Tag Archives: Preschoolers

Monkey see, monkey…Do this storytime!

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Monkeys. Mischievous but sweet. Exotic yet familiar. Typically they have long tails and live in trees but I have been known to throw gorillas and other apes into the theme, too.

One Banana

One banana,two banana,
three banana, four…
Even though I ate them all
I still want more!!

Books:

Count the Monkeys (Barnett)

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This counting book is really funny, of course, because Barnett and Cornell were in charge! There is lots of counting but none of it is actually monkeys. They have been scared off by … well, you’ll have to read it to appreciate it. It is supremely interactive from the first call of, “Hey kids! Time to count the monkeys!” to the various commands instructing the audience to raise their arms or hum a tune to the final end papers when guess who finally shows up? I read this to preschoolers who are active and in the zone. You need the energy of an engaged crowd to really make this sing. Be ready to laugh!

Banana! (Vere)

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I always yell out the title of this book because it has an exclamation point. I tell the kids that is the law and then I make them all yell it with me.

This is the pictoral story of 2 monkeys. One of whom has a banana and one of whom wants that banana. You, as the reader, have to do a little work to get the story across in this one as there are only 2 words in the entire book: “banana” and “please.” But with facial expressions and drawing attention to various body language changes of the monkeys, you can translate the interaction.

I read/experience this one with Preschoolers for the advanced concepts of personal interations.  At the end, I tell the kids that they could read this one all by themselves since they already know both words. Then we practice reading the title again – exclamation point and all.

One Gorilla (Browne)

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This counting book has some of the most beautiful primate pictures ever. I especially like the 4 mandrills that reminds me of the Beatles For Sale album cover but they are all lovely and detailed and captivating.

For the toddlers, we read through it, count the faces, and practice holding up our fingers. For the preschoolers, we spend a little more time noticing the eyes, the various haircuts (see if you can find the mohawk!), and the resemblances to humans which works out well for everyone since the book wraps up with humans who resemble the monkeys and apes we have just counted!

Five Little Monkeys… (Christelow)

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Oh, these little monkeys – what scamps they are! There are several in the series including Sitting in a Tree and Go Shopping that the kids enjoy but I generally go with the original Jumping on the Bed. If I have a smaller crowd, I use the book but if the room is full, I show the book and then we do the finger play all together. I’ve also told this story with 5 monkey finger puppets (ha! they match the books!) that go flying when they fall off. That gets the kids laughing pretty hard.

Caps for Sale (Slobodkina)

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I talked about this title a bit in my post Get Dressed! Clothes Storytime and I use the same style and delivery during Monkey storytime. Slobodkina wrote it in 1938 and has sold more than 2 million copies. I think the big book version really sells this story and I find all ages love it. I do tend to read it at the beginning of the program since it is long.

Be Quiet, Mike! (Patricelli)

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I have a drummer in the house so this book is dear to me. Mike just can’t seem to stop tapping, clanking, and crashing through life. Of course, that also means he never stops hearing, “Be quiet, Mike!” from the folks around him. When he discovers an actual drum kit and then makes the dream come true for himself, his drumming is put to good use.

The illustrations are bright and charming.and the refrain is catchy. Kids will love listening to this one – and will probably want to do a little drumming afterwards.

I am a Gorilla (Macleod)

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Again with the Av2 Media Enhanced books. I just love reading these in storytime to both toddlers and preschoolers. The photos are terrific, the information is interesting, and parents love finding a series for their little ones and beginning readers. A great introduction to non-fiction for the storytime set. Bonus: I’ve learned a lot about the animals we discussed in storytime. Did you know gorillas make 2 different nests each day? You do now.

No Fits, Nilson! (OHora)

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Oh, Nilson, you try so hard to keep it together – good job!

This is the story of a little girl, Amelia, and her giant teal companion, Nilson. As they go about their day with Mom, Amelia helps Nilson keep his cool by describing what they are doing, distracting him with her froggy coin purse, and promising him banana treats for later. But when Nilson gets the last banana ice cream – what does Amelia do? Nuclear meltdown. Nilson knows what to do, though, and helps his friend out.

I read this to preschoolers because of length. The colors are great, the details of the pictures are fun, and the subject matter is very familiar to both our small ones and their grown-ups.

