Community Helpers – Pre-school tours

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Community Helpers is not one of my preferred storytime themes but it was requested. I was pleasantly surprised at the resources that were available in our Community Helpers Storytime Kit. The storytime part of the tour turned out pretty good.

  • Clap and Sing Hello
  • Wheels on the Bus
  • Felt Story – The Bus for Us
  • Wake up George – Sing Frere Jaques/ Are you sleeping
  • Play What’s My Job
    • there were five hats in the bin. I would put a hat on George then sing the little song. Then the kids would guess.
  • A is for alligator – just to move a bit
  • Book: Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling
  • Johnny works with one hammer – stand up song
  • Little Cat, Little Cat – Felt Game
  • Library cards and stamps
    • library cards were prepared ahead of time. Just before we headed to the children’s section I handed out the cards and gave everyone a hand stamp. I went over a few basic rules, how many items they could check out, and where to go for help. I showed them the check-out desk, info desk, and the different collections in the children’s department. Then they went to.


I had planned a bit more, but this is what actually fit into 30 minutes, and we had a good time with it. We played Little Cat until everybody had a turn, which doesn’t take too long when you have only 13 kids. But when they keep getting it right on the first try, that takes longer because I have to reset every time!

I really enjoyed the “What’s my Job” game, and so did the kids. They had a very hard time waiting until the end of the little song to shout out their guesses. They would sing maybe the first line, then just shout out the job, over and over. But they still liked it.

I spent at least 20 minutes helping each child use the self check-out, because they all wanted to do it.




What’s My Job

The Community Helpers Kit has five hats in it. I place each hat in turn on George’s head then sing the little verse to “Are you sleeping/ Frere Jacques”:

What’s my job, what’s my job

Can you guess, can you guess,

I douse burning fires, I douse burning fires,

Who am I? Who am I?

  • Lettercarrier: I deliver letters, I deliver letters
  • Police officer: I keep people safe, I keep people safe
  • Chef: I cook food for you, I cook food for you
  • Construction worker: I build roads and bridges, I build roads and bridges

At the end of the verse, I ask the kids what they think George is, they guess, I ask George if that is correct and he nods accent. He really likes being a Chef.


Here Be Dragons! Saturday Stories


There’s dragons at the library, great roaring dragons!  No, wait, small roaring dragons. Wait a minute, those aren’t dragons at all, they’re kids and only one tiny dragon that fits on a lady’s arm.

  • Opening:
    • Wheels on the bus
  • Mascot or memory box (if using): George breath fire? or scarves?
  • Longest story: Not your typical dragon by Dan Bar-el
  • Stand-up song: Swing your dragon tail
  • Action song/ circle song: I’m a little dragon, short and stout
  • Sit down rhyme: I wiggle my fingers
  • Felt/ Puppet Story: Oh So Brave Dragon by David Kirk with a puppet
  • Counting story/song: Dudley the dragon has five spikes
  • Action poems/ fingerplays:
    •  Fierce is the dragon
    •  Dragon, dragon, swoop and sway
  • Last short story: Dragons love tacos by Adam Rubin
  • Felt game/ interactive song: Bubbles while playing Dinosaurs and Dragons by Charlotte Diamond
  • Closing Songs:
    • Roly poly



The stories were a bit too old for this group except for Oh So Brave Dragon. That went over well because the kids got to roar and I used a puppet. If I do this theme again, I need shorter stories with more jokes, or more roaring. All the finger plays were easy and seemed to go well although this group definitely had the wiggles, due to the long books.

I skipped Dudley the Dragon, and my final song. Bubbles were much more fun. BUBBLES!! I also skipped George, he stayed home today.

I did this again for PJ Storytime but changed the stories a bit. I started with Dragons Love Tacos and subbed in LullabyHullaballoo by Mick Inkpen for the final story. It seemed to go over well although I had a few kids bail out halfway through. I find my Tuesday night PJ storytime is a tough crowd. I haven’t found anything that really is a soaring success with them. They did like the roaring though, and the bubbles. (I was informed after the program I’m not allowed to do bubbles in the library 😦 I also have a little bookthief in my progam. Twice now I’ve had books I use for storytime taken sometime after I read them but before I clean up, even though I remind participants that they can borrow their own copy from the shelves.


