Posts Tagged ‘preschool circle time’

Professional Resources for Children’s Librarians and Teachers

Posted on August 24th, 2019 by Carolyn Hart

When planning Storytime in libraries or Circle Time in classrooms, children’s librarians and teachers will find these professional resources very helpful

Circle Time and Storytime Resources  for Children's Librarians and Teachers

An effective Storytime or Circle Time is carefully planned to be welcoming, inclusive, engaging and educational. It should include a variety of enjoyable activities and well-considered materials.


When selecting books to share with a group, for example, non-fiction, as well as fiction, should be introduced. Writing style, book format and illustrations are also considerations – having some books with rhyming text is great but having every story told in rhyme would be tiresome. Big, bold illustrations will be seen more easily than those in small, lap books.


Most children’s librarians and teachers have a selection of props to enhance their Storytime and Circle Time programs. Flannelboards are often used as well as musical instruments, hand or finger puppets and other props. I also like including Cut and Tell stories, which involve cutting paper with scissors as a story is told or Fold and Tell stories. Similarly, Draw and Tell Stories are told and illustrated on the spot rather than ‘read’ aloud to a group.



Teachers and librarians who present on-going programs will want to include elements that repeat (such as welcoming and ending rituals) as well as including some unexpected activities that will make each session unique and memorable. Having extra copies of the books that you share will encourage children to borrow them and read them again at home.


The length of the sessions will depend on the age of the children, the size of the group, the collective attention span of the children attending and whether or not other adults are present. Teachers and Librarians who include movement in Circle time and Storytime will help children to manage their energy and participate successfully.

Watch as Sheryl Cooper shares tips for a successful circle time

She shares secrets to a successful Toddler Circle time on her blog.


Professional Resources for Planning Library Storytime and Preschool Circle Time

In addition to these resources, be sure to explore our free printables songs, rhymes, fingerplays and chants



Professional Resources for Children's Librarians and Teachers including I'm A Little Teapot! Presenting Preschool StorytimeI’m a Little Teapot – Presenting Preschool Storytime Compiled by Jane Cobb and illustrated by Magda Lazicka
Professional Resource for Children’s Librarians and Preschool Teachers published by Black Sheep Press

Featuring more than 60 potential storytime themes, I’m a Little Teapot is a handy resource that includes booklists (fiction and non-fiction), 500+ nursery rhymes/fingerplays, songs and “more ideas.”

For example, for a frog theme, I’m a Little Teapot includes 11 suggested stories to read aloud, 5 non-fiction books and 5 fingerplays. For a clothing theme storytime, there are 29 suggested picture books to read aloud (plus 10 ‘More Stories’ and 3 ‘non-fiction’ titles, 10 nursery rhymes, 16 fingerplays and many ‘More Ideas’).

The book also includes an extensive list of recommended resources, presentation tips and suggestions for program planning, including program structure. Ms. Cobb recommends a core list of felt stories for storytime and references the use of traditional folk and fairy tales with preschoolers.

One of the strengths of this resource is that it does not assume that teachers have access to an extensive library of books or that they know fingerplays or songs. I have used the book when preparing for preschool programs and have found it to be easy-to-use and inspiring. I’m a Little Teapot includes ‘Conventional’ themes and as well as some unexpected ones like Giants and Royalty.

I’m a Little Teapot! Presenting Preschool Storytime at Amazon.com

I’m a Little Teapot!: Presenting Preschool Storytime at Amazon.ca


Professional Resources for Storytime including Step into StorytimeSTEP into Storytime written by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Kathy Fling Klatt
Professional Resource for Children’s Librarians and Preschool Teachers published by American Library Association

STEP is an acronym for Story Time Effective Practice.

Almost one-third of this resource consists of professional development for librarians who present storytime programs to very young children.

The first section of the book includes a chapter that examines STEP and deals with implementation within a library system and also by an individual. Chapters 2,3,4 make a connection with child development including Developmentally Appropriate Practice, Intentionality and Scaffolding (adjusting the level of instruction to match the child’s readiness).

The second section of the book makes a connection between best practices and a child’s social/emotional development, cognitive development, physical development and language/literacy development.

Parent Education is a key component of STEP. The authors recommend that presenters model and speak regularly to parents about ways to support their child’s development.

The remainder of STEP into Storytime consists of plans (including scripts) for traditional and sequential storytimes.

As an example, the “Yummy in My Tummy” plan includes introductory remarks, an opening song, parent tip, Do You Know the Muffin Man?, a non fiction book, two fingerplays, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, an action song, a song featuring sign language, two action rhymes, a counting book, an activity, a parent tip, a rhythm stick activity, rhyme with puppets, a song, a parent tip, a closing action rhyme and an extension activity.

