Thursday, January 26, 2023

Storytime: All About Me

All About Me
Stories & Songs

Entrance Music: “Belly Button” by Joe Scruggs on his album: Late Last Night
Action Song: "Open Shut Them" 

Book: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Action Song: "Put Your Finger in the Air" (lyrics for this and all other songs at

Book/Song: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush by Sophie Fatus (mentioned to caregivers great book for close perusal -- kids from across the world doing everyday actions, also CD included by Fred Penner)
Action Song: "If You’re Happy and You Know It" (sad, angry, loving...)

Book: It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
Action Song: "Head Shoulders Knees & Toes"

Interactive Book: Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley
Action Song: "Hokey Pokey"
Shaky Eggs:  Belly Button” by Joe Scruggs on his album: Late Last Night
Action Song (with eggs): "Shake Your Sillies Out"  clap-crazies, jump-jiggles, yawn-sleepies
Closed with parachute, balls, and popcorn chant instead of bubbles...

Many more ideas:


(bubbles not cooperating)
Bubbles – sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star or Bubble Song: 
Bubbles floating all around
Bubbles fat and bubbles round,
Bubbles on your nose and toes,
Blow a bubble, up it goes.
Bubbles floating all around,
Bubbles floating to the ground

Interactive Book: Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan S. Shea (just did some of the pages -- animate/inanimate objects) We’ve All Got Bellybuttons by David Martin

Unavailable: Sign Language Song: "Brand New Day" - track#1 from Pick Me Up: Fun Songs for Learning Signs

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Storytime: What’s In the Oven?

Includes the retelling of two traditional folktales and a variant,
the ECRR concepts of narrative skill/retelling and singing,
non-fiction elements of farming and bread-baking,
plus a dash of mathematics and multiculturalism!
(Pick and choose depending on ages in group.)

Book (folktale): The Little Red Hen -- Byron Barton (Alt. version: Paul Galdone)

Song: “Mulberry Bush” variant This is the way we plant the seeds... Cut the stalks… Thresh the wheat.. Grind the wheat… Mix the batter…Knead the bread… Bake the bread… Eat our toast (Every Child Ready to Read skill (ECRR1)- narrative -- remembering sequence in book, vocabulary “thresh” “knead”; ECRR2 “singing”)

Book: Bread, Bread, Bread – Ann Morris (a multicultural look at breads around the world)

Book/Action Chant: Peanut Butter and Jelly – Nadine Bernard Westcott Silly action song depicting the sequence of sandwich making (with elephants!)

Storytelling with Flannelboard/Masks/Puppets (depending on size of group): The Gingerbread Man – Karen Chace has quite a few suggestions on her blog, including a link to Jan Brett’s beautiful printable masks:  Gingerbread script:

Mother Goose Action Rhyme: Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake Baker’s Man
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake Baker’s Man
Bake me a cake As fast as you can.
Roll it and pat it (Roll and clap hands)
And mark it with a B (Trace B on palm)
And put it in the oven (extend both hands)
For baby and me (point to Baby and Self)

or  Action: Make a Cake (source unknown)
Mix the batter, stir the batter (make a stirring motion with one arm/hand)
Shake some flour in (make a shaking motion with one arm/hand)
Mix the batter, stir the batter (make a stirring motion with one arm/hand)
Place it in a tin (pretend to pour)
Sprinkle in some raisins (pretend to sprinkle)
Pop it in to bake (open both hands, palms up, and slide them forward)
Open wide the oven door (pretend to open door)
And out comes the cake! (open both hands, palms up, and slide them forward)

Book & Flannel or Props: The Doorbell Rang – Pat Hutchins Used12 flannel (or real) children and 12 flannel/prop cookies to demonstrate the cookie “division” as I read this story – great numeracy exercise but best for groups age 4 & up

Action Song: Great Big Cookie (To the Tune of Linda Arnold’s “I am a Pizza”— these lyrics by Carol Simon Levin)
I am a cookie (circle hands over head)
Chocolately and round (extend hands out to sides)
Filled with lots of chocolate chips (point to chips)
The best that can be found (rub tummy)
I am a cookie (circle hands over head)
Take a bite of me (make chewing motions)
Tasty, sweet, delicious (extend hands out to sides)
I’m oh-so-yummy!  (rub tummy)
(gobble gobble gobble!)
(sing slowly, sadly)
I WAS a great big cookie (circle hands over head)
The very best around  (extend hands out to sides)
Now there’s nothing left of me (shake head)
Just crumbs upon the ground!  (sit down)

