Friday, February 24, 2017

Storytime: City


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Wow! City! by Robert Neubecker
Subway by Anastasia Suen
*City Animals by Simms Taback
*City Shapes by Diana Murray
City Street Beat by Nancy Viau
Good Morning City by Pat Kiernan

Books marked with * are the ones we used for this storytime. There are lots of great options for city themed books! I had a big group with a wide age range today so I chose one book with a bit more text, City Shapes, and one with very simple text and lots of interaction potential, City Animals. I wanted to include Subway as well, but we just didn't have time today. City Shapes is a fantastic book with nice rhyming text. There are great opportunities to ask the kids to point out different shapes and colors on each page. As a bonus, the child who leads readers through the city is an adorable little black girl, based off the illustrator's daughter, and there is lots of diversity in all the people on the pages. City Animals has large pages that fold out to slowly reveal a city dwelling animal after giving different clues. The kids had a lot of fun guessing what the animal was, some were much easier to guess than others. The fold out pages and big images were great for the larger group to see.

 For songs and rhymes click read more!

Songs and Rhymes

Activities marked with * are the ones we used for this storytime. I had a lot of fun with the city theme because so many of out storytime staples fit with the theme. "Seals on the Bus" and "The Elevator Song" are two storytime favorites that fit perfectly with the city theme and, of course, Mouse in the House is always a big hit.

*Song: “Seals on the Bus”

(Tune: Wheels on the Bus)

The seals on the bus go arp, arp, arp
arp, arp, arp, arp, arp, arp
The seals on the bus go arp, arp, arp
All around the town.

The rabbits on the bus go up and down…
The snakes on the bus go hiss, hiss, hiss
The monkeys on the bus go eeh, eeh, eeh,
The tigers on the bus go roar, roar, roar
The geese on the bus go honk, honk, honk
The people on the bus go help, help, help!

*Song: Elevator Song”

(Tune: Do Your Ears hang Low)

Oh, the city is great and the city is grand
(wave scarf above head)
There are a whole lot of people
On a little piece of land
(scrunch up scarf in hands)
We live way up on the fifty-seventh floor
(raise hand with scrunched scarf in the air)
And this is what we do
When we go out the door
Take the elevator up, take the elevator down (3 times)
(quickly bend up and down waving scarf)
And we turn around
(turn around)

Action Rhyme: “A Hippopotomus Got on the City Bus”

A hip, a hip, a hippopotamus
Got on, got on, got on a city bus
And all, and all, and all the people said,
“You’re squishing us!” (squish face)
A sheep, a sheep, a sheep got on a city bus
and all, and all, and all the people said,
“Baaaack up!”
A cow, a cow, a cow got on a bus
And all, and all, and all the people said,
“Mooooove over!”

*Transition Rhyme: “Cranes Reach”

Cranes reach up,
Cranes reach down,
Cranes reach out,
And all around.
Cranes reach high
Cranes reach low
Cranes sit down,
Very slow.


Flannelboard: “Five Little Houses”

One little house all alone it stood
Then another was built
There grows the neighborhood.
Two little houses…
Three little houses…
Four little houses…
Five little houses
All together they stood
On a beautiful street in a happy neighborhood.

*Flannelboard: “Mouse in the House”

Little mouse, little mouse are you in the (color) house?

Since “Five Little Houses” already requires a variety of houses, there's no reason not to make them all different colors add a mouse in the mix and do Mouse in the House too!


Nighttime cityscape collages. I didn't make an example for this one, I just gave the kids strips of colored paper and black paper to glue them down to along with scissors and glue. I'm trying to focus more on the process than the product now, so while the results might not have looked like cities, except in a very abstract sense, they were still a lot of fun!

How it Went

Compared to the tiny two kid group I had last week, this storytime was huge! There were 14 kids today along with about nine caregivers. Our little space was very full. It was a lot of fun to have a bigger group and it definitely changed the dynamic a little bit. I had to give constant reminders to sit down so the people in the back could see since the regular attendees are used to being able to be up close. It was a great storytime though. We had tons of fun singing "the Elevator Song" at different speeds and coming up with animals to be on our bus, my favorite was dancing zebras. "Mouse in the House" and its variants are always well received so we played a few times before reading our last book, City Animals. The group had a lot of fun with the City Animals book. One boy liked it so much he wanted to read it again. Unfortunately, we didn't have time for a second read-through, but I gave it to his mom to check out and take home.

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