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Bookworm Blurbs

I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.

Storytime - Food

Mouse Mess - Linnea Asplind Riley Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting - Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, Susan Swan Hungry Hen - Richard Waring, Caroline Jayne Church The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? - Jane Yolen, Mark Teague Just Dessert - Polly Powell The Watermelon Seed - Greg Pizzoli

Today, I had my very first storytime! I was a bit nervous about it, but everything went wonderfully and I think the kids had a great time. I decided to do a food theme because, really, who doesn't like food?! 


When planning the program, I pulled several potential books. They're all featured above, but here's the list anyway:


  • Mouse Mess by Linnea Asplind Riley
  • Cheers for a Dozen Ears by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky
  • Hungry Hen by Richard Waring
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen
  • Just Dessert by Polly Powell
  • The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli


However, while this list is quite long for a storytime, I only chose to read three of the books, because kids don't like to sit still for too long. I picked so many because my supervisor said that storytimes can be kind of unpredictable in general, especially our Wednesday morning group. This particular storytime is advertised as a "Family Storytime." This means that, while the target age is usually 3-4 year olds, we get a lot of 2 year olds and really any child is welcome, from infants up to school age children. Obviously, this time of year, the school age children are in school, so that makes things easier, but still - you never know who you're going to get. So, you pull a whole bunch of books and choose what to read based on who shows up. The books I ended up going with were The Very Hungry CaterpillarThe Watermelon Seed, and How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? 


To begin storytime, my supervisor always starts with a rhyme to get everyone in the "storytime mindset." With kids who are so young, this is important, and it's equally important that once you set a routine, you stick with it, so, even though I was running storytime today, I went ahead and did the rhyme, too. Our rhyme goes like this: 

Wiggle wiggle fingers

Way up in the sky

Wiggle wiggle fingers

Wave them all bye-bye

Wiggle wiggle fingers

Fold them in a ball

Wiggle wiggle fingers

Do not let them fall. 


And of course there are hand motions to go along with it. I like the concept of starting off with a rhyme like this, but to be honest, when I'm working in the field at a library of my own, I would probably choose something different from this. There are a LOT of really great "welcome to storytime" rhymes out there (just check Pinterest!) and I don't think this one really makes sense, mainly the "wave them all bye-bye" since it's at the beginning of storytime and no one's leaving, haha. But, the kids like it and this is the routine, so I did it. 


Next, I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This went very well - many of the kids had already read this book and they were able to actually help me tell the story, which was a lot of fun. 


After that, we did this song called the Bean Bag Rock. My supervisor does this song with almost every storytime group. She likes it because it requires the kids to get off of their carpet squares and get a bean bag from her, move around during the song, and then give the bean bag back, which not only helps get some energy out of them, but also helps with the development of important social skills. Every little thing counts with kids, no matter how inconsequential it may seem! The song we use comes from the CD Action Songs for Preschoolers (find it here on Amazon) and if you're interested in hearing the song and seeing it with a group that's similar to the one I work with, click here. As you can see, the kids LOVE this song and this is definitely a CD that I would like to use in the future. I used a library copy today, but I'm considering buying my own copy because I think it would be really useful for me to own.


So after we got all settled from that, we read The Watermelon Seed. This is a super cute story about an alligator who LOVES watermelon - until he swallows a seed and then thinks that a watermelon is going to grow in his belly. The kids thought this story was hilarious and we also discussed if having a watermelon growing in your belly is possible (of course, it isn't, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to terrify these kids, so I made sure to clarify that for them, haha). 


After that, my supervisor always has some sort of storyboard. Usually, it's a rhyme of some sort, but the kids were getting a bit antsy - we had a young crowd today - so I just took a felt ice cream cone and some felt scoops of ice cream and we counted how many scoops we could put on the cone and identified colors. Again, lots of fun, great learning activity for the kids, and didn't require a ton of attention. 


Finally, we finished with How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? In this book, Yolen asks if dinosaurs have horrible table manners - and then answers that they don't. The illustrations are great and the kids liked it a lot. But, again, they were getting antsy, so this was definitely a good stopping point. 


Usually, we end with rolling the song cube (basically a huge die with symbols for different nursery rhymes) and singing a song, but I forgot (whoops) so we went right into the craft: 



We made Very Hungery Caterpillar hats! I found this idea on Pinterest (original post here) and thought it was adorable. The kids were so proud of their creations and seemed to have a lot of fun with this activity.


I'm so glad my first storytime was so successful! I'm going to be doing two more in October and I'll be doing posts on those, too. I'm really excited about it - I can't wait to be a children's librarian and do this stuff every day!


If you're a parent and you've ever brought your children to storytime activities at your local library, what were some of the most memorable programs you've been to?