Mail and Letters – Preschool Storytime

This time of year is probably when I send the most mail.  Thinking about this, I thought it would be fun to do a mail and letters storytime, especially since I don’t think I’ve ever done one before!

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT:

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

INTRO:

I took this great idea from Abby the Librarian.  To kick off storytime, I pulled an envelope out of my bag.  We talked about what it was, the address, the stamp, and the return address.  Then I took out the letter and read it to the group to introduce that storytime today was going to be all about letters and mail.

BOOK:

It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton

MOVEMENT:

Little Letter Carrier
I am a little letter carrier
Who loves to do nothing better
I walk, walk, walk (walk in place)
to your house to deliver your letter

Other verses:
I run, run, run (run in place)
I hop, hop hop (hop in place)

I opened this up to suggestions from the audience, so we also ended up doing:

Skip
Spin
March
Skip to my
Lou (this was an interesting one, that I didn’t know how to do, so I had the suggester demonstrate, and then we all followed)
Drive

FLANNELBOARD STORY:

Lovely Letters in the Mail

For this flannelboard, I used a set that I purchased at Target from their $1-$3 section.  You can sometimes find some really great flannel sets there!  This is actually 2 sets put together.  I got it awhile ago, so I’m not sure it’s still available.  But it wouldn’t be too hard to make envelopes on your own.

I started by saying that I had gotten this bag full of mail delivered.

Then we opened it and counted how many letters were inside, as I placed them on the flannelboard. (All these are the same size, it’s just the weird angle of the photograph that makes them look different):

Then we sang this song:

Lovely Letters in the Mail
(to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)

Oh, I got a lovely letter in the mail (clap, clap)
Oh, I got a lovely letter in the mail (clap, clap)
Getting mail is so much fun
Let’s see who sent this one
Oh, this lovely little letter in the mail. (clap, clap)

We opened up the envelope which had a letter inside:

I read the letter aloud without showing the audience, and they could guess which animal friend had sent me the letter.


Once the letter was read, and the audience had guessed, I turned the letter around to share the image of the friend that wrote it.  I got all the images from a google image search.

We then repeated the process, from the song on, until all the letters were open.   Here’s what my letters said:

Mouse
Dear Friend,
If you have any cheese, can you please leave it by my hole? Thank you.
Love, Mouse

Bear
Dear Friend,
I’m looking forward to sleeping all winter.
Love, Bear

Dog
Dear Friend,
Maybe we can play fetch soon?
Love, Dog

Cat
Dear Friend,
Let’s have fish lunch together!
Love, Cat

Fish
Dear Friend,
I’m lonely.  Can you please put a friend in my bowl?
Love, Fish

Bird
Dear Friend,
Can you please visit me in my tree?  I want you to see my new nest.
Love, Bird

MOVEMENT:

“Shake My Sillies Out” from More Singable Songs by Raffi

BOOK:

Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffensmeier

VIDEO:

“A Letter to Amy” from The Ezra Jack Keats Collection based on the book by Ezra Jack Keats

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:

Book: The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, pictures by Oliver Jeffers
Book: Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
Book: Send It! by Don Carter
Book: Stanley the Mailman by William Bee
Book: A Letter for Leo  by Sergio Ruzzier
DVD: Hail to the Mail from Reading Rainbow

OTHER AWESOME RESOURCES:

Abby the Librarian – Preschool Storytime: Mail
– Handly Regional Libraries Youthscope Blog – You’ve Got Mail Storytime
– Madelyn’s Library Programming – Toddler Storytime – Mail Time
– Read It Again! – Flannel Friday: Mailing Letters
– storytime katie – mail!
– storytime katie – Flannel Friday: Six Little Valentines
– Verona Story Time – Mail Story Time – Everybody
– The Wielded Pen – Children’s corner – You’ve Got Mail Storytime

HOW IT WENT:
Today was a fun storytime and a great theme.  Since I had such a small group, it was great that a lot of the kids got to participate in sharing ideas or guesses.   I hardly ever think up my own original flannelboard stories, so I was probably overly proud of myself when this one just came to me as I was prepping for the storytime.  The flannelboard took a little longer to present than I anticipated, but the kids were having fun with it, so I think it was fine.

I’m also trying to incorporate better parent patter and tips into my storytimes.  I’m not confident enough in that, but I know it’s something I need to do, so I’m trying.  This time, I made sure to ask some engaging questions after the video, to show that these can spark communication similar to how books can.

