Tag Archives: baby storytime

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 17

My last Baby Storytime for 2020! (Well, maybe, you never really know until the year is done.) Storytimes are a bright spot in my weeks as everything pandemic picks up here in Ohio (and around the United States and much of the world). This is a hard week. My library just reclosed to the public for browsing and computers, which takes a bit of the pressure off. Good luck to everyone out there–we all need it.

Links for More Storytime Content:

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme
(Wake Up Toes and We Clap and Sing Hello)

Early Literacy Tip & Book: What Is Baby Going to Do? by Laura Knowles

Amazon.com: What is Baby Going to Do? (Flap Flap) (9780711250598): Knowles,  Laura, Perdomo, Juliana: Books

Early Literacy Tip: Looking for ways to keep your little one engaged? No need to purchase fancy toys—make great DIY activities from around the house objects. Check out our YouTube channel for ideas.

Song: Hands Together, Hands Apart by Rainbow Songs

Action Rhyme: Well Hello Little Baby

Bounce Rhyme: Hippity Hop

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: Bouncing, Bouncing

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs

Puppets: Do Sharks Bark? by Salina Yoon

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: What Shall We Do With The Sleeping Baby? by Rainbow Songs

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 16

I’m starting to miss seeing the baby’s reactions. I know many people have been saying that for months, but I genuinely don’t mind–and in some ways really enjoy–virtual storytime. My nerves come from people staring at me, and, even though I am being seen by the internet, I can’t see the people watching, so I’m not self-conscious. The lack of feedback is hard, and it makes it difficult to really know if any of my new rhymes or books or animal activities are successful with my intended age range, but I am more willing to try new things because I won’t receive an immediate negative reaction. Does that make sense? Or am I just rambling as my brain tries to rebuild after election week 2020?

Links for More Storytime Content:

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme
(Wake Up Toes and We Clap and Sing Hello)

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Baby Loves Fall by Karen Katz

Amazon.com: Baby Loves Fall!: A Karen Katz Lift-the-Flap Book (Karen Katz  Lift-The-Flap Books) (9781442452091): Katz, Karen, Katz, Karen: Books

Early Literacy Tip: Babies love to take things in and out of larger containers. This helps build understanding of spatial concepts like in, out, behind, under, and over—all of which are important for brain development.

Song: She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: These Little Fingers

Discover more Fingerplays. —

Bounce Rhyme: The Bouncing Song

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: Dump Truck

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: Wiggle It! by Patty Shuka

Puppets: Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: Shaky Shaky by the Wiggles

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 15

More Baby Storytime fun in November! I am particularly happy with adapting Jane Cabrera’s Row Row Row Your Boat into an animal sounds puppet activity. I’ve been waiting to adapt that one for a while!

Links for More Storytime Content:

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Whose Nose and Toes? by John Butler

Early Literacy Tip: Hearing and making animal sounds helps your child hear different kinds of sounds in language.

Song: Clap Your Hands by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

Bounce Rhyme: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 I Caught a Fish Alive

Bounce: Here We Go Up, Up, Up

Song: Put Your Baby in the Air by Caspar Babypants

Puppets: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera

Manipulative: Got the Wiggles by Bobs and Lolo

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Storytime: Baby Bounce or Movement Rhymes

Baby Bounce Rhymes are a staple of Baby Storytime. Our baby storytimes are designed for ages 0-2, so my example videos often show a little bit more movement than may make sense for a little one you are holding in your arms (especially a little one that needs head support). Many of these baby bounce rhymes can also be adapted for walking babies, who could jump instead of bounce. When little ones have started walking, I encourage grown-ups to do the baby bounce rhymes themselves, even if their little one is standing nearby and doesn’t want to be confined to a lap anymore.

I sometimes refer to baby bounce rhymes as “movement rhymes” instead of bounces because there are many activities that encourage the same behavior as bounce rhymes but instead focus on swaying (or other, similar, full body movements). Regardless of what I call them, when introducing this section of storytime, I always use these activities as an early literacy moment, explaining to parents how bouncing or moving little ones to the rhythm of words helps them hear the small parts of words and builds phonological awareness skills.

Looking for more storytime tools? Check out our Storytime Resources page for links to more content.

