Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What's in a Box? - A Storytime Outline

For some unknown reason I had always wanted to do a Box storytime theme. Perhaps it's because a box a can be so many things with just a little imagination! Summer 2010 was my chance to finally fulfill that goal, and it was great despite being amazingly simple!

T = Toddler Storytime
P = Preschool Storytime

The Color Box written by Dayle Ann Dodds and illus. by Giles Laroche (TP)
I love this book. The different colors on each page is perfect for children to shout out!

Not a Box written and illus. by Antoinette Portis (T, P)
One of my favorite go-to books!

Thank You Bear written and illus. by Greg Foley (P)

Special Delivery written by Bridgitte Weninger, illus. by Alexander Reichstein and translated by J. Alison James(P)
This book was fun and the children loved the pop-up ending!

Opening Rhyme: Open, Shut Them (T, P)
(follow actions)
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap
Creep them, creep them up to your chin
Open your mouth wide, but don't put your fingers in!
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a big clap
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap.

Here is a Box (T, P)
Here is a box where something is hid
I wonder whatever is under there
Could it be? Why, yes!
Without any doubt, it is a ______
Let it come out!
Source: King County Library System

Jack in a Box (T, P)
Jack in a box, Jack in a box. (crouch or bend down)
Sitting so still. (stay still!)
Won't you come out?
YES, I will! (jump up!)
Source: King County Library System

Closing Rhyme: Touch Your Nose (T, P)
(follow actions)
Touch your nose
Touch your chin
That's the way this game begins
Touch your eyes
Touch your knees
Now pretend you're going to sneeze!
Touch your hair
Touch one ear
Touch your two red lips right here
Touch your elbow where it ends
And that's the way this touch game ends.

"My Box is a..." color sheets (T, P)
 The color sheet just had a rectangle printed on it with the title "My Box is a...". The toddlers just scribbled and scribbled, which is perfectly fine and awesome. The preschoolers, especially after hearing and seeing the story Not a Box drew a huge array of different things like a space ship, a boat, Iron Man (box was his torso), and a house. One child drew an entire story that his mom frantically scribbled down in crayon. It went along the lines of this: a submarine (box) got swallowed by a whale (a large circle around the box) then he swallowed a bee. The bee stung his tummy and the whale went "ahhhh!" and the submarine and bee escaped. Brilliant!!!! (Priceless Moment)

Here is a Box (T, P)
For this rhyme I stuffed a big cardboard box full of our puppets. Every time we recited the rhyme I asked what type of animal "makes this noise____" and I would oink like a pig or roar like a dinosaur. If the children didn't know I would pop it all out and they had to tell me what it was then ask what noise it makes. It's so much fun!

To hold my storytime books, song and rhyme banners, and craft examples, I took a small cardboard box and decorated with colorful die cut shapes and labeled it the Storytime Box. I have used it ever since (though I believe soon enough I will have to make a plastic version)!Thank

Here some other books that are great for storytime too!
Magic Box written and illus. by Katie Cleminson
Meeow and the Big Box written and illus. by Sebastien Bruan
My Book Box written and illus. by Will Hillenbrand
Sitting in My Box written by Dee Lillegard and illus. by Jon Agee


  1. Thanks. This is exactly what I need for my preschool class.

  2. Hi! I'm so glad that you found some use from my storytime plan. This was one of my favorites! :-)

  3. Dorothy I am so happy to have found your site. I feel like I have hit a gold mine. Your site is awesome. I am new to the Flannel Board stories, have always just used my magnet board. The question I have do have any recommendations for where I can get patterns to make the stories. I am in no way artistic, stick people are as far as I go, lol. Any suggestions would be appreciated. God Bless. Mrs. Valerie

  4. Hi Mrs. Valerie! I apologize for not noticing your comment until now! I find patterns for my flannel boards from all over the place. Sometimes I use my library systems Accucut die cut roller, clip art from Microsoft, and clip art from the royalty-free site called You can probably get a free account with The Mailbox, which will have a plethora of items that can be used (

    There are also a series of books by Liz and Dick Wilmes that I love to use as well. My personal favorite is the 2's Experience: Felt Board Fun, but there are others. (and Amazon) has a list their books. I use these patterns not only for my flannel boards, but also for my crafts!

    I hope this helps! :-)


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