MORE IDEAS:
The Wielded Pen – Polka Dotty Monster – Flannel Friday
Storytime ABC’s – Flannel Friday: Monster Mania Fun
Storytimes and More – Spots and Dots Storytime
Literacious – Sensory Story Time Theme: Polka-Dots
Story Time Secrets – 12 Picture Books about Spots and Dots

THOUGHTS ON THIS STORYTIME:

I really liked this theme for storytime.  I went back and looked at the list I keep of books that I think would work for infant or toddler storytimes, and I saw that I had Spectacular Spots on the list, but had never used it.  Since I want to incorporate more nonfiction into my storytimes, it seemed like a fun one to use and there are a lot of other great spot and dot books to go along with it.

I thought Dog’s Colorful Day might be too long as a flannelboard, but I cut the storytelling down to bare bones, and it seemed to work ok.

ATTENDANCE:  10 am:  47 people      11 am: 28 people

* For these songs, please see my Storytime Movements & Music page

Spots and Dots – Infant Storytime

For our last storytime of the Winter session, we had fun with spots and dots!

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT: Peek-a-Boo*

BOUNCE: Ride a Little Pony*
Icky Bicky Soda Cracker*

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE: sign for “Polka Dots”

taken from Costello, Elaine Ph.D.  Random House Webster’s American Sign Language Dictionary.  1994.

BOOK:

Animal Spots and Stripes by Britta Teckentrup

MOVEMENT: “Clap, Tap and Bend” from It’s Toddler Time by Carol Hammett and Elaine Bueffel

FLANNELBOARD:
Pretty Ladybug
  
taken from Storytime Katie, who got the idea from Mollie at What Happens in Storytime, who found the song at Preschool Education.

(to the tune of “The Muffin Man”)
Ladybug has 1 black spot,
1 black spot, 1 black spot.
Ladybug has 1 black spot,
Pretty ladybug!

I put the ladybug up on the flannelboard without any spots at all.  Then, as we add each spot, we sing the song and replace the number 1 with however many spots the bug has at that time.  Fun!

If you click on the blogs that gave me the idea for this, you’ll see they also put numbers up on the board with the song.  I didn’t have a chance to do that before this storytime, but I want to make them for next time.

BOUNCE: “Smooth Road to London Town” from A Smooth Road to London Town: Songs from the Parent-Child Mother Goose Program by Kathy Reid-Naiman.

MOVEMENT: Patty Cake*

BOOK:

Spots, Feathers and Curly Tails
 by Nancy Tafuri

TICKLE: Round and Round the Garden*
These are Baby’s Fingers*

NURSERY RHYME:
Hey Diddle Diddle


Pieces from Little Folk Visuals

Hey Diddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed, to see such a sight.
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

MOVEMENT: “Itsy Bitsy Spider” from Children’s Favorite Songs Volume 3 from Walt Disney

MOVEMENT: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” from Songs for Wiggleworms by the Old Town School of Folk Music

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:

Book: Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill

GREAT RESOURCES FOR MORE IDEAS:
Miss Meg’s Storytime – Flannel Friday: Ladybugs 

HOW IT WENT:
This was a fun storytime theme.  I liked both books that we read and thought they worked well with the age group.  I know Spots, Feathers, and Curly Tails doesn’t have a TON of spots in it, but hey, it’s in the title.  I say that counts.

At the end of each of my storytime sessions, I like repeating all the bounces and tickles that we’ve learned throughout the weeks.  That’s why you see two in each of those slots for storytime, when there’s usually just one.

ATTENDANCE: 34 people (adults and children)

* For these songs, please see my page Storytime Movements & Music

Shapes – Toddler Storytime

Shapes.  I just noticed that all three of my latest storytimes have themes that begin with the letter ‘S’.

SONG: Welcome Song

MOVEMENT: “Wake Up Toes” from Morning Magic by Joanie Bartels

MOVEMENT:
Open Shut Them*

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE: sign for “Square” and “Circle”

taken from Costello, Elaine Ph.D.  Random House Webster’s American Sign Language Dictionary.  1994.

