Dig Into Reading: Construction Storytime

Dig Into Reading: Construction Storytime

Our toddler storytime theme for the second week of dig into reading is Construction!

After crowd sourcing the Flannel Friday facebook page for some tips and insight on using sign language in storytimes I have decided to start each toddler storytime with two ASL words that go with our theme.  I am picking words that will come up in the songs and books for that day so kids get multiple opportunities to learn them.  I introduce the words with a little sign for each one.  Here are our signs for the construction storytime:

Build and Truck ASL

This is my second week doing it and it seems to be going pretty well so far!

Construction Picture Books:

dino dig
Dinosaur Dig By Penny Dale
Roadwork by Sally Sutton,
Illus. by Brian Lovelock
hush little digger
Hush Little Digger by Ellen Olson-Brown,
Illus. by Lee White  (I think the parents enjoyed this one even more than the kids– it is a really great read with hilarious pictures!)

Songs & Fingerplays

“Scoop and Dump”
inspired by Scoop and Dump from Neo Today (although changed quite a bit)
(tune to “Mary had a little lamb”) and with the sign for TRUCK

Scoop! Goes the TRUCK in the dirt, in the dirt, in the dirt,
Scoop! Goes the TRUCK in the dirt, scoop up all the dirt!

Reach! Goes the TRUCK into the sky, to the sky, to the sky,
Reach! Goes the TRUCK into the sky, holding up the dirt!

Fast! Goes the TRUCK on the road, on the road, on the road,
Fast! Goes the TRUCK on the road, carrying the dirt!

Dump! Goes the TRUCK into the hole, to the hole, to the hole,
Dump! Goes the TRUCK into the hold, filling it with dirt!

I passed around egg shakers and we danced and shook to “If You’re Happy and You Know it, Start Your Truck” from the TONKA Dig it Sandbox Tunes. We also did our weekly favorite- “Icky Sticky Bubble Gum”.


In addition to the songs I had two flannel activities. One was Johnny’s Hammers, which was on this week’s flannel friday. I also printed out and blew up the images of the different trucks in the SLP 2013 manual (sorry! I don’t know what page!) and then copied them onto colored paper. We talked about what colors the trucks were and what kind of trucks they were. I did this kind of last minute because I had noticed last week that we should be talking about our colors a bit more as they are much more comfortable with counting than colors.

This craft is also from the SLP manual and I also do not have the page number on me atm (sorry, I suck!). Anyways, I had everything pre-cut and the kids just colored the two pieces, and glued on the truck part. I then had them bring their artwork up to Miss Meg and I fastened the dumper onto the piece of paper. The kids really loved it and they all turned out great!

I have also started something else new with this round of storytimes!  I have started to make little half sheets with the songs, books, and a literacy tip for parents and caregivers to take home.  It seems to be going great so far and I plan on writing up a blog post about it in the coming week.

Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Miss Meg.

Flannel Friday: Dig Into Reading with Something in My Garden

Flannel Friday: Dig Into Reading with Something in My Garden

Next week will kick off our Summer Reading Program storytime’s (registration started last Friday) and I am feeling very prepared for the next few weeks of Dig Into Reading!  Here is my flannel activity for the theme for our first week, Gardens.

I will have four toddler storytime’s and 2 everybody storytime’s a week- bring.it.on!!!

The garden storytime outline will be up sometime next week!

There’s Something in My Garden
credit: SurLaLune


There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound….
A BIRD is what I found!

There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden,
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound….
A SNAKE is what I found!

There’s something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There’s something in my garden,
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound….
A MOUSE is what I found!

For templates of the animals click HERE and HERE (or click on the images below)

20130612151014_00001    20130612151042_00002


Flannel Friday this week is hosted by
Kathryn at Fun With Friends at Storytime!

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.

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung!

… or we can always wish, right!? In order to help us forget about the freezing temperatures I thought we could talk about sunshine, gardens and kites (oh my!) for our Spring Storytime.  Also, this past Wednesday was the first day of Spring– even though it didn’t feel like it.
Our name tags were flowers and we started our morning as we always do, by singing Hi Hello.  After that I asked the group what the signs of spring are (birds chirping, sunshine, rainy day, playing outside).

Spring Picture Books:

wake up it's spring
Wake Up, It’s Spring by Lisa Campbell Ernst
and then it's spring
And Then It’s Spring
by Julie Fogliano, Illus. by Erin E. Stead
splish splash spring
Splish, Splash, Spring
By Jan Carr, Illus. by Dorothy Donohue
my garden
My Garden
By Kevin Henkes

Songs and Fingerplays:

“Five Little Flowers”

Five Little Flowers Standing in the sun
[Hold up 5 fingers.]
See their heads nodding, Bowing one by one
[Bend fingers several times.]
Down, down, down Comes the gentle rain
[Raise hands, wiggle fingers and lower hands.]
And the 5 little flowers Lift up their heads again
[Hold up 5 fingers.]
One little flower growing just for you.
[Hold up 1 finger.]
Up came another and then there were two.
[Hold up 2 fingers.]
Two little flowers growing near a tree.
Up came another and then there were three.
[Hold up 3 fingers.]
Three little flowers growing more and more.
[Move hand up.]
Up came another and then there were four
[Hold up 4 fingers.]
Four little flowers growing side by side.
Up came another and then there were five.
[Hold up all 5 fingers]

“Bumblebee, Bumblebee”

Bumblebee, bumblebee
Landing on my nose
Bumblebee, bumblebee,
Now he’s on my toes
On my arms, on my legs,
On my elbows!
Bumblebee, bumblebee,
He lands and then he goes!

I also had a ladybug puppet so we did the same rhyme but with “ladybug, ladybug” instead


“Five Little Kites”

One little kite in the sky so blue,
Along came another, then there were two.
Two little kites flying high above me;
Along came another, then there were three.
Three little kites, just watch them soar,
Along came another, then there were four.
Four little kites, so high and alive
Along came another, then there were five.
Five little kites dancing across the sky,
What a sight to see, way up so high!


I just used the same diamond shape for each kite, glued on the crosses and numbers and then braided yarn for the string.  Very easy and looks adorable!  After we went through the rhyme we went through the colors of the kites and the numbers on the kites in English and Spanish.


Planting seeds!

spring has sprung

I just used clear cups so they could see the plants as they grow and then gave them random stickers and paper to glue onto their cups to decorate.  The kids LOVED this craft and were very excited to watch their plants grow.  One little boy asked if he could call me on the telephone when his plant grows :)

Other Picture Books:

This post is also a part of the Flannel Friday roundup!



Our theme this week was Pets and I gave each of the kids an opportunity to tell me about their pets, which happened to be all dogs in our room.  They did like to hear that I used to have turtles though (Henrietta and Franklin).  They also included some of their favorite stuffed animals as pets and told me their names (we have Coco the monkey who joins one of the boys each week).

After having a little time to tell me their own stories, we started as we always do with our Opening Song, Hi Hello.

Pets Picture Books:

mutt dog
Mutt Dog
By Stephen Michael King
boris and the snoozebox
Boris and the Snoozebox
By Leigh Hodgkinson
the pet dragon
The Pet Dragon
By Christopher Nieman
meeow and the big box
Meeow and the Big Box
By Sebastien Braun

I also have been doing this book at the end of every storytime (but before our closing songs) to get the kids stretching a little bit. Their favorite is the Lion Roar!
little yoga
Little Yoga: A Toddler’s First Book of Yoga By Rebecca Whitford and Martina

Songs and Fingerplays:

“If You’re a Pet and You Know It”
(tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
If you’re a doggie and you know it,
Say, “Woof, woof”.
If you’re a doggie and you know it,
Say, “Woof, woof”.
If you’re a doggie and you know it,
And you really want to show it,
If you’re a doggie and you know it,
Say, “Woof, woof”.
Repeat with kitty/meow, fishy/blub, hamster/run in place, bird/tweet

“Grey Squirrel”
I actually did this one for color’s week and had many requests to do it again so I kept the basic song and the kids helped me think of new verses along the way
Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel
Shake your bushy tail!
Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel
Shake your bushy tail!

