Posts Tagged ‘teacher resource’

Making Reading Games

Posted on August 29th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Making reading games is a fun, inexpensive way to support young learners

Last month I was invited to make a presentation for the parents at a local preschool. Unlike most of my presentations, this was a hands-on workshop. We used rubber stamps, pencil crayons, stickers and foam shapes to make reading games. This sort of workshop becomes very social – the adults get to play with the craft supplies for a change!

Over the years, I have made many, many pre-reading and reading games. Apart from the fact that the games can be customized with respect to theme and difficulty, from a cost perspective, homemade can’t be beat!

Whenever possible, I like to make activities self-correcting. For example, for some matching activities I put small marks on the back of the playing pieces so that the children can double-check their “matches.”

I’ve also tried to ensure that many of the games allow children to be active and move while they play and learn. For one of the games, I used green rubberized, mesh placemats. I cut out lily pads (beige works for elephant footprints) and then painted letters onto each lily pad / footprint. The clingy nature of the placemat material ensures that the lily pads are not slippery when placed in ABC order on the floor. The children love to hop from one lily pag to the next, singing the ABC song.

Gift wrap is another great source for learning games. I’ve made games to used with many, many themes – everything from birthday cupcakes to balloons, pond life, western, sports, emergency vehicles and the circus. From time to time, you can find a licensed gift wrap that matches something you are doing in the classroom. I’ve used Cat in the Hat and Franklin Turtle paper.

My favourite resource for pre-reading craft activities is Kathy Ross. For learners who are a bit older and in need of assistance with reading, Peggy Kaye has great ideas.

Don’t forget to check out our free, printable reading games.

Our printable early literacy resources for making reading games are in PDF format, if you don’t already have Adobe Reader, you will need to download it to access the reading game download.


If you appreciate our printable early literacy resources, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


image of PDF icon  Match the Ending Consonant Sound

Another way to help children develop phonemic awareness. Matching the ending consonant sound is more difficult than matching the beginning consonant sound.

image of PDF icon  Compound Word Riddles

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 1

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 2

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Domino Game Part 3

image of PDF icon  Match Upper and Lower Case Letters Part One

Use with Part Two to create a matching activity

image of PDF icon  Match Upper and Lower Case Letters Part Two

image of PDF icon  Consonant Game Board

Use a die and markers, move along the "star" path from one star to another. When you land on a star, say the letter name or say the letter sound or say a word that starts with the letter.

image of PDF icon  Sight Word Tic Tac Toe

image of PDF icon  Short Vowel Word Match Game

Pictures to match with words.

image of PDF icon  Animal / Alphabet Match

image of PDF icon  Match the Beginning Consonant Sound

Cut the pictures apart and have children match the initial consonant sound - a great way to support the development of phonemic awareness.

Storytime Standouts’ early literacy resources download page

Peggy Kaye’s Games for Reading at Amazon.com

Peggy Kaye’s Games for Reading at Amazon.ca

Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes at Amazon.com

Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes at Amazon.ca


Rebus Chants

Posted on August 26th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Have you tried rebus chants in your early literacy programs? I present programs for 4,5 and 6 year old children. I use a variety of materials and have had considerable success with rebus chants. The chants are usually poems where several words are replaced with pictures. They are great for emergent readers because there is frequently repeated, predictable text. The young child does not have to decode all the words – the rebus pictures fill-in-the-blanks.

There are many sources of rebus chants. This is one that I created

image of PDF icon  Counting Snowmen Rebus

My favourites are created by Vera Trembach and published by Rainbow Horizons Publishing. Ms. Trembach offers seasonal and theme-related chants – there is truly something for everyone.

Whether you checkout the Canadian Rainbow Horizons Publishing website or the American website , you’ll find free teaching units and detailed information including previews of the chant books.

Engaging, Make-it-yourself Booklets for Young Readers

Posted on August 24th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at a kindergarten teacher resource: Literacy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-BooksLiteracy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-Books by Suzanne Moore
Professional Teaching Resource published by Scholastic





Scholastic’s kindergarten teacher resource Literacy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-Books… is a collection of reproducible mini booklets for PreK and Kindergarten. Grouped into ‘Fall’ Booklets, ‘Winter’ Booklets and ‘Spring’ Booklets, topics include colors, opposites, positional words, size, sequencing and much more.

Booklet formats are fun: shape books, flip books and, like the What’s in My Lunch Bag? booklet, some are 3D.