BOOK:

Round is a Mooncake: A Book of Shapes written by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Grace Lin

MOVEMENT: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” from It’s Toddler Time by Carol Hammett and Elaine Bueffel

COUNT & RHYME SONG:

10 Squares

Counting time, it’s counting time
So let’s all sing a simple rhyme

Ten little squares here we go
Let’s all count them as I put them in rows.
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Ten little squares, again we go
Now let’s count them nice and slow
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Ten little squares, in neat rows
Let’s count them as away they go
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

FLANNELBOARD:
Could You Lift Up Your Bottom?

Based on the book of the same name, written by Hee-jung Chang, illustrated by Sung-hwa Chung.

The story starts out with Frog, happy in her favorite hat.  Then along comes a wind and whisks the hat away.  Before Frog has a chance to get her hat back, the very large Elephant sits on it.


Frog politely asks Elephant, “Could You Lift Up Your Bottom?”  But Elephant is too hungry to move, and demands something good to eat, something… round.


But the orange that Frog brings is not enough.  Soon Elephant wants a delicious triangle (a sandwich), a rectangle (chocolate bar), a circle within a circle (a bagel in the book, but I changed it to a donut because it was easier to convey in flannel), and then something round inside of something triangular (an ice cream cone).

None of these satisfy Elephant, and he wants a nap.  But when Frog asks Elephant to move his bottom, he demands something to eat in a… special shape.


Frog finds something, but it is too large to carry.  So Elephant stretches out his trunk, and eats the honey from this very special shape.  But you know what comes with honey?


Bees!  A swarm of bees chase Elephant away.  And, finally, Frog gets her favorite hat back.

MOVEMENT: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” from Songs for Wiggleworms by the Old Town School of Folk Music

MOVEMENT: My Wiggles*

BOOK:

Go, Shapes, Go! by Denise Fleming

MOVEMENT: “Two Little Blackbirds” from Fingerplays and Footplays by Rosemary Hallum and Henry “Buzz” Glass

VIDEO:

“Puzzle”, “Squares” and “Swan” from Doodle Baby Vol. 1

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:
  

Book: What Shape? by Debbie MacKinnon and Anthea Sieveking
Book: Shoes Shoes Shoes by Ann Morris
Book: Ship Shapes written by Stella Blackstone, illustrated by Siobhan Bell
Book: Shape by Shape by Suze MacDonald
Book: Up Close by Gay Wegerif (May be a stretch, but it seems so fun!)
Book: Shoes by Elizabeth Winthrop, illustrated by William Joyce
DVD: “Build a Birdhouse” and “Shape Train” from Curious Buddies: Let’s Build
Flannelboard: Ship Shape

THOUGHTS ON THIS STORYTIME:
I’m not sure I picked the best stories for this storytime.  They all felt like they may be better suited to a preschool storytime, rather than a toddler time.  Or maybe I should have just skipped over a few pages.  It was just an off day today in storytime, as some of them are.

I was really surprised how well the video worked though.  Doodle Baby seemed really soothing, and the kids seemed to enjoy it.

ATTENDANCE:  10 am:  47 people      11 am: 39 people

* For these songs, please see my Storytime Movements & Music page

Shapes – Infant Storytime

Today’s storytime was all about shapes!  Prior to today, I don’t think I’ve ever done a shape storytime.  Even in ye olde days before I had a blog.

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT: Peek-a-Boo*

BOUNCE: Ride a Little Pony*

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE: sign for “Square” and “Circle”

taken from Costello, Elaine Ph.D.  Random House Webster’s American Sign Language Dictionary.  1994.

BOOK:

Baby Party by Rebecca O’Connell, illustrated by Susie Poole

MOVEMENT: “Clap, Tap and Bend” from It’s Toddler Time by Carol Hammett and Elaine Bueffel

FLANNELBOARD:
Orange Triangle Fox
 
based on the book Orange Triangle Fox by Sarah Jones.  Flannelboard pieces inspired by Lisa from Libraryland and AnnMarie from Pasadena Public Library.

 

I put each piece up on the flannelboard, and we named what color, shape and animal it was.  As I took the pieces down, I turned them over to just show them the shape and had everyone name the shape.

I realized later that how I SHOULD do this as a flannelboard is put the pieces back side up on the flannelboard first.  We could talk about colors and shapes.  Then — BOOM! — turn them around and show that they are actually all animals as well.  I think that would flow better and be a much better reveal.

