Storytime Activity: The cubes shown here are made from 6” x 6” packing boxes. There are 6 sequences per cube, one for each side of the cube. You can see here a sequence of three for caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly and from pumpkin to carving a jack-o-lantern face, to the finished jack-o-lantern.
To play, each family or small group gets three cubes as a set. A child rolls a cube and describes the picture. If the child is unable to respond, the adult helps the child reply or labels the picture with one word. Next, different people in the group look for other items in the sequence on the remaining two cubes. [For easier sequences use only two items, for harder sequences use four or more cubes.]
Early Literacy Aside:
Talking about sequences, first, second, third, what happens next supports scientific and mathematical thinking with this cube activity. In this case we will be playing with sequences of three, three in a row. Talk together about the pictures and what pictures make sense to be in the sequence. Then line up the cubes in a row in order from left to right. [Note that a 1, 2, 3, sequence could be from less to more or more to less. It is still a sequence.]
Continue the game as another person rolls a cube; repeat the process.
Instructions to make and use the cubes: cubesseq
Our next story is Belling the Cat, based on an Aesop fable. What do you know about cats and mice? Yes, cats like to chase mice. Cats like to eat mice. Let’s see what these mice do about the cat.
Use the handout below to tell the story and to pass out to families so that they can retell the story at home.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: Having your children retell stories is one good way for them to learn about how stories work. It’s also a lot of fun. They can also try drawing and writing the story, adding their own ideas. Enjoy!
Belling the Cat story and handout: bellingcat
Introduce the book The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins. Have children repeat the phrase “No one makes cookies like Grandma.”
Read the book. Count the cookies on one plate as more children arrive.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: The kitchen is a great place for activities around counting and measuring whether you use recipes or not. A “handful” is a measurement! How does the amount in your handful compare to the amount in your child’s handful? The bathtub is another great place to play with measurement, pouring water from one container to another.
I have a handout here to go with The Doorbell Rang. You and your children can cut out the twelve cookies and plates and see how the cookies are divided as more children come.
Read the book The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson. Have participants join in with the repeated phrase “but the cow loves cookies.”
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: At the end of storytime pass out the attached handout. Tell the adults they can cut out the pictures with their children and play different games. Children can match the animals to what they eat. Use the pictures to help children retell the story, too! Young children can say the sounds of the animals. Have children say the repeated phrase “but the cow loves cookies.” Older children can retell the story using the pictures to remember the order. All these are steps to help your children retell stories and help them understand how stories work which will later make it easier for them to understand what they are reading.
Read book: Joseph Had an Overcoat by Simms Taback
Have children say the repeated phrase, “But it got old and worn.”
Retell with flannel board: Now let’s do the story on the flannel board. What happened first?
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: [As you give out the handout] I have a handout for you today for Joseph Had an Overcoat. It is the same pattern that I used for the flannel board. You can cut out the
pieces and have your children retell the story. As you have your children retell other stories too, using props can help them remember what comes next. For your younger children who may not be able to retell stories, they can repeat a word or perhaps a phrase. These are all activities that will later help your child understand how stories work and also help them understand what they read.
Pattern for flannel board and handout: josephovercoathandout
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: In our storytime today, we read the story of the Little Red Hen by Byron Barton. Your children also retold the story with me on the flannel board. In today’s handout I have the repeated phrases and the order of what the little red hen did. There are also boxes for your children to draw the animals. You can cut them out and have the children retell the story for you. For your younger children, they can say the words “Not I” or say the sounds of the animals. Having your children retell stories helps them understand the story better and helps them learn how stories work. Enjoy!
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: I have a handout for you on the topic of our storytime today–night. It has some book titles which I have also displayed here. I hope you’ll like the suggestions of ideas and techniques you can do with your children at home to help develop their pre-reading skills, just as you saw me do in the storytime. You are with your children more often than I am so you have many opportunities to use some of these ideas. Let me know which ideas you enjoy doing with your children.
Storytime Handout for storytime on the theme of Night/Noche
Handout in English Nighthandoutkc
Handout in Spanish Nochehandoutkc
Submitted by Katie Cunningham
Empower Aside: I have a handout for you related to the book we did with a flannel board today in storytime, Too Much Noise. Using little cues like the flannel board pieces can help your children retell the story. The handout has squares where your children can draw in the animals, you can cut them out and then retell the story together. Your youngest children can say the animal sounds, slightly older children can say the names of the animals and perhaps repeat the words “too noisy” and your preschoolers can try retelling the whole story. All of these are stages in helping your children develop narrative skills which will help them later understand what they read and how stories work. Enjoy!
Handout for Too Much Noise: multsttoomuchnoise
Read Llama, Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney.
Point out some word pairs that rhyme, such as boat and moat.
Ask children what other words rhyme with boat (they don’t have to make sense).
Early Literacy Aside–Example: Helping children hear words that rhyme is one way to help them hear the smaller sounds in words which will then later help them sound out words.
Early Literacy Aside–Empower: I have a handout for you with suggestions for some rhyming games and ways to help your children hear the smaller sounds in words.
Lorena Sears, F D Campbell Memorial Library (PA)
Animals Storytime Handout animalhandvocabcarolwagstaffdouglascolpl
by Carol Wagstaff, Douglas County (CO) Public Library