What We Did In Storytime: Hugs and Kisses

We had a lot of fun this week in storytime!  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I actually decided to go with a theme and it was a blast!  You can’t go wrong with Hugs & Kisses in a baby/toddler storytime!  I usually give a set of instructions for my non-mobile littles (little littles) and my mobile littles (older littles) for each song so everyone is included. Keep reading to see how to share these songs and activities with your own little one.


Welcome Rhyme- I Can Hug

This cute rhyme came from SurLaLane.  Click on through to see their great stuff!  We started this one with everyone standing.  With my older littles we did motions to go with each line (Hugged ourselves, hopped, blew kisses, held out a hand to stop, nodded and shook our heads and then sat down).  For my little littles, the parents did the action with the child or modeled it so the child could see.  We ran through this one twice so that everyone could learn it and feel good about it aaaand because we needed to get some wiggles out!



I Need a Hug

by Aaron Blabey


This is a new book to us and was a total hit!  This book has rhyming, great illustrations, it is the perfect length for this age group, PLUS it is funny which makes it work well for my older littles and any older siblings that came to storytime.  I even had a fair amount of parents chuckling as we read.  This is also a great early book for looking at the picture clues in the story, what it means to be a friend, and naming the different animals the porcupine meets.  This book just has so many opportunities for fun and learning for any age little!


Flannel Board- Five Little Kisses

This cute idea came from Story Time Secrets.  I printed five little kisses from a free usage clipart site, added velcro and slapped them up on our board.  This is a great way to work in early math skills with little ones as we do one-to-one counting of how many kisses we have plus we keep subtracting kisses.  It is also great for naming some of the people we love most! Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandpa, and of course, baby!  Feel free to sub in any person your little loves when you do this at home.  As we go through this rhyme, my older littles will give a kiss to mom, dad, or whatever family member we add in if they are at storytime that day.  Otherwise we blow kisses.  For my little littles, we blow kisses to everyone, but their grownups give them a kiss on the verse they identify with.  All my littles get kisses from their grown-ups on the last verse.


My Energy by Laurie Berkner Band

There is a lot of cabin fever around here thanks to a lot of snow, cold, and ice, so my goal in storytime today was to provide lots of chances to move and use big body motions.  With this song we jumped, hopped, marched, stomped, and had a lot of fun.  There are verses that give specifics (Like wiggle your legs, click your heels, shake your arms, jump for the sky, etc) but for my older littles, they could free dance with their grownup during the chorus and for my little littles, they could rock to the rhythm so everyone was included.


Never Let You Go 


by Patricia Storms


This story is from the parent perspective and all about watching your little one grow up.  Very sweet with humor too.  After getting our energy out, it was a nice gentle song to bring us back.


Song- Acka Backa Soda Cracker

This song is great as a bounce and the instructions for using it that way are on the set list but it also works well with older littles.  I had them all stand and rock from one foot to the other with the rhythm.  At “Up Goes You,” we all did a big jump.  For the final line “I Love You” they could hug themselves tight or hug their grownup.  I found this video of the bounce over at JBrary a few years ago, and I have to say it is one of my favorite earworms. Enjoy!


I Will Kiss You (Lots and Lots and Lots)

by Stoo Hample


So, this book was my “in case there’s time and they can sit for it” book.  I always have at least one of these on hand for storytime just in case.  You never know how the kids will do from week to week so better safe than sorry!  Needless to say, we were able to add this one to storytime today and I’m so glad we did.  The predictable rhyme, humorous pictures, and sweet message made it a win.  It was also pretty short, but could easily have been made shorter if we needed it to be.


I know the setlist says we did another flannel board activity.  Yes, I know, but the truth is, I always plan more than I need for those days when I do end up needing more.  Because I could tell the littles in room were ready to play, we cut this activity and got straight to our play centers for the day.


