Family Story Time – October 24, 2014

My family time is a really mixed all-ages group, with everyone from babies to preschoolers! Our groups aren’t as large as some (we typically get between 60-80 people), but our meeting room isn’t huge, so it does make for a very cozy setting sometimes!

I’ve been doing this story time since the beginning of September, and I’m starting to get to know the families in my area. The families are starting to get to know me, too – it’s so sweet when the little ones start shouting my name as soon as they see me. 🙂

So, here’s what I did in today’s family story time (more or less…) I like to have an outline for my story times, but like I’ve said before, I don’t believe in forcing yourself to follow an outline if it’s just not working. Because I can never be quite sure who will be attending each story time, I have to be flexible enough to change up my plans if they’re just not going to work! If you’re unfamiliar with any of the songs I’ve chosen, I’d recommend checking out, an amazing resource for anyone who works (or lives!) with children.

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends!

Book 1: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse / Eric Carle

blue horse

Hand Rhymes

  • I Wake Up My Hands With a Shake, Shake, Shake
  • Wiggle Your Fingers
  • Roly Poly
  • Open Shut them

Book 2: I ‘Aint Gonna Paint No More / Karen Beaumont


Action Songs

  • Bend & Stretch
  • Zoom Zoom
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Tick Tock (I’m a Little Cuckoo Clock)
  • The Elevator Song

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Friends!

Lots of movement, lots of action, lots of laughter – an all-around fun story time!


Sing it again!

I love to sing. In the shower, on the bus (quietly), while shopping (again, hopefully quietly), I am one of those people who always seems to be humming a merry little tune. So it’s no surprise that I love picture books that can be sung! Singable picture books are a secret weapon that I like to pull out towards the end of a story time, when the children are getting wiggly and just want to keep singing Zoom Zoom Zoom over and over again.

I also like to use singable picture books to show caregivers how much use they can get out of a picture book – read it, chant it, sing it, turn it into a felt story, act it out with stuffed toys – get as much bang for your buck out of that story as you can! Plus, kids thrive on repetition, and odds are the caregiver will be sick of the story long before their child is….

Here are just a few of the singable picture books I’ve used in my family story times.


I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More – Karen Beaumont

Colour, colour and more colour! A mischievous little boy is determined to use his body as a canvas for his riotously colourful abstract works. Sing this one to the tune of the boy scout campfire classic, “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More”.


The Seals on The Bus – Lenny Hort

One of many versions of this children’s classic, Hort’s version is one of my favourites because of its wonderful illustrations and hilarious cast of noisy characters – a perfect book for encouraging audience participation.


Old Mikamba Had a Farm – Rachel Isadora

Another spin on a familiar classic, Rachel Isadora’s beautiful collage illustrations introduce children to a host of African animals, from the familiar lion to the adorable little dassie. Expand your story time horizons in a way that is still very accessible.


Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes – Eric Litwin

What more is there to say? This is a great introduction to singable picture books, as it’s really only the jazzy refrain that gets sung. While many children already know this book, most are more than happy to sing it again….and again….and again…