Baby Bounce Rhymes

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 I Caught a Fish Alive

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (bounce)
I caught a fish alive! (hug)
6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (bounce)
Then I let him go again! (tickle)


Acka Backa Soda Cracker

Acka backa soda cracker,
Acka backa boo.
Acka backa soda cracker,
I love you! (hug)

Acka backa soda cracker,
Acka backa boo.
Acka backa soda cracker,
Up goes you! (lift)


Andy Pandy

Andy Pandy Sugar and Candy
All pop down.

Andy Pandy Sugar and Candy
All pop up.

Andy Pandy Sugar and Candy
All pop in.

Andy Pandy Sugar and Candy
All pop out.


Bounce and Stop

We bounce and bounce and bounce and stop!
We bounce and bounce and bounce and stop!
We bounce and bounce and bounce and stop!
Now bounce that baby to the top!


Bouncing, Bouncing

Bouncing, bouncing,
Let’s go bouncing!
Up and down,
All around.

Bouncing, bouncing,
Let’s go bouncing,
Whoops!
Don’t fall down!


The Bouncing Song

Bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing,
Bouncing, bouncing, STOP!

Bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing,
Right up to the top!

Continue with: Rocking, Clapping, Tapping, Tickling


A Bouncing We Will Go

A bouncing we will go,
A bouncing we will go,
Hi ho the derry o,
A bouncing we will go.

Continue with: rocking, tickling


Did You Ever See a Baby?

Did you ever see a baby, a baby, a baby?
Did you ever see a baby go this way and that?
Go this way and that way, and that way and this way?
Did you ever see a baby go this way and that?


Dump Truck

Dump truck dump truck, bumpin’ down the road.
Spillin’ out gravel as you travel with your load.
Bumpety, bumpety, bump, bump, bump!
Dump truck, dump truck, dump truck,
DUMP!


Five Little Riders

Five little riders on a nice fall day,
Jumped on their ponies and rode far away.

They galloped in the meadow.
They galloped up a hill. (lift)
They galloped so fast,
That they all took a spill. (tip over)


Giddy Up

Giddy up, giddy up, ride to town.
Giddy up, giddy up, UP and DOWN (lift).
Giddy up fast!
Giddy up slow!
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, WHOA! (tilt)


Gregory Griggs

Gregory Griggs, Gregory Griggs,
Had 27 different wigs.
He wore them up,
He wore them down.
To please the people of the town.
He wore them east.
He wore them west.
But which one did he love the best?
This one!


Here We Go Bumpy Boo

Here we go bumpy-boo
Here we go bumpy-bye
Here we go bumpy-bee
All on top of my knee.

I bounce you to the left.
I bounce you to the right.
I bounce you up and down.
I bounce you out of sight!

Here we go bumpy-boo
Here we go bumpy-bye
Here we go bumpy-bee
All on top of my knee.

I bounce you very fast.
I bounce you very slow.
I bounce you up and down.
And back we both do go!


Here We Go Up, Up, Up

Here we go up, up, up!
Here we go down, down, down,
Here we go back and forth,
And here we go round and round!


Here’s a Little Pumpkin

Here’s a little pumpkin bouncing on the vine.
Roll it left, and roll it right,
And bounce it bounce it down the line!

Continue with:
Medium pumpkin…medium bounces
Great big pumpkin…great big bounces


Hippity Hop

Hippity hop to the candy shop,
To buy ourselves some candy.
Some for you and some for me,
And some for sister Mandy!


A Hippopotamus

A hip, a hip, a hippopotamus
Got on, got on, got on a city bus,
And all, and all, and all the people said,
You’re squishing us! (hug)

A cow, cow, a cow got on the bus,
And all, and all, and all the people said,
Moooooooooove over (tilt to side)

A sheep, a sheep, a sheep got on the bus,
And all, and all, and all the people said,
Baaaaaaaaaaccckkkk up (lean back)


Humpy Dumpty

We rock and rock and rock on the wall, (sway)
We rock and rock, I hope we don’t fall!

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall! (tilt sideways)

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men (bounce)
Couldn’t put Humpty together again!


I’m Bouncing

I’m bouncing, bouncing everywhere.
I bounce and bounce into the air.
I’m bouncing, bouncing like a ball.
I bounce and bounce and then I fall.


Jelly on a Plate

Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate,
Wibble wobble, wibble, wobble, jelly on a plate.

