Family Story Time – July 17, 2015

This is my first experience running a summer story time series, and so far it’s been very interesting. During the school year our story time audience is largely made up of toddlers, with the occasional preschool group. Because school is out and our family story times have no upper age limit, I’ve had a very mixed group, with everything from babies to older school age siblings. It definitely makes for an interesting dynamic, and it can be challenging to find material that appeals to everyone! Here’s what we did this week:

Hello Song: Hello, Friends!

Book 1: I’m a Dirty Dinosaur / Janeen Brian



  • I wake up my hands with a shake, shake, shake
  • Old Macdonald had a farm
  • Open/shut them
  • Roly poly

Book 2: Pete the Cat – I love my white shoes / Eric Litwin


Action songs:

  • Bend and stretch
  • Zoom, zoom, zoom
  • Twinkle twinkle
  • Here we go a marching
  • The elevator song

Soothing song:  Mm-ahh went the little green frog one day

Goodbye song: Goodbye, Friends!

I like getting the most out of my felts, so I’ve been doing a lot of animal songs. Old Macdonald likes to have a varied collection of animals, so this week we had a snake, a monkey, a lion and an elephant join the usual pig, horse and cow, which the kids found hilarious.


Preschool visit and story time – March 19, 2015

One of the things I love so much about being a children’s librarian is the variety that comes with the position – no two days are ever quite the same! We get to do so much outreach in our positions, and I for one am pretty passionate about getting out into the community, meeting our neighbors and being involved in what’s going on around us.

Today I had the opportunity to visit a local preschool and participate in their circle time. It was a bit of a last-minute arrangement, and due to scheduling constraints I didn’t have my usual thirty minute story time allowance, so I had to be a little creative with my program. As I’ve said before, that’s one of the things I love about doing on-call or drop-in story times – they’re perfect opportunities to spread my wings a little, branch out and try new things!

We had a small group – only 16 kids, but they were so engaged in the stories and so excited to participate.

Here’s what I did with the lovely little preschoolers I met on this super soggy spring day:

Book 1: Little Owl Lost / Chris Haughton


Song: Roly poly

Book 2: Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons /  James Dean, Eric Litwin


Songs: I wake up my hands

The itsy bitsy spider

Book 3: I’m a Dirty Dinosaur /  Janeen Brian & Ann James


And just for fun: Here I am sitting in the neighborhood house with my books, waiting to make my grand entrance into the preschool –  a little bedraggled from the terrible rain, but ready to get this story time started!


Family Story Time – March 8, 2015

One of the nice things about doing on-call story times at different branches is that it’s a great opportunity to try out new story time structures. My regular weekly group has their favourite songs and rhymes, and they know the regular structure of my story times. While I do like to change things up a little bit from week to week,children thrive on repetition, and I try to keep the structure of my story time the same from week to week, changing out books and song for variety.

Today I did a story time for a comfy cozy little group of 6 or 7 children and their caregivers, which was a far cry from my usual 80+!

Also unlike my usual story times, this one had a theme! I typically don’t do themed story times – I don’t like being tied to a theme, and having to potentially pick substandard books or books that don’t fit my demographic because I’m desperate to find books that fit a theme! But, this story time is typically themed and the theme was selected in advance, so I went with the flow.

Here’s what we did today!

Theme: Waking Up and Getting Ready

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends

Book 1: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush / Jane Cabrera


Hand Rhymes

  • I wake up my hands
  • Roly poly
  • Open Shut them

Book 2: Time to Get Up, Time To Go / David Pilgrim

time to get up


  • Bend and Stretch
  • If you’re happy and you know it

Book 3: I’m a Dirty Dinosaur / Janeen Brian & Ann James



  • When cows wake up in the morning
  • The elevator song

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Friends!

Definitely a different sort of story time, but a lot of fun! Both “Time to get up” and “I’m a dirty dinosaur” have great rhythm and are so much fun to chant – “Time to get up” actually became a bit of a call-and-answer experience when a couple of the older kids started repeating all the lines after me. I wasn’t expecting it, but it was a great way of including the kids in the story, and offered yet another example of the importance of learning to go with the flow and expecting the unexpected when it comes to working with kids!