ATTENDANCE: 13 (adults and children.  It was slow this morning, since it was the Saturday after Thanksgiving)

DATE PRESENTED: Saturday, November 30, 2019 @ Children’s Room

*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

Squirrels – Preschool Storytime

It’s Fall, and I haven’t done a squirrel storytime sine 2010!  That was pre-blogging times for me.  It seemed like it time to revisit these frisky friends.

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT:

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

BOOK:

Where Are My Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

MOVEMENT:

Frisky Squirrel
taken from Miss Kate’s Storytime Wiki
(to the tune of “The Grand Ol’ Duke of York”)

Oh the frisky little squirrel
He gathers nuts and seeds
He hides them for the winter months
So he’ll have all he needs.

Refrain:
Oh up-up-up he goes (stretch up to the sky)
And down-down-down he comes (bend/squat down to the floor)
He runs around (turn around)
Goes up-and-down (stretch up and then bend/squat down quickly)
His work is never done.

Repeat refrain.

 

FLANNELBOARD STORY:

5 Little Squirrels

(to the tune of “Five Little Ducks”)
song taken from Storytime Stuff
template taken from Preschool Favorites: 35 Storytimes Kids Love by Diane Briggs, illustrated by Thomas Briggs.

1 little squirrel went out to play
Up in the branches one autumn day.
He had such enormous fun,
he called for another little squirrel to come.

2…
3…
4…

5 little squirrels went out to play
up in the branches on chilly day.
They had such enormous fun,
Then they all scurried home ’cause winter had come.

FLANNELBOARD STORY:

5 Little Acorns
(to the tune of “Five Little Ducks”)
song taken from Story Time Secrets
template taken from Preschool Favorites: 35 Storytimes Kids Love by Diane Briggs, illustrated by Thomas Briggs.

Down around the corner by the big oak tree
Sat five little acorns looking so yummy
Along came a squirrel with a big busy tail
He took one acorn and ran off down the trail.

4…
3…
2….
1…

MOVEMENT:

“Shake My Sillies Out” from More Singable Songs by Raffi

BOOK:

My Cousin Momo by Zachariah OHora

VIDEO:

“Squirrel for a Day” from Curious George: Zoo Night and Other Animal Stories

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:

Book: Acorns Everywhere! by Kevin Sherry
Book: Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Book: Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein
Book: Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett
Book: Nuts to You! by Lois Ehlert

OTHER AWESOME RESOURCES:
Storytime Stuff – Squirrely Squirrels Storytime
Story Time Secrets – Story Time Starter: Squirrels
The Wielded Pen – Squirrels! – A Storytime Outline
LiBrionyian – Squirrels – Preschool
storytime katie – Squirrels!
Verona Storytime – Squirrels Story Time – Toddler
one little librarian – toddler time: feeling squirrelly

ATTENDANCE: 36 (adults and children)

DATE PRESENTED: Saturday, November 16, 2019 @ Children’s Room

*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

(Not So) Scared – Preschool Storytime

You know when you sort of have a storytime slump, and don’t know what theme you want to do?  I was in that, and then thought about the time of year we are in.  I went to jbrary’s 2018 Favourite Storytime Picture Books list for inspiration.  I saw Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex at the top of the list.  Then I thought about all the scary things that are around this time of year.  And knowing how to deal with the feeling of being scared is part of social emotional understanding.  So, I figured I would do a storytime not about scary things, but about being scared.  Here’s what we did.

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT:

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

BOOK:

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

MOVEMENT:

“Shake My Sillies Out” from More Singable Songs by Raffi

MOVEMENT: My Wiggles*

FLANNELBOARD STORY:
The Fearsome Beast
story and template taken from Judy Sierra’s Flannel Board Storytelling Book.

This is a fun folktale about Caterpillar who climbs into Rabbit’s log home when Rabbit is out.  When Rabbit returns Caterpillar puts on a loud voice and says,

“I am a great warrior, son of the long one.
I crush the rhinoceros to the earth,
and I make dust of the elephant.
I am invincible!”

Of course, no one wants to tangle with whoever is in the log – certainly not rhino or elephant – and it’s not until Frog comes along that Caterpillar’s jig is up.

