Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Letter D


See below for the 2015 Letter D Storytime.  This is another week where not only did I not repeat one thing from last year, I could have done several more weeks of letter D storytime with no repeats.

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: donut, dragonfly, dog, dragon (also in the bag: dinosaur, duck)

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

doghouseStory: The Doghouse, by Jan Thomas.  This story is so funny, and the adults and kids helped participate in building up the tension by saying, “dun-dun-dun!” every time I said the words “the doghouse.”  It was super fun, and both kids and adults really got into it.  It also helped keep the adults paying attention through the end to get to the surprise ending.

Song: “Silly Dance Contest” on Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes, by Jim Gill.  Because it’s always time for silly dancing!  It was mostly the kids dancing, but

dress-a-dragonStory: How to Dress a Dragon by Thelma Godin.  This is a simple, fairly straightforward narrative, and I had them at the beginning, but they drifted off a bit towards the end.  Clearly this group needs more interactive stories!  There were a lot of toddlers in the room, so that might have played a part too, but this one might be too hard for toddlers and too simple for preschoolers, so I’d think twice before trying it again.

Song: “Mama Duck” from Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It! Vol. 3, by Peter and Ellen Allard.  I didn’t use the CD this time, just sang a cappella.  In this song, the mama duck says “quack” to each of her ducklings in turn, starting with one duckling and then building up.  I used one hand to indicate the number of ducklings, and then I used the pointer finger on the other hand to point to each “duck” as we quacked at it.  One and two were easy, but as it got harder with three, four and five, the kids really had a great time with it!

duddle-puckStory: Duddle Puck the Puddle Duck, by Karma Wilson.  I wanted this one to be interactive, but the language of the story didn’t quite work on its own.  If I was going to do this again, I’d probably rephrase it a little bit to make the interactivity work better.  If I could manage that without losing the rhyme scheme.  Overall, kind of meh.


tissue-paper-dots-1        tissue-paper-dots-2

Craft: Dot pictures using tissue paper circles and water.  I love this craft!  You just arrange the tissue paper on the paper (I used card stock) and then paint over it with water.  The color comes through onto the paper, and you can peel off the tissue paper and just leave the colors underneath.  The only thing to be careful of is to make sure you are using the kind of tissue paper that bleeds.  Some of them intentionally do not bleed (because for some projects that would be annoying.)  I bought tissue paper that was precut into circles, which I thought was very clever until I realized that it was the not bleeding kind.  I was afraid the die cut wouldn’t work well on tissue paper, but it was actually great, and I was able to cut many pieces of the correct kind of paper at one time.  I ended up with a variety of different sized circles, which I would not have gotten with the precut ones, so it was all good in the end.  You can see in the pictures above how vibrant the bleeding tissue on the left is compared with the non-bleeding tissue on the right.



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: dog (a lot of kids said “puppy”), dinosaur, doll (some said “baby”), and duck

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

oh-daddyStory:  Oh, Daddy!  by Bob Shea (dad).  I changed the words a little bit so that the kids always said, “Oh, Daddy!” when the dad did something silly.  I like this one because the kids and the grownups appreciate different things about the book, which keeps them both involved.

Song:  “Bingo” (dogs) with flannel board.  I have a flannel set with the letters B-I-N-G-O in red.  I cut out a starburst in yellow to put behind each one.  Then, when we’re going to clap instead of sing, I flip the letter over so the starbursts are claps and we sing the letters.  This can be a fun math activity, too.  When you ask “How many claps?” and “How many letters?” with each verse, you are teaching all the ways to add up to 5.

greatest-dinosaurFlannel Board Story: The Greatest Dinosaur Ever by Brenda Guiberson (dinosaurs).  This is one I did as a tandem storytime a while ago.  We chose just a few dinosaurs to print out and laminate with a velcro backing.  When I did the story, I showed them the book, and then chose one dinosaur at a time and gave some of the basic language of the book (“Who was the greatest?  I was the greatest!  I…” and a brief description of what made them great.  Then at the end, they voted for their favorite.  This was a group that did not know a lot of dinosaur names and they had a ton of fun repeating the names.

Song: “Drivin’ in My Car” by Ralph Covert on Ralph’s World.  This is insanely catchy.  I think the first time I heard it was at a storytime where the presenter played it on a ukelele.  I just played it with the CD and prompted the kids to do the actions.

duck-sock-hopStory:  Duck Sock Hop by Jane Kohuth (duck, dance).  This one is bouncy and has a good rhyme scheme, but is probably not participatory enough for a third story.  (I usually aim for participation at the beginning and end, and put anything that requires focus in the middle.)

Closing Song: “See Ya Later”

Craft:  I set up three tables where they could make things with different kinds of dots.

The first table had dot stickers, scrap paper, and hole punchers (which were hard for the kids to do, but still interesting.)


The second table had ink pads and receipt printer rolls.  I told them they could make dots with their fingers in the ink, too, but most preferred to use the rolls as stampers.


The third table had textured foam with raised dots and small pieces of bubble wrap with brushes and paint so that they could do dot printing.




Possible subthemes:  dogs, deer, dance, donuts, dads, dinosaurs, ducks, dragons, dots

Other possible titles:

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

Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig (dance)

Tyrannosaurus Wrecks! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen  (dinosaur)

The Doghouse by Jan Thomas (dog)

Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton (dog)

Bark, George! by Jules Feiffer (dog)

The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins (doorbell)

10 Black Dots by Donald Crews (dots)

Press Here by Herve Tullet  (dots)

The Dot by Peter Reynolds (dots)

A Gold Star for Zog by Julia Donaldson (dragons)

Over at the Castle by Boni Ashburn (dragons)

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems (duckling)

“Silly Dance Contest” from Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes  (dance)


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