STEP into Storytime does not provide alternate books (to be used if the teacher or librarian does not have access to the preferred book(s).

STEP into Storytime: Using StoryTime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds at Amazon.com

STEP Into Storytime: Using Storytime Effective Practice to Strengthen the Development of Newborns to Five-Year-Olds at Amazon.ca


Storytime Standouts Shares Professional Storytime Resources for Teachers and Librarians including Storytimes for EveryoneStorytimes for Everyone!: Developing Young Children’s Language abd Literacy written by Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting and Pamela Martin-Diaz
Professional Resource for Children’s Librarians and Preschool Teachers published by American Library Association

This resource is intended for librarians. Almost one-third of the book is devoted to professional development, including providing information about emotional/social, cognitive, physical and language/literacy development and ensuring that the recommended program is properly implemented by a library system as well as by a storytime presenter.

The author presents two different models: traditional storytime and sequential storytime.

“Both models include parent tips to help the adults understand the connections between the activities being presented and how they impact early literacy skills and other areas of child development… The traditional model usually starts with the longest story first and includes a mix of books songs, rhymes, fingerplays, and other language activities targeting all ages throughout the storytime…. The sequential model is designed so that each of three segments is planned with a specific age in mind- the first segment focuses on infants and toddlers….”

The remainder of the book provides detailed scripts for traditional and sequential storytimes, including remarks for parents and instructions for the participants.

As an example, for the Where’s the Beach? (sequential) storytime, the author provides an opening song, an action rhyme, a flannel board story, a song, an action rhyme, a transition song, a factual book, an action rhyme, a picture book, a transition song, a picture book, a fold and tell story, a song and a closing song.

Storytimes for Everyone!: Developing Young Children’s Language & Literacy at Amazon.com

Storytimes for Everyone!: Developing Young Children’s Language and Literacy at Amazon.ca



Transforming Preschool Storytime written by Betsy Diamant-Choen and Melanie A HetrickTransforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs written by Betsy Diamant-Cohen and Melanie A Hetrick
Professional Resource for Preschool Teachers published by American Library Association

Beginning with a comprehensive overview of the benefits and components of preschool storytime, Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs provides a step-by-step plan for organizing a storytime and detailed scripts for 8 six-week programs, each focussing on a different book.

I am very partial to I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! so, naturally, I gravitated to the series of sessions suggested for the book. Week #1 is an introductory session that included hearing the story read aloud, singing and painting. Week #2 adds a theme of houses, a flannelboard activity and playing with colorful scarves. Week #3 adds an exploration of body parts, a coloring activity and some body control games. Week #4 has a theme of bathtubs and includes a careful look at David Catrow’s I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! illustrations including a discussion about lines, colors, shapes as well as scarf activities. Week #6 extends the learning by looking at other books by Karen Beaumont including I Like Myself! .

Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs at Amazon.com

Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and a Year of Programs at Amazon.ca



Squeak Went the Door is a Fun Halloween felt board story for preschool and kindergarten

Posted on October 30th, 2013 by Carolyn Hart

Squeak Went the Door a fun Halloween flannel board story for preschool and kindergarten




My copy of Squeak Went the Door makes no attribution – it is printed on three pages that have been stapled together. I have had it for 30+ years.

This is a fun Halloween flannel board story I used to tell at Girl Guide and Brownie Halloween events. The felt pieces I use are very plain – I should probably add some glitter glue and trim. Predictable text and a hint of suspense make this fun for prek and kindergarten.

Download a PDF copy

image of PDF icon  Squeak Went the Door

A repetitive, predictable Halloween story that is great for a felt board.

Storytime Standouts Fall printables for preschool and kindergartenYou will also be interested in our Halloween and Fall printables for preschool and kindergarten.

Squeak Went the Door

There was an old, old lady who lived all alone in the woods, and who wanted someone to come and visit her. While she waited, she spun cloth.
Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Then, one dark, dark night when the old lady was sitting spinning, she heard a knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two black, black boots. They walked across the floor and then set themselves down.

The old lady thought, “Oh, how strange to see those black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Soon the old lady heard another knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two short, short legs. They ran across the floor and then set themselves down on the black, black boots.

The old lady thought, “Oh, how strange to see those short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Before long the old lady heard another knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came a wee, wee waist. It came, bending up and down and set itself down on the short, short legs.

The old lady thought, “Oh, how strange to see that wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

And while the old lady was looking, she heard another knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two broad, broad shoulders. They lifted themselves across the room and set themselves down on the wee, wee waist.

