A lot of my little friends have new baby siblings so I thought it would be nice to do a storytime celebrating all things baby related!

Welcome song:  I played this song on my ukulele and used my iPad and Apple TV to project the lyrics.

Sign Language:  We learned the sign for “baby” and repeated it often.

First Book:  Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes lap board book

Fingerplay: Baby’s Nap

This is a baby ready for a nap.          (hold up index finger)
Lay him down in his mother’s lap.      (place finger on open palm of other hand)
Cover him up so he won’t peep.     (wrap fingers around finger)
Rock him till he’s fast asleep.         (rock hands back and forth)

(Source: Storytime Katie)

Felt Board:  Five Little Babies5 Babies

One little baby rocking in a tree      (hold up one finger/rock arms)
Two little babies splashing in the sea      (two fingers/pretend to splash)
Three little babies crawling on the floor      (three fingers/crawl fingers on knee)
Four little babies banging on the door     (four fingers/pretend to knock)
Five little babies playing hide and seek      (five fingers/cover your eyes)
Keep your eyes closed now…until I say…PEEK!      (uncover eyes)

(Source: Perry Public Library)

Second Book:  Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz

Activity:  Baby Faces

I created various baby faces based on ones I found at Mel’s Desk.  I made a bunch of smiling faces, a bunch of sleepy faces, and a bunch of cranky faces.  Next I laminated them and put a small piece of velcro on the back.  During storytime I handed each child a face and asked them to show their grown-up (this is my trick for 1. getting the grown-ups involved and 2. having the grown-ups help their little one wait for his/her turn).Baby Faces

Next we sang the following song and the kids who had the corresponding face could come up and put the baby face in the “crib” (i.e. stick it on the felt board).

“If your baby’s feeling happy come on up,
If your baby’s feeling happy come on up,
If your baby’s feeling happy then it’s time to take a nappy
If your baby’s feeling happy come on up!”   (repeat with “sleepy” and “cranky”)

Third Book:  Baby Parade by Rebecca O’Connell Baby Parade

Music Activity:  Rattles!

I handed out rattles (maracas) to each child and reminded them that babies love to shake rattles.  We shook our rattles along to the song “Run Baby Run” by Casper Babypants.  This song has a bunch of motions for the kids to do (run, jump, spin, clap,…) so it’s perfect for storytime!

Goodbye Song:  I played the “goodbye” version of our welcome song on the uke and projected the lyrics.  It’s a new song so my hope is that the kids will start to learn the words and join in.  Unitl then, I’m relying on the parents to drown out my voice!

Goodbye Rhyme:

Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around
Tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime is over
So wave goodbye!


Rhyme Cube:  Click here for description.

Sign Language:  Word of the day was “Boat

Opening Rhyme:

“Open them, shut them,
Give a little clap!
Open them, shut them,
Now put them in your lap!”

First Book:  App – Boats by Byron Barton (Oceanhouse Media)

So I finally have the equipment to do digital storytelling!  Thanks to a generous donation from our Friends group we were able to purchase a 70 inch flat screen TV and an Apple TV.  The Apple TV lets me wirelessly mirror whatever is on my iPad to the TV.  I had a few issues getting everything set up.  Even though we have a staff-only wifi network, it was too congested and apps ran slowly/stuttered when I mirrored them.  I decided to use my iphone as a hotspot and connected both the Apple TV and the iPad to that.  It was an easy fix!

Boat ST1

Byron Barton’s book apps developed by Oceanhouse Media are awesome so I used this as an opportunity to recommend them to the grown-ups in the room.  Today was a great day to use the Apple TV because I had about 60 people at storytime.  Mirroring it to the TV made what would have been a 10 inch by 8 inch book into a 4 foot by 3 foot book!

Felt Board:  “This Little Boat Went…”

I got the idea for this felt board (and the clip art!) from Sunflower Storytime.