Miss Marta


What We Did in Storytime: 2/4

Hello and welcome to What We Did in Storytime! Once again I did not use a theme this week.

set list

Song: Same intro song as always! To the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”

Book: Bunny Roo, I Love You is super cute and the illustrations are lovely, but it was a bit long for how wiggly everyone was today.

Song: Popcorn Kernels

Popcorn kernels, popcorn kernels

In the pot, in the pot

Shake them, shake them, shake them,

shake them, shake them, shake them,

Till they pop! Till they pop!

I got this song from Jbrary. It’s to the tune of Frere Jacques/Are You Sleeping. Popcorn Kernels and Jack in the Box are both songs we do with the scarves.

Song: Jack in the Box

Another scarf song! This one is chanted more than sung, balling the scarf into your hands and then throwing it in the air at the last line. Since it is so short we repeated it 3 times.

BookHello Lamb. I really like this sweet little board book about animal sounds!

Song: First session we ended with Walking, Walking, second session we did Hands are Clapping.

Our craft today was making snowmen with cork stamps. The pictures were clip art I found online and we had a container of corks left over from…I have no idea what. With Crayola washable paint clean up is a breeze, but I brought out the smocks and would recommend using an old t-shirt if you try this at home. Better safe than sorry, as the saying goes.

We also usually have homemade playdough and playdough toys out during playtime, so if you’re interested in making your own at home here’s the recipe we use:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water (add a little at a time until it feels right)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • A few drops of glycerin (optional, but makes it shiny!)

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add food coloring to the boiling water then into the dry ingredients (color optional). Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough. Add the glycerin (optional). Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously until all of the stickiness has gone. This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency! If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right.

Miss Marta added cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg to our current batch of playdough, so it smells wonderful as well as being fun to play with! If you want your playdough to last longer, store it in a ziploc baggie in the fridge.

And that’s what we did in storytime today! If you’d like to see what we did in past weeks, click on the “What We Did in Storytime” tag. And be sure to come back next Monday to check out what Miss Marta did!

Miss Jessica

What We Did in Storytime: Jan. 28

Hello! I’m filling in for Miss Marta this week. Today’s storytime did not have a theme.

set list (3)

Opening Song: same as always!

Book: Say Hello by Linda Davick

Fingerplay Song: Five Little Snowmen
Five little snowmen standing in a row (hold up 5 fingers)
Each with a hat (pat head) and a big red bow (pull at neck like a bow tie)
Along came the sun (arms form big circle over head)
And it shone all day (lean to the left)
And one of those snowmen melted away! (put down one finger)
(Continue with 4, 3, 2 snowmen)
One little snowman standing all alone
With his big black hat and his big red bow.
Along came the sun and it shone all day.
And the last little snowman melted away!

I got this fingerplay from King County Library System, though I altered the last verse.

Book: I Went Walking by Sue Williams

I added this book in at the last minute, so it is not on my plan. It’s an older book but it has the same pattern as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? so it worked well for storytime.

Song: Walking, Walking

This song went over REALLY well, I’m guessing because it got everyone up and moving. Gotta get those wintertime wiggles out somehow!

And then it was time for playtime! For our craft we made winter hats with the Do-A-Dots and cotton balls. You can find the instructions and hat template here. Be sure to check back next week to see what we did in storytime.

Miss Jessica

What We Did In Storytime: Animals and Their Homes


Storytime from last Monday was a lot of fun!  We read a couple of awesome brand new books, and jammed to some new favorite songs and shook to some old favorites!

Opening Song:

Let’s Get The Rhythm

Let’s get the rhythm of our knees

Let’s get the rhythm of our knees

Let’s get the rhythm of our knees

If you please

Let’s get the rhythm of our knees


Let’s get the rhythm of our shoulders

Let’s get the rhythm of our shoulders

Let’s get the rhythm of our shoulders

Big Boulders!

Let’s get the rhythm of our shoulders


Let’s get the rhythm of our head

Let’s get the rhythm of our head

Let’s get the rhythm of our head

Oh Dread!