Ten Naughty Little Monkeys (Williams)

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A nice variation on the classic “5 little monkeys” with lots more situations, pratfalls, and silly facial expressions. There is always one monkey who is contributing to the mayhem but whether she is obvious in a large groups or not, the cadence of the book and the bright illustrations make for a good read aloud to the preschool crowd.

Two Little Monkeys (Fox)

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A simple story with rhymes, suspense, and cheeky monkeys. Mem Fox keeps it catchy with repetition and Jill Barton adds facial expressions to these sweet monkeys that resemble some of our audience members. The monkeys are playing on the ground but a leopard slowly approaches. As the audience encourages them to find safety, they climb a big, old tree. They huddle together and hide behind leaves. But wait, leopards can climb trees…..

Never fear, they escape to a smaller – less leopard-climbable tree – and enjoy a snack.

The interstitials (the space fillers):

Standing

Go Banana!

Banana’s of the world: UNITE
(clasp hands overhead)

Peel banana (peel arms down to sides)
Peel peel banana
Peel banana (repeat actions)
Peel peel banana

Cut banana (karate chops to the front)
Cut cut banana
Cut banana (repeat actions)
Cut cut banana

Eat banana (stuff banana pieces into face)
Eat eat banana
Eat banana (repeat actions)
Eat eat banana

Go bananas! (flail arms, turn in circle, shake head, etc.)
Go Go bananas!
Go bananas! (keep going)
Go Go bananas!

Flannel Play

Teasing Mr. Alligator

5 little monkeys swinging from a tree (5 fingers up)
Teasing Mr. Alligator, “You can’t catch me!” (fingers in ears, waggle fingers)
Along comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be and (hands together, moving in a slow swerving motion)
SNAPS that monkey out of that tree (clap hands together)
Oh, no! (hands on sides of face, eyes big)

Continue with 4,3,2,1

In Toddler time, Mr. Alligator sometimes has allergies and sneezes those monkeys back out at the end and we collectively hope that the monkeys will be smarter next time.
In Preschool time, it’s more of a morality tale and we end up with one fat alligator and no monkeys left in the tree.

teasing mr croc

Songs

10 Little Monkeys

1 little, 2 little, 3 little monkeys
4 little, 5 little, 6 little monkeys
7 little, 8 little, 9 little monkeys
10 little monkey go
(imitate monkeys with sounds and movements)

Craft

Make a monkey!

Each child gets a monkey body that I’ve copied on to cardstock – just for the sturdiness. They work their fine motor skills by coloring the body in any fashion they like and then tape chenille sticks on to the back of the body. We usually go with 2.5 or 3 sticks but of course your monkey can have as many arms, legs, and/or tails as you want. They may need help getting the proper amount of tape – it can get away from them pretty easily. Then just curl the ends of the sticks and voila! a monkey to hang from your shirt, bag, ear, mom, etc.

monkey front

monkey back

Monkey around with these ideas and host your own barrel of fun!

These are the bits of fabulous that I picked for the theme this time

Toddler lineup:

Poem
Caps for Sale (Slobokina)
stretch
ABCs song
Teasing Mr. Alligator
Five Little Monkeys (Christelow)
Five Little Monkeys
One Gorilla (Browne)
Bananas Unite
I am a Gorilla (Macleod)
Zoom Zoom Zoom song
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Preschool lineup:

Poem
Count the Monkeys (Barnett)
stretch
ABCs
Teasing Mr. Alligator
One Gorilla (Browne)
Five Little Monkeys
Banana!(Vere)
Bananas Unite
I am a Gorilla(Macleod)
Zoom Zoom Zoom song
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

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How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm Storytime

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Oh, the farm. You and your animals have been so good to me over the years – and you have provided endless entertainment for the kids in my storytimes. Let’s never break up.

To the Farm

Horses, donkeys, cows that moo,
Chickens, kittens, piglets too,
Fish that swim down in the pond,
Ducklings quacking all day long.
All these animals you can see
If you go to the farm with me.

Books:

I Spy on the Farm (Gibbs)

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Who doesn’t love a good game of I Spy?! This book has everything I love – great illustrations, clever word play, a guessing game, and an alternate purpose — all of the animal noises are included so the kids can practice. We get glimpses of the animals through a hole in the center of the book. The clues are straightforward enough to engage the Toddler crowd and easy enough for the Preschoolers to feel like the big kids they are when they guess it correctly.

Read about Gibb’s title I Spy Under the Sea in a previous post.

