Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes


The color madness continues with gray.  This was a slightly strange week – one librarian was on vacation, and I was sick one day, so we ended up swapping around.  All three of us did at least one storytime that was not at our usual time.  There were a few kids I knew in the group I ended up with, but most of them were new to me.  There were a lot of very small kids as well.  We say Storytime is for ages 3+, and we also have a Babytime for 0-24 months and Rhymetime for ages 18 months and up, but most of the group was under 3.  I was very glad I had planned some backup stories – I needed to use both of them!

Opening Song: “I Am Here & You Are Here” by Peter & Ellen Allard (on Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3)

tap tap boom boomStory: Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle.  What’s gray, and in the sky on a rainy day?  Clouds!  This book about hiding out in the subway during a thunderstorm has a fun, beat-house poetry feel.  I was trying to get the kids to participate by tapping on their laps and stomping on the floor, but it would have been easier if the “tap tap boom boom”s were used more consistently.  I had been planning on Storm is Coming by Heather Tekavic, but that relies more on verbal play. I think this one was better for the age group, but even so, there was a lot of wiggling.

Song:  “Baby Shark.”  Nothing like a song to get them back together.  This worked really nicely; for toddlers, even figuring out how to make the different sized sharks with their bodies was a bit of a challenge.

tanka-tanka-skunkStory: Tanka Tanka Skunk! by Steve Webb.  This is such a fun rhythm-y book.  I have sometimes had the kids repeat each page after me.  This time I handed out shakers and just had them shake out the beat with me.  I repeated the “tanka tanka skunka tanka” pages in the hope that there would be some verbal participation, but — no luck.  The kids were great about taking and returning the shakers, but once they had them in hand, using them was kind of a free-for-all.  My plan for older kids was What to Do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot by Michelle Robinson.

little-mouse-gets-readyStory: Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith.  This is actually a Toon comic for new readers.  It led to some nice dialogic reading – the kids loved guessing what Little Mouse was going to put on next and talking about their own success (or not) with buttons, shoes, etc.  The asides from Little Mouse about the things he was going to do when he got to the barn went right over their heads, and I’m not sure how many actually got the joke at the end, but it went ok.

little-mouseSong: “Little Mouse” flannel game with guitar.  My regular mouse (shown here) is white, but another storytimer cut out a gray version.  I also used a few distractors – a little frog and fish.  I had this set up when the kids came in, and it took several guesses to find the little mouse.  This was quite engaging and could have gone on even longer than it did.

little-mouse-craftCraft: “Little Mouse” game board.  I cut out and laminated some little gray mice.  We used library pockets as houses.  The kids colored them (more or less elaborately) and glued them to the paper, along with the words to the song.  After they were done, I gave them a mouse to take home and play.  They seemed to enjoy creating the houses; I don’t know how much play they’ll get (but I can hope).

Little Mouse

To the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle”

Little mouse, little mouse,
Come out to play.
What color house
Are you in today?

Let the kids take turns guessing house colors. If they find the mouse, they can hide it.


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