Hello everyone, welcome to “find me time”.
Join me today as I plan our first storytime Using books,
Songs, And also a quick tactic I’ve learned on
how to manage sticker chaos I’ll typically start off all storytimes with
bubbles. I find this is particularly rewarding for
our earlycomers and also just fills in the time as people trickle in.
Bubbles are also a great way to incorporate songs with play.
I’ve listed my regular go-to songs/rhymes. Hello Bubbles
Goodbye Bubbles Bubbles, bubbles everywhere
1 little, 2 little, 3 little bubbles Bubles, bubbles turnaround. My hope here is we can encourage and develop
a child’s interest and love for words and to know that storytime isn’t just a one-way
storyteller-to-listener dialogue, but can rather be a fun, interactive get-together
for everyone. OK books!
So for storytime, I’ll typically go through our bins and pick out any books that catch
my eye. One’s with great pictures, are visually
appealing. And I’ll gravitate towards books with less
text or more direct storylines because they work best for the attention span of my range
of 0 to 3 to 5 year-olds, and even at times 8 or 9. Essentially reaching all interest
levels and ideally engaging accompanying caregivers and adults too.
The key is – if the book doesn’t interest me, I’ll usually not read it.
And I’ll also focus on educational/STEM/STEAM components as well. (STEAM: Science Technology
Engineering Arts and Math) I’ll show and give you here a quick idea of
what I usually pick for storytime. Now this one in particular I already knew
right when I first flipped through, that it would be a sure read.
A quick disclaimer though: there is no true storyline; it’s rather an accumulation of
short text on the versatile uses of wheels and the different keywords. Push, pull, pedal, tow
Wheels help to make us go. And I love, love, love that this book rhymes
throughout. I’m skipping some here, but we also talk about
how wheels circle, spin, how they zoom and putter. So we’re really building on vocabulary,
and there is opportunity for discussion in identifying where we see wheels in the pictures
and how they’ve been put to use. I know some people might find this book to
fall short, but I personally find it strong for encouraging page analysis as well as active
thinking about the “things that go” in our everyday lives through work or play.
For the purposes of my storytime, this book should work quite well. So I’m definitely
saving this as a permanent addition to my collection. If you didn’t catch the title, it’s “What
Do Wheels Do All Day?” by April Jones Prince and illustrated by Giles Laroche. Next up, I pulled “Can an Aardvark Back” by
Melissa Stewart. I picked this up because it reminded me very
closely of another animal book, but I realize it’s no coincidence, because it’s got the
same illustrator, Steve Jenkins. This book really works well for children of
all ages as you can pick out how much detail to get in to.
For storytime here, I’ll only read the large text. Can an aardvark bark? No, but it can
grunt. And I’ll move right on to the next spread,
and point to the pictures and name the other animals that make that sound too. The additional descriptions can be incorporated
when you have curious readers that have many questions or can also appeal to advanced readers.
Frankly, this book even works for adults – I found even I learned new, interesting facts
I didn’t know about. I think you get the idea, so here’s an overview
of the 7 animal sounds that are covered in this book. It reinforces how animals use all
kinds of sounds to communicate their thoughts and feelings – just like us. And to mention as well – the book rhymes throughout.
Seal squeal. Can a boar roar. Boar roar. And I love that the rhymes makes it an easier
transition to non-fiction reads. I’m realizing I’m showing you yet another
book that has no plot or storyline. But I’m a sucker for these type of STEM books as you
can tell, so in it goes the keep pile. This next book here, Thank You Earth is by
April Pulley Sayre. I was drawn to this because of the beautiful
pictures and from an ongoing interest in sustainability and an overall appreciation for life.
If you look inside, her photography is just stunning.
And it goes through concepts – micro and macro – in all ways.
I would say this isn’t a book to zoom through, but one to take time and dissect the pictures,
we can even follow along with our fingers in enjoying the patterns of all things nature. Because of this, it can be easy to miss the
rhyming text. But all in all, I personally found it enjoyable to slow down and almost
therapeutic to sit down and fully take this book in. Beyond the pages I show here, the book also
touches on geography, animals and appreciation for our Earth. It’s a nice touch it also shares optional
resources and ideas on how to turn our “thank yous” into action. This book would be a little too long unfortunately
for my storytime audience. But I’d be happy to save it aside and attempt
for Earth day or where there’s more time to engage. This is book I’ll have to revisit. Next up, Bug in a Vacuum, surprise, surprise,
finally has a storyline. This one was more of a humorous pick for myself.
And I l was drawn to the earthy muted colour tones.
