(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*


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


Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall


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

MOVEMENT: My Wiggles*

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.

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)


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


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

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*


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

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

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

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

Feelings & Emotions – Signs ‘n Storytime

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted a Signs n’ Storytime, because I had someone cover for me for last month’s program.

Disclaimer: I am not bilingual in ASL. I took some courses in college (which seems like a million years ago now…)  I know I am not going to teach anyone to be fluent in ASL – as a fully formed language, there is no way I could do this.  But I view this program as a way to teach parents signs that they might find useful to use with their babies, as children can sign before they can speak.  I am teaching words, not grammar or culture.  I mean no disrespect to the Deaf community, and I welcome comments/ways to improve this service in a culturally respectful manner.

This month, we focused on feelings.  In keeping what I did with my colors themed storytime, we reviewed a lot of the same signs over and over again with each story for lots of practice.

SONG: “Hello Friends” in ASL

taken from Jbrary
I changed this one a little so instead of doing it time to “say” Hello, I sing, “it’s time to Sign Hello” and use the ASL word for sign



In My Heart by Jo Witek, illustrated by Christine Roussey

Signs used with the story:

(Because this book felt a little long for the audience, I used the paper-clip trick to skip over some pages, and only used those ones for the signs above)

 Hokey Pokey

Old MacDonald Felt So Glad

I’ve done this flannelboard before, and you can see the original words to the rhyme here. But, it felt strange to be making the sounds at a storytime that is all about sign language, so I changed the words a little to work better.

(to tune of “Old MacDonald had a farm”)
Old MacDonald felt so glad (Happy)
And when he’s glad we sign it like this:
Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy
With a Happy Happy here and a Happy Happy there
Here a Happy, there a Happy everywhere a Happy Happy
Old MacDonald felt so glad.
Happy Happy

Repeat this, substituting the following emotions and signs:
Grumpy = Grumpy
Sad = Sad
Silly = Silly

MOVEMENT: If You’re Happy and You Know It

I sung this one a capella, and when we clap our hands we do the ASL version of clapping, we stomp our feet, and we pound our chest.  Whenever there is clapping in this storytime (at the end of a book, etc) we always do it the ASL way.


My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems

Signs used with story:


“Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” from Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!…and more stories by Mo Willems: The Mo Willes Cartoon Collection Vol. 1 based on the book by Mo Willems.

Signs used with this story:


Book: How Does Baby Feel? by Karen Katz
(signs to use with story: hungry, happy, sleepy, sad, silly, love)

Book: Places to Be by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Renata Liwska
(signs to use with story: happy, mad, thirsty, brave, bored, sleepy, scared)

Book: The Pigeon has Feelings, Too! by Mo Willems
(signs to use with story: happy, no, angry, sad, happy)

Book: How Do You Feel? by Anthony Browne
(signs to use with story: bored, lonely, happy, sad, angry, guilty, curious, surprised, confident, shy, worried, silly, hungry, full, sleepy)

HOW IT WENT: I had a good turnout at this storytime, so that was nice.  Originally, I thought I would use How Does Baby Feel? with the group as my second book, but I had some older siblings in the group, so I thought the Elephant and Piggie book was a better fit.  Also, I realized after showing Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! I should have prepped the story by having the kids learn the sign for no and then they could have signed along with the film.

PRESENTED: Thursday, November 8, 2018

ATTENDANCE: 12 people (adults and children)