I particularly like the suggestions for extending the lessons and the variety in the booklet formats.

Literacy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-Books That Help Children Explore Concepts of Print, Build Vocabulary, and Tie Into the Topics You Teach-All Year Long! at Amazon.com

Literacy-Building Booklets: A Big Collection of Interactive Mini-Books That Help Children Explore Concepts of Print, Build Vocabulary, and Tie Into the Topics You Teach-—All Year Long! at Amazon.ca

Do you have a professional resource that you would like to share?



Fall Printables – Back to School, Autumn Leaves and More

Posted on August 22nd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Highlighting our Fall Printables…

We have all sorts of goodies lined up for September but thought we would give you a taste today. Our Fall printables include interlined paper (Back to School and Fall themes), a special alphabet, “school” vocabulary and some “Squirrel” goodies.

We are currently pulling together our favourite picture books for autumn – colourful leaves, and crisp, cool days are not far away.

Our early literacy printables, including our Fall printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already used Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.


Please note: some of our early literacy printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website (without cost or obligation), please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.

You will find our selection of free printable alphabets here and all of our early literacy printables here.


If you appreciate our free early literacy printables,
including these Fall-theme early learning materials,
please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca
.






Enjoy these Fall printables and be sure to let your friends and colleagues know about Storytime Standouts.

image of PDF icon  A Fall Leaves Alphabet

Attractive alphabet printable features multi coloured Fall leaves

image of PDF icon  School Picture Dictionary

Free printable school picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Brown Squirrel

An action rhyme celebrating squirrels

image of PDF icon  Five Little Squirrels

Use as a fingerplay or a felt board story (or both)

image of PDF icon  I'm A Little Acorn Brown

A fun addition to a squirrel circle time

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Back to School

Back to school theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Fall Theme incl. Tire Swing

Fall theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Remembrance Day Poppy

Remembrance Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Fall Picture Dictionary

Free printable Fall picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success – A Thought-Provoking Beach Read

Posted on July 25th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts takes a look at Outliers The Story of SuccessOutliers: The Story of Success written by Malcolm Gladwell
Adult nonfiction published by Little, Brown and Company





We’ve just returned from a camping trip and I am still feeling somewhat lazy. I have a number of projects that I ought to tackle but am not very motivated to knuckle down. While camping, I managed to read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. It was a perfect pick – I found his ideas fascinating and thought-provoking. Gladwell’s comments regarding the selection of “star” hockey players at a young age touched a nerve – I am a hockey mom and my left winger was born in October (shudder!). A remarkably good “beach read” from my perspective. Now, back to work!

Outliers: The Story of Success at Amazon.com

Outliers: The Story of Success at Amazon.ca

Watch for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s 2011 Best Books for Kids and Teens

Posted on July 1st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has just published their 35th annual guide to the best books for children and young adults. Best Books for Kids & Teens 2011 will be a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, librarians and caregivers. The guide highlights more than 325 titles for young readers (toddler to teen).

All of the titles in Best Books for Kids & Teens have been handpicked by expert committees of educators, booksellers, school and public librarians from across Canada. The reviewed materials include picture books, audio books, graphic novels, and teen fiction.

I was privileged to chair a CCBC Best Books committee in 2010 and know that committee members show great care in selecting the best new titles. I can recommend this publication without hesitation.

Best Books for Kids and Teens can be purchased at select bookstores and online.

Encouraging Us to Rethink Boys and Reading: Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys

Posted on June 10th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Dialogue is key... Storytime Standouts recommends Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys My thirteen year old son knows exactly how to extend his bedtime. It involves picking up a book, turning on his bedside lamp and gazing at us with puppy dog eyes. “Please let me finish this chapter. I know you want me to read.” He’s right. Reading has always been a priority in our household and enjoying a chapter or two at bedtime is pretty tough to argue with. Tomorrow, we are off to pick up Rick Riordan’s latest because, due to my error it is not yet in the house. I’m not complaining, I know that raising boys who love to read can be a challenge. We’ve had our moments but, thanks to Rick Riordan, Michelle Paver, Kenneth Oppel, J.K. Rowling and others, we are fortunate that both our sons love to read (especially at bedtime).