Candy in a jar, candy in a jar,
Shake ’em up, shake ’em up, candy in a jar.

Candles on a cake, candles on a cake,
Blow ’em out, blow ’em out, candles on a cake.


Old Grey Mare

Clip, clip, clippety clop,
Clippety, clippety, clop.
The old grey mare goes up and down,
Until it’s time to stop!


Popcorn, Popcorn

Popcorn, popcorn sizzle in the pan.
Shake it, shake it, bam, bam, BAM!

Popcorn, popcorn now it’s getting hot!
Shake it, shake it, pop, pop, POP!


Ride That Horsey

Ride baby ride, ch ch ch ch ch!
Ride that horsey ride, ch ch ch ch ch!

Ride baby ride, ch ch ch ch ch!
Ride that horsey ride, ch ch ch ch ch!

Repeat in a whisper.
Repeat really loud!

WHOA!


Rocking Horse

Rocking horse, rocking horse, to and fro,
Side to side and away we go,
Rocking horse, rocking horse, front and back,
Don’t fall off just like that.

Woah!


Snuggle Up

Snuggle up together,
Baby in your lap.
Snuggle up together,
And clap, clap, clap!

Snuggle up together.
Don’t you nap!
Snuggle up together,
And tap, tap, tap!

We’re working out together.
Baby don’t stop.
We’re working out together,
So hop, hop, hop!

Now our song is over,
Get ready to stop!
Now our song is over,
So stop, stop, stop!


Tick Tock

Tick, tock, tick, tock,
I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick, tock, tick, tock,
Now it’s almost one o’clock.
Cuckoo! (lift)


Tiny Little Babies

Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’,
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ so.
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ yeah.

Bounce to the left,
Bounce to the right,
Now hug that baby nice and tight.


Toast in the Toaster

I’m toast in the toaster.
I’m getting very hot.
Tick tock, tick tock,
Up I pop! (lift)


Two Little Boats

(rock front to back)

Two little boats went out to sea.
All is calm as calm can be.

(rock side to side)

Gently the wind begins to blow.
Two little boats rock to and fro.

(bounce)

Loudly the wind begins to shout!
Two little boats they bounce about.

(freeze then rock front to back)

STOP goes the storm, the wind, and rain.
Two little boats sail on again.


Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’ll get there very soon.

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
BLAST OFF!

Storytime: Fingerplays

Fingerplays are awesome! Fingerplays are especially fantastic for toddlers and preschoolers, allowing them to practice controlling their fingers in specific ways while building those finger muscles they will need for writing. I sometimes include fingerplays in baby storytimes, but I’ve been able to explore fingerplays more since I’ve started presenting toddler and preschool virtual storytimes.

Looking for more storytime tools? Check out our Storytime Resources page for links to more content.

Problems with 10 Littles

Ten Little Indians. I’ve heard librarians use it (with those original words). For a while, I used adapted fingerplays to the same tune with different words, but I’ve stopped. I may attempt to avoid dehumanizing Indigenous people by not counting Indians like they are toys, but the few times I used this fingerplay, some caregiver would often mess up my new words and loudly use the original words because they are so associated with the tune.

At the beginning of virtual storytimes, I shifted to a different counting tune I found while watching other library storytimes (I have one, I have two, I have three little fingers). I adapted this a lot virtually because it was a quick, easy fingerplay that was just…easy to adapt.

But. Not everyone has 10 little fingers. Or 10 little toes. Or 5 little fingers. I’ve made storytime videos using ten fingers that I am not highlighting below. I’m including fingerplays that count up to five, though I want to eventually phase those out to or make videos where we count to five using two hands instead of always just using one. How do you think about inclusivity in your fingerplays and overall storytime plans? What other elements to this am I not thinking about?

Fingerplays

Thinking about some of the inclusivity lessons I mentioned above, plus that some kids can’t bend their fingers one at a time, I’m also including action rhymes that focus on hand motions.

Bananas Unite

Bananas unite!

Peel bananas.
Peel, peel bananas.
Peel bananas.
Peel, peel bananas.

Continue with: Chop, Mash, Eat

GOOOOOO BANANAS!


Bubble, Bubble Pop!

One little red fish
Swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water.

One little red fish
Swimming in the water,
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble (roll arms)
POP! (clap)


Clap Them

Clap them, clap them, clap them so.
Clap them high!
Clap them low.
Clap them left.
Clap them right.
Clap them, clap them, out of sight!

