Let’s go to the Circus!

Let’s go to the Circus!

At storytime this week we escaped to the circus for a clown and circus storytime!  Well, at least we pretended to with some fun and imaginative books, fingerplays, and activities.  I actually forgot our opening song, Hi, Hello and was kindly interrupted and reminded as I started reading the first book that I had forgotten :)

by Lois Ehlert
where's pup
Where’s Pup?
by Dayle Ann Dodds, Illus. by Pierre Pratt
today i feel silly
Today I feel Silly & other moods that make my day
by Jamie Lee Curtis, Illus. by Laura Cornell
song of the circus
Song of the Circus
by Lois Duncan, Illus. by Meg Cundiff

Songs & Fingerplays

“Smile that Frown Away”

If you chance to meet a frown, Do not let it stay–
Quickly turn it upside down, And smile that frown away.
No one likes a frowning face, Change it for a smile–
Make the world a better place, By smiling all the while.

“I’m a Little Clown”
(To the Tune of “I’m a little teapot”)

I’m a little clown, short and fat.
Here is my tummy, (rub tummy)
Here is my hat. (touch head)
I can do a trick as you will see,
Just turn around and look at me.
(turn around, point, take a bow).

Flannelboard and Extension Activities

(sorry for poor picture quality– only had phone for pictures this week :/ )

I found this great “Tell & Draw” story from Vivian the Librarian and have never done anything like this so I thought I’d give it a try! I altered a little bit from what she had and it worked really well for me. Instead of drawing the different parts on a white board I had them prepared construction pieces and just taped them up. It would also work well as a flannel board instead of construction paper. Here is a picture of the end of the tell and draw:

“Five Funny Clowns”
The library actually had these clowns in their storytime folders and I was not able to figure out their original source for ya’ll but I thought I would share it anyways because it is cute!

(sorry for poor picture quality– only had phone for pictures this week :/ )

Five funny clowns, juggling balls galore
one tripped and fell, then there were four

four funny clowns, up on a trapeze
one jumped off, then there were three

three funny clowns blowing up balloons
one ran away, and then there were two

Two funny clowns, chewing bubble gum,
one left to get some more, then there was one

one funny clown, having lots of fun
the circus is over, now there are none

This week during craft we talked a lot about shapes and colors! I realized while going through storytime stuff of the past year that we practice our counting, alphabet, and colors a lot but not shapes as much.
For set up I cut out a bunch of foam pieces into triangles, circles, ovals, squares, and rectangles. I then had them each divided up onto plates. Before craft started the kids helped me label each plate with the appropriate shape!

We then used the shape pieces to make a clown face on a paper plate. We had some fun paper plates at the library so we used those instead of just plain white ones (although those would work great too!)


And since glitter glue is a favorite in our storytime I had some set out for them to decorate with after they added their shapes. When each kid was done with their clown they came and showed me what they made and we talked about what shapes they used. It was very successful and easy!

Other Resources:

Caterpillars & Butterflies

Caterpillars & Butterflies

In order to try and channel the sunshine to Wisconsin, our theme last week was Caterpillars and Butterflies! Our nametags were butterflies and we started with our normal Opening Song, Hi, Hello. The library that I work at has an adorable butterfly puppet that turns into a caterpillar from Folkmanis. I used this to help introduce our theme and explain the lives of caterpillars and butterflies.

Fluttering Picture Books:

waiting for wings
Waiting for Wings
by Lois Ehlert
very hungry caterpillar
The Very Hungry Caterpilalr
by Eric Carle
so many butterflies
Dora the Explorer, So Many Butterflies

by Lara Bergen, Illus. by Warner McGee
caterpillar spring butterfly summer
Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer

by Susan Hood

Songs and Fingerplays

“My Friendly Caterpillar”
I also used the butterfly puppet for this fingerplay.

My friendly Caterpillar
Fingers crawl up arm.

Made its cocoon one day.
Close hands together.