Storytime Standouts looks at Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys This afternoon, before the boys arrived home from school, I had a chance to check out Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys – How to engage Boys in Reading in Ways that Will Change Their Lives

Pam Allyn is the Executive Director of LitWorld and the author of a number of books including What to Read When. These are both books that should be on every teachers’ bookshelf and tucked into every parent’s bag of tricks. In Best Book for Boys, Allyn answers frequently asked questions about boys and reading, she also describes the keys to raising children who love reading; ritual, environment, access and dialogue.

After making a strong case for rethinking widely accepted ideas about how children ought to read and what they ought to be reading, Allyn provides an extensive, annotated reading list that has been labelled for emerging, developing and maturing readers. Whether seeking a title for a boy who enjoys action and adventure, humor or mechanics and technology, there is something for even the most reluctant reader.

This is a great resource for families and teaching professionals, highly recommended.

Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys: How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives at Amazon.com

Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys: How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts suggests 35 ways to engage reluctant readersYou may be interested in our page about reluctant readers.


I’m Singing the Praises of Library Thing

Posted on June 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

For almost four years, I have enjoyed using Library Thing to catalogue many of my children’s books. I say, “many of my books” because I don’t have everything catalogued. Every now and then I come across a book that I’ve not yet added to my catalogued library.

I love Library Thing because it allows me to catalogue my books, relatively easily (using ISBN codes), it allows me to attach tags and reviews to books and, best of all, it allows me to produce an attractive print out of some or all of my titles. I use Library Thing nearly every day. Whenever I receive a new title, the first thing I do is add it to my online library. When I am developing a workshop, I search for and tag books (i.e. “Green” or “Social Responsibility”) and, once I have presented a workshop, I prepare a list of the books (including title, author, tags, publisher, ISBN code) and create a PDF for distribution to workshop attendees.

Here is an example of a typical “Ready for Reading” Book List developed using Library Thing.

For me, the $25.00 fee for a lifetime membership has been a marvelous investment. I can’t imagine managing my workload without Library Thing.

You can view my Library Thing profile here

You can check out my Library Thing catalogue here.

Dazzling Felt Stories, Puppets and an Amazing Feel-Good Opportunity

Posted on June 6th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Last Friday morning, I spent well over an hour exploring a wonderful shop in Vancouver that is both inspiring and uplifting. I rediscovered the delightful items available for purchase at 4th Avenue’s Craftworks.

Since 1966, 3H Craftworks Society has provided a craft-therapy program for adults with physical disabilities and/or mental health challenges. Member clients gain confidence and self esteem while participating, creating, and socializing with other members of the community. Member clients are renumerated monthly for the projects they complete. Products are then sold through a store at 2208 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In addition, products are available through mail order and via email: [email protected]

For teachers, the array of colourful and high quality felt board stories and (finger and hand) puppets is absolutely dazzling. What a selection! Parents, grandparents, and friends will find all sorts of beautiful gifts and toys. Don’t miss The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly – she’s absolutely great.

Be sure to “like” 3H Craftworks: Creations by Artisans with Disabilities on Facebook, check out their Twitter feed as well @craftworkson4th Best of all, investigate their wonderful products for yourself. I guarantee, you will leave with a smile on your face.

8 Days Remaining in the 2011 Get to Know Contest

Posted on May 13th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Make some time this week to take a child outdoors. Help your child to discover the natural world and encourage them to write, photograph, or create art about the experience. There are just eight days left to get involved in the 2011 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest

Get to Know Your Wild Neighbors!

This year, renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman plans to invite Canadian youth to go outside and “get to know” their wild neighbours. In cooperation with national partners Wildlife Habitat Canada, Parks Canada, and the Canadian Wildlife Federation, the Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest encourages young people to develop a deeper appreciation for their neighbours of other species by getting outdoors and creating art, writing, digital photography, and videos. The goal of the contest is to engage the power of art to help youth feel more connected with nature. It’s all about making connections with other environmentally passionate youth, using the creative arts to convey your passion, and having your accomplishments celebrated. Connect…Create …Celebrate!

