Category Archives: Storytimes

Van Gogh Storytime 2

This is my first storytime post in over two years! I’m back in school, and this semester’s class is children’s literature – a fun class for sure, and one where I have had to plan multiple storytimes/programs centered around various books. One of the main requirements was to do a thematic program at a library. I chose to do a storytime, and liked the idea of revisiting my Van Gogh storytime.

I ended with five children (and a baby) attending. Coincidentally, all of them were boys. It was a good turn out given my local library doesn’t have evening programs for children – they don’t have enough staff. The boys all had fun, and the parents expressed interest in attending more evening storytimes.

Opening Songs
“Hello, Hello, How Are You?”
“Mary Wore a Red Dress” (I sing the first verse, then make up additional ones using the children’s names and an article of clothing they are wearing)

Books

Katie and the Starry Night by James Mayhew
Vincent’s Colors by The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Egg Shaker Songs

“Shake Your Shaker” (from Libraryland)
Tune: “London Bridge”

Shake your shaker in the air,
Shake it here, shake it there.
Shake your shaker in the air,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it high and shake it low,
Shake it yes, shake it no.
Shake it high and shake it low,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it up and shake it down,
Rub your shaker on the ground.
Shake it up and shake it down,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it near and shake it far,
Drive your shaker like a car.
Shake it near and shake it far,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it fast and shake it slow,
Shake it stop, shake it go.
Shake it fast and shake it slow,
Shake your shaker.

“Shake it to the East” (from Jbrary)
I usually chant this as opposed to singing it

Shake it to the east
Shake it to the west
Shake it all around
and then you take a rest
Shake your shakers up
Shake your shakers down
Shake it, shake it, shake it,
and then you settle down.

Activity
My initial inspiration came from a Van Gogh-inspired art project from The Imagination Tree. I used this activity with my previous Van Gogh storytime, and the kids had fun with it. It felt something was missing, so I ended up getting a bit more fancy, adding paper cutouts of the cypress trees and moon. This version was also a hit. The boys loved swirling the paint around and smashing the paper on top of it to make an impression.

Storytime: Bats

Books

batty baby bat lullaby

Batty by Sarah Dyer
Baby Bat’s Lullaby by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Rhymes

“Fruit Bat” (from Bayviews)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, turn around. (Turn around)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, touch the ground. (Touch ground)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, blink your eye. (Blink eyes)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, fly up high. (Flap arms)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, better behave. (Shake finger)
Fruit bat, fruit bat, hide in your cave. (Flap fingers behind back – we crouched down)

“Lift Your Wings” (from Bayviews)
*Used as a scarf rhyme*
Lift you wings up in the air (Hold up arms out to sides)
Flap them, flap them, everywhere. (Flap arms)
Jump up high, sit down low, (Jump up, sit down)
Now fold your wings & sit like so. (Fold up arms next to body)

Activity
Static Electricity Bats (from Inspiration Laboratories) – I cut multiple bats out from tissue paper ant taped them to the table. Each child was given a balloon to generate static electricity (by their head or Miss Emma’s sweater) in order to make the bat “fly”.

bat

Storytime: Van Gogh

Books

vincent's colors garden van gogh

Vincent’s Colors by The Metropolitan Museum of Art
In the Garden with Van Gogh by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober

Songs

“If You’re Wearing [color] Today” (from SurLaLune Storytime)
(Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
If you are wearing red, shake your head
If you are wearing red, shake your head
If you are wearing red
Then please shake your head
If you are wearing red, shake your head

If you are wearing blue, touch your shoe
If you are wearing blue, touch your shoe
If you are wearing blue,
Then please touch your shoe
If you are wearing blue, touch your shoe

If you are wearing yellow, shake like Jell-O
If you are wearing yellow, shake like Jell-O
If you are wearing yellow,
Then please shake like Jell-O
If you are wearing yellow, shake like Jell-O

Final verse: wearing a rainbow/do all three

“The Parachute Goes Up” (from Storytime All-Stars)
(Tune: “The Farmer in the Dell”)
The parachute goes up
The parachute goes down
The parachute goes up and up and then it goes back down
(sing several times)

Activity
Van Gogh Style Finger-Paint Printing (from The Imagination Tree) – I put 3 dots each of blue, white, and gold paint on a piece of foil. The children used their fingers to swirl the colors together. Adults, with help from the children, then placed a piece of sulphite paper on the swirls to make a print. Second prints came out much better than first prints.

009 ed

Storytime: Apples

Books

apple pie ten red apples

Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray
Ten Red Apples by Virginia Miller

Songs

“A Little Appleseed” (from Jen in the Library)
(Tune: “Itsy Bitsy Spider”)
Once a little apple seed
was planted in the ground.
Down came the raindrops falling all around.
Out came the big sun
Bright as bright could be
And that little apple seed grew up
to be an apple tree.

