PJ Storytime: Father’s Day

To be honest, in years past, Mother’s and Father’s Day have completely slipped my mind. But since we are parents this year they are more in the forefront. I’ve always been ok with skipping these celebrations (I don’t do holiday storytimes either) since there’s so many ways to make a family. My compromise this year has been to do some non-traditional tales and add a fully inclusive Family picture book.


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PJ Storytime: Community Heroes

Our Summer of Reading program has begun! I don’t limit myself to SOR themes all summer long, but I do try to incorporate the theme once a month, especially when I can promote a library event. We are having the police and fire department visit this Saturday for our Summer of Reading Kick Off Party (more details to come), so a Community Heroes storytime was a great way to get families excited.


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Early Literacy Messages in Action

An early literacy message has been a part of every storytime I have ever planned. Now, I admit, there have been times that I failed to actually deliver the message I planned, but no one is perfect.

I have only worked for one library district and my first librarian job began right around the launch of ECRR2. Reading, Writing, Talking, Singing, and Playing are what I live and breathe. However, it still doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes it feels like my message falls on deaf ears, or it comes out awkward and too wordy. But then I move on to next week and try again, because I honestly believe these small messages are the most important part of my storytime.

I love reading to children, I believe I’m actually a quiet talented reader, and it warms my heart when the children and parents are all engaged in a silly song, or squealing beneath the parachute. But I’m not here to entertain. My job is to help these children grow into readers and I am not powerful enough to do it alone. I need their parents and caregivers to understand why we do fingerplays and sing non-sense songs so that they will keep doing it at home.

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Giving Yourself Permission to Fall

Batman: Why do we fall?

My blog has been quiet for the past month. I have excuses. It’s Summer of Reading, I took a short “vacation” so my grandma could meet her great-grandson, and I have a 8 month old, and did I mention Summer of Reading started and I’m the branch coordinator? Oh, and I’m human. Sometimes I forget that part as I try to juggle everything. I’ve been feeling guilty about falling behind on my resolution to blog. That guilt actually started preventing me from just starting back up. (Let’s be honest, I don’t have a strong enough following that anyone even noticed my silence) but that didn’t stop me from beating myself up about it. I know that I’m not alone in these feelings, so let this be a reminder to you (and to myself) that it’s ok to be human. It’s ok to make mistakes, to fall behind, to drop the ball. Give yourself permission to fall and then get back up and move on. Here we go!

PJ Storytime: Everyone, Everywhere

As far as themes go, this one is a little less concrete. Inspired by “Everyone Sleeps, but Not Fred” I thought about other books with an “everyone” feel.

Say Hello by Rachel Isadora

I’ve used this book in storytime before and always have a great response. We have families that speak other languages at home and the children love introducing me to even more words, as well as learning other ways to say “Hello!” Everyone says hello, but they don’t all say it the same way.

The Bus is For Us! by Michael Rosen

I like trying out new books and I’ve heard this one mentioned here and there. It fit with my theme, the bus is for ALL of us. As the vehicles got more imaginative, it was a great book for open ended questions and my literacy tip:

Asking children open ended questions about the story as you read allows children to develop their own ideas and discover the words to express them.

A short read, which left time for a 4 book storytime.

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

If I’m ever going to do back-to-back books in my storytime, it’s because of books like Is Everyone Ready for Fun? We were up on our feet jumping and dancing along, so it works more like an action rhyme than a story. Always a hit. Thank you, Jan Thomas!

Everybody Sleeps (But Not Fred!) by Josh Schneider

Lyrical, silly rhymes about a creative selection of creatures sleeping and dreaming, all end with the refrain But Not Fred! I thought this would be perfect for my PJ crew, but they just didn’t seem too into it. I did have a smaller, quieter group, so I’m willing to give the book another chance, but this round I skipped ahead to the end.

And just to make sure none of my kids went to bed that night, we finished with the parachute!

We Sang:

Hello and How Are You? from Wiggleworms Love You by The Old Town School of Folk Music

I’m too intimidated by my poor French to attempt this one without the CD, but it’s great for adding a bilingual element to your storytime. My only complaint is that the English and Spanish are a direct translation, but something else is being sung in French.

Elevator Song

Wheels on the Bus

Parachute Play:

We sang the Elevator Song again but this time with the parachute. I always try to start with a song that will keep the kids from immediately scampering underneath the chute so we can practice a little executive control. Then I invite the kids to run underneath while the grown-ups sang Come Under My Umbrella. We ended with a big balloon that got everyone underneath and sang our good-bye song.

PJ Storytime: Eggs

Spring is in the air! And with spring comes some of my favorite storytime themes, maybe because it is one of my favorite seasons. There’s something magical about the transformation from the barren brown of winter to the eruption of new life if the spring. To me, nothing represents this better than the magic of an egg. And egg shakers are super fun, so any excuse to use them in storytime is a bonus.

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Flannel Board: Wide Mouthed Frog

I remember the story of the Wide Mouthed Frog from my third grade teacher, who during summer breaks would perform as a storyteller. She left a big impression on me and I can only hope that I do her justice with the telling of this tale. I love really hamming up the southern drawl of the Wiiiide Mouuuuuth Froooog! The puppet is from Folkmanis and is fairly realistic. I use him with laminated photos of real animals, though you could certainly create felt creatures and a felt frog would work as well.

Wide Mothed Frog

I ad-lib the story, but here’s the general tale, if you’re not familiar:

“Hi! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies! What do you eat?” (I always ask the kids first and let them reply)

The wide-mouthed frog ate flies. He liked flies, but that was all he had ever eaten and he wondered if there were other things to eat that were even better than flies. So he went hopping around the lake until he came across a duck. (put up picture of duck) “Hi! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies. What do you eat?” “Hello, I’m a duck and I like to eat grass and leaves and sometimes little fishies.” “Sounds good! So long, Mr. Duck!”

The wide-mouthed from continued around the lake when he came across a turtle. “Hi! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies. What do you eat?” (very slowly) “Good afternoon. I’m a turtle and I like to eat worms, and mushrooms . . .” “Good to meet you Mr. Turtle. I’ll have to try that!”

The wide-mouthed from kept on hopping around the lake until he came across a little field mouse. “Hi! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies. What do you eat?” “Hello! I am a mouse and I like to eat seeds and berries.” “Have a great day, Mr. Mouse”

So the wide-mouthed frog kept hopping along until he met an alligator. “Well, hello there! I’m a wide-mouthed frog! I eat flies. What do you eat?” (in your most sinister voice) “Why, I’m an alligator and I like to eat WIDE-MOUTHED FROGS” (purse your lips together) “Well, you don’t see may of those, now do you?” And the wide-mouthed from hopped away as fast as his froggy legs could carry him.

Animal Photos