Alternate verses: Brown dog Brown Dog, Black Kitty Black Kitty, Yellow Bird Yellow Bird, Green Turtle Green Turtle
Kid’s verses (these got pretty fun): Happy boy Happy Boy, Excited Girl Excited Girl, Purple Grandma Purple Grandma, Mooing Cow Mooing Cow.

“Can You”
Can you hop like a rab­bit?
Can you jump like a frog?
Can you wad­dle like a duck?
Can you wag your tail like a dog?
Can you fly like a bird?
Can you swim like a fish?
Can you sit back down and be still like this?

I am also going to add this song to the “Get the Wiggles Out” section because it ends with the kids being quite and sitting down.

We also did a BINGO feltboard activity. I just had the felt pieces for B-I-N-G-O and we sang the song and then at the ends the kids helped me count the letters and name the colors each letter was.

We ended with our Closing Song, Tickle the Clouds.

Pets Craft

Cat and Dog paper bag puppets

Cat and Dog Paper Bag Puppet Printable!!

SAM_4063 SAM_4070


Paper Bags
Googly eyes (I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: my favorite things to use in crafts)
Black, Brown, Pink Construction Paper
Yarn/Streamer for tails

We had some pretty creative kids this week– one boy named his cat “Dinosaur” and another named his dog “BooHooHooHoo”

Other Pet’s Storytime Ideas:

Awesome Storytime: Pets!Youth Literature: Pets
Storytime With Miss Mollie: Pet’s Galore
Roving FiddleHead: Pet’s Storytime



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

AHH! Monsters!

AHH! Monsters!

The theme this week was Monsters and it was quite a hit! The kids loved pretending to be monsters and giving me their best Growls and Roars.

We started with our regular opening song, Hi, Hello.

Monster picture books:

spike the mixed up monster
Spike, the Mixed Up Monster

by Susan Hood, Illus. Melissa Sweet
If You’re a Monster and You Know it
by Rebecca Emberley & Ed Emberley
how to potty train your monster
How to Potty Train your Monster
by Kelly DiPucchio, Illus. by Michael Moon
(the kids especially liked counting the eyeballs on each of the monsters)
creepy monsters, sleepy monsters
Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters: a lullaby
by Jane Yolen, Illus. by Kelly Murphy

Songs & Fingerplays

“Monsters Galore”

Monsters galore, can you roar? (Roar)
Monsters galore, can you soar? (Flying motions)
Monsters galore, please shut the door. (Clap)
Monsters galore, fall on the floor! (Sit/fall down)

“If I Were a Monster”
If I were a happy monster, I’d go ha! ha! ha! (laugh)
If I were a sad monster, I’d go boo, hoo, hoo. (rub eyes)
If I were a mad monster, I’d go stomp, stomp, stomp! (stomp feet)
If I were a scared monster, I’d go AAHH! AAHH! AAHH! (scream)
But I’m just me, you see, so I’ll just read, read, read!
(put hands together like book)


“Five Little Monsters”

5 Little Monsters Template – Printable


This little monster has a big red nose
This little monster has purple toes.
This little monster has green spiky hair
This little monster has teeth that can scare!
And this little monster goes “Tee-hee-hee”
“I’m not scary, It’s just me!”


Styrofoam Ball Monsters

my example
one of the kids’ monsters
one of the kids’ monsters

I got styrofoam balls and painted them beforehand so that they were dry when the kids got them… I did about 6 different colors in all. I gave them free reign to make their monsters look how ever they wanted– the more eyeballs the better!


Styrofoam balls (probably around 2″ in diameter)

and the rest is up to your discretion! some good ideas are:
googly eyes
cotton balls (colored and white)
straws or pipe cleaners for arms
glitter pens, glitter
**to hold the styrofoam balls steady while the kids are decorating I would recommend making a circle out of pipe cleaners and setting the monsters in the pipe cleaner**

Other picture book ideas:

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
There was an Old Monster by Ed Emberley
Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer, Illus. by Scott Magoon

Other Monster Ideas:

Awesome Storytime: Grrrr…. Monsters
Crafts and Things for Children: Fun Monsters, Crafts, Activites, Books, & Snack
SurLaLune: Monsters
Sunflower Storytime: Monsters