It’s by Melanie Watt, as we’re all familiar. My first thought was how thick the book was
– it’s one of longest picture books I’ve seen… almost reaching 100 pages – believe it or
not) But you’ll see why that’s justifiable and
particularly enjoyable as a flip-through for older audiences. The storyline begins with a fly – referred
to as the bug – who travels into a house, room by room. He flies into the house, buzzes through the
bathroom, zigzags across a bedroom, soars past the kitchen. I’ll talk about why the dog’s there later
– but eventually our exploring fly -quote on quote- ‘s entire life gets changed with
the switch of a button. He gets caught in a vacuum. I wasn’t expecting the storyline to then transition
into going over the 5 stages of grief. We start with Denial here (wipes out the ugly
truth) – and we go through a few pages echoing phrases characteristic of this stage. This
is amazing! Same goes with Bargaining (washes away your
troubles), Anger (fight back! stir around and fire it up. I want out now!), Despair
(an unfair tale with an unhappy ending), and Acceptance (gentle and comforting). Here I realized there’s in fact a parallel
storyline of the house dog who also suffering loss (where his toy is sucked up into vacuum
too) Overall so much detail in this book and going
over the different stages of emotions with more than enough examples of what each might
sound like. I don’t know that it would completely help with a child that is going through a
grieving process. But it is a refreshing and charming take on digesting and recognizing
our thoughts and feelings when we go through changes or things beyond our control in our
lives. I already knew when I picked this up, that
this was definitely not a storytime book. But it’s a suitable consideration for 1-on-1s
rather than groups, and for grade-school children or above. Next up, also with a storyline, is Troll and
*the* Oliver by Adam Stower. I often gravitate towards humorous books for
storytime. The pictures are similarly quite muted , which
was what was appealing to me We’re first introduced to Troll and Oliver.
I don’t know how I feel about this but, the premise is that Troll tries to eat Oliver
throughout the book. Throughout there are also some rhymes which
Oliver repeatedly sings which makes for good repetition overall and a catchy sing-songy
approach. Oliver carries through his day and eventually
he finds that troll is longer there, no longer following him
He makes it home, and is joyfully baking. But as you can see from that flap, it’s no
surprise that troll comes out of the closet and suddenly… chomps Oliver
This part I had to do a serious double take I’ll let you guys decide for yourselves if
you’re interested in checking out the rest of the storyline to see what happens next
to Oliver and Troll. But for myself today, at the time of filming
this, I didn’t feel confident enough in delivering it with the same clever suspense to my storytime
crowd. You can see I debated here which pile to move it into. I ended up choosing to revisit
in another time, but it could have ended up in my keep pile similarly.
I promise it ends up being a happy ending and things turn out just ok for the both of
them. Here we have an absolute gem. I practically
felt like I hit gold when I came across it. It’s a stunning picturesque book – and easily
a new favourite. This doesn’t come as a surprise. Bug Zoo is
illustrated by the award-winning film art director, Andy Harkness, who’s worked on many
of the Disney classics and films that we know today.
The text written by Lisa Wheeler – you’ll see – and the storyline is equally up to par
with its illustrations. We follow Ben and his love for bugs. From
a visit to the city zoo, Ben gets the idea to open up a bug zoo and sell all the bugs
he’s caught from nature. But no one comes to his zoo. Meanwhile, his bugs also just
a little sad. Perhaps they’re hungry, Ben thinks.
I like how this makes for a great opportunity to interact with the book and take a moment
to pause longer at the pictures. The text makes it enticing to try to identify which
bugs match each adjective. Some might be leggy, armoured, or wingy, greenie.
Ben continues to think of ways to get people to come to his zoo. Maybe he should advertise,
or get bigger bugs. More bugs? Ah! maybe he’s missing…a “main attraction”.
That should help, right? Before I sound like a hardsell, I’ll stop
here and let the book speak to you itself. But I’m so excited to add this find to my
shelves; and I’d curious to see what the rest of these originals look like from Walt Disney’s
Artist Showcases. Our next book, You Must Be This Tall, is by
Steven Weinberg The book follows two snakes, to the fair and
who look forward to riding a roller coaster, the rattler
But they come to realize from our piggie here, that Harold, our shorter red snake, is unfortunately
not tall enough They try all sorts of tactics like dressing
up, or stretching in hopes of meeting the height requirement
But evidently, Harold still isn’t tall enough This book was just ok for me, I was initially
drawn the pictures I was hoping for better messaging to the idea
of the “Fair not being fair”). Instead, it’s mix of humourous problem solving through circumventing
the rules. It’s an ok read, just not what I was looking for. Alright, next. A Dog Named Doug by Karma Wilson
and illustrated by Matt Myers. What we know about Doug the dog, is that:
Doug loves to dig. I love when a book pushes the boundaries between
its text and pictures. It requires creativity for them to mesh well together and it’s done
quite seamlessly here. As we can see with the letter “A” from the
word “can” And guessing from here, the letter M – “many”,
“miles”, “mounds”, “mud” Or “rut”, the wear of wheels creating
a deep track, as accentuated by the letter U Quite cleverly, this creates more appeal in
the identification of letters and words. It makes it engaging to follow Doug as he digs
his way around, bringing us to different places all around the world. This makes for a nice dynamic read, with the
text taken up a notch – and it’s hard not to hold on this book.