MOVEMENT: 
If You’re Brave and You Know It
(to the tune of: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

If you’re brave and you know it, clap your hands. (clap, clap)
If you’re brave and you know it, clap your hands. (clap, clap)
If you’re brave and you know, then your face will surely show it.
If you’re brave and you know, clap your hands. (clap, clap)

If you’re brave and you know it, stomp your feet. (stomp, stomp)
If you’re brave and you know it, stomp your feet. (stomp, stomp)
If you’re brave and you know, then your face will surely show it.
If you’re brave and you know, stomp your feet. (stomp, stomp)

If you’re brave and you know it, say “I am!” (say “I am!” and flex arms over head)
If you’re brave and you know it, say “I am!” (say “I am!” and flex arms over head)
If you’re brave and you know, then your face will surely show it.
If you’re brave and you know, say “I am!” (say “I am!” and flex arms over head)

BOOK:

Snip Snap! What’s That? by Mara Bergman, illustrations by Nick Maland

VIDEO:

“Scaredy Squirrel” from Scaredy Squirrel and Bink & Gollie Double Feature based on the book by Mélanie Watt

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:


Book: Are you Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex
Book: I Am (Not) Scared by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant
Book: Max the Brave by Ed Vere
Book: The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky
Book: Brave Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby
Book: Stormy Night by Salina Yoon
Book: Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas

Movement/Flannelboard:
5 Itty Bitty Monsters
by Dino o’Dell from the album Itty Bitty Monsters

Five itty bitty monsters lying underneath the bed.
“Go out and scare some kids out there,”
The littlest monster said.
1 monster took off to scare some kids,
So that left….. (continue with 4, 3, 2, 1)

1 itty bitty monster, lying underneath the bed.
“I’m scared to be alone,
Please come home,”
The littlest monster said.

Taken from Sunflower Storytime

Movement/Flannelboard:
Five Little Flowers
Five little flowers growing in a row (hold up five fingers, gesture to row)
The first one said, “We need rain to grow.” (hold up 1 finger, imitate rain falling)
The second one said, “Yes, we need water!” (hold up 2 fingers, nod head)
The third one said, “Whew, it’s getting hotter!” (hold up 3 fingers, wipe brow)
The fourth one said, “Look, there are clouds in the sky.” (4 fingers, point to sky)
The fifth one said, “I wonder why?” (5 fingers, hold palms out questioningly)
Then “BOOM” went the thunder! (clap hands together loudly)
And “ZAP” went the lightening! (draw zig-zag in air)
That springtime storm was kind of frightening! (shiver)
But were the flowers scared? No, no, no. (shake head)
They knew they needed rain to grow, grow, grow. (hold hand above ground & raise)

Taken from Harford County Public Library

OTHER AWESOME RESOURCES:
Yogibrarian – Feeling Scared
Sunflower Storytime blog – Monsters Don’t Scare Me!

ATTENDANCE: 25 (adults and children)

DATE PRESENTED: Saturday, October 19, 2019 @ Children’s Room

*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

Dancing – Preschool Storytime

I just realized I had a bunch of storytime posts that I had saved in draft format and never published!  This is one of them.

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MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

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

BOOK:

Hip -Hop Lollipop by Susan McElroy Montanari, illustrated by Brian Pinkney

FLANNELBOARD STORY:

Five Ballet Dancers

Five ballet dancers
Prancing on their toes
They twirl and spin and jump
Then off the stage one goes.

4 ballet dancers…
3 ballet dancers…
2 ballet dancers…

One ballet dancer
Prancing on his/her toes
S/He twirls and spins and jumps
Then off the stage s/he goes.

No more dancers!  The performance is over.
And what do we do at the end of a performance?
We applaud!  (clap)

(taken from Storytimes Online http://youthliterature.com/storytimes/artslit/dancing.pdf)

MOVEMENT: 

“Freeze Dance” from The Fresh Beat Band: Music from the Hit TV Show by The Fresh Beat Band

We danced to this one with scarves.  It was fun!

BOOK:

Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Suzanne Watts

VIDEO:

“Ballet Lesson” from Peppa Pig: My Birthday Party

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:

Book: I Got the Rhythmby Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Morrison
Book: Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees (also the video)
Book: Rupert Can Dance by Jules Feiffer
Book: Brontorina by James Howe, illustrated by Randy Cecil
Book: The Cranky Ballerina by Elise Gravel

ATTENDANCE: 24 (adults and children)

DATE PRESENTED: Saturday, July 27, 2019 @ Children’s Room

*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

Slow Stories – Preschool Storytime

Let’s slow things down a little bit with some stories about slow things like sloths and snails.

