Because planning a program doesn't just take 5 minutes

Letter M

See below for the 2015 Letter M 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: macaroni, marker, mirror, magnifying glass (also in the bag: marble, mom)

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

monsters-go-nightBook: Monsters Go Night-Night by Aaron Zenz.  This is a fun interactive book.  For each step of going to bed, it shows a variety of things you could use, one of which is totally ridiculous, and, of course, the monster always chooses the ridiculous thing (brushing teeth with an octopus instead of toothbrush or toothpaste, for example.)  Then, at the end, monster pees on the potty (not the fishbowl, thank goodness!) and kisses family members night-night (in addition to the slice of pizza.)  This was a new book and it was good, silly fun for kids and parents.

Song: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”  I was planning to sing “Five Little Monkeys Swinging from a Tree,” but the kids really needed to jump, so we just went with it.  It was good to follow an unfamiliar book with a familiar song, and, again, there was a lot of participation from both kids and adults.

Book: How have I already forgotten the second book?  It was also new to me and went well.  Argh!  I’ll try to remember.

little-mouseSong: “Little Mouse.”  We played this for a while, and then it was too late for the third book but too early to stop, so we played for a while longer.

Closing Song: “See Ya Later”

Activity: I left the Little Mouse flannel on one side of the whiteboard/flannel board, and put the magnetic gears on the other.  Like last year, I put the stacking magnets on one table and a few egg cartons full of objects (beads, paper clips, washers, pom poms, etc.) with wand magnets on another.  On the third table, I put my kids’ Magformers, which I brought in from home.  The kids had so much fun playing with the magnets that they didn’t want to leave.  Several families stayed a full 45 minutes after the end of storytime.  Good thing the cleanup was quick!


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: Minnie Mouse, macaroni, muffin, marker (also in the bag: Mickey Mouse, monkey, marble, mouse)

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

count-the-monkeysStory: Count the Monkeys.  The little guys were too young for this, but the older preschoolers (and the adults) got into it once they realized the pattern.  This is usually such a fun, interactive book.  I have never tried it with a younger group, and I think the humor is definitely over their heads.

Song: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”  This was a nice follow on to a book that didn’t quite work — everyone knew it and participated along.  We have a variety of five little monkey flannels, puppets, etc., but I just modeled it in front of the group and it went great.  I always love watching the younger kids try to manipulate their fingers from the number of the monkeys to the phone mama uses to call the doctor to the pointed finger.  It’s so easy for the older kids and adults, but really hard for the 2s and 3s.

who-goes-thereStory: Who Goes There? by Karma Wilson (mouse).  I did this one with rhythm sticks and had the kids “scritch, scratch, tap tap tap” with the sticks.  I’m not sure it was worth the bother of handing them out and collecting them and listening to the tapping through the whole story, but the kids enjoyed them.  I rarely do this, but I also summarized a lot at the beginning of the story to get us to the part where the noise starts.  I tried to get the adults to take the repeated part of “Who goes there?  Who could it be?  Who scritches and scratches and taps at my tree?” but my adults clearly do better when I ask the kids to do something than when I ask them.  Harumph.

little-mouseSong: “Little Mouse” with flannel board.  This is always a hit.  It took a few tries to find the mouse after I hid it, and then I allowed the kids who guessed correctly to come up and hide the mouse.  Of course, it was a little bit easier to guess the house when the kids did the hiding – they’re not as experienced as getting the felt house to lie down flat.  After three or four rounds, we stopped.  They wanted to keep going, but I told them they could play with it at activity time, and there was no major mutiny.

Closing Song: “See Ya Later”

floating magnets      magnetic-gearspreschool-magnet-test

Activity:  “Little Mouse” flannel board plus several magnet activities.  Our felt board has a magnet board on the back side, so I pulled it out a little bit and put out the Lakeshore Turn & Learn Magnetic Gears on the other side.  We used to have these out in our play area, but post-construction we haven’t come up with a magnetic surface yet.  At one table, I put out the magnetic wands along with egg cartons filled with a variety of metal and non-metal objects to test.  (This was borrowed from my Magnet Science Storytime.)  At another table, I put out the Lakeshore Stack & Match Magnet Rings.  I have used these before with older kids at a Hands-On Science magnet program, and they were more interested in experimenting to see how it worked than in using the cards.  This group, though, was really into the pattern matching and not as “wow”ed by the floating magnets.  Maybe because they were younger and their world is still overall a cool place where magical things happen?  Anyway, it was fun, and families stayed for quite a while to explore.

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.


Possible subthemes: monsters, mice, moms, mountains, manners, monkeys, moon, music

Other possible titles:  

Being a Pig is Nice by Sally Lloyd-Jones (manners)

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

I Can’t Do Anything! by Thierry Robberecht (manners)

It’s a Spoon, Not a Shovel by Caralyn Buehner (manners)

On Top of Spaghetti by Paul Brett Johnson (meatballs)

Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith (mice)

Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley (mice)

Banana! by Ed Vere (monkeys)

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina  (monkeys)

Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett (monkeys)

Do Monkeys Tweet?  by Melanie Walsh (monkeys)

Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed by Eileen Christelow (monkeys)

Maggie’s Monkeys by Linda Sanders-Wells (monkeys)

Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett (monkeys)

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

Monkey Ono by J.C. Phillipps (monkeys)

Monkey See, Monkey Draw by Alex Beard  (monkeys)

Two Little Monkeys by Mem Fox (monkeys)

The Big Rock Candy Mountain by John Kanzler (mountain)

The Baby that Roared by Simon Puttock (monsters)

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere (monsters)

Crankenstein by Samantha Berger (monsters)

Don’t Play with Your Food!  by Bob Shea (monsters)

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

Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley (monsters)

Go to Bed, Monster! by Natasha Wing (monsters)

I Loathe You by David Slonim (monsters)

Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty (monsters)

Monster Mash by David Catrow (monsters)

Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin (monsters)

Mrs. Mo’s Monster by Paul Beavis (monsters)

Troll and the Oliver by Adam Stower (monsters)

Waga’s Big Scare by Samuel Hiti (monsters)

Don’t Wake Up Mama! by Eileen Christelow (mothers)

Ol’ Mama Squirrel by David Ezra Stein (mothers)

“Little Mouse”

“Mama don’t allow”



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