Horseplay (Wilson)

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Why are the horses so tired during the day? Farmer decides to find out just what they are up to at night and boy is he surprised! I read this rhyming book to Preschoolers because of the length – and School Agers enjoy the silly pictures of horses playing cards and engaging in Leap Frog.

For a long time, picture books featuring horses were few and far between. This is a fun addition for our little horse aficionados out there.

Big Fat Hen (Baker)

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One, two, buckle my shoe! What a fun way to read the traditional rhyme with little chicks and bugs helping out along the way. My favorite part are the illustrations – never have I seen such beautiful chickens. I love reading this book for Toddlers and Preschoolers alike and they all enjoy the big reveal from eggs to chicks at the very end. Confession: I usually show them the pages back and forth a couple of times and we revel in it with each replay.

Good for Counting, Birds, Eggs, and Chickens.

Duck on a Bike (Shannon)

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Do you know me at all? Have we ever met? If yes, you probably know that this is my favorite picture book of all time because I can’t seem to stop telling people.

When presented with the opportunity, the cutest, bravest, cleverest duck ever decides that he can ride a bike. And guess what? He can!! He rides around the barnyard saying hello to all the animals and they each have their own thoughts on the subject. When more opportunities present themselves…the animals surprise even themselves.

The key to this read aloud is to leave all inhibition behind and voice each animal with their own animal-noise voice. It’s hard to spell out how a goat would speak but I say it something like this: “Iiiii’d like to eeeeeeeat that biiiiiiike” with a nasal “maaaaa”-twang.

I read this to Toddlers, Preschoolers, School Agers, parents, coworkers, strangers – anyone within earshot. I read it for Farms, Ducks, Transportation, and Favorites … basically I will use any excuse. Please read it and love it. And don’t forget to share the very last picture of the duck and “the end.” The kids will laugh!

Big Red Barn (Brown)

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A lovely, quiet, classic about the animals’ day on the farm. I usually read the big book version to Toddlers and we talk about all of the activity. It’s a good chance to practice animals sounds, too.

This is the Farmer (Tafuri)

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A simple cause and effect story about the actions of the farm animals. The pictures are beautifully detailed and the text is easy. I read this to Toddlers for the length and the  simplicity. Tafuri usually pays off well for Toddlers and this is a great example

Life-Size Farm (Komiya)

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I find this book hilarious – not just because of the size…which is…life size (duh. 🙂 ) but also because it is full of strange little facts about the animals mixed in with the regular everyday stuff. And, as a bonus, there are unique farm animals included: alpaca, ferret, turkey – fun stuff. Everyone gets a kick out of seeing these animals in their real size (some of whom don’t even fit on the page!) and part of the beauty is that you can pick and choose what you show and what you share.

Komiya gives us Life-Size Zoo and Aquarium, too. Check them out!

Plus so many more titles on my storytime list on bibliocommons.

The interstitials (the space fillers):

Folder Story

Old MacDonald’s Truck

Thanks to a Folder Story post by 1234morestorytimes, I discovered this wonderful trick to mix it up during storytime. You need a manila folder with a truck shape cut out of one side, wheels drawn on the front, and an assortment of colored construction paper. As you “show” each truck, pull the paper out of the folder and put it behind you.

The story goes something like this (written by 1234morestorytimes with a few additional colors of my own):

Farmer McDonald goes to buy a new truck and takes Mrs. McDonald with him.  Each time the truck sales person offers a different color truck, it is never right. First he shows them a red truck and Farmer McDonald says:
“Oh no, that won’t do, please bring me a truck that is blue,” show blue truck
“No no, you are being mean, please bring me a truck that is green,” show green truck
“No no said Old McDonald with a gurgle, please bring me a truck that is purple,” show purple truck
“No, no, I think….- I’d like to see a truck that is pink.” show pink truck
“I can’t drive that bright truck around town! Please show me a truck that is brown.” show brown truck
“No, that’s just not the truck I have pictured in my head. Let’s try a truck that is red.” show red truck
“Yes, yes! That one wins the race! Why didn’t you show me that in the first place?!” and The McDonalds drive back to the farm in their new truck.

Be sure to have 2 sheets of red paper to pull off the little joke, one at the front and one at the end  – trying to fit the paper back into the folder during the story is a pain. I glued the entire story to the back of the folder so I know what comes next.

Old MacDonalds truck  Old MacDonalds truck 2

Flannel Play

Good Morning Mrs Hen

Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck,
“Good morning Mrs Hen.”
How many chickens have you got?
“Madam I’ve got ten”
“Four of them are yellow, and four of them are brown.
And two of them are speckled red,
The nicest in the town!”

I do this flannel with my hen puppet on my lap and often pull out an egg (plastic!) before putting her away.

10 chicks

Five Pigs So Squeaky Clean

Sing it to “Five Green and Speckled Frogs”

Five pigs so squeaky clean
Cleanest you’ve ever seen
Wanted to go outside and play
Oink! Oink!
One jumped into the mud
Landed with a big thud
Then there were four clean squeaky pigs.

I first saw this flannel on Storytime Katie’s Flannel Friday post and then followed the breadcrumbs to MissMaryLiberry version! So easy to make and so fun to use. You can Google pig clipart and get a clean pig for one side and make it dirty for the other side. Don’t forget to put velcro on both sides so you can flip it over.  The counting gets interesting with a little subtraction action going on, “Now we have only 2 clean pigs! How many dirty pigs do we have?”

clean pigs

Songs

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Old MacDonald had a farm,
E-I-E-I-O.

And on his farm he had a pig,
E-I-E-I-O.

With an oink, oink here,
And an oink, oink there,
Here an oink, there an oink,
Everywhere an oink, oink,

Old MacDonald had a farm,
E-I-E-I-O.

horse – neigh
sheep – baaa
rooster – cock-a-doodle-doo

Of course you can add any animals to this rotation. I often do this song with a bag full of puppets and pull them out as a reveal to the kids. Sometimes we just sing it without props or pictures of any kind and I have the kids call out animals. However I do it, I try to keep the rooster until the end because it is the hardest to repeat and we all end up laughing. It’s always good to end on laughter.

Old MacDonald had a farm

Craft

A Woolly Sheep

I freehanded a sheep profile on some white paper and actually had a teen volunteer cut these out one day. I could have left the cutting to the kids but that had the potential to take awhile. 🙂 As it was, they had a great time gluing the sheep to the construction paper, picking out cotton balls to put on their sheep, and figuring out that it is MUCH easier to put the glue on the paper and then put the cotton on the glue rather then trying to put glue directly on cotton. Sticky fingers all around!

I did tear the cotton balls/craft puffs in half since they were quite puffy. It made them easier to handle and doubled my supply. Winning!

This craft works the fine motor skills with the glue sticks and cotton balls plus it introduces a new texture. You can encourage coloring the sheep to get even more practice in.

cotton ball sheep

These are the bits of fabulous that I picked for the theme this time

Toddler lineup:

Poem
Duck on a Bike (Shannon)
stretch
ABCs song
Five Pigs So Squeaky Clean flannel
This is the Farmer (Tafuri)
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Hello Mrs. Hen flannel
Big Red Hen (Baker)
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Preschool lineup:
Poem
Duck on a Bike (Shannon)
stretch
Old MacDonald’s Truck folder story
Horseplay (Wilson)
Five Pigs So Squeaky Clean flannel
Old MacDonald Had a Farm song
Big Red Hen (Baker)
Life-Size Farm (Komiya)
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Take an umbrella….Weather Storytime

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We did a play in high school a million years ago called The Curious Savage by John Patrick. There was one particular line that stuck with me: “People say I love you all the time – when they say, ‘take an umbrella, it’s raining,’ or ‘hurry back,’ or even ‘watch out, you’ll break your neck.’ There are hundreds of ways of wording it – you just have to listen for it, my dear.”  Friends and I started signing our notes to each other, “Take an umbrella, it’s raining….”

Just a sweet memory that makes me think of old friends.

ANYWAY – some of my other favorite memories center around weather! Playing in the rain, sledding on a snowy hillside, swimming on a bright sunny day, going to the annual Kite Festival – so let’s read some stories about it!

My Umbrella
Rain on the rooftops,
Rain on the trees,
Rain on the green grass
But not on me!

Books:

The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book (Tafuri)

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I read this one for Toddlers and Preschoolers. It does a nice job of counting up to and down from 10 while telling about a storm building. The animals are recognizable and everyone laughs when the skunk shows up. I read it with some drama during the storm and speed after the surprise and it really works.