Please let me know if you’ve seen books with text design similar to this? It’s been hard
to come across and I would love for my kids to look at more than just pictures on a page. Last but not least, we have Wild One by Jane
Whittingham and illustrated by Noel Tuazon This book is a great introduction to the concept
of similes, as it goes through comparisons to animal behaviour while playing at the park.
Wild one in the park, stretching like a cat. Wild one on monkey bars, hanging like a bat. The accompanying rhymes help highlight the
many animals: slipping like an eel, clapping like a seal.
I’m skipping over the rest, but I found it to be a pleasant read and it can be enjoyed
as a way to stimulate imagination and thought during play. Overall a nice quick read for
storytime and works for the different age groups. So here we have it, books sorted into two
piles. I’ll go through my keeps. And pick out ones for today’s storytime – just based
on flow. Frankly planned flow doesn’t matter as much as real-time crowd flow. So feel free
to go with what suits your crowd… I’ll go over what I mean by this another day.
But here’s what I felt for today. Songs are essential in storytime. I always
start with this welcome song and goodbye song. Familiar songs we already know by heart. But
I’ll throw in occasional songs with the lyrics highlighted on chart paper as well. I mainly do this all by gut feeling, so here
you see my hello song at the start, goodbye song last.
And sandwiched in between are songs that may or may not tie into the books. This is what my favourite welcome song sounds
like. It’s in two languages. English and French. I begin with reinforcing our french vocabulary:
“ça va bien” – we’re doing good, “ça va mal” – we’re doing not so good, and “ça va
comme-ci comme-ça” – we’re doing just ok. So we have ça va bien, ça va mal, ça va
commi-ci comme-ça We’ll begin with the blue in English and the
red in French. Hello my friends, how are you? Hello my friends,
how are you? Ça va bien, ça va mal, ça va commi-ci comme-ça,
Hello my friends, how are you? Next we’re up to a challenge with our red
only. Hello in French – that’s bonjour. Can you repeat after me? Bonjour
My friends in French is mes amis. Mes amis. And what about comment ça va? Comment ça
va? That means how are you in French. Comment ça va? Bonjour mes amis, comment ça va? Bonjour
mes amis, comment ça va? Ça va bien, ça va mal, ça va commi-ci comme-ça.
Bonjour mes amis, comment ça va? This song has been rewarding for me because
you’ll see children becoming more vocal and remember the lyrics after repeated storytime
sessions. And on each occasion, I’ll find the parents and adults engaging and singing
along as well. This really reinforces how creating some sort of structure and repetition
encourages comfort and gradual learning for all. Welcome song done. This where we lead in with
the books I’ve picked out. After I’ve read our first book, What to Wheels
Do All Day. I decided to conveniently sing:
The wheels on the bus go round and round Round and round
Round and round The wheels on the bus go round and round Then we read Can an Aardvark Bark
Followed by Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream If you see a crocodile
Don’t forget to scream Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the Nile If you see a camel
Don’t forget to smile The difference between simply singing the
Wheels on the Bus and here, writing the words out for Row, Row, your boat, is first because
of the new verses that were added to the song. And also writing out the lyrics here allows
for the ability to accentuate and put emphasis on the rhymes. River, shiver, shore, roar,
creek, squeak. And where lyrics are also not as straight
forward, parents know what to anticipate and can participate along to these songs sheets.
These serve as an aid to encourage children in understanding or following along to print. Remember that’s it ok if your children lose
interest or can’t sit still. Here are some regular songs that all our storytime kids
are familiar with. We have Roly poly, roly poly
Up, up, up up, up, up
Roly roly poly roly roly poly
down, down, down down, down, down Roly poly, roly poly
out, out, out out, out, out
Roly roly poly roly roly poly
in, in, in in, in, in Roly poly, roly poly
fast, fast, fast fast, fast, fast
Roly roly poly roly roly poly
slow, slow, slow slow, slow, slow Or one I like to use as an energy booster:
Put your hands up high, put your hands down low,
Put your hands in the middle and wiggle just so.