And she thought, oh how strange to see the broad, broad shoulders on the wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

And as she was spinning, she heard still another knock at the door, and she said, “Come in.”

S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two thin, thin arms and hung themselves over the broad, broad shoulders, and she thought, ” Oh, how strange to see those thin, thin arms on the broad, broad shoulders, on that wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Now the little old woman was feeling just a tiny bit nervous. However, after the next loud knock she bravely said, “Come in.” S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in came two fat, fat hands. They danced across the room and set themselves on the thin, thin arms and she thought, “Oh, how strange to see those fat, fat hands on the thin, thin arms on the broad, broad shoulders, on that wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Children But still she sat (fold hands)
And still she spun, (roll hands)
And still she waited
For someone to come.

Now, the little old woman was beginning to be a little more afraid. When she heard another knock at her door, she nervously said, “Come in.” S-Q-U-E-A-K went the door and in rolled a round, round head. It set itself down on those broad, broad shoulders and she thought, “Oh, how strange to see that round, round head on the fat, fat hands on the thin, thin arms on the broad, broad shoulders, on that wee, wee waist on the short, short legs on the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

So she said, “Where did you get such black, black boots?”
“Much walking, much walking, ” it answered.
“Then where di d you get such short, short legs?”
“Much running, much running, ” was the reply.
“Where did you get such a wee, wee waist?”
“Much bending, much bending.”
“How did you get such broad, broad shoulders?”
“Much lifting, much lifting.”
“Where did you get such thin, thin arms?”
“Much carrying, much carrying.”
“Where did you get such fat, fat hands?”
“Much working, much working.”
“And where did you get such a round, round head?”
“From a pumpkin shell, a pumpkin shell.”
“What did you come for?”
“to visit YOU!!”

And that is the story of the man with the round, round head, the fat, fat hands, the thin, thin arms, the broad, broad shoulders, the wee, wee waist, the short, short legs, the black, black boots on the cold, cold floor.”

Original Source Unknown

Songs for a Summertime Storytime

Posted on September 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


This summer I presented two different early literacy programs for Richmond Leisure Services. I enjoyed the opportunity to teach the children some traditional songs. Songs like these are great for preschool storytime.

You’ll find many resources for a kindergarten or preschool storytime or circle time on our “printable downloads” page. You will find rhymes, songs, chants and fingerplays here.

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

I’ve been working on the railroad,
All the live long day,
I’ve been working on the railroad,
Just to pass the time away.

Can’t you hear the whistle blowing?
Rise up so early in the morn.
Can’t you hear the captain shouting,
“Dinah, blow your horn?”

Dinah won’t you blow, Dinah won’t you blow, Dinah won’t you blow your horn?
Dinah won’t you blow, Dinah won’t you blow, Dinah won’t you blow your horn?

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
Someone’s in the kitchen I know.

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah,
Strumming on the old banjo and singing,
Fee–fi-fid–lee-i-o, Fee–fi-fid–lee-i-o,
Fee–fi-fid–lee-i-o, Strumming on the old banjo

She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain

She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes,
Toot! Toot!
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes,
Toot! Toot!
She’ll be comin’ round the mountain, She’ll be comin’ round the mountain, She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes.
Toot! Toot!

She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes,
Whoa back!
She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes,
Whoa back!
She’ll be driving six white horses, She’ll be driving six white horses, She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes.
Whoa back! Toot-toot!

She’ll be wearing pink pajamas when she comes,
Tee-Hee!
She’ll be wearing pink pajamas when she comes,
Tee-Hee!
She’ll be wearing pink pajamas, She’ll be wearing pink pajamas, She’ll be wearing pink pajamas when she comes,
Tee-Hee!Tee-Hee! Whoa Back! Toot-toot!

We’ll all go out to meet her when she comes,
Hi-Babe!
We’ll all go out to meet her when she comes,
Hi-Babe!
We’ll all go out to meet her, We’ll all go out to meet her, We’ll all go out to meet her when she comes,
Hi-Babe!

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain to see what he could see,
To see what he could see,
To see what he could see.
The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain,
The other side of the mountain was all that he could see.

Over in the Meadow
Over in the meadow, in the sand, in the sun,
Lived an old mother frog and her little froggie one.
“Croak!” said the mother, “I’ll croak!” said the one,
So they croaked and they croaked in the sand, in the sun.

Over in the meadow, in the stream so blue,
Lived an old mother fish and her little fishes two.
“Swim!” said the mother, “We swim!” said the two,
So they swam and they swam in the stream so blue.

Over in the meadow, on the branch of a tree,
Lived an old mother bird and her little birdies three.
“Sing!” said the mother, “We sing!” said the three,
So they sang and they sang on the branch of a tree.

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