SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Treasure Storytime

(This ended up being one of the most fun programs I’ve done recently. That typically seems to be the case when I choose a more challenging topic.)

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Poggle and the Treasure – Michael Evans


(This felt just a tinsy bit wordy, the fun illustrations and suspense made up for it though.)

Flannel Board: What a Treasure  – from the book by Hillenbrand


I used the flannel board characters from the Will Hillenbrand website Very cool!

(The kids quite liked this, and one of the boys quipped, ‘a friend is the best treasure!’)

Book: Once Upon a Tide – Tony Mitton

once upon a tide

(Have used this before, and it works great!)

Activity: Going on a Treasure Hunt – adapted from the traditional ‘Bear Hunt’ format

 We’re going on a treasure hunt, (walk in place)

We’re going to find a treasure! (peer with hand shading eyes)

In a great big chest (hold hands apart)

buried deep in the ground (mime shoveling).

Look on the map!

It’s the ocean.

Can’t go under it, can’t go around it, can’t go above it,

better paddle across it! (mime paddling with an oar.)’s tall island grass! (brush the grass aside with your arms.)

…it’s coconut trees! (dodge the coconuts by jumping side to side.)

…it’s quicksand! (lift knees high as you walk through it.)

…it’s the X! Let’s dig up the treasure. (mime shoveling.)

Wait, do you hear something? Aaarrr

It’s scary pirates!!

Quick, run back through the quicksand, dodge the coconuts, swish through the grass, paddle to the boat…

now point the cannon at the pirates, and light the fuse Ffffhhhhshh. Ka-boom!

…uh oh. I think we blew up the treasure too!

2013-06-25_11-37-41_591(The echoing idea took a little while to catch on, the parents saved it! This was super fun. The map was drawn with marker on the back of a torn paper bag.)

Book: The Treasure Bath – Dan Andreasen


(Stepping outside my comfort zone with a wordless book, and it worked fantastically! Lovely talking points, and the illustrations are fabulous.)

Flannel Board: Can You Find Treasure For Me?


 Look and see, look and see

Can you find treasure for me?

Is it in the (red) chest?

(continue with other colors)


(The kids were perhaps a bit too excited about what was in the chests. It would probably work more smoothly to have them all empty except for the treasure …like my tooth fairy set from which this was adapted.)

Book: Treasure – Suzanne Bloom

treasure bloom

(I sort of wish this were a bit more complex, the minimal texts makes room for the fun illustrations though!)

Craft: Treasure Chests

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(Then we drew our own treasures to ‘lock’ in our treasure chests. Design copied onto card stock and fastened with brads.)

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Garden Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: And Then It’s Spring – Julie Fogliano


(This wasn’t as captivating this go round, but I still like it!)

Activity: Fran’s Flower – see the story here!


Book: Nibbles Garden – Charlotte Middleton

nibbles garden

(I really liked the bright illustrations and cute story, and the kids seemed to as well.)

Activity: Planting Seeds/Mr. Golden Sun – from the CD Singable Songs for the Very Young by Raffi


First you take the seed and you plant it in the ground (pretend to plant seeds in hand)
Next a little rain cloud comes that waters all around (Use hand to simulate rain)
And the sun sends beams, shining bright without a sound (make circle over head with arms)
Then in a few days, a flower can be found! (cup hands together, then open fingers with wrists touching.)

(We also did this fingerplay in the musical interlude during Raffi’s song.)

Mr. Sun
Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun,
~arms up, rock in time to the rhythm

Please shine down on me.
~wiggle fingers down toward face
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun,
~arms up again
Hiding behind a tree
~ASL sign for ‘tree’ in front of face to ‘hide’

These little children are asking you,
~gesture towards children

To please come down
so they can play with you,
~sign ASL sign for ‘Play’

Oh, Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun,

~arms up again

Please shine down on me.
~wiggle fingers down toward face

 (This was good times! Bright bouncy song)

Book: What Does Bunny See? – Linda Sue Park


(I was surprised I didn’t see this on any of the storytime blogs I visit, it’s fantastic!)

Flannel Board: Tops and Bottoms – traditional



I had double sided flannels as the garden, with the tops on one side, and the bottoms on the other.

