Whales for Pre-school

Program Outline

Introductions, three things to remember, and theme discussion

Puffin Peter by Petr Horacek

Puffin peter

Whales Flannel Board

If You’re Silly and You Know It

A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems

a big guy took my ball

“Hokey Pokey” Song

Roll-y Poll-y

I am a Humpback Whale by Aaron Carr

i am a humpback whale

Puppet Seek-n-Find Game: Hide puppets around the room then explain you are going to sing a song that explains what animal they need to find and what they should do when they find it. Then sing (to the tune of “Muffin Man”) Oh if you see the yellow duck, the yellow duck, the yellow duck/ oh if you see the yellow duck then stand by it and clap. Continue with the other hidden animals as well as other actions (stomp, spin, jump, etc.).

“Come on let’s jump” song

Bouncing rhyme: Smooth road, smooth road (sway gently)/ bumpy road, bumpy road (bounce)/ rough road, rough road (bounce harder)/ HOLE! (fall over)

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

i'm the biggest thing in the ocean

Whale craft courtesy of Alphabet Action


Tips & Tricks

I found a bunch of alternate book options that would have worked perfectly in this story time. All of my final choices were short and sweet because our groups have skewed on the younger side. That being said, while I love I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean it’s always a total hit or miss with the groups I read it in. Sometimes they get it and love it, other times they stare at me blankly. Does anyone else have this experience? I really liked this craft–I printed it out on card stock so it would be sturdy. The kids enjoyed being able to fold and push the craft stick through the pre-made holes in the card stock. They all swam their whales to their grown-ups after the program–how cute!

Gardens for Pre-school

Program Outline

Hellos and introductions

If You’re Silly and You Know It (action song)

Theme discussion and the Three Things to Remember

Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming


Form the Orange (action rhyme)

Dig, Dig, Dig a Hole (fingerplay)

Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayers

up down and around

“Peanut Butter and Jelly” Song

Silly Toe Song (action song)

My Garden by Kevin Henkes

my garden

Planting a Garden Flannelboard Activity

“Bodies 1 2 3″ Song

(To the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat”) Shh, shh quiet now, let’s all gather near/ it’s time to stop and listen up, our last story is here

Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek

butterfly, butterfly


Cupcake Liner Flower Craft (cute, cute, cute!) Well, my example isn’t the cutest but the kids came up with some really adorable designs. Courtesy of Storytime Katie (hers is very cute!)


Tips & Tricks

I felt like this was a super smooth program for the most part. Since My Garden introduces the concept of using your imagination to grow crazy things, the placement of the Planting the Garden Flannelboard Activity behind it worked well since in our flannelboard garden we had A LOT of silly things like dogs, cats, and ice cream sundaes! After we got everything up on the board we talked about what things we could really plant and also if we could plant absolutely anything what that would be. The kids really enjoyed putting their piece on the board and everyone was surprisingly patient as we worked our way around the room. I will definitely be trying something like this again!


Let’s Make Music for Pre-School

Program Outline

Introductions, Three Things to Remember, and theme discussion

Our fiingers on our knees go tap, tap, tap/ here comes a book so we clap, clap, clap

Be Quiet, Mike! by Leslie Patricelli

be quiet mike

Listening Game: Ask kids to close their eyes while you make noises using different objects. The children must guess what is making the sound. (The children will peek! I’ve learned to turn my back or make them put their heads down, too, as to make it harder to see. But ultimately you just have to roll with it. 😉 )

Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney

max found two sticks

Songs and Rhythm Stick Activities led by our Special Guest Musician, Miss Jenny

Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort

seals on the bus


Guitar: small box, paint can stirrer (kindly donated by Home Depot), rubber bands, tape, markers, and foam shapes.

IMG_0834 IMG_0833

Tips & Tricks

Miss Jenny is a part-time employee of the library who is going to school for music therapy (awesome, right?!). She had offered to play her guitar in story time but I had never taken her up on the offer. At the last minute I realized this program would be the perfect opportunity so she went home, grabbed her guitar, and rocked it for the kids. She played several songs while the kids sang or danced along then we handed out the rhythm sticks and she led some activities. It was a whole lot of fun! Thanks Miss Jenny!



Science Explorers (Gravity and Balance) for Pre-School

Program Outline

Introductions, theme discussion, and three things to remember

Just a Little Bit by Ann Tompert

just a little bit

Mice Flannel Board

Scarf Dance: Ask everyone to take a scarf and place it on their head. Start the music and begin dancing. The challenge is to not let the scarf fall. If it does, allow kids to catch it and put it back on their heads then resume dancing.

I can make my hands go (action rhyme)

Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen

who sank the boat

Sink or Float Activity: Collect items you want to test out–plastic toy, crayon, battery, spoon, rock, etc. Fill a large container with water and place it in the front of the room. Pick up an item and ask the group if they think it will sink or float then place the object in the water. Repeat this for all the objects having discussions about why they think each item floated or sank and what was the same about the objects that floated/sank.

