Recently I did a Button themed storytime and it has been one of my favorites so far.
Here’s what I did:
I start every storytime the same way. With this:
I have one child roll my rhyme cube and we all stand up and do the rhyme that it lands on together. I stole this idea from a workshop I attended during this year’s PLA conference. The workshop focused on storytimes for children with special needs and one of the librarians said she used a rhyme cube during her storytimes. Its made out of an empty tissue box which I then covered in paper. I chose some standard rhymes/songs and found corresponding clip art for each one. Then I covered the whole thing in book tape to make it last longer.
Next I teach all of the children a word in sign language (no, I am not fluent in sign language. I just look up the words online ahead of time!). So for the button themed storytime we learned the word “Buttons”. The town I live in has a large deaf population which is why I started teaching a word each storytime. However, I think the physical aspect of learning of the words is nice and it helps with motor skills. I ask the kids to show me how to say the word after each book we read so by the end of storytime they’ve got it down!
First Book: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
Next we did a felt board about buttons. I made 5 different colored buttons out of felt and used this rhyme:
“5 little buttons on the coat that I wore
Dad buttoned the red one, then there were four
4 little buttons, up and down you see
Mom buttoned the orange one, then there were three
3 little buttons and before I knew
My brother buttoned the yellow one, then there were two
2 little buttons, oh what fun
My sister buttoned the green one, then there was one
1 little button, blue and undone
I buttoned it myself and then there were none”
I’ve searched the web but I can’t remember where I got this rhyme.
Here are some pictures of the felt buttons I made-
Second Book: Pete the Cat and His Four Goovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
Like the rest of the world, I am in love with Pete the Cat!
After this book I had the kids retell the story to me as I reenacted it with my poster board/magnetic cut-out of Pete the Cat.
I made this cut-out by color copying pages from the book and laminating it onto poster board. I made sure to laminate his yellow coat separately and just glue the edges of his coat down so that I could open the coat to reveal his belly button.
I glued magnets to the back of his buttons. As the kids retold the story I pulled off the magnets on the back of the poster board so the buttons would pop off the front. It’s hard to explain so just check out the pictures below.
Those are buttons with magets glued on the back of them. To get the buttons to stay in place I put corresponding magnets on the back of the poster board. I glued popsicle sticks onto the magnets that are on the back of the poster board just to make it easier to grab and pull off.
The kids really loved this activity. It was quite a surprise when the buttons popped off on their own! (I didn’t let them see what I was doing behind the poster board)
Song: “Hi, My Name is Joe and I Work In a Button Factory”
This is the perfect song to get all of their wiggles out and its funny.
Third Book: Press Here by Herve Tullet
If you haven’t tried reading this book during storytime you must! It is so much fun. The kids were calling it the magic book and asking if we could read it again.
We played “Button, Button, Who’s got the Button?” I hid the felt button (used one from the previous felt board) behind one of the animals and asked the kids to guess which animal had it. We would say “Owl, Owl, do you have the button?” Then I would lift up the owl to see if it was there. I do variations of this felt board a lot and the kids always love it.
That’s my button storytime. It was a lot of fun. If anyone out there in the Children’s Library World has more button ideas I’d love to hear them!