Tag Archives: preschoolers

Things I Never Thought I’d Say in Storytime #142

23 Feb

“If your shoes are going to talk during storytime then you’ll have to take them off.”

(She was wearing some kind of animal slippers and was making them talk to my puppet)


11 Jan

But...but I'm so CUTE!

Today, we were reading stories about dinosaurs. Many of which are posted here.

A young lady felt the need to inform us all of this: “My brother is scared of monkeys.”

Duly noted.

Cookies and Cakes and Cows, oh my! Another storytime

2 Dec

‘Tis the season when my thoughts turn to baked goods. So why shouldn’t we have a storytime about cookies and, more deliciously, cake?

My first difficulty was coming up with an appropriate puppet to introduce the theme. It’s not like I have a talking cookie lying

Cake + Cookie = AWESOME.

around. Or even a cookie monster (I used to have a Grover, but he went to live on a farm in the country). I wracked my brain, trying to figure out what animal would be appropriate. Lion who eats cookies instead of small children? No. Coyote? Of course not. Hairy Tarantula? Cool, but what does that have to do with cookies? Finally, it came to me. Cookies (and cake) go with milk. Milk comes from a cow. Cow puppet to the rescue!

So Clara the Cow introduces our theme, by telling the kids that not only does she eat grass, but she also really likes cookies. She sits down to listen, and the stories begin:

  • Emberley, Rebecca and Ed Emberley. The Red Hen. This is the classic story of the Little Red Hen (or la pequeña gallina roja – the first words I ever learned in Spanish, in preschool), told with cake instead of bread. Simple, and with the common “Not I!” refrain so the kids can help with the telling.
  • Carter, David A. Who Took the Cookie From the Cookie Jar? Carter’s is a pop-up version of the classic chant, while Philemon Sturges and Bonnie Lass also have a nice, southwestern-y, non-pop-up version.
  • After reading the book, we continue the chant, but using the children’s names. Each child will have a turn to say “who me?” and “couldn’t be” before pointing or saying the name of the child next to them, and we continue. If you’re not familiar with the words of the chant, here they are. Pat legs and clap along in rhythm.

(All): Who took the cookies from the cookie jar?

(All): [Child’s name] took the cookies from the cookie jar!

(Child): Who me?

(All): Yes, you!

(Child): Couldn’t be.

(All): Then who?

(Child names another child, and we continue…)

  • Beaumont, Karen. Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? Another VERY participatory story, with a rhyming refrain that has a distinct rhythm. A perfect phonological awareness skills-building book.
  • Flannelboard: “Barnaby Bear’s Batter Bowl”. Here’s a version of it, although I made a few changes:
    • In MY version, a mouse is the last animal to arrive, and instead of helping to pull Barnaby out of the bowl, he climbs in and tickles Barnaby’s nose with his whiskers, causing Barnaby to sneeze himself out of the bowl.
    • Also, I changed the animals to ones that were easier for me to make: along with Barnaby Bear and the Mouse, there is an Elephant, a Monkey, and a Rabbit.
    • When Barnaby gets out his biggest bowl, we all use our arms to make giant bowls and pretend to put cake ingredients in. The kids get to practice/expand their food vocabulary.
    • In order to add some print to the flannel, I wrote “BOWL” on the smallest bowl, “BIGGER BOWL” on the next one, and “BIGGEST BOWL” on the largest. I read the words and underline them with my finger.

This is usually enough stuff to get us through a 25 minute storytime. However, I have some additional books stashed away in case I feel like changing things up:

Oh boy. I really want cookies now. Do you think Mrs. Fields delivers?


Your incredibly awesome word for today

30 Nov

I was telling (with flannelboard) the story of “Barnaby Bear’s Batter Bowl,” in which our hero, Barnaby, falls into his birthday cake batter bowl and is unable to get out. One by one, his friends join him and try and pull him out; to no avail. Finally, Mouse arrives, and wants to help too. The other animals tease him, saying he can’t possibly help because he’s too small. Mouse thinks, and comes up with the perfect solution: he crawls into the bowl, tickles Bear on the nose with his whiskers, and causes Bear to sneeze, thus blowing himself out of the bowl.

I asked the kids what they thought happened.

One young man answered: “He blesshooed!”

I do believe that word is a combination of “Bless You” and “Ah-choo.” And I’m going to begin using it in my daily conversation.

What is this, like, the 1950s?