It turned into a butterfly
Open hands with thumbs hooked together.

And quickly flew away.
Flap hands.

“Two Little Butterflies”

Two little butterflies sitting on a hill
One name Jack, and one name Jill

Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill
Come back Jack, Come back Jill

Other Verses:
Cloud… Soft.. Loud
Stick… slow… quick
Sky… low…high

Flannel Board Activity

“Colorful Butterflies”

butterfly flannel
A template for the butterflies is available here! (this is my first time trying to share a google doc link– if it doesn’t work please tell me and I will add it another way!)
The first to come to the garden bed
is a lovely butterfly of brilliant RED

Then in comes another and that makes two
Fly right in, my friend of BLUE

This garden is fine, the best I’ve seen
says the butterfly of the softest GREEN

Our garden needs a sunny fellow
Fly in butterfly, with wings of yellow

Little friend of PURPLE, fly in too
the garden is waiting for a color like you

Hello ORANGE, we’ve waited so long
fly in, right where you belong

Butterflies, Butterflies, you’re such a sight
Flying together with such delight!

After we did the rhyme and counted the butterfly’s I had another activity with the butterflies. I had hidden a caterpillar behind one of the butterflies and each kid guessed which color butterfly had the caterpillar. We then did this rhyme in order to check for the caterpillar:
Knock, Knock, Knock
Little caterpillar, little caterpillar
Are you behind the ______ Butterfly?
and then turn it over to see if the caterpillar is there!


And our caterpillar was behind the PURPLE butterfly! The kids loved this activity and I plan to incorporate it into more flannels.

Flannel Friday’s roundup this week is hosted at In The Children’s Room.


photo (2)

Butterfly Sun Catcher!
Printable (again a google doc link so let me know if it doesn’t open!)

I printed the butterflies out on different colored paper and cut out the outline. I then used contact paper and stuck it to the back of the butterfly, sticky side up. The children then had a lot of tissue paper colors to choose from to stick to their butterfly! For the open spots they didn’t cover with tissue paper they added glitter. The finish touch was to add black pipe cleaners as anntanae.



Everyone is friends at storytime and this week we were celebrating that!  We started as we do every week with our opening song, Hi, Hello and talked about how we are all friends.

Friendship Picture Books:

bear's new friend
Bear’s New Friend
By Karma Wilson, Illus. by Jane Chapman
a friend like you
A Friend Like You
By Tanja Askani
i'm not.

I’m Not.
By Pam Smallcomb, Illus. by Robert Weinstock
 pearl barley and charlie parsley
Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley
By Aaron Blabey

Songs and Fingerplays:

“The More We Get Together”
The more we get together, together, together
the more we get together,
the happier we’ll be.
‘Cause your friends are my friends
and my friends are your friends!
The more we get together
The happier we’ll be!

“If You’re Friendly”
tune: If You’re Happy and You Know it
If your friendly and you know it, clap your hands.
If your friendly and you know it, clap your hands.
If your friendly and you know it, and you really want to show it,
If your friendly and you know it, clap your hands!
additional verses: stomp your feet, give a hug, shout hooray, sit down

“Ten Good Friends”
One best, two best, three best friends
four best, five best, six best friends
seven best, eight best, nine best friends
The ten best friends are we!
and in spanish:
Uno mejor, dos mejor, tres mejores amigos
cuatro mejor, cinco mejor, seis mejores amigos
siete mejor, ocho mejor, nueve mejores amigos
los diez mejores amigos que son

Friendship Craft:
Friend chain. I got the template out of an ALA binder from a summer reading program a couple years go. I had out a variety of craft supplies so the kids could create their friends however they wanted. Here is a very creative take on one toddler’s friends:

Other Friendship Storytime Ideas:
SurLaLune, Will You Be My Friend?
Once Upon a (Story) Time, Friendship Storytime
Johnson County Library, Friendship Storytime