Category Archives: Story Time

Toto the Tornado Kitten!


This little girl read the book beforehand and was SO excited to meet Toto! She brought him some food to donate to the local pet shelter.

For those of you who are not familiar with the story, Toto was found in a tree as a newborn kitten after surviving a tornado that swept through Western MA about 2 years ago. A paramedic and his wife found the kitten and saved him. They wrote a book and do story time programs around MA to raise money for local pet shelters. All proceeds from book sales are donated.


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April 17, 2013 · 9:36 pm

Story Time ~ ART


My computer is on it’s way out, but it appears to be working now so I’ll try to get a post in!

Here are my story time plans….which my dog just stole off the table and my husband had to bribe her with a treat to get it back. The paper is a bit soggy and has teethmarks. In case you wanted to know.


Story Time – Art (ages 3-5)

  • Introduction (if there’s anyone new I’ll introduce myself and say a little bit about what we’re going to do. I usually ask how everyone is doing, if they did anything fun over the weekend. If there’s a birthday, we’ll sing 🙂
  • Announcements (I’ll let parents know about upcoming programs or remind them that there’s no story time the next week, etc.)
  • Opening Song: “My Hands Say Hello” (to the tune of “the farmer in the dell”)

My hands say hello, my hands say hello / Every time I see my friends, my hands say hello  (Ask kids to  name body parts and sing the lines again – as many times as your sanity allows.)

  • Books (part 1)

Patrick Paints a Picture by Saviour Pirotta                                                                                                                                            Art by Patrick McDonnell


Art is a really cute book about a boy named Art who does….you guessed it! Art. The kids really liked this one. Highly recommend it!! Love all of Patrick McDonnell’s books!

  • Song/Dance Break (I find that I can sometimes get 3 books out of them if we stop for a song/dance break. I usually use “Shake Your Sillies Out” by Raffi. I have no idea what tune this is supposed to go to, so I sort of made one up. It’s great for an especially rowdy group.)
  • Books (part 2)

~If I think they’ll make it through one more book, then I go for it. The third book I read was The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle. This is a great book because it shows the kids that art can be anything you want it to be.

  • Game/Activity (we played The Color Game – which is a song by Jim Gill. I have bags with construction paper circles of each color he mentions in the song and we go through and talk about what colors things are so they are ready for the song (it goes a bit fast.) We had Jim Gill at our library a few years ago and he was AWESOME!
  • Walking, Walking – I usually end with this game/activity/song. They LOVE it. Have them line up in a circle behind you and start walking in a big circle, saying the words and doing the actions.

Walking, Walking (to the tune of “Frere Jacques“)

Walking, walking
Walking, walking
Hop, hop, hop!
Hop, hop, hop!
Running, running, running
Running, running, running
Now we stop
Now we stop.
  • Craft (using Bingo Daubers the kids made their own “modern art” pictures. Fun & easy, especially as this particular story time doesn’t leave as much time for a long craft.
  • Snack (Yeah, I usually have a snack. I started it and now I can’t go back. I chose rainbow goldfish for this one, but I also try to get something healthy and allergy-free to go with it. Pre-cut apple slices in a bag (I’ve only been able to find these in larger bags at Walmart or Target) work well and the kids really like them. So do the parents!

Fin. 🙂



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Filed under Authors, Book Reviews, Children's, Crafts, Food, Library, Picture Books, Story Time

Easter Story Time

Yup, it’s definitely past Easter. Trying to catch up on my Story Time posts!

Holiday picture books are tough to find – especially for 3-year-olds. They have the tendency to be on the longer side. The kids did pretty well with the two I chose: The Story of the Easter Bunny by Katherine Tegen and Bunny Trouble by Hans Wilhelm.

We played an Easter Egg matching game I made for the felt board. Basically, I hand each kid an egg and when I put the matching one on the board, the kid who has the matching one brings it up and puts it on the board. Very easy, but they love it.

For the craft, I took a couple different ideas and put them together. I had tons of leftover plastic eggs from when we used to have a big Easter egg hunt. I bought large yellow pom poms (unfortunately I had to buy several assorted bags for this, but we’ll use them later.) Each kid had a pom pom, two google eyes, and a little foam triangle for a beak. They glued these on and while they dried, they decorated the eggs and a foam bowl with Easter stickers. They shredded green tissue paper and glued it into the bowl. Then they attached pipe cleaner handles to the foam bowls and ended up with an Easter basket. The pom pom chicks went into the plastic eggs and were placed in the basket. The end result: an Easter basket with an egg which, when opened, produces a cute baby chick! I wish I had pictures but I guess I forgot my camera that day, but the picture below is what the chicks looked like.

  The chick craft idea came from


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Earth Day Story Time!

Skipping the Sunday Quiz to post my Earth Day story time I held this past week for April Vacation. I had about 20 people come, which is a good turnout for such a beautiful day!

I kept this one pretty simple. I read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and we made “litter bugs” for our craft out of a bunch of recycled materials.

