Friday, November 16, 2012

Puppets Come To Play - A Storytime Outline

Inspired by a friendly puppeteer/storyteller who is a regular performer for our Summer Reading Program, and our prepping of our puppet mascots Petey and Julie for SRP 2013 I wanted to do a storytime revolving around puppets. Instead of doing away with books all together and simply having the puppets to tell the story, the puppets served as more of a prop that relates to our stories.

A lot of the ideas that you see here were ideas from Steven on his blog Beyond the Book Storytimes, which is a great blog if you haven't seen it yet.

I started each program with my storytime buddy Frankie. He gave trunk kisses to the toddlers, and he let me discuss with the children whether or not they liked birthday cake (according to the book How to Catch an Elephant by Amy Schwartz, elephants liked raisins and hate cake. Frankie ::loves:: birthday cake, by the way).

The children loved the puppets! The toddler didn't love on them as much as I thought they would, and the preschoolers loved on them a lot! I let the preschoolers hang on to the puppet during the program, and as I was reading our stories and activities it was heart melting how they cuddled with the animals. Awwww!

Just goes to prove that I need to bring more puppets into my programs!

T = Toddler Storytime
P = Preschool Storytime

Dear Zoo: A Lift-the-Flap Book written and illus. Rod Campbell (T, P)
This was a fun book to do with puppets because all I needed some boxes (which I had gobs of after clearing out our SRP materials) and the basic premise of the book. I switched out some of the animals from the book because I didn't have the right one. For example, instead of a snake that was too scary, I used our T-Rex puppet! All the children were curious to know what was in the boxes that were labeled "To: The Library, From: The Zoo".

What Does Bunny See: A Book About Colors and Flowers written by Linda Sue Park and illus. by Maggie Smith (T)
I love this book and since I was missing my owl puppet for "Wow!" Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood I decided that my other storytime buddy Agnes the rabbit would help tell this story.

Tuck Me In! written by Dean Hacohen and Sherry Scharschmidt (T)
You cannot read this book without going "awwww" when you meet each animals. For this book's puppet connection I had the toddlers swaddle or tuck in our puppets for a nap. They LOVED it! Source: Beyond the Books Storytime

Bark, George written and illus. by Jules Feiffer (P)
I was gifted a dog sock puppet from the aforementioned puppetteer during the summer and I knew instantly that it was my "Bark George" puppet. I made the felt animals, and I pretended to reach deep, deep, deep down his little throat to pull out the animals that he had swallowed. The preschooler liked my storytelling, but they weren't as into it as I would've liked them to be.

Bear Snores On written by Karma Wilso and illus. by Jane Chapman (P)
I love the "Bear" books. I initially wanted to read Bear Wants More because it reminds me so much of Winnie the Pooh getting stuck in Rabbit's front door after smarkerelling on too much honey, but I decided to go on with Bear Snores On because all I needed the children to do is help me and the bear snore real loud.

Open, Shut Them
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
Open, shut them,
Lay them in your lap.

Butterfly, Butterfly Passing Me By
tune: Bluebird, Bluebird On My Window
Butterfly, butterfly passing me by
Butterfly, butterfly passing me by
Butterfly, butterfly passing me by
Oh, what color are you?
(name the color)
Source: Me! Dorothy, WPCC

Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
and on his farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O
With a "moo-moo" here and a "moo-moo" there
Here a "moo" there a "moo"
Everywhere a "moo-moo"
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
Continue with other farm animals:
Sheep, Chicken, Pig
Source: Childhood

Five Little Monkeys Swinging From a Tree
Five little monkeys swinign from a tree
Teasing Mr. Crocodile, "You can't catch me!"
Along comes Mr. Crocodile,
as hungry as can be

Count down to one monkey

One little monkey swining from a tree
Teasing Mr. Crocodile, "You can't catch me!"
Along comes Mr. Crocodile,
As hungry as can be
Along goes Mr. Crocodile as fat as can be!
Source: Childhood

Touch Your Nose
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 year
Touch your two red lips right here
Touch your elbow where it bends
And that's the way this touch game ends.

Egg Shakers (T)
Shake up high! Shake them down low by our toes! The toddlers like it up high and behind our backs the best.

Butterfly, Butterfly Passing Me By (T, P)
I used a butterfly finger puppet die cut to create our props out of colorful felt. I reinforced the little finger strap with an extra piece of felt to make sure that they lasted longer than a few programs.

Five Little Monkeys Swigning in a Tree (P)
I used the monkeys and trees from my library's flannel board, but I used our fabulous crocodile puppet to snap the monkeys from the board!

Butterfly Finger Puppet (T)
I simply used the same die cut for the Butterfly, Butterfly activity to make construction paper puppets for the toddlers

Bear Finger Puppet
As much as I would've liked to have had real felt finger puppets for the preschoolers to treasure, there wasn't an easy way about it. Instead they got a slightly complex construction paper finger puppet to make. I decided on the bear character because we read Bear Wants More and so they could enact it out, but they could also do other stories like Goldilocks and the Three Bears (granted you need more than one bear for that).

Three boxes from the Zoo?! I wonder what is inside!

Shhh! our pet zoo animals after we had tucked them in for a nap!
I :: heart :: that tiger puppet! 

Butterfly, Butterfly Passing Me By, flannel board,
Toddler and Preschool Storytime, created by
Dorothy WP-CC, 2012 

Bark, George puppet and flannel animals, Preschool Storytime,
flannel pieces created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2012 

Butterfly finger puppet, Toddler Storytime craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2012

Bear finger puppet, Preschool Storytime craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2012 

Wow! Said the Owl written and illus. by Tim Hopgood
The Seals on the Bus written by Lenny Hort and illus. by G. Brian Karas
Cows in the Kitchen written by Jane Crebbin and illus. by Katharine McEwen
Jump, Frog, Jump written by Robert Kalan and illus. by Byron Barton


  1. Puppet play is perfect for kids, kids can learn so many good new things and puppets you shared is good.
    hand puppets for children


Thank you for visiting, WP-CC! Please leave a comment!