Shakey Eggs -- Chant: "Peanut Butter &  Jelly", Lithgow's: You've Gotta Have Pep (any lively tune would do)

Handed out take home bags of bread dough (flour, yeast, salt, water) and instructions for making "Teddy Bear Bread"  (below)

How to Make Teddy Bear Bread (can also use premade pizza dough)

Author: Jean Van't Hul

Prep Time: 3 hours   Cook Time: 20 minutes


1.5 cups warm water (about 110–130 degrees Fahrenheit) 

1 packet active dry yeast

1–3 tablespoons honey (skip or use sugar for under 2 year olds)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 cups all purpose flour or bread flour

For glaze: 1 egg + 2 T water


1. Mix the warm water, yeast, and honey in a large bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in half of the flour to the yeast mixture, then let it rest for 30 minutes.

3. Mix in the salt, oil, and rest of the flour. 

4. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for five minutes. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. 

5. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours). 

6. Punch the dough down, then divide it into small balls and pieces to use it to make bread dough creations & fForm the bread dough into faces, animals, suns, snails, and other fun shapes.

7. Place your bread dough creations on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or greased) and let them rise until doubled in size (30 minutes or so) while preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Make an egg wash by whisking together the egg and water. Brush the tops of the bread shapes with the egg wash.
Bake! Place your bread shapes in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Smaller shapes might need less time and the larger ones might need more time.
Let cool and enjoy!

Optional Book or Flannel (if time): The Cake that Mack Ate – from the book by Rose Robart – the cumulative tale of what happened to the cake baked by the farmer’s wife – with a surprise ending, this silly folktale variation is a version of The House that Jack Built.

More ideas:

CDPL 1/19/23

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Storytime: Button Up for Winter Weather!

greenshot test froggy

 Bundle up with this program for warming up on a cold winter’s day
Fun interactive program of stories and songs 
incorporating early literacy and numeracy skills, sequencing,
vocabulary (unusual animals), 
following directions, 
plus an indoor snowball fight to use up some cooped-up energy!
 Entrance Music: “Belly Button” by Joe Scruggs on his album: Late Last Night

Book: Froggy Gets Dressed – Jonathon London (kids act out motions and shout out “FROGGY...Have you forgotten something?”) (Alt. for young kids: Bear Gets Dressed: A Guessing Game Story – Harriet Ziefert, Other great underwear-themed titles: Bear in Long Underwear -- Todd H. Doodler, Naked by Michael Ian Black (kids LOVE!)

Froggy clearly had trouble wearing clothes – so do these animals…Flannel: Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing – Judi Barrett (Cut out from a book whose spine had broken -- made it easy for us to as a Q&A: animal identification, reasoning—why wearing clothing would be a problem for the animal, vocabulary development – animal names, “suspenders”)

Action Song: This is the Way… (sequencing: getting dressed) (Tune: “Mulberry Bush”)

This is the way we put on our coat,
Put on our coat, put on our coat,
This is the way we put on our coat,
To play outside in the snow.
Continue with other articles of clothing…
(Could also use: 
Action/Sign Language Song: When It’s Cold Outside from “Pick Me Up: Fun Songs for Learning Signs”) 

Here’s another animal looking for something warm to wear…but she makes some mistakes...
Book: A Hat for Minerva Louse – Janet Morgan Stoeke  

Action Song: We Dress Like That (mention concept of "piggy-back songs" Source Unknown, Tune: “Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes”—repeated several times)
Boots, jacket, scarf and hat, scarf and hat.
Boots, jacket, scarf and hat, scarf and hat.
In wintertime we dress like that,
Boots, jacket, scarf and hat, scarf and hat.

Participatory Storytelling: The Mitten by Jan Brett

Act out story with puppets (old lady, boy) and masks from – you can draw an enormous mitten on a white plastic tablecloth with thick black marker, place it on the floor and have adults hold down the corners while the Iibrarian narrates the story and the children (holding laminated masks from the Jan Brett website), step on and huddled together, at the “aachoo” we all jumped off and threw the tablecloth into the air! 
Other versions here:

The Mitten Song

Thumbs in the thumb place
Fingers all together
This is the song we sing when it's mitten weather
It doesn't matter whether
They are made of wool or leather
Thumbs in the thumb place
Fingers all together

Singable Book: Frosty the Snowman – Steve Nelson
Snowmen don’t need coats to go outside, but people do!

Action Song: I’m a Little Snowman (Sung to: “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a little snowman, short and fat
Here is my broomstick, here is my hat
When the sun comes out, I’ll melt away
Drip, drip, drip, I’m a puddle today!

