Stories With Ms. Jenna

Storytimes, Programs, Booklists, and More!

Storytime: Shapes and Sizes

This week’s theme at Evening Family Storytime was Shapes and Sizes. I had a smaller group than the previous two weeks, but we still had a lot of fun. I continued using the same song/ rhyme for Hello and Goodbye.

Book: Windblown by Édouard Manceau


At the end of the storytime, I gave the kids this take home craft that goes along with this book.

Song: “Make a Circle, Draw a Square”
(Tune: Oh My Darling Clementine)

Make a circle, make a circle, draw it in the sky
Use your finger, use your finger, make it round as pie
Make a square, Make a square, make the lines so straight
Draw a square, draw a square, draw one or draw eight
Draw a triangle, draw a triangle, always start at the top
Make a tent, make a tent, use three lines and then stop!

Book: Not a Box by Antoinette Portis


Flannel Story: Bear Squash You All Flat -This was the highlight of the evening. The kids really enjoyed this story.

Song: “Hokey Pokey” –Dan Zanes, Family Dance

Put your right leg in
Put your right leg out
Put your right let in
And you shake it all about
You do the hokey pokey
And you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about
Left leg, Right arm, Left arm, Nose, Backside, Whole self

(Alright, the song itself has nothing to do with the theme, but we stood in a circle! So that’s good enough for me.)

Book: Press Here by Hervé Tullet


Song: “Very Very Tall” –Wiggleworms Love You

I’m very very tall
I’m very very small
Now I’m a little ball

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Bear Squash-You-All-Flat Flannel

This week I made a flannel story to go along with the tale “Bear Squash-You-All-Flat,” a Russian folktale I found in Judy Sierra’s Silly & Sillier: Read Aloud Tales from Around the World. The story starts with Whiskery Mouse who finds a mitten and decides to make it his home. One by one, along come Croaker the Frog, Hoppity Hare, Frisky Fox, and Sneaky Wolf who all join Whiskery Mouse and live in the mitten. But then Bear Squash-You-All-Flat shows up. When he tries to get in the mitten, he destroys the little house! All the other animals run away. The end. My group really enjoyed The Enormous Turnip flannel story I told last week, so I think they’ll really enjoy this one too as they are both cumulative tales with repeated phrases.




Storytime: In the Kitchen

Last night was only my second session of Evening Family Storytime, so it doesn’t mean much to say this, but it was my best storytime yet. I’m definitely getting a better feel for what works and what doesn’t in a wide-range-of-ages storytime. This week’s theme: In the Kitchen! As usual, I started and ended with my Hello and Goodbye songs/ rhymes. After the Hello song, I explained the theme and then asked what the kid’s favorite foods were… “Pizza!” “Mac & Cheese!” “Blueberries!”… and then it was on to books, songs, and stories.

Book: Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, Ho Baek Lee


Story: The Enormous Turnip -Check out the link to see my flannel story for this. The kids (and adults!) loved this story!

Song: “All Around the Kitchen” by Dan Zanes (Thanks for the suggestion, Rob!)

After this song, one kid exclaimed, “I LOVED that song! Can we do it again??”

Book: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood


Song: “Milkshake” by Songs for Wiggleworms

You take a little milk. Pour some milk.
And you take a little cream. Pour some cream.
You stir it all up.
You shake it and you’ll sing:

Milkshake Milkshake shake it up shake it up
Milkshake Milkshake shake it all up

Book: Whopper Cake by Karma Wilson and Will Hillenbrand


The end! I had a lot of fun with this storytime, and the kids responded well to the dance-crazy-music, rhyming books, and repetitive stories.

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The Enormous Turnip Flannel

Next week, my storytime theme is going to be “In the Kitchen” and everything is going to be about food! I’ll post about the entire storytime after it happens, but to give you a sneak peak, here’s the flannel story I’ll be doing…. The Enormous Turnip! It’s a Russian folktale about a grandpa who tries to pull his enormous turnip out of the ground, but needs help. One by one grandma, granddaughter, dog, and cat try to help. It is not until little mouse joins them that they are finally able to pull it out! I made the pieces myself, but they are largely based off others that I found pictures of online.




Storytime: Names

Yesterday night was my first Evening Family Storytime! It is aimed at children ages 2-6 and their families. My first theme was “Names.” Overall, we had a lot of fun, and hopefully they’ll all be back next week! I am using the same Hello and Goodbye songs/ rhymes each week. Here is what else we did at the “Names” storytime:

Book: Me… Jane by Patrick McDonnell


Rhyme/Activity: Hickity Pickity

Hickety-Pickety Bumble Bee
Won’t you say your name for me?
Let’s clap and say it.
Jen-na (clap-clap with syllables)
Let’s say it loud!
Let’s say it quiet.

We sat in a circle and went around doing this for every child’s name. In my handout for the storytime I included an “Early Literacy Tip!” section next to the words for this rhyme: Breaking words into syllables is a component of developing phonological awareness (awareness of sound structure) which leads to later success in reading and spelling.

Book: Matthew A.B.C. by Peter Catalanotto


Song/Flannel: Aiken Drum by Wiggleworms Love You -see my earlier post about my Flannel for this song. I also handed out the instruments listed in the song to the kids so they could jam out.

Book: My Name Is Elizabeth by Annika Dunklee


Song: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt by Susie Tallman

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, that’s my name too
Whenever we go out, the people always shout
There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt
Da da da da da da da!

I let the kids free dance for the song and we all threw our hands up in the air for the “Da da da…” part.

I could have probably squeezed in another book but I decided to give them a few minutes to look at the books I pulled that they could check out. And then I got my first library-kid hug so my night ended on a great note. 🙂

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