Shapes – Preschool Storytime

Another storytime that originated from our system-wide storyboxes…

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

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

MOVEMENT: Open Shut Them*


City Shapes by Diana Murray, illustrated by Bryan Collier

MOVEMENT: “Clap Along with Me” from Wee Sing for Baby by Wee Sing

This is a… Shape Song
to the tune of “Frere Jacques”)
This is a circle, this is a circle
How can you tell?  How can you tell?
It goes round and round
No end can be found
It’s a circle.  It’s a circle.

This is a triangle, this is a triangle
How can you tell?  How can you tell?
It has three sides that join to make a point
It’s a triangle.  It’s a triangle.

This is a square, this is a square
How can you tell?  How can you tell?
It has 4 sides
all the same size
It’s a square.  It’s a square.

This is a rectangle, this is a rectangle
How can you tell?  How can you tell?
It has 2 short sides
and it has 2 long sides
It’s a rectangle.  It’s a rectangle.

MOVEMENT: “Wheels on the Bus” from Wiggleworms Love You by Old Town School of Folk Music


Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald

MOVEMENT: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star


“Spots” from Good Morning Maisy: Color and Shapes

Shape Rocket Ship
I got this idea for a craft from Toddler Approved!

We used a rectangle for the body, 3 circles for the windows, a triangle for the top, 2 triangles for the wings, and a square with the ends frayed for the flame.  Of course, you could just give the kids shapes and have them make their own artwork (like the second picture on here!).


Book: Zoe and Zack: Shapes by Jacques Duquennoy
Book: All Year Round by Susan B. Katz, pictures by Eiko Ojala
Book: Go, Shapes, Go! by Denise Fleming
Book: Baby Party by Rebecca O’Connell, illustrated by Susie Poole

This was a slightly older crowd than I’ve gotten at the this branch in the past, but there were still a few younger kids.  So I tried a slightly older story at the beginning, and then a shorter one second.  It went pretty well, but I did have a heckler tell me, “I don’t like shape stories!”  🙂  It’s nice to have honesty from the audience, but we all seemed to be having fun by the end.  Everyone seemed really into the shape song, so much so I was a little surprised by it! Also, the Maisy video wasn’t the best for shapes — but it was what I had on hand.  I’ll have to search for something better next time.

PRESENTED: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at SR Branch

ATTENDANCE: 32 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

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.


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


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.

Ten little squares, again we go
Now let’s count them nice and slow

Ten little squares, in neat rows
Let’s count them as away they go

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*


Go, Shapes, Go! by Denise Fleming

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


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

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over


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

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.


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

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*


 by Yusuke Yonezu

TICKLE: Round and Round the Garden*

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*


Book: What Shape? by Debbie MacKinnon and Anthea Sieveking

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

Shapes – eStorytime

When planning this storytime, it felt like there were a lot more good apps/ebooks about shapes than print ones about them.  (At least in my library when I was last-minute-planning.)

Opening Slide on Keynote:
Shapes eStorytime - 2015-03-06 start slide

Come Along and Sing With me Slide
Come Along and Sing with Me

toddler teasers app 1toddler teasers app 3toddler teasers app 2
Toddler Teasers – Shapes     (FREE; iOS)

I thought it would be fun to start out the storytime by allowing kids to identify different shapes.  I was asking my colleague AnnMarie (our resident iPad guru) for ideas about apps to use and she mentioned this one.  It had exactly what I was looking for, except I wish I had played with it a bit long before deciding to use it.  Because after a few kids got to play, you then “earn a sticker” which takes you out of the app a bit.  It wasn’t a big deal, and you can continue playing after that, it’s just a reminded to use the apps for longer before I bring them out so there are no surprises.

Four Little Corners appFour Little Corners app icon
Four Little Corners by Dada Company

In Four Little Corners little square wants to play with the little circles, but he can’t fit through the round door!  Can the friends figure out a way to get everyone inside?


Draw a Circle
Draw a circle, draw a circle (draw a circle in the air with your finger)
Round as can be
Draw a circle, draw a circle
Just or me.

Draw a square, draw a square (draw a square in the air with your finger)
Shaped like a door
Draw a square, draw a square
with corners four.

Draw a triangle, draw a triangle (draw a triangle in the air with your finger)
With corners three
Draw a triangle, draw a triangle
Just for me.

pet cafe app matching 1Pet cafe app matching 2
Sago Mini Pet Cafe by Sago Sago ($2.99, iOS)

This time, we played the “dog” game with Sago Mini Pet Cafe.  In this game, a purple shaded version of a food is placed in front of the animal and the user has to drag the purple shape with their finger to match it to the white shape.  When you get it right, the shape shows you want it is, the animal eats it, and then you get to see what the animal things of the food.  Dog is not a fan of broccoli, apparently.  I walked around with the iPad so that each of the children present had a turn to match the shapes.


The Shape of Me and Other Stuff by Dr. Seuss from Oceanhouse Media (iOS, Android Kindle, Nook, $3.99)

The Dr. Seuss story comes to life in this app.  The app will say the name of some of the shapes when you tap on them, so this makes it fun to have the guess what a silhouette is, and then see if they are right!

“Jump Up, Turn Around” by Jim Gill from Jim Gill’s Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times

Tino the Triangle app 1Tino the Triangle app 2Tino the Triangle app 3
Tino the Triangle from Larixpress (iOS; free for starter story, $1.99 for full story)

This was a fun app to read/play because it is half story, half guessing game.  The story begins, and as you tap the yellow triangle it turns into the blue background page with an animal noise sound.  The children can guess the animal and then tap again to see if they are correct!  Some of the noises are actually pretty difficult to decipher.

SONG: “Storytime’s Over”*


APP: Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong, Illustrated by Grace Lin from PicPocket Books ($2.99 iOS)
APP: Geoboard by The Math Learning Center from Clarity Innovations (FREE; iOS) (To make shakes on the board)
APP: Busy Shapes by Seven Academy ($1.99; iOS) (This may have been a good alternative to Toddler Teasers Shapes that I used in the beginning)

After looking through the estorytimes I have done, I realized that most of my technical issues arise when I am moving from one media to the other (like from iPad mirroring to cd).  This time, so as to avoid that, I decided to play the Jim Gill action song I use through the iPad.  I forgot to add it to my playlist, but I did find a streaming version of it online and just went there to play it.  And it worked!

ATTENDANCE: 14 people (children and adults)

*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

App prices were correct at the time of writing this blog, but may have changed since. There may also be changes to available platforms for apps as well.