Let’s get the rhythm of our head


Let’s get the rhythm of our feet

Let’s get the rhythm of our feet

Let’s get the rhythm of our feet

How Neat!

Let’s get the rhythm of our feet


I am so grateful to Miss Teresa, our former Littles librarian.  She shared this gem with me before she left and I love it!  This song/chant always goes over well!  It helps older littles test their knowledge of body parts and practice rhythms since you tap out the beat on whatever body part is in the verse.  It is also good to use to practice memory recall.  We sing everything twice in littles to help kids and parents learn the songs and movements.  When we get ready to dive into the second round, depending on how old my littles are that day, I ask if they can remember what body part we start with!  See how your little one does with this!


Don’t worry!  This song also works well for the very littles who are not able to keep their own rhythm or identify body parts yet.  I encourage parents to tap the rhythm on their child’s body part for each verse or to guide the child’s hands to the body part.  This is a great way to instill the sense of rhythm in language plus you get some fun practicing the names for those body parts.  At the very least, a child can be gently bounced to the rhythm and will still get something out of it.


Story:  Mama Dug a Little Den

by Jennifer Ward


This book showed up on my new shelf and I fell in love with it!  The text is in gentle rhyme and covers many different creatures and their winter homes.  What is great is that there is also informational text on each page to tell more about the animal and their habitat.  There are many animals covered.  I know, it sounds like this book would be beyond the birth to 3 age group BUT it’s actually got a lot going for it to pull them in.  For my storytime, I paperclipped pages together so we only covered about half of the animals in the book.  We also didn’t read the informational text.  We did read the rhyming story and identified the animals we saw on each page.  There were squirrels, skunks, frogs, even polar bears!  The illustrations are simple and large and the actual story text is very minimal per page.  This is the kind of book that can grow with your child as they develop and want to get more and more from their stories.  Even if you just go through and name the animals on each page, it is a fun and valuable read that can be easily adapted for any age of reader.


This is My Home

This is a simple finger play.  There is nothing complicated in the movements so you can do this with the very young by putting your hands over top of theirs.  For older littles, I recommend doing this two to three times so they can practice the different motions all by themselves.  You showing them the motions with your own hands is very helpful so dive in and play too!  If you are doing this rhyme at home, it might be fun to pull up pictures of the actual homes in the rhyme (nest, beehive, rabbit hole, house) so your kiddo can see what these things are in real life!



by the Laurie Berkner Band


Laurie Berkner is a storytime favorite around here.  We can get in a rut sometimes though so we introduced this song this week!  It is a fun action song that will have your little one ready to dance, stomp, march, jump, and splash!  You can make up your own dance moves too since there are plenty of more open parts without direct instruction.  We practiced clapping and stomping during these parts and had a ball!  This CD is here at the library for check out or you can stream it online!


Under the Same Sky

by Britta Teckentrup


Britta Teckentrup is hands-down one of my storytime faves.  This is her newest book and I adore the message of love and togetherness in this gentle story.  The die-cut pages with watercolor art will entrance little ones but the text sends such a sweet message and has a nice steady rhythm.  It was a very positive end to storytime but I honestly think it would make an excellent bedtime story!


Shaker Egg Time:

If Your Happy and You Know it Give a Shake and We Shake and We Shake and We Stop both are songs we have used in storytime before and love!  We found We Wiggle and Wiggle and Stop over at JBrary and tweaked it for a nice transition as we get ready to put our eggs away.  In our storytime, we did make one small change.  In If Your Happy and You Know It Give a Shake, we said “If your happy and you know it then your egg will surely show it” and shook our eggs like crazy because, well, that’s how we roll with shaker eggs!