Continue with: roll them, shake them


Cool Cat

Hey there everybody, you’re a real cool cat.
You got a lot of this,
And you got a lot of that.
So come on in
And get down (ch ch ch ch ch ch)
To the left (ch ch ch ch ch ch)
To the right (ch ch ch ch ch ch)
Up in the air (ch ch ch ch ch ch)
And get down (ch ch ch ch ch ch)


Dance Your Fingers Up

Dance your fingers up.
Dance your fingers down.
Dance your fingers side to side.
Dance them all around.

Dance them on your shoulders.
Dance them on your head.
Dance them on your tummy.
And put them all to bed.


The Elevator Song

Oh the city is great and the city is grand.
There are lots of tall buildings on a little piece of land,
And we live way up on the 57th floor,
and this is what we do when we go out the door.

We take the elevator up and the elevator down,
take the elevator up, take the elevator down
Take the elevator up and the elevator down
and we turn around.


Five Fat Peas

Five fat peas in a peapod pressed.
One grew, two grew,
And so did all the rest.

They grew, and they grew,
And they wouldn’t stop.
They grew, and they grew,
Until they popped! (clap)


Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Five green and speckled frogs
Sitting on a spaced log.
Eating the most delicious lunch,
Yum, yum!

One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green and speckled frogs
Ribbet, Ribbet.

Continue with: 4, 3, 2, 1


Five Little Caterpillars

Five little caterpillars wiggling on a leaf,
One falls off, goes to sleep.
Close her eyes and wait a week,
Up come a butterfly floating on the breeze.

Repeat with: 4, 3, 2, 1, None


Five Little Hot Dogs

Five little hot dogs
Frying in a pan.
The grease for hot,
And one went BAM!

Continue with: 4, 3, 2, 1


Five Little Pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on the gate
The first one said, “Oh, my it’s getting late.”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air.”
The third one said, “But we don’t care!”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run.”
The fifth one said, “Let’s have some fun!”
Ooooooooo went the wind, and out went the light.
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.


Funky Spunky Monkeys

Funky spunky monkey
Climbed up the coconut tree
Down came the coconut
And bonked him on his knee
Along came his mama
And kissed away the pain
And the funky spunky monkey
Climbed up the tree again.


Here is the Beehive

Here is the beehive,
But where are the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Watch and you’ll see them come out of the hive…
1, 2, 3, 4, 5…They’re alive!
Buzzzzzzzzz


Here’s a Llama

Here’s a llama!
There’s a llama!
Llama Llama Red Pajama!
Fuzzy llama!
Funny llama!
Llama, llama, duck!


Itsy Bitsy Spider

The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and
Washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and
Dried up all the rain
And the Itsy Bitsy Spider
Went up the spout again.


Leaves on the Trees

The leaves on the trees turn orange and red,
Orange and red,
Orange and red.
The leaves on the trees turn orange and red, all around the town.

The leaves on the trees come twirling down,
Twirling down,
Twirling down.
The leaves on the trees come twirling down, all around the town.

The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish,
Swish, swish, swish,
Swish, swish, swish.
The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish, all around the town.


Little Mousie Brown

Little Mousie Brown
Little Mousie Brown
Climbed up the big, white candlestick
And couldn’t get back down.

So she called to her Grandma,
“Grandma! Grandma!”
But Grandma was not around.
So she curled into a little ball,
And rolled herself back down.


Mix a Pancake

Mix a pancake.
Stir a pancake.
Pop it in a pan.
Fry a pancake.
Toss a pancake.
Catch it if you can!


My Garden

Here is my garden.
Rake it with care.
And then, some seeds
We’ll plant in there!

The sun will shine,
The rain will fall,
And then my garden
Will grow big and tall.


Point to the Ceiling

Point to the ceiling.
Point to the floor.
Point to a window.
Point to the door!

Point to your elbow.
Point to your knee.
Now sit down,
And point at me!


Put Your Claws

Put your claws in the air.
Put your claws on the ground.
Put your claws in the middle,
And wiggle them around.

Put your claws to the side,
And pretend to soar!
Put your claws to your mouth,
And give a big ROAR!


Put Your Hands Up High

Put your hands up high,
Put your hands down low,
Put your hands in the middle,
And wiggle just so.
Put your elbows in front.
Put your elbows in back.
Put your elbows to the side and
QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!