“The first little boat went chug, chug, chug.
The second little boat went tug, tug, tug.
The third little boat went row, row, row.
The fourth little boat went oh sooo slooooow.
Here comes the sailboat, watch it go!”

Boat ST clipart

Song:  “I’m Sitting in a Boat”

I learned this song from Jbrary‘s Youtube channel.  Since it isn’t a well known song, I put the lyrics up on the screen (using the iPad and a presentation app called Keynote) and asked the grown-ups to sing along with me.  Here’s what it looked like on the screen:Boat ST song

“I’m sitting in a boat and the boat is rocking, rocking, rocking.
I’m sitting in a boat and the boat is rocking, rocking, rocking.
I’m sitting in a boat and the waves are oh so high, oh so high
In the morning, oh oh oh!”

Credit:  This song was written and recorded by Debbie Carroll for her album “Up and Over the Moon:  Giggle, Dance and Cuddle Songs for the Very Young”.  You can purchase the CD from her website

Second Book:  Little Tug by Stephen Savage

Digital Pictures:  Anchors and Oil Tankers

Next I planned on doing a felt board activity with the kids involving an anchor and some oil tankers.  Those are pretty big words so I thought I’d use the iPad to show some images and expand their vocabularies and background knowledge!  I used the Keynote app for this too.  First I showed a picture of an anchor and briefly explained how they work.Boat ST anchor

Next I showed the kids a picture of an oil tanker and explained that they are huge ships!  Since they are so big they need really big anchors – around 10 feet tall, and they usually have more than one anchor for a ship that big! [this fact is courtesy of my dad who used to be a captain on cargo ships – thanks dad 🙂 ]

Boat ST oil

For the felt activity I cut out the outline of an oil tanker in four different colors.  I also cut out a cute little anchor.  I told the kids to close their eyes as I hid the anchor behind one of the oil tankers.  I asked them to guess where it was hidden and we recited this rhyme:

“Little anchor, little anchor
Are you underneath the blue oil tanker?”

I then lifted up the blue oil tanker to reveal if the anchor was there or not.  We played this a few times. Here’s the felt board:

Boat ST anchor felt

Third Book:  Sheep on a Ship by Nancy Shaw

Felt Board:  Sailboat Colors

I got this idea from Storytime Katie.

“Riding around in my little red boat,
Riding around in my little red boat,
Riding around in my little red boat,
Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom, Splash!”  (tune of 10 Little Indians)

I put up a different color sailboat for each verse.  We have a sailboat shaped die-cut so making the sailboats was super easy.

.Boat ST sailboats

Ukulele Song:

We sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” as I played the melody on the ukulele.  I included some silly verses too:

“Row row row your boat, gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream.
Row row row your boat gently down the stream,
If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream! AHH!!!!
Row row row your boat, gently to the shore,
If you see a lion there, don’t forget to ROAR!!!”

(credit: Sunflower Storytime)

Goodbye Song:

Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around
Tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime is over
So wave goodbye!

Bees! (bees?!?)

Rhyme Cube: Click here for description.

Sign Language:  The word for the day is “Bee

Opening Rhyme:  Open them, Shut them,…

First Book:  Where There’s a Bear, There’s Trouble!  by Michael Catchpool

Flannel Board:  5 Bees

One little bee flew and flew.
He met a friend, and that made two.
Two little bees, busy as could be.
Along came another and that made three.
Three little bees wanted one more.
Found one soon and that made four.
Four little bees going to the hive.
Spied their little brother and that made five.
Five little bees working every hour.
Busy away, bees and find a flower.