BOUNCE: “Smooth Road to London Town” from A Smooth Road to London Town: Songs from the Parent-Child Mother Goose Program by Kathy Reid-Naiman.

MOVEMENT: Patty Cake*

BOOK:

Circles
 by Yusuke Yonezu

TICKLE: Round and Round the Garden*

NURSERY RHYME:
Jack Be Nimble


Pieces from Little Folk Visuals

Jack be nimble
Jack be quick
Jack jumped over the candlestick.

We did this one as a bounce as well as we recited it.

MOVEMENT: “Itsy Bitsy Spider” from Children’s Favorite Songs Volume 3 from Walt Disney

MOVEMENT: “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” from Songs for Wiggleworms by the Old Town School of Folk Music

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:

Book: What Shape? by Debbie MacKinnon and Anthea Sieveking

HOW IT WENT:
I liked Baby Parade as a story a lot, because I think it does a fun job of incorporating the shapes.  But it does ask those listening to do a lot of clapping — I have to figure out how to better job of integrating that next time I read it.  Circles by Yonezu is a board book, but I was hoping that the stark colors and shapes of the book would carry in spite of the smaller size.  I wish they would make his as lap board books.  I would use those all the time.

And I really think I need to change-up the Orange Triangle Fox like I mentioned up in the flannelboard section — I think then it would tell much better.  Just need to make sure the backs of the pieces all have the correct color felt on them (I think the fox is white now…).

ATTENDANCE: 45 people (adults and children)

* For these songs, please see my page Storytime Movements & Music

Sharing – Toddler Storytime

This is another storytime theme inspired by one book.  When I discovered Blocks by Dickson, I just knew I had to share it at a storytime.

SONG: Welcome Song

MOVEMENT: “Wake Up Toes” from Morning Magic by Joanie Bartels

MOVEMENT:
Open Shut Them*

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE: sign for “Share”
sign found on Lifeprint.com

BOOK:

Mine! by Sue Heap

MOVEMENT: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” from It’s Toddler Time by Carol Hammett and Elaine Bueffel

COUNT & RHYME SONG:

10 Hearts (because sharing is from the heart)

Counting time, it’s counting time
So let’s all sing a simple rhyme

Ten little hearts here we go
Let’s all count them as I put them in rows.
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Ten little hearts. again we go
Now let’s count them nice and slow
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

Ten little hearts, in neat rows
Let’s count them as away they go
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

FLANNELBOARD:
It’s So Much Fun to Share

(Adapted from A-Hunting We Will Go Flannelboard from The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra.  She also has a version in her Mother Goose’s Playhouse.  Templates for this story found here.)

(to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”)
It’s so much fun to share
It’s so much fun to share
I have a hat
I’ll share with a cat
It’s so much fun to share.

Other verses:
box – fox
log – frog
boat – goat
pail – whale
wig – pig
chair – bear

I put up each item first, to give the kids and parents a chance to guess what animal we would be sharing with.

MOVEMENT: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” from Songs for Wiggleworms by the Old Town School of Folk Music

MOVEMENT: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

BOOK:

Blocks by Irene Dickson

MOVEMENT: “Two Little Blackbirds” from Fingerplays and Footplays by Rosemary Hallum and Henry “Buzz” Glass

VIDEO:

“The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!” from The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog! …and more stories by Mo Willems.  Based on the book by Mo Willems

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:

Book: Bear and Hare Share! by Emily Gravett
Book: Banana! by Ed Vere

GREAT RESOURCES FOR MORE IDEAS:
Read Rabbit Read – Flannel Friday: Sheila Rae’s Peppermint Stick by Kevin Henkes
Perry Public Library Storytime – Sharing and Giving
Story Time Secrets – The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Strathcona County Library – Storytime Themes: Kindness and Sharing

THOUGHTS ON THIS STORYTIME:
I was stressing out a bit about what to do as my flannelboard story, but I remembered using A-Hunting We Will Go not too long ago, and I thought that would be an easy one with just a few tweaks.  ATTENDANCE:  10 am:  51 people      11 am: 42 people

* For these songs, please see my Storytime Movements & Music page