Storytime: Music & Dance (Plus Ukulele!)

When I started my library gig, my first order of business was making the rounds to learn storytime tricks from my super talented coworkers. I brought my daughter, Eleanor, who is a toddler and is always:

A) yelling,
B) jumping, or
C) yelling while jumping

She does OK at storytimes (she shines when yelling and jumping are encouraged). She was in the middle of refusing to sit on her storytime mat until…

the librarian started her opening song with a ukulele. This thing is powerful, man. Those little toddler tushies dropped to their mat so quick I thought maybe Elmo walked into the building. It helped that said librarian is generally enviable (beautiful voice, beautiful lady. Some people have it all…), but this ukulele upped the storytime ante.

So I got a ukulele. I’m lucky kids are the most forgiving audience and won’t boo me off the stage when I debut it next week during storytime. Undoubtedly more stories to come on this.

For now, check out my storytime plan:

Books of the Day:
All images from

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont
Dancing Feet! by Marc Brown
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas

Songs and Actions of the Day:

Opening: I’m taking said librarian’s opening storytime song (Some people call it not reinventing the wheel, others call it stealing. I got her permission, I swear!) and using it. This will be my ukulele opener (eek!)

Tune: This Old Man
Storytime, storytime,
Welcome to our storytime,
with lots of books
And fun for me and you
We will sing and dance too!

Flannel board + Digital App
I created velcro-backed pictures of the musical instruments that appear on the app Beanie’s Musical InstrumentsI am going to talk about each musical instrument and use the app so they can hear the noise each one makes.

Using my song dice, options are:

  • Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
  • The Wheels on the Bus
  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
  • Row, Row, Row your Boat

Letter of the Day: U

There aren’t many opportunities for U. I’m using it (for Ukulele, of course).

Literacy Tip of the Day: Sing!

There is a plethora of research linking music with literacy skills. Singing slows down language, which helps children better hear and understand new words and also helps with their enunciation. Sing with your children often-even if you don’t love your voice (I do not have a voice)

Craft of the Day

I don’t do a craft after every storytime. This week I am going to leave out “musical instruments” for them to play with and explore (shaker eggs, drums, jinglebells) after storytime. They can take home a ukulele coloring sheet.

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