Roll Roll Sugar Babies

Roll roll sugar babies,
Roll roll sugar babies,
Push and pull
And clap, clap, clap!

Roll roll sugar babies,
Roll roll sugar babies,
Push and pull
And clap, clap, clap!

Roll up high!
Roll down low.
Roll real fast!
Roll real slow.

Roll roll sugar babies,
Roll roll sugar babies,
Push and pull
And clap, clap, clap!


Slowly, Slowly

Slowly, slowly, very slowly,
Creeped the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly, very slowly
Up the wooden rail.

Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Ran the little mouse.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly,
Round about the house!


These Little Fingers

These little fingers go
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
These little fingers go
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
And now they’re on my…HEAD!

Continue with: tummy, feet


There Was a Crocodile

There was a crocodile,
An orangutan,
A flying eagle,
And a silvery fish.

A bunny,
A beaver,
A crazy elephant,
Da na na na na na
Da na na na na na


This is Big

This is big big big.
This is small small small.

This is short short short.
This is tall tall tall.

This is fast fast fast.
This is slow slow slow.

This is yes yes yes yes.
This is no no no no.


Two Little Friends

Two little friends sitting on a hill,
One named Jack and one named Jill.
Run away Jack! Run away Jill!
Come back Jack. Come back Jill.

Two little friends sitting on a cloud.
One named soft and one named LOUD.
Run away soft! Run away loud!
Come back soft. Come back loud.

Two little friends sitting down below.
One named fast and one named slow.
Run away fast! Run away slow.
Come back fast! Come back slow.


Two Little Llamas

Two little llamas sitting on a hill,
One named Jack and one named Jill.
Run away Jack! Run away Jill!
Come back Jack. Come back Jill.

Two little llamas sitting on a cloud.
One named soft and one named LOUD.
Run away soft! Run away loud!
Come back soft. Come back loud.

Two little llamas sitting down below.
One named fast and one named slow.
Run away fast! Run away slow.
Come back fast! Come back slow.


Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’ll get there very soon.

If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’re going to the moon.

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
BLAST OFF!

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 14

Taking another baby storytime break after this set. I squeezed a few fall activities in this time, and I am very excited for a month of fall and spooky toddler storytimes. I was also super excited for the I Spy on the Farm activity (pictured above, video below) that I wanted to squeeze in before these all have to be filmed at work, and I can’t get quite as creative with the space.

Links for More Storytime Content:

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: The Babies and Kitties Book by John & Molly Schindel

Amazon.com: The Babies and Kitties Book (9780358164050): Schindel, John,  Woodward, Molly: Books

Early Literacy Tip: When talking to your baby, make eye contact. Babies learn a ton from facial expressions.

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Apples in a Bowl

Bounce Rhyme: Zoom Zoom Zoom

Bounce: Here’s a Little Pumpkin

Song: Grand Old Duke of York by Rainbow Songs

Puppets: I Spy on the Farm by Edward Gibbs

Manipulative: Shakers (Shake It Baby, Shake It by Rainbow Songs)

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 13

What is the best way to label baby storytime outlines? I don’t use themes, but does the current weekly title make sense? Should I change the titles to the title of the book I used? Now that I’ve been at this for a while, I’m starting to doubt my blog organization skills. It’s starting to remind me of my closet that I reorganize once a year.

I didn’t actually present this storytime (I was sick!), but I still thought I would share the outline and videos with all of you.

Links for More Storytime Content:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Look! Babies Head to Toe by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Anoosha Syed

Early Literacy Tip: Look in the mirror and name body parts. Ask questions like “Where is baby’s nose?” Then point to your child’s nose (and your nose!).

Song: Wheels on the Bus by Laurie Berkner

Action Rhyme: One, Two, Peek-A-Boo!

Bounce Rhyme: Jelly on a Plate

Bounce: A Hippopotamus Got on a City Bus

Song: Baby 1, 2, 3 by Peter & Ellen Allard

Puppets: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals (Little Red Wagon by Old Town School of Folk Music)

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 12

I’m back in the baby storytime routine again, though still getting used to filming at work. I have an interesting personal conundrum with filming on our new iPad–everyone else in our department has been filming on Apple devices so that they can see themselves. I am an Adroid user, so I’ve not been able to see myself during the last five months of filming. When testing out the new iPad Pro, I realized that I find watching myself extremely disorienting, particularly because of the flipped screen. Also, I am way too focused on myself–and I am not the reason I am running storytime. I have a feeling I’m going to be flipping the iPad and still filming from the camera on the back of the device.