(rhyme from: )

Song:  “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee…”

Second Book:  Bear and Bee by Sergio RuzzierBear and Bee

Flannel Board:  Here is a Beehive

I got this cute idea and the template from Sunflower Storytime

Make a bee hive and little bees that you can velcro onto a glove.  Here’s a picture of mine:beehive

Then recite this rhyme”

Here is a beehive. Where are the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
Soon they come creeping out of the hive (have one bee pop out)
1-2-3-4-5! BUZZ! (bring each bee out as you count)
(make your bees fly all around the hive)

Song:  Bumble Bee, Bumble Bee

(I can’t remember where I found this song but it’s basically a version of “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear…”)

Bumblebee, Bumblebee
Buzzing all around.

Bumblebee, Bumblebee
Buzzing on the ground.

Bumblebee, Bumblebee
Buzzing up so high.

Bumblebee, Bumblebee
Buzzing in the sky.

Bumblebee, Bumblebee
Buzzing past your toes.

Bumblebee, Bumblebee
Buzzing on your nose.

Third Book:  Buzz, Buzz, Buzz, Went the Bumblebee by Colin West

Flannel Board: Patterns

Using the flannel bees I used previously, I pointed out that the bees had a pattern on them.  Tell the kids that bees have stripes.  Point to yellow, black, yellow… “this is a pattern!  It’s the same over and over again.”

“You can make patterns with shapes too. Not just colors.  Here is a pattern I’ve made:
Bee, hive, bee, hive, bee, hive   – Let’s see if we can make the same pattern right below-”

beehive pattern

(I asked the kids to repeat the pattern right below the first one while I put the pieces up.  Here’s a picture:)

beehive pattern 2

We did the activity again but I made the pattern a little more difficult:

beehive pattern 3

You could also create a pattern leaving one piece out and ask the kids to tell you what’s missing.

This is a very easy way to introduce a simple STEM concept into the storytime and the kids liked it!

Activity:  Egg Shakers

We used egg shakers (pretended they were bees!) and danced around while we listened to Laurie Berkner’s song “Buzz Buzz”

*  I already conducted this storytime but just found an app that could be used in storytime to emphasize pattern recognition.

iPad App:  Park Math HD by Duck Duck Moose

This is a great app (Duck Duck Moose is one of my favorite developers) that promotes math skills for the very young.  There are a number of cute activities included in the app but the one that I could use the next time I do this storytime is activated by tapping on the green kite (unfortunately, the activities are not labeled).

The screen displays a pattern made up of a number of everyday objects.  There is one object missing from the pattern and at the bottom of the screen there are four choices of objects that can be used to complete the pattern.  Here’s a couple screen shots:pattern app1pattern app2

You could hold the iPad facing the children and discuss the pattern that is displayed on the top half of the screen.  Then ask them to tell you what object would complete the pattern.  The app starts out with simple patterns (like the ones above) but there are slightly more difficult patterns included as well.

On the Move – Transportation

Rhyme Cube: click here for description

Sign Language:  Word of the day is “Train

First Book:  I Love Planes by Philemon SturgesI Love Planes! by Philemon Sturges (2003...

Felt Board:  Where Does it Go?

I stole this wonderful idea from RovingFiddlehead KidLit

I made a train track, a road, a lake, and some clouds out of felt and put them on the board.  Like this:


I also made a train (engine, box car, and caboose), a bus, a bicycle, a sail boat, an airplane, and a hot air balloon.  I asked the kids to help me put the vehicles in the correct spot.  Of course I kept putting them in the wrong spots (the train engine in the sky, the boat on the train tracks, the bicycle in the lake…) and the kids had fun correcting me.where-vehicles2

Second Book:  Freight Train by Donald Crews

Felt Board: Green means “Go”

This activity came from Toddler Storytime

I made red, yellow, and green circles out of felt. I told the kids that when I put up the green one they need to run in place really fast (“go, go, go!”).  When I put up the yellow circle I told them to run in place very slowly (“slow, slow, slow).  And when I put up the red circle they should freeze (“stop!”).

redyellow green

I switched between the circles a few times so the kids could get all their wiggles out.