The Snowy Day (Keats)

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A classic. I’ve loved this book since I was small – and I always set it in Chicago in my head (even though I’ve read that it was based on NYC). My Texas Preschoolers aren’t too familiar with snow so everything in the book is fascinating. I once had a little girl come up to touch the end papers to see if they were cold. The Caldecott winning collage art is beyond charming. Keats received lots of criticism for not addressing Peter’s race in the story but it is such a sweet depiction of a curious little boy – the humanness of the character trumps all description.

In the Rain with Baby Duck (Hest)

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This title is a little longer so I read it to the Preschool crowd. It is fun to grouch and grumble like Baby Duck as she and her parents walk through the rain. I pair this with the umbrella craft so kids can relate back to the story.

Red Rubber Boot Day (Ray)

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So many inside activities are listed in this story – but when the child really wants to enjoy the rainy day — outside is the place to be! The illustrations are vibrant and charming.  I read this to Toddlers and Preschoolers.

Rain Rain Go Away (Archambault)

The original Mother Goose rhyme of Rain, rain, go away, Come again another day; Little Johnny wants to play. Has been adapted to include a frog in this offering from John Archambault. I read this in big book form and the Toddlers and Preschoolers really liked the frog. I do have a bit of an issue with a frog that wants it to stop raining so he can play…..um, they live in water. Whatever, it was pretty cute.

No Two Alike (Baker)

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I mostly love this book for all of the snow that makes an appearance! It covers everything in the forest. The rhyming text is simple and so it is easy to modulate the speed and force. I read this to the Preschool crowd and they, too, were in love with the snow covered forest. The two birds are also adorable as you can see from the cover.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider (Siomades)

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This is the traditional song with vibrant illustrations. A very quick read for Toddlers and Preschoolers. I sing the song immediately after reading this.

The interstitials (the space fillers):

Standing

Rain Is Falling Down (Tune: Farmer in the Dell)

The rain is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH (clap once loudly)
The rain is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH (clap once loudly)
Pitter patter pitter patter (tap legs softly)
The rain is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
SPLASH (clap once loudly)

The snow is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
Whoosh (swoosh hands side to side)
The snow is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
Whoosh (swoosh hands side to side)
softly softly very softly (fingers to lips)
The snow is falling down, (flutter fingers down)
Whoosh (swoosh hands side to side)

I borrowed this first verse from King County Library System and adapted the second on my own.

Songs

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

It’s raining, it’s pouring
the old man is snoring.
He went to bed
and bumped his head
and couldn’t get up in the morning.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy bitsy spider
went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out!
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
and the itsy bitsy spider
went up the spout again!

This one is great for fine motor skills and then we mix it up and do The Great Big Spider (use entire hands for spider), The Very Quiet Spider (whisper or just mouth the song), and The Very Fast Spider (move super fast) with the Preschoolers. Giggles all around.

Fingerplays

Making it rain

Today we are going to work together to make it rain!
First we rub our fingers together. I think I hear the rain starting!
Then we lightly clap our hands. It’s falling harder now.
Lets rub our hands on our thighs. That’s a steady rainstorm.
Now pat your thighs. It’s raining really hard now!
Now stomp your feet, too! Oh, it’s so loud!
(then go backwards through the motions to make the storm stop)

Craft

Umbrella with raindrops

We made this super cute umbrella surrounded by raindrops that I found on Brooks Childcare by searching “umbrella craft” on Google . It took a bit of prep work from my summer teen volunteer but the kids had fun with the glue sticks and crayons. Having pieces of yarn for the kids to glue, really works the fine motor skills by making little fingers pinch something thin.

umbrella with rain

 

Rainbow collage

Another craft option is the old tissue paper squares glued on paper. This one is more about celebrating the colors themselves, recognizing the shape of a rainbow, and using the fine motor skills to pinch and place the squares than it is about getting the colors in any order. Let the creativity flow!

rainbow

Making memories in storytime – every week.

 

These are the bits of fabulous that I picked for the theme this time

Toddler lineup:

Poem
The Big Storm (Tafuri)
stretch
ABCs song
Rain is Falling Down song
Rain Rain Go Away (Archambault)
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
No Two Alike (Baker)
Zoom Zoom Zoom
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Preschool lineup:
Poem
In the Rain with Baby Duck (Hest)
stretch
ABCs
Rain is Falling Down Song
The Snowy Day (Keats)
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
The Big Storm (Tafuri)
Making rain
magic bag trick
Zoom Zoom Zoom
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear