Pet Themed Storytime (3/15/22 and 3/16/22)

Felt animals

This was the first storytime in my first ever 6-week storytime session and I knew I wanted to start by reading my current favorite picture book which is Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale. I decided to come up with a theme where reading that book would make sense and settled on pet theme with kitty and puppy books.

I also decided that for this storytime session, I would include an early literacy tip each time and also include three Spanish words and baby sign language signs that related to the theme to expose them to other languages. I chose Spanish because I come from a Spanish speaking family, so I know how to pronounce everything, and it is the second most common language in the state I work in. Sign language is also great for babies and young children and many babies can sign before they can speak, giving them another form of communication and a different way to describe their thoughts and feelings.

Books we read

Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems

Just me and my Puppy by Mercer Mayer

Songs we Sang

Shake my Sillies out

Gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out

Shake, shake, shake my sillies out

Shake, shake, shake my sillies out

And wiggle my waggles away

Repeat with clap my crazies out, jump my jiggles out, stretch my stretchies out, and yawn my sleepies out

Credit: Raffi

If You’re a Pet and You Know it

If you’re a doggie and you know it,

Say, “Woof, woof”.

If you’re a doggie and you know it,

Say, “Woof, woof”.

If you’re a doggie and you know it,

And you really want to show it,

If you’re a doggie and you know it,

Say, “Woof, woof”.

Repeat with kitty/meow, fishy/blub, hamster/run in place, bird/tweet.

Credit: Storytime with Miss Mollie

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground

Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach up high

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky

Teddy bear, teddy bear, find your nose

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your toes

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your knees

Teddy bear, teddy bear, sit down please

Credit: King County Library System

Flannel Activity

Animals made of felt. From top left to bottom right there is a dog, Pete the Cat, an elephant, a giraffe, and a fish.

This animal is big, strong, and gray,

Do you think it would make a good pet today?

This animal has a tail and likes to bark and run,

If it was my pet, do you think we would have fun?

This animal is really tall because its neck is super long,

If I brought one home to keep, would my parents play along?

This animal has to be in water and always swims around,

Could I keep it as a pet? It doesn’t make a sound!

My last animal has a tail and is always feeling moody,

Can I have him as a pet? I think it would be groovy!

Pete the Cat Template

Giraffe Template

Early Literacy Tip

Imitation is one of the earliest forms of interactions for children and it allows them to coordinate their actions with another person and other objects. Imitation helps teach children language and is good for their brain development. That is why I chose Teddy Bear, Teddy bear as one of the songs today and playing imitation games or singing imitation songs at home is a great way to teach them new words.

Spanish Words and Baby Signs

We started out by saying hello, hola in Spanish, and signing hello which is either a salute or a wave. We will do this every time so that they get exposure and learn at least the hello and goodbye words and signs.

Cat is gato in Spanish and the sign can be found here.

Dog is perro in Spanish and the sign can be found here.

Pet is mascota in Spanish and the sign can be found here.

At the end, we all said goodbye, adios in Spanish, and signed goodbye by waving.

How it went

The books were very fun and even though the parents and older kids were the ones who mostly enjoyed Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn, I would do it again because it seemed to please them. If it was a toddler storytime, I would probably avoid it. I always love reading Mo Willems because the kids get so excited and it really helps with the interactivity, especially in my Tuesday night storytimes which tend to be quieter and smaller crowds. Just me and my Puppy went over well because it is such a quick, simple, and fun read and I do have a younger crowd in my preschool storytime now since our toddler one won’t start up until the fall. I try to make my last book fairly short because I know their attention is nearly gone at that point which is why I chose that book.

The songs were insanely fun, and I had kids who were giggling the entire time which makes it an even better experience for me. Especially after Shake my Sillies out, I heard kids tell their parents that it was so much fun, so I will be bringing that one out again. The flannel activity that I made up went really well and I highly recommend it because I had kids shouting out all their guesses for which animal I was describing, what colors they were once I put them on the board, and then shouting if it could be a good pet or not. I am a little biased because I spent some time creating it, but it was great.

Lastly, the early literacy tip and Spanish and ASL were some new things I was trying out and I am definitely doing it again. Hearing all of the kids say the Spanish words and watching them all do the signs was fantastic and I kept reiterating how great it was that they were learning words in new languages and they seemed to enjoy it.

Overall, a successful storytime week and I was wonderfully exhausted at the end from dancing, singing, and reading with so much energy.