Third Book:  My Car by Byron Barton My Car

Song:  “Drive, Drive, Drive your Car”

(Tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)

Drive, drive, drive your car,
All around the town.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Up the hills and down.
Turn, turn, turn the key,
Make the engine roar. VROOOOM!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Let’s go to the store.
Press, press, press the pedal,
Give the engine gas.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Now we’re going fast.
Turn, turn, turn the wheel,
That is how we steer.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Make a turn right here.

Song found at Sunflower Storytime

iPad App:  Peekaboo Vehicles by Touch and Learn

peekaboo vehicles

This cute app is easy to use as a guessing game during storytime.  It shows an image of clouds and plays the sound of a specific vehicle (a train, a firetruck, a helicopter, ….).  When you tap on the clouds they disappear to reveal an animated image of the vehicle.  I held the iPad facing the kids and had them guess each vehicle by its sound.  I also gave them clues.  For example, with the airplane sound I told the kids: “this vehicle has great big wings and flies in the sky.”   Once they shouted out their guesses, I taped the iPad to reveal the vehicle.  Here’s a screenshot of the firetruck:

peekaboo fire truck

This activity was super simple and fun.

In the Jungle!

This week I did a jungle themed storytime mostly because I love the book Oh No! by Candace Fleming and I wanted to use it!

Rhyme Cube: click here for picture

Sign Language:  word of the day was “Monkey

Opening Rhyme:  Open them, shut them…

First Book:  Oh No! by Candace FlemingOh, No!


“Monkey see, monkey do
Little monkey at the zoo
Monkey, monkey in the tree
Can you ________ like me?”

(Fill in the blank with different actions for each verse: jump around, swing your arms,
scratch an itch, eat a banana, screech)

Rhyme from storytimekatie blog

iPad App:  Felt Board by Software Smoothie

I used the Felt Board app to create a slideshow of animals.  I held the iPad facing the kids.  Then recited the following rhyme as I went through the slide show.  After I swiped to the image of the animal I would let the kids shout out its name and its noise.

“I went to the jungle on day,
jungle one day, jungle one day.
Who did I see along the way? (swipe to the slide of the frog)
Frog! (let kids shout this part out)

I went to the jungle one day,
jungle one day, jungle one day.
I met a frog along the way
and this is what he did say –
Ribbit! (let kids shout this part out)”

(continue with monkey, crocodile, and parrot)

Here are screenshots of the app


Next I recited the rhyme again but changed the words a little:

I went to the jungle one day,
jungle one day, jungle one day.
I met so many animals along the way! (swipe the screen to the last image)


I asked the kids again to tell me what each animal says!

Second Book:  Do Crocs Kiss? by Salina YoonDo Crocs Kiss?

Felt Board:  Old MacDonald Had a Jungle

Old Mac Donald had a jungle.  EIEIO
And in that jungle he had a monkey.  EIEIO
With an EEEEEE here, and an EEEEE there,
Here and EEEEEE, there and EEEEEE,
Everywhere an EEEEE, EEEEE
Old Mack Donald had a jungle, EIEIO
(continue with snake and tiger)

had a jungle (sorry for the blurry picture!)

Rhyme: Little Monkey

A little monkey likes to do just the same as you and you:
When you stand up very tall, Monkey stands up very tall.
When you go to throw a ball, Monkey goes to throw a ball.
When you try to touch your toes, Monkey tries to touch his toes.
When you wrinkle up your nose, Monkey wrinkles up his nose.
When you jump up in the air, Monkey jumps up in the air.
When you sit back on the floor, Monkey sits back on the floor.

Third Book:  Two Little Monkeys by Mem FoxTwo Little Monkeys

Activity:  Jungle Box

I stole this wonderful idea from Abby the Librarian. I made a jungle box and a bunch of cards with jungle animals on them.  I passed out the cards to the kids and told them that we were going to take turns putting our animals in the jungle box.  I asked them to listen carefully until they hear their animal called and then they can come up and put it in the box.  I sang the following song:

“If you have a tiger, a tiger, a tiger,
If you have a tiger, please put him in the jungle”

(continue until all the animals are in the box)

Here are pictures of the box and the animal cards:

jungle boxinside jungle box

Shoo Fly!