2011 has been declared the International Year of Forests by the United Nations. In celebration of this important designation, the theme of the 2011 Get to Know Contest is “This is My Forest”. Whether it’s a single tree in a backyard or acres of boreal forest in a national park, the contest offers youth the opportunity to learn about and celebrate their local forest and its inhabitants. Winners will receive all kinds of wild prizes, including cash, an invitation to the week-long Get to Know Art & Nature Camp in Victoria (courtesy of Parks Canada), and the chance to have their entry published in the 2012 Robert Bateman Get to Know Calendar. The contest launches during National Wildlife Week, April 10 – 16, at participating parks, zoos, and museums all across Canada. To learn more and find out how to enter, visit the contest website

If the World Were a Village – Revealing the Incredible Diversity of our World

Posted on May 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

If the World Were a Village – A Book about the World’s People
written by David J. Smith and illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong

You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, the water cycle, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.



Imagine you lived in a village of one hundred people and that the village represented our entire planet. “Five of the villagers would be from Canada and the United States, three villagers would speak Russian, seventy-six would have electricity and thiry-two would breath polluted air.” Part of the Citizen Kid series of books, If the World Were a Village does a marvelous job of making difficult concepts easy-to-understand and helping young readers to become mindful and appreciative of the diverse world community.

Two page spreads explore the world’s nationalities, languages, ages, religions, food, air and water, school and work, money and possessions, energy, and health. The author’s straightforward approach enlightens and is supported with detailed endnotes. Bright, bold and detailed illustrations beg readers to pause, explore and understand the wealth of factual information represented.

A valuable resource for children five and up.

Kids Can Press Teaching guide for If the World Were a Village

If the World Were a Village – Second Edition at Amazon.com
If the World Were a Village – Second Edition at Amazon.ca



Spring Theme Printables for preschool and kindergarten

Posted on April 3rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Enjoy our Free Spring Theme Printables for Kids

Easter and Spring theme free printables for children that you can download and use at home or in a classroom right away.





Step 1 – Make sure you have Adobe Reader. If you don’t have it, please click on the ‘Get Adobe Reader’ button to install it for free.image for Adobe Reader


Step 2 – Pin this page, bookmark this page, share this page, “Like” us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.


Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free printable Easter and Spring theme printables for kids.




Elsewhere on this page

It is Spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.- Rainer Maria Rilke
Free Printable Spring and Easter Theme Writing Paper
Some of our Most Popular Spring and Easter Theme Posts
Free Printable Spring and Easter Theme Rhymes, Chants and Fingerplays
Free Printable Spring Picture Dictionary


Spring and Easter Theme Interlined Writing Paper for Preschool and Kindergarten

These are just a few of many free printable writing paper downloads available on this site. Please be sure to check out our Writing Paper for Kids page for many more.


Kindergarten Spring Writing Paper

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids- Spring

Spring theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Spring Flowers

Spring theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Seedling in Flowerpot

Plant theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Pussy Willow Writing Paper for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pussy Willow

Spring theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Smiling Flowers

Garden theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of Easter interlined paper

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Easter

Easter theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Easter Basket

Easter theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Some related themes to explore

Explore all St. Patrick's Day Theme Printables and Picture Books

Click Here to Explore All Easter Theme Printables and Picture Books

Click to explore all Gardening Theme Printables and Picture Books

Click to Explore Green Theme Printables and Picture Books



Some of our Most Popular Spring and Easter Theme Posts

Hover over the photo for a description. Click on the photo to link to the post.

Five Little Ducks illustrated by Ivan BatesSplish Splash SpringEaster egg letter matchAlphabet Go Go Go Stop Learning GameSpring theme picture books Highlight Alliteration, Rhyming, Onomatopoeia and Repetition


image of Five Little Easter Eggs

Spring and Easter Poems, Songs, Chants for Preschool and Kindergarten

Adapt these Spring and Easter theme chants and poems as felt board activities and/or use them at preschool or kindergarten circle time.






Spring Poems for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Pussy Willow Poem

image of PDF icon  Springtime Fingerplay and Song

image of PDF icon  Little Rabbit

image of PDF icon  The Rain

image of PDF icon  I Love the Flowers

image of PDF icon  Tulips

image of PDF icon  A Little Seed

image of PDF icon  Little Peter Rabbit

image of PDF icon  Five Little Ducks

image of PDF icon  Little Robin Red Breast

Easter Poems for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Five Little Easter Eggs

image of PDF icon  Easter Bunny

image of PDF icon  Five Brown Eggs

image of PDF icon  Easter Everywhere

For the Five Little Easter Eggs chant, ask your child, “What color is left over after Mommy, Daddy, Brother and Sister eat their eggs?”