Links for More Storytime Content:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Kiss, Tickle, Cuddle, Hug by Susan Musgrave

Kiss, Tickle, Cuddle, Hug: Musgrave, Susan: 9781459801639: Amazon.com: Books

Early Literacy Tip: Babies love to see other babies! Especially now, check out books featuring large photos of babies.

Song: What Shall We Do With the Sleeping Baby? by Rainbow Songs

Action Rhyme: I Wake Up My Hands

Bounce Rhyme: Did You Ever See a Baby?

Bounce: Popcorn, Popcorn

Song: Tickle Time by Moey’s Music Party

Puppets: Book Retelling of Do Cows Meow? by Salina Yoon

Manipulative: Scarves (The Tickle Song by Rainbow Songs)

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 11

And we are back! I haven’t presented a baby storytime in over two months, which feels a little odd, but makes it more refreshing to come back to this age range. Trying out some new bounce rhymes, a new action rhyme, and a new puppet activity. I’m also super excited about my Shaker Song this week–Baby Loves Beignets by Jazzy Ash.

I also really wanted to use this perfect new baby storytime book, but alas, my August counterpart claimed it for storytime two weeks ago. But you should use it!

Welcome to the Party: Union, Gabrielle, Evans, Ashley: 9780062978615:  Amazon.com: Books

Welcome to the Party by Gabrielle Union

Links for More Storytime Content:

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: Wheels on the Bus by Jane Cabrera

Amazon.com: The Wheels on the Bus (Jane Cabrera's Story Time)  (9780823444793): Cabrera, Jane: Books

Early Literacy Tip: Sing all the time with your little one—make it a part of your routine. Tune “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” is great for singing about daily activities.

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Put the Beat On

Bounce Rhyme: Ride that Horsey

Bounce: Bounce and Stop

Song: One Little Finger by Super Simple Songs

Puppets: If You’re Happy and You Know It

Manipulative: Shaker Rhyme & Song

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Storytime: Book Retellings

We are on a brief live storytime hiatus as we re-adjust for whatever the fall will bring, so I thought I would highlight one of my favorite storytelling tools: Book Retellings! (Post updated 11/8/20.)

Book retellings were a part of my storytimes well before COVID and the move to virtual programs, though I’ve been happy to dig into them more since I am presenting more storytimes for toddlers and preschoolers. I sometimes use a book retelling element for babies with puppets, but mostly any “story” element is for the caregivers, with me focusing on and emphasizing the puppet reveal and animal sound for the babies.

Looking for more storytime tools? Check out our Storytime Resources page for links to more content.

Book Retellings Pros and Cons

Book retellings allow you to:

  • appeal to visual or action-based learners and listeners (so, most toddlers)
  • make things larger–puppets are often bigger than the pictures on a page, especially when presenting to a large in-person crowd (this distinction isn’t such a big deal behind a camera)
  • include more repetition – a book you read earlier in storytime or the week before could be used as a flannel or puppet activity
  • give caregivers ideas for ways to get excited about familiar stories that might be read over and over and over again at home
  • include props, puppets, and other manipulatives in your program

On the other hand, book retellings put more pressure on you as a presenter. Reading the words on a page with the proper inflection, emotion, timing, and engagement is a challenge on its own. Pulling that off without exact words to guide you can be more challenging. However, I also like to think of book retellings as more freeing–viewers can’t see the words, so if I mix up an animal or two, or intentionally skip an entire portion of the story or rearrange something to make more sense visually, as long as I keep my cool, the audience doesn’t have to know. (I think there is a better word than “audience” here. Storytimes are presentations, in a way, but there is a back and forth–what is the word for an engaged, participating audience? Is that still audience? I’m digressing.)

To Memorize or Not To Memorize

I’m going to say something here that may make some library folks cringe–yell in the comments. Please. I know this is my opinion, and it isn’t a popular one, but I still feel strongly about it, so: it is better if you memorize.