Yoga Pose: Airplane

“Listen and Move” Song

A is for Alligator (sit down rhyme)

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

the napping house

Craft: Balancing Girl

Tips & Tricks

This summer’s theme was science so this was one of my attempts at getting sciency. The program as a whole was okay but I wasn’t thrilled with certain elements. One of those elements was the scarf dance. I thought it would be super cute but honestly the kids couldn’t get into dancing at all because they were concentrating so much on not letting the scarf fall. Most of the kids ended up standing there watching me dance around them like a crazy woman. I also had kind of a hard time finding books that related the concept of gravity in a fun and not technical way which was a little frustrating. Lastly, the balancing girl is neat but not too exciting as a craft. The kids weren’t too thrilled with coloring it but they did get into putting the paper clips on her arms to make her balance. On the positive side, the Sink or Float Activity was really fun. I did the activity from the front of the room–if you have smaller groups you could easily let the kids come up to put the object in the water but our groups are too big so I just put them in. I tried to make it exciting by asking the kids for drum rolls and things and they really did get into it. One of my groups even legit cheered when objects floated!

Build an Art Bot for grades 3, 4, & 5

I really, really, really wanted to build a robot in my upper elementary age group but I was very intimidated at the same time. I researched some easy to make robots and came up with the Art Bot.


I used a couple different websites for inspiration and instructions: Wired and Science Buddies were the main two.

Plastic Cups
AA Batteries (the instructions called for two AAA batteries but I didn’t want the added cost of buying a battery pack so I used one AA battery instead)
Styrofoam Balls
Double Sided Foam Tape
Other tape–electrical, duct, scotch
DC hobby motors: I purchased these from Amazon
Craft Sticks
Hot Glue Gun and Sticks
Rubber Bands

My Method
1. Before the program I hot glued a popsicle stick to a styrofoam ball. I then hot glued the styrofoam ball to the top of the motor being extremely careful to not get glue on the inside of the shaft.

2. (From here on out I walked the kids through the steps during the program.) Using double sided foam tape, other tape, and whatever filler materials you need attach the motor to the top of the plasic cup. (This part was a little tricky for the kids since our motor was not flat on the bottom. But with a little finesse and ingenuity all the kids eventually got it.)

3. Put the rubber band around the + and – sides of the battery then attach the battery to the side of the cup. Make sure the wires from the motor can reach the battery.

4. Using tape, attach three markers to the sides of the cups leaving the caps in place. The markers need to be evenly spaced so that the cup is stable when standing.

5. Decorate the robot in whatever style you want.

6. Put a piece of paper underneath the robot and take off the caps to the markers. Place a wire underneath the rubber band on the + side then repeat with the other wire on the – side.

7. The robot should begin moving and drawing a picture!

8. If the robot didn’t work I encouraged the kids to figure out why and be inventive about trying to fix it. We had some add popsicle sticks to the top in a propeller shape; others added some to the bottom to stabilize the robot.

The kids had an absolute blast! It was one of those programs I was so proud to have planned and led. There were moments of frustration but everyone did really well in moving past the problems. At the end of the program we asked the grown-ups in to show them our creations then everyone took their Art Bot home.


Dance Party for Toddlers

Program Outline

Hello Song

Blastoff Counting Rhyme

My fingers on my knees go tap, tap, tap/ here comes a book so we clap, clap, clap

The Animal Boogie by Debbie Harter

animal boogie

Ballerinas Flannel Board

“Hokey Pokey” Song

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Potato Counting Transition Rhyme

(Hand out maracas) (To the tune of “Here we go round the Mulberry Bush”) This is the way we shake, shake, shake/ shake, shake, shake/ shake, shake, shake/ this is the way we shake, shake, shake at the library…continue with shake up high; shake down low; shake it fast; shake it slow

Shake it up, Baby by Karen Katz

shake it up baby

“Shaky Shaky” Song (collect maracas after song)

Fruit Salad action song

ABC Song

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

from head to toe

Song Requests/Goodbye Song/ Toy Time

Tips & Tricks

As you may guess this was a very fun program and perfect for this age. The pacing of the program went well since it starts with a little less action but moves into lots of moving and grooving. I shortened the Animal Boogie by only reading the first two lines of each page. It’s a very cute book and for those of you who play an instrument there is sheet music for the song in the back of the book. Shake it up, Baby actually has a rattle right in it and pairs other actions with shaking the rattle or maraca in our case. It worked beautifully!

Color Chaos for Grades K, 1, & 2

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh

mouse paint

Press Here by Herve Tullet

press here


Color Experiment & Craft Stations:

1. Rainbow Milk Experiment

2. Flashlights and Rainbows Experiment: Using flashlights and old CD’s the kids experimented with all the ways they could create rainbows.

3. Coffee Filter Butterflies


Tips & Tricks

The kids had a lot of fun during this program! Their favorite book was Press Here and their favorite experiment was the Rainbow Milk Experiment. I split everyone into 3 groups and rotated them through the stations. It worked well since everyone cooperated and really got into the experiments.