Easter Crossword Puzzle for Children –

image of PDF icon  Easter Crossword


image of a Spring Picture Dictionary printable for children

Picture Dictionaries for Easter and Spring

– Easter and Spring pictures together with words

Our free vocabulary printables are great and so versatile. Print onto cardstock. Laminate if you wish. Then, cut apart and create a matching activity or encourage your child to “read” the words (using picture clues). As well, beginning writers love to practice printing the words.

You can create your own categorized picture dictionary if you print more than one. We have many available. Check out our Picture Dictionaries page.

image of PDF icon  Spring Picture Dictionary

Free printable Spring picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Easter Picture Dictionary

Helpful for children who want to read and write about Easter, this picture dictionary is also suitable for English Language Learners.




Gardening Sequencing activity –

Sequencing activities are great for building comprehension skills

image of PDF icon  Planting a Flower Garden Sequencing Activity

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Spring and Easter for Preschool and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

We would love to hear about great Easter and Spring resources, please let us know what you have discovered!

Add this Treasure to Your Collection: Hannah’s Collections

Posted on March 31st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at Hannah's Collection by Marthe Jocelyn, a problem solving picture bookHannah’s Collections – written and illustrated by Marthe Jocelyn
Problem solving picture book published by Tundra Books





When Hannah’s teacher invites her students to bring a collection to school, Hannah finds it difficult to choose just one of her collections.

“Hannah loved to collect things. She found new treasures wherever she went.”

Striking collage illustrations take us to Hannah’s bedroom where we discover her captivating collections of stamps from around the world, sea shells, leaves, small figures, foreign coins, leftover keys and more. Soon we are admiring the 153 buttons she has grouped together by size, shape and colour. Next we see the popsicle sticks she has arranged in patterns and her diverse collection of figures, standing in a line from tall to small. Hannah’s Collections will have strong appeal for any child who enjoys collecting and will most certainly encourage young children to count, compare, match and group their own treasures. Hannah’s solution to the challenge of choosing one collection to share is a fine demonstration of problem solving.

Great for classroom use, Hannah’s Collections will provide many opportunities for children to consider how items are alike and different and the many different ways we can sort a group. It could also be used to elicit a discussion about problem solving.

Hannah’s Collections at Amazon.com

Hannah’s Collections at Amazon.ca

Richmond Child Care Resource and Referral – Social Responsibility Workshop Tuesday May 31, 2011

Posted on March 21st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Upcoming Social Responsibility Workshop for Richmond CCRR

Supporting Social Responsibility with Great Read-Alouds

In this professional development workshop we will look at a variety of new picture books that support and encourage social responsibility. As well, we will explore ways to enhance the read-aloud experience with songs, games and activities. Workshop attendees receive a multi-page summary of all important content and an extensive book list featuring cover art, title, author/illustrator, ISBN codes and tags.

Register with Volunteer Richmond

Follow this link for Social Responsibility quotes.

Follow this link for a sample list of books that highlight social responsibility

Eco Friendly Crafts for Middle School – Green Crafts by Megan Friday

Posted on March 1st, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Green Crafts – written by Megan Friday
Eco friendly craft book published by Walter Foster

When developing my Growing and Learning Green workshop, one of my goals was to include some eco friendly crafts that make good use recycled materials. While waiting for inspiration to strike, I came across and purchased Craft Star: Green Crafts: Become an earth-friendly craft star, step by easy step! written by Megan Friday.

Bright and cheery, the book is generously illustrated with photographs and drawings. It includes introductory remarks, information about tools and materials, project templates and sixteen eco friendly crafts ranging from decorating a canvas tote bag (with paint or fabric) to working with reusable water bottles, gift bags and picture frames. As well, there are ideas for designing and decorating t-shirts, working with used blue jeans fabric, making a special gift for Earth Day, creating lightswitch plates with eco-friendly messages and using a decoupage technique to decorate a glass bowl.

The eco friendly crafts will be enjoyed by children aged eight and up.

Craft Star: Green Crafts at Amazon.com

Craft Star: Green Crafts at Amazon.ca

Be sure to visit our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, ecosystems, recycling, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.





How Will You Celebrate Pink Shirt Day?

Posted on February 15th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Our next few posts will include suggestions for celebrating Pink Shirt Day.

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

The Only Boy in Ballet Class – written by Denise Gruska and illustrated by Amy Wummer

Tucker loves to dance and especially likes ballet.

“It feels right to him. Like breathing.”