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

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

BOOK:

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth by Eric Carle

MOVEMENT:

Fast and Slow
(taken from A Box Full of Tales by Kathy MacMillan)
Running, running, running fast
We’re really moving but it won’t last.

Now running, running, running slow
Go as slowly as you can go.

Other verse:
Clapping
Jumping
Turning
Sitting (I added this one as a transition between movement and our next story)

FLANNELBOARD STORY:
The Tortoise and the Hare
I inherited this Flannel from my mom.  It came with a story and pattern, but I don’t know what book it is from yet.  If/When I find it, I’ll update my source.

MOVEMENT: 
Shake Your Shakers
(to the tune of: “London Bridge”)

Shake your shakers, shake shake shake
Shake, shake, shake
Shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers, shake shake shake
Shake your shakers

Other verses:
Shake your shakers fast
slow
up
down

BOOK:

Hi, Harry! The Moving Story of How One Slow Tortoise Slowly Made a Friend by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Barbara Firth

VIDEO:

“Leo the Late Bloomer” from Is Your Mama a Llama…and More Stories About Growing Up based on the book by Robert Kraus, pictures by José Aruego

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:

Book: Hurry Up and Slow Down by Layn Marlow
Book: Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni (also the video)

HOW IT WENT:
This was a fun and storytime.  It’s fun to read books about slow things, because it makes me slow down the pace at which I read.  Of course, that meant we ended up going a little longer than I probably should have time-wise, but for the most part, listeners stayed engaged.

ATTENDANCE: 23 (adults and children)

DATE PRESENTED: Saturday, August 24, 2019 @ Children’s Room

*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

Trees – Preschool Storytime

I just realized I had a bunch of storytime posts that I had saved in draft format and never published!  This is one of them.

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It’s starting to get warm here, which makes me every so thankful for trees!

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

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

BOOK:

Little Tree by Loren Long

FLANNELBOARD STORY:
Uwungelema

Pattern and story taken from The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra.  You can find the patterns here.

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

BOOK:

The Jelly Bean Tree by Toni Yuly

VIDEO:

“Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Lots More Learning Fun based on the book by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault, illustrated by Lois Ehlert

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:

Book: Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
Flannelboard: The Mouse and the Apple (see the story in my Waiting storytime)
Book: Good-Night, Owl! by Pat Hutchins
Book: The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear, pictures by Chris Turnham
Book: Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
Book: Shake the Tree by Chiara Vignocchi
Book: Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid

*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

Train Safety – Preschool Storytime

I just realized I had a bunch of storytime posts that I had saved in draft format and never published!  This is one of them.

________________________

I was contacted by our local Metro staff to see if they could present at the library about Train Safety.  We ended up on wrapping it in to a storytime about trains.  The kids had fun and hopefully learned some tips on how to be safe!

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

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

BOOK:

Whoosh and Chug! by Sebastien Braun

MOVEMENT:
Choo Choo Train
Here is the choo-choo train, chugging down the track.
Now it’s going forward, now it’s going back.

 

FLANNELBOARD STORY:
Clickety Clack

 
(Pattern and Idea taken from Mel’s Desk)

Clickety-clack, clickety-clack,
Here comes the train on the railroad track!

Clickety-clunn, clickety-clunn,
Here comes ENGINE number one.

Clickety-clew, clickety-clew,
Here comes COAL CAR number two.

Clickety-clee, clickety-cluee,
Here comes BOX CAR number three.

Clickety-clore, clickety-clore,
Here comes TANK CAR number four.

Clickety-clunn, clickety-clunn,
Here comes ENGINE number one.

Clickety-clunn, clickety-clunn,
Here comes ENGINE number one.

Clickety-clack, clickety-clack,
Here comes the train on the railroad track!

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

BOOK:

Trains Go by Steve Light

VIDEO:

“2-Minute Safety Interstitial: Train” and “Safety Smart® Sing-Along Song” from Disney’s Wild About Safety: Timon and Pumbaa Safety Smart: On the Go!

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL IDEAS:

Book: Big Choo by Stephen Shaskan
Book: Alphabet Trains by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
Book: I’m Fast! by Kate and Jim McMullan

DATE PRESENTED: Saturday, March 23, 2019 @ Children’s Room

*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