17 Nov

Today in storytime we used my “Best Dressed Bear” flannel pieces to get bear ready for a party. I have pants, a shirt, socks, shoes, a jacket, hat, tie, and gloves.

He also has underwear,which I made for him due to popular preschooler demand (they kept telling me he had to put them on before pants).

Today, a young lady, responding to my question about what bear should put on before his pants, said this: “a girdle.”

Ahem…I believe the current correct term is “shapewear.”

I also had this priceless exchange with a young man:

Boy: “What are you? Like, a librarian?”

Me: “Yes, I’m a librarian! That’s exactly what I am!”

Boy: “I’m going to be a librarian when I grow up.”

Teacher: “I thought you said you were going to be a teacher!”

Boy: “I changed my mind.”



21 Oct

Last fall, I posted the plan to my monster-themed storytime, that I do around this time every year.  It’s a lot of fun for me, and, I think, the kids, too.

I wanted to add a couple of new additions for this year:

  • McCarty, Peter. Jeremy Draws a Monster. When Jeremy draws a monster, he soon realizes his mistake when the monster asks him to draw item after item: a sandwich, a comfortable chair, a television. But Jeremy’s pen also yields the solution in this non-scary monster book. I don’t THINK I really do voices, but when I read this one for the first time, the monster’s voice came out of me so clearly. It’s a sort of slightly-gruffer, more-enunciated Grover voice.
  • I like this rhyme:

If I were a happy  monster, I’d go HA! HA! HA!

If I were a sad monster, I’d go BOO HOO HOO.

If I were a mad monster, I’d go STOMP! STOMP! STOMP!

If I were a scared monster, I’d go AHH! AHH! AHH!

But I’m just me, you see, so I’ll just READ, READ, READ. (open and close hands like a book)

I hope you’re all having fun with your little monsters (and I’m not referring to the Lady Gaga kind)!


13 Oct

Today a young man told me that last night, he “had a heart attack in my knee.”

Whatever it is, it sounds painful. Sorry, buddy.  Tell your knee to cut out the salt and trans-fats.

Keeping Books Safe: Duct Tape Edition

17 Sep

We were talking about taking care of our books, as we always do at the beginning of a new school year.  I have been asking the kids what books are made out of, to get across the point that PAPER IS NOT STRONG AND THEREFORE BOOKS SHOULD NOT BE SAT ON, THROWN, OR USED AS A SLED.

One little girl responded to my “what are books made of” question with this awesome answer: “reading!”  Yes, my dear, books ARE made of reading.

A young man said that if a page was ripped down the middle, you could fix it with duct tape. I pointed out that you can’t see through duct tape, and if we put it on the page, we wouldn’t be able to see the pictures or words (demonstrating by putting my arm over the page).  He replied that we could instead use “white tape”.

Okay, kid has a point (as I think he mean’t clear scotch tape), but let’s all try not to rip our books in the first place, okay? Okay.

Big words: not just for grown-ups anymore

10 Jun

Words I heard used by preschoolers in storytime yesterday:

1) Transparent. Used incorrectly, to describe something black, but in the right context. We discussed what transparent means and its opposite, “opaque”.

2) Transformative. Not used in a sentence, but still!  She was showing off her big words.

3) Thingamabob. Used repeatedly, until I had to tell the little guy that yes, he said thingamabob, I heard him, that’s enough.

See? Teach kids vocabulary and they will remember and use it. These guys also knew that penguins and polar bears do NOT live together. Smart kids!


27 May

I’ve been such a blog slacker lately. Slogger? I promise I will remedy this situation in the near future; I’ve got storytimes on frogs, dogs and cats, music and movement, birds, and more that need to be aired!

In the meantime, enjoy this bit of knowledge from a preschooler:

Starring Simon the Super Rabbit!

We read I Don’t Want to Go To School  by Stephanie Blake. Simon the Super Rabbit is anxious about his first day of school.  Once that first day is over, however, and he’s enjoyed some drawing, ball-playing, and drumming (as well as chocolate mousse in the cafeteria — how you know this book was originally published in France), he decides he doesn’t want to go home.

I asked the kids, “why do you think he doesn’t want to go home now?”

Typical answer: “because he likes school”.

Unexpected answer: “because he has a girlfriend”.

Gulp. Um. Okay?

Apparently, according to a teacher, this is not too far-fetched for preschool.

%d bloggers like this: