Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Letter B


See below for the 2015 Letter B Storytime.

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

Mystery Bag objects: banana, baby (no one said doll!), butterfly, bubbles.  Also in the bag: bee, button, bunny blanket (yes, that was one item).

Because we’d already talked about the letter, I introduced each story or song by having them guess what B-word it was about.

boo-hoo-babyStory: What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby? by Cressida Cowell.  This one has loads of built-in participation, which makes it a nice first story.  I change the wording a little bit so that instead of “Moo!” Said the cow, I read, “The cow said…?” and then the kids can jump in and answer.  I especially need this on this particular title because the animals don’t always respond in the same order.  The kids liked to “boo hoo hoo!” along with the noisy baby, and the parents appreciated the ending.

Song: “Sticky Bubble Gum”  by Carole Peterson.  We started off by pretending to take out some gum and chew it, and then spit it into our hands.  The kids were appropriately grossed out / entertained.  After hands, the kids chose to stick the gum onto the bottoms of our shoes, our hair, anbubble-gumd our fingers.  I ended with sticking our lips together and singing the song with a closed mouth, which is always fun.  Then we tossed our imaginary used gum into the garbage can at the back of the room.

Story: Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler.  This one was a little bit repetitive, but not enough for the kids to participate.  The older ones liked it, but it didn’t hold the attention of the room as much as I would have liked.  I might use this again, but…  maybe not.

Song: “All the Fish” by Caspar Babypants on I Found You, along with bubbles, of course.  Bubble, bubble, bubble … pop!

bedtime-nutsStory: Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin.  I suppose this is kind of a cheat as my “new-to-storytime” book for the week, since it’s so similar to his other books, which I have used, but…  This one was super fun.  I listened to the story online before storytime, but the tune didn’t really stick, so we more or less chanted the songs.  I tried to get the kids to do the kids’ lines and the adults to do the mom’s lines.  The adults were good sports about saying the mom’s lines progressively louder.  The kids recited both the kids’ and the mom’s lines.  The adults appreciated the mom’s increasing frustration as well as the sweetness at the ending.  I would definitely use this again.

Closing Song: “See Ya Later”
bubble-print-leaves       community-bulletin-board-cropped

Craft:  Bubble wrap printing.  I looooove bubble wrap printing.  I printed out leaf shapes on pieces of paper (more on that in a minute) and then cut the bubble wrap pieces slightly smaller than the papers so that the kids could lift off the prints without getting too messy.  I taped the pieces of bubble wrap onto the table before storytime.  Then I put out fall colored paints with brushes.  The kids painted their wrap and then printed on the leaves.  We had both big and little bubbles, so there was a range of textures when they printed.  Some printed multiple times for total coverage, and others left some white space.  I did have to do a demo before I let them do it.  Since it’s a multi-step process, I think many of the kids would have just painted right onto the leaves.  I made sure to have plenty of extra leaves so they could do it more than once.  Several of the adults made prints as well.

This craft would have worked just as well on plain paper, but I know that families tend to leave messy projects here, so I intentionally chose a seasonal project and told them that anything they left here would be used to decorate our bulletin boards.  Most kids did several leaves and left some here and brought some home.  Once the prints dried, staff members cut them out and hung them.

Like last week, this was a process-oriented craft that ended up with a really great product as well.  They look really nice on the bulletin boards!


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

Mystery Bag objects: banana, bunny (thank goodness they didn’t all say “rabbit”!), backpack, blanket. We also had a bee, bear, button, and perhaps some others, but I only took out four, which I think was plenty.  I have the last storytime of the week, so it’s nice to have some variety between presenters.  That way, any of the kids have already been to a storytime, they haven’t seen everything already.

Because we’d already talked about the letter, I introduced each story or song by having them guess what B-word it was about.

i-will-not-readStory: I Will Not Read This Book by Cece Meng (book).  The first few pages were hard to get into, but once it starts repeating, getting sillier and sillier each time, it’s really fun.  Even the very little ones were taken in by the rhythm.  The older ones liked the suspense of waiting to see what ridiculous thing was going to be added next.

Song:  “I’m Thinking of a Letter”  To prep, I went through our big magnetic letters and took out the ones with beginning sounds that would be difficult to define (A, E, I, O, U, C, Q, X).  When we started the activity, I asked each family to choose one letter.  Then I sang the song and had them bring up their letters at the appropriate time.  Honestly,  I wouldn’t have planned this one if I knew how big the group was going to be.  It’s only the second week of storytime, and all the storytimes to this point had been about a dozen kids.  I ended up with 26 kids, many of them wee ones, so I had to adapt as I went along.  I wanted to make it easier and more interactive, so I’d call the kid up first, by name and/or letter, and then have everyone sing the song together that went with the letter before the child put the letter on the board.  The adults liked this more than the kids, which actually helped a little bit, because they kept their kids engaged when otherwise the kids might have gotten bored.

froodleStory: Froodle by Antoinette Portis (bird).  This one started out a bit crazy, because the kids were a little antsy from the previous activity.  They got more into it, but mostly only listened when I was making silly sounds.  I’d definitely try it again in a different setting, though.

Song: “Jumping and Counting”  (from Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense) on bubble wrap.  This was a great activity to give to a rowdy crowd.  It definitely wore them out and settled them down.  I should have turned the CD player up louder, though; that many kids jumping on bubble wrap got super loud.

pete-groovy-buttonsStory: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin (button).  After taxing their brains and their muscles, it was nice to end with a little bit of brain candy.  They sang the song and counted down the buttons with me, and of course the belly button at the end was a big hit.  It was nice to take out a sure winner after a little bit of chaos!

Closing Song: “See Ya Later”

beaded-braceletCraft: Stringing beads on pipe cleaners.  The kids loved this!  It is much easier to string beads on pipe cleaners than on something floppier, so even the younger kids could manage it.  I brought in some larger wood letter beads from home that my kids have outgrown, and the kids definitely liked identifying the letters as well.  (And, yes, that is a sparkly gold table cloth you see there.  Awesome, right?)


“I’m Thinking of a Letter”

I’m thinking of a letter,
I’m thinking of a letter,
Bi, Bo, the Berry-o,
I’m thinking of a letter.

Repeat, switching out the bolded beginning consonant sounds.


Possible subthemes:  balls, bikes, bus, bears, bugs, bath, bedtime, books, babies, beach, birds, birthday, butterflies, boats, bats

Other possible titles:

Baby’s Got the Blues by Carol Diggory Shields (baby)

Upside Down Babies by Jeanne Willis (baby)

Baby goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell (baby)

Baby Parade by Rebecca O’Connell (baby)

The Silver Button by Bob Graham (baby)

What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby? By Cressida Cowell (baby)

How Will We Get to the Beach?  by Brigitte Luciani (beach)

A Day at the Beach  by Ed Briant (beach)

Monkey Ono  by J.C. Phillipps (beach)

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson (bears)

Ugly Pie by Lisa Wheeler (bears)

Silly Doggy! by Adam Stower (bears)

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea (bedtime)

Tiger Can’t Sleep by F.J. Fore (bedtime)

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas (bedtime)

My Dad is Big and Strong But… A Bedtime Story by Coralie Saudo (bedtime)

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow (bedtime)

Don’t Turn the Page! by Rachelle Burk (bedtime)

No Jumping on the Bed! by Tedd Arnold (bedtime)

Small Blue and the Deep Dark Night by Jon Davis (bedtime)

Tuck Me In! by Dean Hacohen (bedtime)

Peck, Peck, Peck  by Lucy Cousins (birds)

A Birthday for Cow! by Jan Thomas  (birthday)

Boa’s Bad Birthday by Jeanne Willis (birthday)

Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss  (book)

I’m Not Reading! by Jonathan Allen  (book)

Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier  (book)

Roger Is Reading a Book by Koen Van Biesen  (book)

Banana! by Ed Vere (banana)

The Monkey Goes Bananas by C.P. Bloom (banana)

Peanut and Fifi Have a Ball by Randall De Seve (ball)

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems (bus)

Don’t Squish the Sasquatch by Kent Redeker  (bus)

The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort  (bus)

Other possible songs:

A Cat Had a Birthday

Sticky Bubble Gum



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