Book: Up Down All Round – Katherine Ayres Bored!

Up Down Around

(The kids were fun to shout out the ‘up, down, all around!’ and we pointed or circled our fingers for each one).

Activity: Streamers

Then we used streamers to go Up, Down and All Around!

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Flora’s Flower

Based on the book by Lisa Bruce …which looks like it’s been republished as ‘Grow Flower, Grow!’


Flora finds a pot with a little seedling sprouting, and decides she’ll take care of it!

(I had an inverted paper cup under the felt ‘soil’ both of which were hot glued to the pot. The paper cup has a hole poked in the top for the stem to fit in later, the sprout is a pipe cleaner with a twisted bottom which sits on top of the cup.)


Flora feeds the seedling her favorite foods! ‘What doesn’t loves cookies?’

(I just used foods that I have on hand, this was the kids favorite part. They were very good at knowing the plants don’t like pancakes.)


Finally Flora gets fed up, and tosses the plant outside, where the rain and sun can work their magic.

(I set the pot behind my flannel board, and swapped out the seedling for the grown flower between the rain and sun.)


Flora heads outside, and is excited to see that the seedling has flourished!

(It was a very fun part of the program. The kids were quite into it. This idea came from Recipes for Reading.)


(showing the ‘guts’ of my flower pot, you can also see the hole in the top of the cup where the big flower goes!)


This week’s Flannel Friday is hosted by Bridget at What is Bridget Reading?


Letter H Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Hiccupopotamus – Aaron Zenz


(Such fun illustrations, and playful words.)

Activity: 1 Hippo in the Bathtub

One Hippo in the bathtub going for a swim

Knock, knock (clap hands)

Splash, splash, (slap knees)

Come on in!

(count up with additional hippos)


(We count up the hippos, and then at the end identify all their colors. Not the most fantastic thing, but it works pretty well.)

Book: Honey, Honey …Lion! – Jan Brett / Hattie and the Fox – Mem Fox


(Honey…honey…lion! didn’t quite hold their attention. Maybe it was just a restless group, cuz it’s a pretty great book.)

hattie and the fox

(When I swapped it for Hattie and the Fox things seemed to move more smoothly. Hattie is a lot of fun, especially the cow’s Mooo at the end.)

Activity: Hokey Pokey – from the CD Songs For Wiggleworms

 (I was having a toss up between this and the Hula from my Hawaii storytime. I decided to stick with something more familiar to the kids this time.) 

Book: Which Hat is That? – Anna Grossnickle Hines

which hat

(The fun guessing element in this one kept the kids well engaged. Nice pics too!)

Activity: Under My Sombrero – adapted from Bajo mi sombrero by Anne E. Schraff

It was a hot day, muy caliente, when I went out for a walk. I wore my big sombrero, it cast lots of cool shade.

As I walked along, I met a bird. It saw my big sombrero and the cool shade and asked to share my sombrero. “Puedo, Por Favor?” it asked, “Can I please?” It is a very big sombrero, so I shared it with the bird.

Then I met a mouse as I walked along, and the mouse saw my big sombrero and all the cool shade it cast. The mouse asked if it could share the sombrero, “Puedo, Por Favor?”  It’s a very big sombrero, so I shared with the mouse.

As I walked in the hot sun I met a cat. The cat saw my big sombrero and the cool shade it cast. It asked to share my sombrero, “Puedo, Por Favor?” I still had room so I shared my sombrero with the cat.

A little further down the road I met a frog who was sitting in the hot sun. It saw the shade from my large sombrero, and it asked to share, “Puedo, Por Favor?” There was still some room in my sombrero, so I shared with the frog.

My hat was a little bit heavy as I walked further down the road in the hot sun. But my sombrero kept me cool. I met a pig who saw my sombrero, and asked if it could share “Puedo, Por Favor?” There wasn’t much room, but I didn’t want to be rude, so I said it could share.

My sombrero was full now, but as I walked further down the road I met a dog. The dog saw the cool shade from my sombrero and asked if it could share, “Puedo, Por Favor?” My hat was full, but the dog was muy caliente, very hot, out in the sun…so I said it could share.

It was very full under my sombrero; it wasn’t big enough for so many! I told all the animals, “Get out, there is no room! Everybody go away!” Out came the dog and the pig. out jumped the frog. Out scurried the cat and the mouse, and out flew the bird. Now it’s just me under my big sombrero, and it fits just right!


(This just tickles the kids to no end! I asked if the kids knew what you call a hat from Mexico, then introduced the big sombrero. Do you think there’s room for the dog to join?)

Book: Are you a horse? – Andy Rash


(Fantastic fun book, great pictures and a fun surprise ending.)

Activity: Happy + Bubbles

Is it time to be serious? No, no no.

Is it time to be happy? Yes, lets go!


(You know something that makes me happy? Bubbles! )

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Bear Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Panda And Polar Bear – Matthew J Baek


(This wasn’t the biggest hit, but I thought it was nice to include more than just the brown bear. And it still worked fine.)

Activity: Masha and the Bear – traditional (see full version here)


Book: It’s the Bear – Jez Alborough


(So much fun, the engagement of the kids is palpable.)

Activity: Silly Bear Hunt – from the CD Dr. Jean Sings Silly Songs


(A fun twist on the Bear Hunt, you eat through a candy factory, swim across a peanut butter river, wiggle thorough a jell-o swamp, and finally find the bear in the cave. I held up the images to demonstrate the ‘over, under, around’. )

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


(A lot of the kids know this book, and were very excited to see it.)

Activity: Bear Wants More (from the book by Karma Wilson)


Bear wakes up hungry! Throughout the story he has friends who lead him to different foods. I handed out different colored bean bags before introducing the Big Bear, and when he found the food , whoever had that color of beanbag got to come up and feed it to bear! (above you can see him with mouse, who leads him to Strawberry Vale)

The kids loved guessing which color would be next, based on what the friends led him to. I chaned some of the animals for what I had on hand, and this is how it played out for me.

Bear eats grass – green beanbags

Mouse lead to strawberry vale – red beanbag

Hare leads to blueberry bush – blue beanbag

Skunk leads to fish feast – purple beanbag

Bee leads to honey cakes – yellow beanbag

Then bear is full, full, full, and doesn’t want any more.

Then we said ‘Goodnight’ to bear, and he went off to take a nap.


(One of the first things I ever made was this big bear, with a mouth and stomach, specifically for this story. Now, some three years later, I finally did it! The first time was fantastic, the second group got a little excited and the bear was mobbed a bit, even if the kid didn’t have anything to feed the bear.)

Book: Big Smelly Bear – Britta Teckentrup

big smelly bear

(This is a great book, nice big pictures and an easy storyline. You can tell it’s good if it can keep the kids interest after big bear!)

Activity: Parachute

(Some of bears snacks were left over, so we bounced them on the parachute.)

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Dig Into Reading kick-off event


Yesterday we had our summer reading kick-off, and these are all the activities we had for it!

Dino Feet:


(Some life size dino prints cut out of cardboard led the way to the sign-up table. One little boy liked following the ‘monster feed’ back and forth.)

Pirate Plunder:


(We typically give each child that signs up a book to keep, and this year they could also choose a prize from the ‘treasure chest’ which was filled with leftover prizes from past years. )

Ant Tunnel:

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(We had security gates delivered a few months ago, and the boxes worked just fine for our Ant Tunnel.)




(This was maybe my favorite thing. I suspended our parachute from the ceiling, and hid ballons inside as ‘lava’. It was a fun play space.)

Pin the Pail:


(A variation of pin the tail on the donkey, using a digger! With caution tape as the blindfold.)

Dino Puzzles:


(Simple but fun, dino skeletons cut from cardboard for the young archaeologists to assemble.)

Flower Memory:


(A memory game with flowers on our flannel board.)

Fossil Rubbings:



(I created templates by tracing images in elmers glue on transparencies which had been cut into fourths. This was the most impressing thing for the parents.)

Wiggle Worms: (from Prekinders)



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(The clothespins were bird ‘beaks’ and they got to pick up the pipe cleaner worms, then take them back to the matching color of bowls.)

And that was our Summer Reading Kick-off! About 150 kids throughout the day.

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