Rhymes

“The Apple Tree” (from Perry Public Library)
Way up high in the apple tree (hold hands above head)
Two little apples smiled at me (make circles with thumb and forefinger of each hand, smile)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (pretend to shake tree)
Down came the apples (lower hand to ground and wiggle fingers)
Mmm…! They were good! (takes bite , rub tummy, smile)

“Apple Roll” (from Storytime Katie)
Five little apples in the bowl
One fell out and started to roll
It bumped the table and hit my feet
How many apples left to eat?
(count down)

*I brought a mixing bowl and five small apples to use as a prop while telling this story. I swirled the apples around as I said it, then tipped it over and popped an apple out to roll on the carpet in front of me. The children loved it, though one little girl kept bringing the apples back to put in the bowl.

Activity
Apple Coloring Page – This was the back up activity because I forgot to bring a knife with me to cut apples for stamping.

Storytime: Popcorn

Books

popcorn asch popcorn moran

Popcorn by Frank Asch
Popcorn by Alex Moran

Rhymes
“I’m a Little Popcorn” (from Sturgis Kids)
I’m a little popcorn (sit on floor in a ball with arms around knees)
Shaking to and fro (rock back and forth)
When the oven gets hot enough (uncurl slowly)
Pop! I go! (jump up)

“Popcorn in the Popper” (from Sturgis Kids)
*I did this as spoken rhyme, not a song
Popcorn in the popper
Pop, pop, pop, pop (Jump up and down)
Popcorn in the popper.
Butter in a dish
Butter in a dish
Melt, melt, melt, melt (sink to floor)
Butter in the dish.

Scarf Song
“Popcorn Kernels” (from Jbrary)
(Tune: “Frere Jacques”)
Popcorn Kernels (wave scarves overhead)
Popcorn Kernels
In the pot (make their scarves ‘disappear’ by bunching them up in their fists)
In the pot
Shake them shake them shake them (shake)
Shake them shake them shake them
’til they POP (Toss scarves up into the air)
’til they POP

Activity
Parachute Play – I blew up several white and several yellow balloons and put them in the parachute We tried to see how quickly we could “pop” the balloons out of the parachute.

Storytime: Bears

Books

bears barner orange bear

Bears! Bears! Bears! by Bob Barner
Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett (a must read for the toddler crowd)

Rhymes

“Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear”
(a combination from Perry Public Library and Miss Meg’s Storytime)
Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around
Teddy bear, teddy bear touch the ground
Teddy bear, teddy bear reach up high
Teddy bear, teddy bear touch the sky
Teddy bear, teddy bear show your shoe
Teddy bear, teddy bear I love you
Teddy bear, teddy bear touch your knees
Teddy bear, teddy bear sit down please

Egg Shaker Songs

“Can You Shake Your Egg With Me?” (from Hartford County Public Library)
(Tune: “London Bridge is Falling Down”)
Can you shake your egg with me?
Shake your egg along with me
It’s as easy as can be
Now put it on your tummy! (head, knee, ear, etc…)

“Cinnamon Bear” (from Preschool Education)
Cinnamon, cinnamon, cinnamon bear
Sitting on the kitchen chair
Cinnamon sugar in the shaker
Shake it, shake it, shake it like a baker
Sprinkle it on buttered toast
It’s a treat you’ll love the most
Cinnamon, cinnamon, cinnamon bear
Do you think that we may share?

Activity

Fork Bears (from Crafty Morning) – I cut white construction paper in half and drew a circle on each piece so the children would have a guide for the bear’s face when painting in the fuzz. Once they were finished, they glued on ears and a nose, and used a paintbrush to add eyes.

bear 2

bear 1

Storytime: Get Moving

This was a fun first Toddler Time session (I am only doing Toddler Time this year). The children loved acting out the book Stretch, and parachutes are going to need to be added to my regular rotation.

Books

wokka stretch

How Do You Wokka-Wokka? by Elizabeth Bluemle
Stretch by Doreen Cronin (she has some other books that would be fun to use)

Songs
“Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”

Rhymes
“We Can!” (from Perry Public Library)
We can jump jump jump
We can hop hop hop
We can clap clap clap
We can stop stop stop
We can nod our heads for yes
We can shake our heads for no
We can bend our knees a little bit
And we can sit down slow

Activity
Parachute Play – We sang two songs and chanted one rhyme while playing with the parachute.

“The Parachute Goes Up” (from Storytime All-Stars)
(Tune: “The Farmer in the Dell”)
The parachute goes up
The parachute goes down
The parachute goes up and up and then it goes back down
(sing several times)

“If You’re Happy and You Know It” (from Storytime All-Stars)
Verses: lift it high, drop it low, shake it fast, shake it slow, hide underneath

“When the Parachute Goes Up” (from Storytime Source Page)
(Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
**I chanted this, but singing would probably work better.
When the parachute goes up, stomp your feet
When the parachute goes up, stomp your feet
When the parachute goes high, and lifts up toward the sky
When the parachute goes up, stomp your feet
Verses: bend your knees, shake your head, shout hooray