Silly Monsters Family Storytime

Hmmm…my last post was in October 2013.  Apparently, I decided to take some time off from blogging!  I’ll work on filling in the blanks. In the meantime, here’s our latest storytime, based on a silly monsters theme.

 Yeti Long   Don't Squish the Sasquatch Redecker  If you're a monster emberley 


Weekly Opening Song (with signs) – Hello Friends
Hello friends,
Hello friends,
Hello friends,
It’s time to say hello!

I keep thinking I want to switch up the opening song, but this one from  Jbrary is such a hit that I just can’t do it.

Weekly Opening Song – Bread and Butter
[slap hands on knees to the beat]
Bread and butter, marmalade and jam,
Can you say hello as slowly as you can?
Hello [very slow]

We repeated this with slowly, quickly, high, low, and ended with loud and quiet, so quiet, in fact, that it’s always the perfect time to read a book after it’s done.

Book 1 — Yeti, Turn Out the Light! by Greg Long
Big thanks to our new Library Assistant for choosing this one!  We talked a bit about yetis and other strange creatures before beginning the book and I asked them to pay special attention because I’d be quizzing them about what they saw in the story. The kids had a great time looking at the shadows and trying to figure out what they could be.

YetiTurnOuttheLight Inside

Game — What Do You Remember From the Book?
I asked the kids if they could remember what animals made the three shadows that scared the yeti (bunnies, deer + birds, and owl + bear), with a bonus question on what the yeti was eating at the start of the book (spaghetti!).  The animals were used as a jumping off point for the next three rhymes.  I’ve been doing more of these “Let’s talk about the book we just read!” activities in storytime and they seem to be going over well.  Oh, and they’re fun 🙂

Fingerplay — Here is a Bunny With Ears So Funny
Here is a bunny with ears so funny (hold up two fingers, like rabbit ears)
And here is a hole in the ground (put other hand on hip, making a circle)
At the first sound he hears
He perks up his ears
And hops through the hole in the ground! (jump your fingers over and through the circle you’ve made)

We did this a few times. The younger kids had a hard time getting all their hands in the right spots but most caught on after a few tries.

folkmanis_cardinal_finger_puppet_2743 folkmanis_stellar jay_finger_puppet

Fingerplay — Two Little Birdies Sitting on a Hill
Two little birdies sitting on a hill (use pointer fingers, bounce up and down)
One named Jack
And the other named Jill (bring pointer up higher than other finger when each name is spoken)
Fly away Jack (put finger behind back)
Fly away Jill (put finger behind back)
Come back Jack (bring finger back)
Come back Jill (bring finger back)

Repeat with:

Two little birdies sitting on a cloud
One named Soft
And the other named Loud…

Two little birdies sitting in a row
One flew fast
One flew slow…

Inspired from the birds in the deer’s antlers in Yeti Turn Out the Light, this fingerplay is a rendition of the classic “Two Little Dickie Birds.” I used these great Folkmanis cardinal and stellar jay finger puppets  and the kids used their fingers.  I don’t know why I haven’t used these in storytme before.  Everyone loved them!

Movement/Transition — Little Owls, Little Owls, Turn Around
Little owl, little owl, turn around
Little owl, little owl, touch the ground
Little owl, little owl, reach up high
Little owl, little owl, touch the sky
Little owl, little owl, find your nose
Little owl, little owl, touch your toes
Little owl, little owl, touch your knees
Little owl, little owl, sit down please

Inspired by the owl and bear in Yeti, Turn Out the Lights, this is a take on the classic “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around.”

Go Away Big Green Monster storytelling kit from Lakeshore Learning

Puppet/Prop Retelling — Go Away Big  Green Monster by Emberley
Someone (awesome!) in our library system has made a homemade version of the Go Away Big Green Monster storytelling kit from Lakeshore Learning (pictured above).  I used it for an awkward retelling of the story, inviting the kids and caregivers to chime in with “Go Away!”  I really should have practiced some more, but I think the only one who really cared about the fumbling was me.

Book 2 — Don’t Squish the Sasquatch by Redecker
The kids and caregivers chimed in with “Don’t Squish the Sasquatch!” throughout.  There was some concern when the bus exploded, but after reassurrances that everything was going to work out okay, we read on.

Movement — Horns and Fangs, Knees and Claws
(Tune: Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes)
Horns and fangs,
Knees and claws,
Knees and claws.
Horns and fangs,
Knees and claws.
Knees and claws.
Eyes and ears and tail and paws

I introduced this song by first doing a round of “Head and Shoulder, Knees and Toes,” after which we proceeded to do this monster version a couple times.

Book 3 — If You’re a Monster and You Know it by Emberley
If you’re a monster and you know it, snort and growl!
If you’re a monster and you know it, snort and growl!
If you’re a monster and you know it,
And you really want to show it,
If you’re a monster and you know it—snort and growl!

Repeat with:
Smack your claws
Stomp your paws
Twitch your tail
Wiggle your warts
Give a roar
Do it all

A very fun version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It!”  The caregivers got quite a chuckle out of “wiggle your warts.”

Moving Rhymes For Modern Times

Movement with Recorded Music — Jump Up, Turn Around from Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes For Modern Times
Simple motions and a simple rhyme.
Say it as you play it and
repeat two times.

Jump up
Turn around
Clap your hands
Stamp the ground

Let’s play it again, but this time try
To say it as you play and stretch your arms up high.
Jump up
Turn around
Clap your hands
Stamp the ground

Let me suggest that this time you might
Say it as you play it with your eyes closed tight.
Jump up
Turn around
Clap your hands
Stamp the ground

Get ready my friends to take a deep breath
Because I challenge you to play it as you hold
your breath!
Jump up
Turn around
Clap your hands
Stamp the ground

I love this song and the kids do too!  Jim Gill, thank you!!


Wave Goodbye by Rob Reid
Wave high, wave low,
I think it’s time, we gotta go.
Wave your elbows, wave your toes,
Wave your tongue and wave your nose.
Wave your knees, wave your lips,
Blow a kiss with fingertips.
Wave your ears, wave your hair,
Wave your belly and derriere.
Wave your chin, wave your eye,
Wave your hand and say “goodbye.”
Last year, I was regularly using this goodbye chant by Rob Reid to close storytime, but decided to try something different last storytime session.  Why mess with something good, I’ve decided!  It’s such a fun rhyme that I think I’ll bring it back to my storytimes.Goodbye Song — Goodbye Friends
Goodbye, friends
Goodbye, friends
Goodbye, friends
It’s time to say goodbye.

We sang this with signs for goodbye, friends, time, and say.  Nice balance to “Hello Friends” that we started the program with.  See  Jbrary‘s fab video full of hello and goodbye songs.

How Things Went 

This was our first week of storytimes in 2014 and it was great to see so many new and returning faces.  I presented this storytime twice this week — once with our new Library Assistant with lots of great rhymes and songs that she contributed and once on my own — which gave me a chance to fine tune things.  I really like being able to do this!  The second go ’round is always a bit better and helps me build more confidence in trying new things.  All in all, a fun storytime!