His unconventional passion means that his classmates view him as weird and he is generally the last person chosen for team sports. Rather than joining other boys for football practice, he rushes to a dance class. Enroute, he endures teasing but, once he arrives at the studio, his heart swells and he feels pride in accomplishment.

At home, Tucker’s mom is very supportive of his involvement in ballet,

“I don’t like that you love to dance. I love that you love to dance!”

A visiting uncle is not nearly as compassionate. He thinks Tucker ought to play football.

An afternoon ballet recital is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his love of ballet, as Tucker takes on the role of a prince during a performance. Tucker’s mom and sisters are delighted with the show. Unconvinced, Uncle Frank remains committed to the merits of playing a more ‘manly’ sport.

While walking home from the recitial with his family, a member of the neighbourhood football team spots Tucker and asks, “Hey, Twinkle Toes, wanna play football?” With Uncle Frank at his side, Tucker is hard-pressed to say, ‘no.’ Before long he is wearing a football jersey and helmet and suddenly finds himself involved in an important play during a championship game.

“In the point of a toe, he was on the shoulders of every boy who had ever made fun of him, and they were carrying him across the field chanting, “Tuck-er! Tuck-er! Tuck-er” Even Uncle Frank was dancing.”

Although adept at using his dance steps to avoid being tackled, ballet remains Tucker’s joy and he is shocked but pleased when a group of football players decides to join his class.

The Only Boy in Ballet Class website

Best suited for children aged five and up.

The Only Boy in Ballet Class at Amazon.com

The Only Boy in Ballet Class at Amazon.ca

Download our interlined paper for beginning writers

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Paper Pink Shirt Day #2

Storytime Standouts offers interlined paper for (almost) every occasion, check out the entire collection by visiting our Interlined Paper page.

Additional Pink Shirt Day Resources
Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board


Rhyming Word Printables Just Added

Posted on February 8th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Our pictures of rhyming words have been very, very popular with visitors to Storytime Standouts so we are adding a second set.

Use these free PDF downloads to create a rhyming word matching activity for young children. Print the PDFs, cut the pictures apart and have your child match the rhyming words. For a trickier challenge, use the pictures to play a memory-matching game.image of printable rhyming words

Our free early learning printables, including our rhyming word printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already have Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the rhyming word printables.
Adobe Reader image

Some of our early learning printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website, please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.


image of PDF icon  Match the Rhyming Words

24 Pictures of rhyming words (king, ring, bee, tree, hat, cat, mouse, house, bed, red, clock, lock, tire, fire, bear, chair, train, chain, skate, gate, fox, box, frog, dog)

image of PDF icon  Match the Rhyming Words - Set 2

24 pictures of rhyming words (whale, sail, hook, book, wig, pig, stamp, lamp, wet, jet, five, hive, hair, stair, fish, dish, flower, tower, clip, hip, moose, goose, ghost, toast)

You’ll find hundreds of Storytime Standouts early learning printables here.

For more ways to help your child learn about rhyming and to help develop your child’s phonemic awareness, follow this link to visit our Phonemic Awareness page.

As always, we hope that if you enjoy our large selection of free early learning downloads, you will support this site by linking to Amazon through Storytime Standouts.

Rhyming Games at Amazon.com

Rhyming Games at Amazon.ca

Words together with pictures – perfect for beginning writers and readers

Posted on January 14th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

We offer more than two hundred free PDF downloads on this website. Some are available to everyone, for others you need to register on the site. There is no cost for any of the downloads. Today, we are highlighting our free picture dictionary PDFs. These are perfect for beginning readers and writers. They can be used in a variety of ways including offering children an opportunity to “read” the pictures for clues about the words. These printables are also great for children who want to write stories and want to use interesting words but don’t know how to spell the words.

If you print the pages and cut them apart, they could be used as a matching activity.

I have not included seasonal themes in this list (i.e. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween and Christmas) – if you are interested in seasonal themes, be sure to check our Picture Dictionaries page for more resources.

image of PDF icon  Beach Picture Dictionary

Free printable picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Baking Cookies Picture Dictionary

Free printable baking cookies picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Color Picture Dictionary

Free printable color picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Firefighter Picture Dictionary

Free printable firefighter picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  School Picture Dictionary

Free printable school picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

image of PDF icon  Weather Picture Dictionary

Free printable weather picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.