I recently did a storytime all about flies and had a lot of fun with it!

Rhyme Cube: Click here for a description

Sign Language:  Today we learned the word “fly” and repeated it often.

First Book:  Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth


Two little shoo flies sitting on the wall
One named Peter, one named Paul
Fly away Peter! Fly away Paul!
Come back Peter! Come back Paul!

Second Book:  Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen

iPad App:  Felt Board by Software Smoothie

Felt Board is one of my new favorite apps.  It allows you to create felt boards by providing different backgrounds and objects that you can “glue” down.  Here is the felt board I created for this week’s storytime:teacher fly

I used it to go with the following rhyme:

There’s a Bug on the Teacher

by Kalli Dakos

(I changed the word “bug” to “fly”)

There’s a bug on the teacher,

and it’s crawling on her shoe.

What will she do?

It’s crawling on her shoe!

There’s a bug on the teacher,

And it’s crawling on her pants.

Has us in a trance,

That bug on her pants.

There’s a bug on the teacher,

And it’s crawling on her shirt,

I hope it doesn’t hurt,

That bug on her shirt.

There’s a bug on the teacher,

And it’s crawling on her neck,

Everyone check,

It’s crawling on her neck!

There’s a bug on the teacher,

And it’s crawling on her nose,

Why do you suppose

It’s crawling on her nose?

(I found the rhyme on Miss Mary Berry’s blog)

I created the “teacher” in the Felt Board app and “glued” her down along with her hair, face, and clothes.  I then added the fly but did not glue him down.  This allowed me to move him around as I recited the rhyme.

I held the iPad facing the kids and moved the fly along to the rhyme.  At the end when she sneezes, I asked the kids to sneeze with me and moved the fly really quickly to the floor.

We had a lot of fun with it.

Third Book:  Shoo Fly! by Iza Trapani


I pre-made pipe cleaner flies and gave one to each child.  The idea came from the Sunflower Storytime blog and she has some great pictures and directions on how to make them.

We used the flies as we sang the following song:

“Shoo fly, don’t bother me
Shoo fly, don’t bother me
Shoo fly, don’t bother me

I belong to somebody!”

We sang it a few times and each time we put the fly on a different body part (our heads, knees, belly buttons, ears, and finally our noses) Then we sneezed and the flies flew away just like in the previous rhyme.

Another Favorite Storytime App

The first app I ever used during storytime was an animal sounds app and I got the idea from this Storytiming blog post.

The app mentioned in the above link no longer works (there seems to be a glitch and the developer hasn’t issued an update) but I’ve found another animal sounds app the works perfectly.

iPad App:  Animal Sounds – Fun Toddler Game by Innovative Mobile Apps


This app is a lot of fun and really simple.   I’ve used it in a few storytimes and the kids never get bored with it.

I hold the iPad facing me and tell the kids to guess what animal is making the noise.  I say this rhyme:

“There’s someone in my garden,

Whoever can it be?

There’s someone in my garden,

Let’s listen, then see.”

I then tap on an animal from the homescreen.  It looks like this:

animal sounds app1

When you tap on an animal that animal’s sound will automatically be activated and the screen will change to an image of the animal. For example, if you choose the dog you will hear a bark and see this screen:

animal sounds app2

The kids will all shout out their guesses and then your can turn the iPad around to show if they guessed correctly.

This particular animal sounds app works really well in storytime because 1. It has large clear images of the animals (there are actually two images per animal so you can choose the one you like best).  2. You can repeat the animal noise by clicking on the repeat button on the upper right corner of the screen  (in case the kids want to hear it again before guessing).  3. The name of the animal is written in bold font at the bottom of the screen.