Outer Space – eStorytime

I’ve been a little slow in blogging about my estorytimes this summer.  So here’s the one I presented on July 8th.  I’m considering it a posting success since I’m getting it done before the end of the month!

Opening Slide on Keynote:

Welcome Song

Squiggles App 1APP - Squiggles Logo
Lazoo: Squiggles! (iOS, free)
(This may now be available as part of the Lazoo Art Box, iOS, $1.99)

Each child got a chance to draw a squiggle behind a rocket to help blast off into space!  (Ok, well, to blast us off into a storytime about space, anyway.)

Monster Socks app 1App - Monster Socks logo Monster Socks app 2Monster Socks app 3

Monster’s Socks (iOS, Android; $1.99)
created by Jordan Stone and Martin Hughes, music by Bob Schneider

Monster’s Socks have run away and he sets out on an epic quest to find them, that leads him through fields, over water, and into space.

This is an interesting app, because instead of page turns, you walk Monster through his adventure.  Whenever Monster comes across a yellow circle, the text of the story appears.  It’s a fun and engaging tale, and since my group was a little older this time it seemed to work pretty well (it’s a bit long).


I’m a rocket on the ground  (crouch down on ground).
Waiting quietly without a sound (say softly and put finger to lips)
Light this fuse on my little toe  (wiggle little toe, or point finger at toe).
Ready for blastoff, here I go!  (Put hands over head to form rocket point).
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1  (Jump into air)

(rhyme taken from SLC Book Boy)

Zoom Rocket Zoom by MayoSlide4
Zoom, Rocket, Zoom! by Margaret Mayo, illustrated by Alex Ayliffe

 Felt Board App - If You're Going to the Moon 1Felt Board app Logo
Felt Board from Software Smoothie ($2.99; iOS)
I used Felt Board to recreate this rhyme taken from Mel’s Desk via Falling Flannelboards

If You’re Going to the Moon
(to tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It)
Felt Board App - If You're Going to the Moon 2
If you’re going to the moon, wear your spacesuit (ziiiiip)
If you’re going to the moon, wear your spacesuit (ziiiiip)
If you’re going to the moon and you want to get there soon
If you’re going to the moon, wear your spacesuit (ziiiiip)

Other Verses:
Felt Board App - If You're Going to the Moon 3

…wear your boots (stomp, stomp)
Felt Board App - If You're Going to the Moon 4
…wear your helmet (pat head, pat head)
Felt Board App - If You're Going to the Moon 5
wear your gloves (clap, clap)
…are you ready and dressed? (say, “Oh yes!”)

I was so excited that Felt Board had all the pieces I needed to turn this rhyme into a digital flannelboard story!  I started with just the woman on the space background, then added the different pieces of clothing as we got to those.  Ok, sure the spacesuit had gloves and boots connected to it, but we jazzed things up a bit using a different color.  Fun!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Sweet Dreams Mo App 1Sweet Dreams Mo App logo
Sweet Dreams Mo App 4 Sweet Dreams Mo App 3 Sweet Dreams Mo App 2  

Sweet Dreams Mo from StoryToys (iOS; $2.99)

Mo can’t sleep without his friends!  So he voyages into space to bring them home.

A charming bedtime story app, this one was fun because each of the kids in the audience got to take a turn tapping at the different plants where Mo’s friend’s are hiding.  I thought this one might take too long when I tried it on my own, but it seemed to work really well with the group.

MOVEMENT: “Storytime’s Over”*

Space Explorer App logo Twinkle Twinkle Little Star App logo

APP: Sago Mini Space Explorer (iOS, Android, Kindle; $2.99)
APP: Twinkle Twinkle from SuperSimple Learning (iOS, $2.99)

This was my largest eStorytime yet!  I had a summer school group come in.  At first I was worried that not everyone would get to touch and tap along with the stories, but it worked out really well.  I was also glad that the group was a bit older, since both the book apps I chose to use were on the longer side.

I did learn an important lesson — make sure your iPad (or other tablet device) has enough space on it to run the apps properly.  Since I’ve been working on eStorytimes for a while I’ve collected quite a few apps, and they are taking up precious memory on my device.  I think that’s why my iPad froze TWICE! during this storytime.  The first time we sang the “If You’re iPad’s disconnected song”.  The next time was during our last story, and it didn’t look like things were going to unfreeze early enough to make it worthwhile.  Lesson learned.  Time to delete!  Also future self: buy more memory than you think you need!

One of the best parts of this storytime was afterward, I had a parent there who asked me about the apps I used.  She said that she was a teacher and that she really liked what I had done with those, and wanted to try something similar with her students.  It made me feel like a real media mentor, and in the best way — but do no explicit teaching, but just by showing an example of what this technology can be.

ATTENDANCE: 18 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

Please note: App prices were correct at the time of writing this blog, but may have changed since. All prices taken from the iOS app price.  There may also be changes to available platforms for apps as well.

Special thanks to Digital Storytime for their app reviews by subject, that make putting together a themed eStorytime much easier.