Put your elbows in front, put your elbows in back
Put your elbows to the side and quack, quack, quack! Next we have a calmer transition song
Open, shut them Open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap Open, shut them
Open, shut them Put them in your lap, lap, lap By habit, I almost always pair Open Shut Them
with this Handwashing Song. With brief overview, I’ll explain that when
we wash our hands, we wash the top, we wash the bottom, we wash in between and we scrub
them all together Are you ready? Top and bottom, top and bottom
In between, in between Scrub them all together, scrub them all together
Now we’re clean, now we’re clean I’ll remind our kids that when we wash our
hands we don’t just wash one hand, we also wash the other hand
And as you know, repetition is key – this makes for the perfect opportunity to repeat
our song and familiarize with the words and actions.
You know it works when you go to wash your hands as an adult and find yourself singing
this in your head too A strangely clever and catchy song I’d say So there you have it. These are the songs
that I will almost always throw in, planned or not. I picked out, this song, Can You Wiggle Like
a Worm This song can be a hit or miss. Sometimes
you can get blank stares and you’re the only one singing it out loud. Can you wiggle like a worm,
Can you squiggle, can you squirm? Can you flutter, can you fly,
Like a gentle butterfly? Can you crawl upon the ground
Like a beetle that is round? Can you move with me? Can you flip? Can you flop?
Can you give a little hop? Can you slither like a snake?
Can you give a little shake? Can you dance like a bee
who is buzzing in a tree? Can you move with me? I’ve learned to accept that blank stares are
normal when trying out new songs. Think of it as if you were to sing this song here for
the first time, you might not feel confident singing it out loud too, right? Especially
in a group setting. So the success of a song, really depends on
your crowd. I’ve tried this song again with a different group and they were super into
figuring the actions with me. With our last book read, I decided to do something
I’d never really tried before and that was to bring back our new song and sing it again.
We always think about adding a sense of novelty and different elements to learning, but we
forget that building familiarity through repetition is just as important in engagement and in
building a solid foundation. We’re coming to the close of our storytime.
There’s one last classic I absolutely have to share you.
This last classic I’ll add today is Zoom, Zoom, Zoom. All kids love this and I like
to go through the 3 variations; going to the moon, sun, and stars. Again, emphasizing on
the rhymes. Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon. Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon. If you want to take a trip
climb aboard my rocket ship. Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon. In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Blast off! Now we’re next place we’re going to rhymes
with the word fun. And that’s the sun. Fun, fun, fun,
We’re going to the sun. Fun, fun, fun,
We’re going to the sun. If you want to take a trip
climb aboard my rocket ship. Fun, fun, fun,
We’re going to the sun. In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Blast off! Now the next place we’re going to is very
far. And it’s very, very far. And that’s the stars.
Far, far, far, We’re going to the stars.
Far, far, far, We’re going to the stars.
If you want to take a trip climb aboard my rocket ship.
Far, far, far, We’re going to the stars.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Blast off! Finally, this leads us to our goodbye song
which is my absolute favourite and has become my staple. Even when we remember the lyrics,
I like keeping this lyric sheet up to bring emphasis on the rhymes. We have: see you later
alligator, in a while crocodile, give a hug ladybug, blow a kiss jellyfish. See you later, alligator
In a while, crocodile Give a hug, ladybug
Blow a kiss, jellyfish See you soon, big baboon
Out the door, dinosaur Take care, polar bear
Wave goodbye, butterfly Fun fact, I forgot to bring out the words
to this once, and I was pleasantly surprised to see my regulars remember all the words. There you have it, we’ve planned our first
storytime bundle together. Last is stickers. Stickers at some point got
really crazy for me. I literally started getting trampled over.
In talking about it, my coworker gave me the idea of gamifying sticker time.
In this instance, I tried to be an overachiever and pulled back out this song, but it’s definitely
not necessary. I used it like this: Simon says Can you wiggle like a worm, Simon says
can you squiggle can you squirm, Simon says can you FREEZE?
And I would only give stickers to those that stayed frozen.
To be honest, I would much rather have kept it simple, without tying it into a song.
Going back to Simon says… can you touch your toes, Simon says… can you touch your
head, Simon says, can you FREEZE?! This makes it much easier to see their hands.
And you see parents reinforcing the ability to follow instructions. Are you still touching
your head? Touch your head!! At the end, I’ll go with the catch-all: Simon
says raise your hand if you didn’t get a sticker. Thanks for joining me today. I tried to fit
everything into what ended up being a longer video. So kudos to you if you stuck around
for the full length. Let me know if you would have liked to see 2 videos instead with books
and songs kept separate – or I’d love to hear if there’s anything you’d like to see more
of. It’s crazy I’ve actually been working on this for months and piece-mealing the recording
whenever my time and health allowed for it. Find me time is a personal project I’ve been
thinking about for exactly a year and I’m so ecstatic to finally put out this first
piece and share it with you. See you later alligators!