After Storytime, we always have 6 to 8 centers set up for play.  This week we had two that were a huge hit and I wanted to share because they are things that can be done at home!  We filled a long, narrow tote with actual snow from outside (one perk to the chilly winter weather and above-average snowfall we have been seeing), filled our squirt bottles with washable watercolor paint and water, and let the kids spray paint the snow.  One the top layer would get saturated, I could just go over and turn that layer under to reveal a fresh “canvas.”  The kids had a blast with this and it was very easy cleanup for me!  Win win!  If you don’t have squirt bottles or watercolor paint at home, paint brushes and food coloring are great substitutes.


We also had sensory snow in our sensory bin this week.  Click on over the Huckleberrylove.com to get the recipe! This mix of baking soda and cream hair conditioner makes a perfect packing snow that is cool to the touch.  We mixed our batch two months ago and, by keeping it in the fridge, have gotten a ton of use out of it!  If we take it out and it seems flaky or doesn’t pack well, we just add a little more conditioner to it and it is just like new.  It is a great alternative if either you don’t have the real stuff to play with or if your little one (or you) isn’t a fan of the cold temps that come with playing outside this time of year.

Miss Marta

What We Did in Storytime: Bears

Hello! So, like Miss Marta said in last week’s post, I don’t always use themes in my storytimes. I pick songs, books, fingerplays, and flannel board stories that I really like rather than using something I’m not excited about because it fits a theme. However, this week I did use a bears theme.

I also plan way more books and songs than I will end up using – every week is different, so I never know what the energy in the room will be or whether the age group will skew older or younger. I prefer to over-plan because winging it in the moment makes me soo nervous. So, here’s my plan for this week in storytime!

set list (1)

What we actually did was as follows:

Opening Song: I use the same opening song every week. I like the repetition, which makes it easier for grown-ups to remember and sing along and reinforces it for the little ones. It’s sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” You can hear the wonderful ladies at Jbrary sing it here.


Book: I read Sleepy Bear for my first story. This is an older title, but I really like the illustrations and the simple text for this age group.


Song: Five in the Bed. This song I used the flannel board for. I made five bears of different colors and a bed a few months ago. It’s a good way to work on not only counting, but colors! Plus a lot of adults know it already so it was easy to get people to join in. The pattern for the bed I got from here, the bears were clip art I traced and I eyeballed the blanket and pillows.


Book: It’s a bears theme, so of course I read the classic Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? My other choice, In My Den, is a board book, and with mostly older kids today I decided to skip it.

Song: I skipped the fingerplay and went with Mama’s Sleeping with the shaker eggs. We had a good time with this song, shaking quietly for the first verse and loudly to “wake up Mama,” so we repeated it with Baby’s Sleeping. The thing I like about shaker eggs is that almost any child can use them, and even for those who don’t have the motor skills to hang on to them yet it’s easy for a grown-up to help them shake along. It’s to the tune of “Skip to My Lou.”

During playtime I put out the sensory snow, left over from an earlier program. I love this play snow; it’s easy to make, smells amazing, and is a piece of cake to clean up. We made this ourselves and it is super easy to duplicate at home, and if you store it in a plastic bag in the fridge you can reuse it. The recipe came from this post on Huckleberry Love.

And that’s what we did in storytime! Don’t forget to check back in next week to see what Miss Marta came up with.

Miss Jessica

What We Did in Storytime: Storytime for Littles

Due to popular demand, we are starting a new series called What We Did in Storytime.  This is meant to be a resource for parents, caregivers, and librarians covering what we do each week in our storytime for birth to 3.  Can’t make storytime this week?  No problem!  Love the song we sang this week but can’t remember the words?  We have you covered!  Starting out in libraryland and looking for program ideas?  Let’s share!  We will list songs, books, flannels, and crafts with information on how to include our youngest patrons to our oldest littles… and their grown-ups!  Like you, we find inspiration from many people, so any folks who have provided us songs or ideas will be linked to and we highly recommend clicking on through to see what they are up to.


Find our Storytime for Littles program setlists each Monday and drop us a comment with suggestions.  We love to share!


Miss Marta