Saturday Morning Stories – Silliness

9:30 am: I realize I have storytime today and did not prepare anything! I have 20 min max before needing to be on the desk. Away to the props room!


This is what I chose for today:

  • Wheels on the bus (always)
  • What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas
  • I am a pizza (ala Charlotte Diamond) with felt pieces
  • Five Cheeky Monkeys with puppets
  • Monkey and Me  by Emily Gravett
  • Shake your sillies out (Raffi)
  • Bubblegum song
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
  • Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
  • Little Mouse, Little Mouse
  • Roly Poly


What a wonderful storytime! Yet more proof that you don’t really need a theme, you just need good materials, a range of songs to suit your audience, and enthusiasm.  I couldn’t remember all the words in the right order to I am a pizza so I brought my cheat sheet with me, and fooled everybody. I also blanked when I started Five Cheeky Monkeys because I had pizza rolling around my head, the parents though that was hilarious.

I made a chant and guessing game out of Monkey and Me which worked perfectly. They were a busy bunch so we had much, much fun with our active songs. They were much more willing to shake some sillies than usual today, maybe due to an excess of silly.

Finally, I really stumped them on the first round of Little Mouse, we got down to the very last house! The next two were guessed on the first or second try.

Fun times!

Little Chameleon’s Colour Game

Another children’s librarian told me about this little game when we were trading ideas for a colour storytime. The original version is done with felt, but she told me that she does hers with a cut out folder and coloured paper, so I tracked down the original online and then adapted it for paper.

The original is from Fun with Friends at Storytime by Kathryn. She even wrote the rhymes herself.

Instead of making felts, I picked out a chameleon picture and traced it onto a manila folder, then cut it out leaving a chameleon shaped hole in the center of one side of the folder. Then I glued a clear page protector on the back and a googly eye to the plastic. The I just filled the folder with sheets of appropriately coloured paper in order of the rhyme (which I taped tot he back of the folder).

Easy-peasy. The kids were very good at guessing the colour and they really enjoyed themselves. I will do this again. My colleague said something about Zebra stripes.


Chameleon I traced




Easter and Bunnies Toddle Time

Toddler time just before Easter without a whole lot of notice. It didn’t have to be ester themed but it would be nice, but I had so few seasonal materials left, especially ones good for toddlers! So I expanded it to Bunnies.

  • Opening:
    • Up, Down, Turn around
    • Wheels on the bus
    • Here is a bunny, with ears so funny (glove bunny puppet)
  • Max Counts His Chickens by Rosemary Wells
  • Song: There’s Something in my garden (with finger puppets)
  • Song: Old MacDonald (with same finger puppets)
  • Song: Sleeping Bunnies
  • Song: Mmm-mm Went the Little Green Frog
  • Rhyme: Little Rabbit
  • Song/ Book: If You’re Hoppy and You Know it by April Pulley Sayre
  • Rhyme: Little Bunny
  • Song: Rain is falling down
  • Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
  • Game: Find the Bunny in the Egg
  • Closing:
    • Roly Poly
  • Back-up: Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
Little Rabbit, Little Rabbit, What egg are you in? Little Rabbit, Little Rabbit, is it the 'blue' one you're hiding in?

Little Rabbit, Little Rabbit, What egg are you in? Little Rabbit, Little Rabbit, is it the ‘blue’ one you’re hiding in?

Dogs! – Family Storytime

I’ve been waiting for a chance to do “Don’t lick the dog” for storytime and when I was asked to do this saturday stories it was finally available so I jumped on it and did a whole dog storytime. I must remember that dogs is one of the easiest themes to get material for! So much to choose from.

They enjoyed all the books. I would say “The Doghouse” was the favourite, but it’s hard to compete with Jan Thomas. We played Little Dog instead of little mouse and it went well. I asked the kids to put up their hands and then called on them to say what colour we should guess next. It was nicer than just having the same kids shouting and shouting. In some instances it gave the little ones a chance to use their words, if I waited long enough.  Back-up books were: Dogs Colorful Day By Emma Dodd and A Dog is a Dog by Steven Shaskan