Our early literacy printables, including our free printable Picture Dictionaries are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.


Please note: some of our early literacy printables are available to Storytime Standouts members only. To become a member of the website (without cost or obligation), please click on the “Members” tab and register as a user.

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Squirrel Theme Circle Time For Preschool and Kindergarten

Posted on January 5th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Squirrel Theme Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten

Use these squirrel theme circle time materials to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day January 21st!




A number of years ago, my father-in-law was frustrated by some pesky critters in his beautiful garden. Stellar jays were not the only visitors who liked the peanuts he offered, not surprisingly the neighbourhood squirrels were also attracted by the treats. Unfortunately, the squirrels were much less appreciated as guests than the jays – the squirrels dared to dig up his daffodil bulbs! We were sympathetic about the destruction of his flower beds, but we couldn’t resist celebrating Squirrel Appreciation Day with him once we heard about it.

Since January 21st is fast-approaching, I put together some squirrel theme preschool materials for anyone who’d like to join in the fun. These resources will be useful when planning a squirrel theme circle time for preschool or kindergarten.

Let’s begin with some squirrel theme picture books for preschool and kindergarten:

image of cover art for Will and SquillWill and Squill written and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark

Will and Squillis the story of two very unlikely friends. Will and Squill meet as infants and, although discouraged by their parents, they persist in playing, swimming and swinging together. All is well until Will’s family aquires a kitten and Squill reacts badly to the intrusion into their friendship. Thankfully, it is not long before, Will discovers that a kitten is not nearly as good a companion as Squill and the two mismatched friends are reunited. Well-suited for read aloud, will be enjoyed by children aged four and up.


Will And Squill at Amazon.com

Will And Squill at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Matthew and the Midnight HospitalMatthew and the Midnight Hospital written by Allen Morgan and illustrated by Michael Martchenko

The Flying Flingallees are the stars of the show in Matthew and the Midnight Hospital. When Matthew decides to put together a circus act, he hopes to enlist the help of some neighbourhood creatures. At the end of a performance for his mom, he scrapes his knee and needs some first aid. Just as the bandaid is applied to his knee, a young squirrel in a tree above misses his branch and falls to the ground. Matthew and his mom are both concerned for the animal. They make the injured squirrel comfortable for the night. Matthew worries about the squirrel’s well-being and is thinking about him as he drifts off to sleep. Shortly after midnight, he discovers that the injured squirrel is to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. Unlike any hospital I’ve ever visited, the midnight hospital offers the perfect antidote and soon Danny and Matthew are flying high. Also well-suited for read aloud, this is part of Matthew’s Midnight Adventure Series and will be enjoyed by boys and girls aged five and up.

Matthew and the Midnight Hospital at Amazon.com

Matthew and the Midnight Hospital at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Scaredy Squirrel at the BeachScaredy Squirrel at the Beach written and illustrated by Melanie Watt

Scaredy Orville Squirrel whose initials are S.O.S. is an immensely popular character in an equally popular series of picture books. In Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach Scaredy the worrywart is very careful to avoid any sort of real or imagined danger. Rather than encounter pirates, jellyfish, seagulls and sea monsters, he decides to create his very own private backyard beach paradise. After carefully constructing his safe haven, Scaredy realizes that, although his beach “look” is great – his backyard just doesn’t sound like the real thing. The only solution is “Operation Seashell” – a carefully planned and executed mission in search of a seashell that will provide crystal clear ocean sound. Featuring detailed descriptions of Scaredy’s beachware and plans for his mission, Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach will be enjoyed best independently or in a small group or one-on-one read-aloud setting. Best-suited to children five and up.

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach at Amazon.com

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach at Amazon.ca

image of squirrel writing paper for kids

To enhance a squirrel theme circle time for preschool or kindergarten, we hope you will enjoy our free early learning printables

All of our early learning printables, including these Squirrel theme printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to download it to access the files.

image of Adobe Reader


Brown Squirrel Chant for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Brown Squirrel

An action rhyme celebrating squirrels

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Squirrel with nuts

Squirrel theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

Five Little Squirrels Flannel Board Activity for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Five Little Squirrels

Use as a fingerplay or a felt board story (or both)

image of PDF icon  I'm A Little Acorn Brown

A fun addition to a squirrel circle time


If you appreciate our free early childhood printables, including these Squirrel theme circle time materials for preschool and kindergarten, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


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