Young group so skipped : Flannel/Song: In the Freezer (Song on Joe Scrugg’s “Traffic Jams”) lyrics to this and additional winter songs here:

Close with Activity: indoor snowball fight using plastic bag snowballs, to the music “Sleigh Ride”, track #5 on album 20th Century Masters: Season's Greetings- The Millennium Collection
Making snowballs for the program:
1) Gather a white plastic grocery bag into a long, skinny tube-like length with the handles on one end.
2) Fold the length in half, then in half again.
3) Wind a rubber band around the middle until it is tight.
4) Trim both ends to remove any folded areas.
5) Make 2 or 3 vertical cuts in both ends.
6) Then fluff out pieces
Idea courtesy of:  Susan Dailey, librarian, speaker and author of "A Storytime Year" 

Other possibilities: 

Book: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat – Simms Tabeck (folk tale with great cut-out reveals; briefly mention Caldecott Award) (Optional, show another version of same tale: Something from Nothing – Phoebe Gilman)

Another Joe who has a problem with buttons...
Action: Hi, My Name is Joe & I work in a button Factory (traditional, left-right identification)
Hi my name is Joe & I work in a button factory.
One day, my boss said “Joe, are you busy?”
“I said “no”” – so he said “Turn this button with your right hand” (do this)
Repeat: left hand, right foot, left foot, head…finally
I said YES!!!!!!”

Or flannel/prop song (to tune: “Mary Had Little Lamb”) (memory-sequencing)
Joseph had an overcoat, overcoat, over coat…it got old and worn.
So he made a little jacket etc. ..continue thru button…lost button…then he made this little song….

1A few more buttons...
Book: Press Here – Herve Tullet (kids press the dots and are thrilled with the changes, cause & effect, numeracy, left-right identification, patterns)

along with a cat... YouTube Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons – Eric Litwin

Hand Stamping Music: “Belly Button” by Joe Scruggs on his album: Late Last Night

Another great title (longer): The Trouble With Trolls - Eve Bunting

CDPL 1/2/2023

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Storytime: Soup's On - Bedminster Library/Nicole's Special Ed Class/Bedminster School

Featuring soup stories and songs,
incorporating fiction and non-fiction, concepts of alphabet,
emotions, and months of the year
and participatory storytelling of a classic folk tale. 
Lyrics for the songs and other ideas at:
Entrance Music - John Lithgow 

Book: Growing Vegetable Soup – Lois Ehlert (vocabulary, non-fiction concepts of gardening & food prep)
“Piggy Back” Song/Action: This is the Way we… make the Soup (lyrics for this and all other songs below) (reinforces sequencing)

Interactive story with props (pot, puppets, & veggies): Stone Soup  (Participatory storytelling, mentioned old story many variants – I use the Ann McGovern version with old lady and young man - script below)
Song/Action: “Doing the Chocolate Shake” (chocolate soup) – used when needed to get out the wiggles
Song/Flannel:  "Alphabet Soup" by Tom Chapin (reinforces alphabet) 
Book: Mean Soup – Betsy Everitt (how to handle a "bad day" - could also make "Mean Cheerios!")
Song:  "If you are happy and you know it…" .. sad, angry, loving

Book: Monkey Soup – Louis Sachar (child makes her father a special kind of soup to help get him well – silly!)   
Book/Cards/Song: Chicken Soup with Rice – Maurice Sendak, tune by Carole King from “Really Rosie” (concept: the names of the months)
(video version) (the rest of Really Rosie is available online here)

Shaky eggs & animal puppels to song: “Animal Crackers in my Soup” – from John Lithgow’s Farkle & Friends J730 LITH or Joanie Bartels version online.

Other books to consider: Soup Day by Melissa Iwai, Dumpling Soup by Jama Kin Rattigan, Last Stop on Market Street – Matt de la Pena -- grandmother & child travel on a bus to serve at a soup kitchen


Virtual for Nicole's Class:
Book: Growing Vegetable Soup
Book: Stone Soup (Ann McGovern version)
Song with felt board: Alphabet Soup
Book: Mean Soup
Book: Monkey Soup (mentioned author Louis Sacher wrote the "Sideways Stories for Wayside School" series, including "Sideways Arithmetic..." & gave a shout out to Bedtime Math daily online math problem   and books
Song with cards: Chicken Soup with Rice (video version) (the rest of Really Rosie is available online here)

CDPL 1/5/23, Nicole 1/13/23
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