Yes, we aren’t actors. Yes, our caregivers know this. No, most kids don’t really notice if we read. But there are kids that do, and there are adults who also notice, and…well I was that totally judge-y preschooler who really didn’t know any better, and compared you (rightfully or not) to Barney and Sesame Street and the Wiggles, and those real people aren’t reading off of a page or constantly glancing off screen to read their next line.

Yes, there will be mistakes, and no, you shouldn’t refilm a 30-minute pre-recorded storytime 17 times because of one error toward the end. Have a cheat sheet somewhere but don’t make it a script and don’t rely on it. I normally put a list of key words taped either directly below my camera on my tripod or right beside the location where I am hiding the puppets or flannel pieces. If I decide to do a dramatic reveal and look back and forth a few times with fun facial expressions–I’m probably re-reading the next line.

I know this isn’t the way most librarians view or encourage this type of storytime experience, especially because it can make it harder or scarier to jump into something like this. But…I do, personally, feel like it makes it a little better. The storytelling experience is stronger and less stilted. But if you need that script, try it with the script. With time and repetition, you’ll know the story so well that you may be able to stop relying on the piece of paper. (End of Annamarie being rude and judge-y. Please berate me in the comments.)

How to Make Props and Flannels

I steal. I am not as creative as some of my coworkers. Do not be fooled by awesome flannel sets in videos. Some of these things are made by them. Other things are designed based off of me seeing someone else’s work online and remaking piece by piece. Other selections are my personally owned purchased sets, made by awesomely talented people who are not me.

I am not going to continue rambling here because my skills are not great or varied. My one tip, which is obvious to regular crafters but not to those of us new to this domain: get. scissors. just. for. felt. Use for nothing else. The world is a much, much more magical place.

Book Retellings Examples

There are so many great ways to retell stories, but now that I’ve made so many videos for our patrons to watch online, I decided to collect some of my favorites below, in alphabetical order by book title.

Bark George by Jules Feiffer (prop & puppets)
Learn about how I made George in this blog post.


Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. (puppets)
Change to whatever animals you have on hand. I tried to select stuffed animals that were different colors to continue the color emphasis from the physical book.


Brown Owl, Brown Owl What Do You See? (Adapted from Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.) (flannel)


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. (flannel)
Abbreviated because you don’t realize how long this book is, and how many letters there really are, until you are halfway through.


Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (flannel)


Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell (puppets)


Do Cows Meow? by Salina Yoon (puppets)


Do Crocs Kiss? by Salina Yoon (puppets)


Do Sharks Bark? by Salina Yoon (puppets)


Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd (flannel)
I’ve also seen this done as a really cool dry-erase marker activity. I was going to do this on a physical stuffed dog with flannel dots, but my velcro dots didn’t work the way I imagined. Still curious about doing this with a stuffed animal though!


Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London (flannel)
Filming this was the worst because socks kept falling off the flannel board. Something to keep in mind during creation or execution–so many small parts.


Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley (magnet)
Download the printable template from Kizclub.


Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (flannel)
I re-wrote part of the story to create the all-items-enter and all-items-exit effect.


I Spy on the Farm by Edward Gibbs (puppets)
I made an I Spy window with a piece of cardboard hanging from a floor lamp. Change out the animals to whatever you have on hand.


I Went Walking by Sue Williams (puppets)
Change out the animals to whatever you have on hand. I focused on having animals of different colors.


If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff (flannel)


I’m the Biggest Thing in the Oceanb by Kevin Sherry (magnet)
Download magnet template from Kizclub.


Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino (Llama Llama Red Pajama edition) (magnet)


Jump! by Scott Fischer (puppets)


The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams


Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and James Dean (flannel)


Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean (flannel)


Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. (puppets)
Change out the animals to whatever you have on hand.


Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera (puppets)


The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort (puppets)


Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau (flannel)
If you want to try retelling, this is the story for you. The set is super easy to make, and the order of body parts really isn’t that important. Caregivers can tickle little ones throughout.


Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia (magnet)


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (flannel)
This is a great example of a story where you don’t need to memorize or have a script–just have your flannel pieces in the order you need them. The words are essentially the foods that you are adding to your board.


White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker (props)

I am always, always looking for more books to retell, especially stories that are about diverse characters or by diverse authors. This video list is very white, and and in storytimes I try to balance that, at least a little, with diversity in my physical book for the week. What are some of your favorite stories to retell?

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