I had forgotten just how long The Lorax is, but the kids were really good. It actually helped that so many of them had seen the new movie recently and so they knew the story even if they hadn’t read the book. Before I started reading, we talked a little about Earth Day and about recycling and reusing. One little girl told me she used empty food containers as pretend food for her play-kitchen. I said that was a great idea – to wash out food containers and reuse them as toys. “Oh, no,” the girl said solemnly, “my mom doesn’t wash them.” Her mother was laughing, but indignantly told us she did actually wash out the containers.

We talked about the book and about the importance of having trees for shade and food and clean air and places for animals to live. They made it through the book (with only one “farting” incident, I suspect from the same little girl, which made us all a bit silly!)

The kids (and their parents) made some pretty cool litter bugs. I did have to put out the glue guns, as many of the materials would take way too long to dry with Elmers.


Happy Earth Day!

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Story Time – Down on the Farm!

Ah, the Farm. Parents are always asking their toddlers what the cow says or what the chicken says or what the horsie says. And there’s lots of great farm-themed picture books and songs to choose from.

For this session I read Punk Farm by Jarrett Krosoczka, Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig and The Red Hen by Rebecca Emberley.


We sang Old Mac Donald using farm animal puppets and BINGO.

For the craft, we made paper plate chickens:

Craft instructions –

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Snow-Themed Story Time

Well, today was about 72 degrees so I feel strange posting about my story time on snow, but here it is…

Opening Song

My Hands Say Hello (Click here for a previous post on this song w/ words)



Snowmen at Night is a book I use pretty much every year because it’s really fun to read. The story is about – you guessed it – what snowmen do at night. Which is snowball fights, sledding, skating and drinking cold cocoa, of course. This explains why snowmen might look a bit “saggy” the next day (aka – they were partying all night.)

Millions of Snowflakes is a quick counting book where you – yup – count the snowflakes. It’s good for a younger crowd and gets them involved in what’s going on. They love it when I need their help to count things in books!

The Snowy Day is of course the classic story of a little boy exploring the snow. It’s a quiet book, and while I love it, it may be better for an older or smaller group.

Songs & Activities

I like to use the Raffi song Shake My Sillies Out in the middle of the story time – sometimes between books if the kids are getting a bit antsy.

I’m a Little Snowman (to the tune of “I’m a Little Tea Cup“)

I’m a Little Snowman – short and fat
Here is my scarf, here is my hat
When the sun comes out I melt Away
But when it’s cold I’m here to stay

Walking, Walking (to the tune of “Frere Jacques“)

Walking, walking
Walking, walking
Hop, hop, hop!
Hop, hop, hop!
Running, running, running
Running, running, running
Now we stop
Now we stop.

The kids LOVE this. I usually do it at the end, before we go sit down to do our craft. I have the kids line up behind me and we start walking in a circle. Then we hop like bunnies. Then we run (more of a slow jog) and then we stop and freeze. This is the point when several kids crash into my butt. They think it’s hilarious. Sometimes the parents join in too.

Funny anecdote: A few weeks ago a little boy stood in front of me with his arms up as we started this game, silently insisting that I pick him up. So I did this whole thing (3 times) with a very heavy one year old in my arms. He also refused to get down or go to his mother after, so I had to do the whole craft one handed. No wonder moms have great arms! 🙂


I happened to find a bunch of foam snowflake stamps in the story time storage closet. No idea where they came from, but I knew they’d come in handy someday! I put out white paint, the stamps and dark & light blue construction paper. Also, I put down newspaper. I quickly realized that in order for the snowflake shape to come out, the kids needed to dip the stamp in the paint and then stamp it on paper towels a few times before stamping the paper. After we figured this out, it was great. It was also super easy, which the parents liked. I keep old button-down shirts and small aprons in case anyone has nice clothes on. The mess was pretty minimal for both groups.



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The Hello Song Turns Inappropriate….

I have been using a song to start off my 3-5 year old story time called “My Hands Say Hello,” which I found on Abby the Librarian’s awesome blog.

The song goes like this, waving your hands in the air:

(to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
My hands say hello
My hands say hello
Every time I see my friends
My hands say hello

Then you repeat with different body parts. It’s a great way to get the kids (and the parents) participating right away. I always ask the kids to name a part of the body we can use to say hello. Usually it’s feet, elbows, knees. If they don’t say anything, I’ll suggest one to get them started. Sometimes they’ll say belly, hair, eyes, lips, etc. which gets a little bit silly and fun. I do feel like I’m asking for trouble sometimes, since you never know which body parts they’ll mention. The other day was a first though, when I asked for body parts to say hello with, a little boy, who I don’t even think is 3 yet, yelled out – “your booty!” The parents burst out laughing and the boy’s mother rolled her eyes and grinned. It was pretty funny. I considered going with it, but decided not to, as I wasn’t feeling overly confident in “booty” region. 🙂


Filed under Interesting Patrons, Library, Story Time, Strange Tales from the Children's Room