Family Story Time – May 1, 2015

We’re already into May, I can hardly believe it!

Today was a very exciting day at the branch because we had some special guests visiting us – three community health nurses from a local health centre came by to talk to caregivers about child development, health and resources. For libraries, connecting with local service providers is an increasingly important part of being active, visible members of our communities.

Welcome Song: Hello, Friends

Book 1: Clip Clop / Nicola Smee


Hand Rhymes

  • I wake up my hands
  • Wiggle your fingers
  • Open-shut them
  • Roly poly

Book 2: Old Mikamba Had a Farm / Rachel Isadora


Action Songs

  • Bend and stretch
  • Zoom zoom
  • Head and shoulders
  • Here we go a marching
  • The elevator song

Cool-down songs:

  • Orca whale

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Friends!

Old Mikamba Had a Farm was a rousing success – the kids loved seeing all the unusual animals, and making all the wonderful animal noises. We were a little pushed for time because we took a bit of time at the beginning of the program to introduce the health nurses, so I shortened the story a little. The cheetah and the lion were particular crowd pleasers.

I have been introducing the sign for stop in the song Here we go a marching, and I’ve noticed that several of the kids have picked up the sign, and are signing along with me!

Only two more story times until we take a bit of a break for the summer! Where has the time gone?!?!


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…