Storytime Themes

Reading to Dogs Storytime

A few weeks ago, a lady came into my library volunteering to bring her therapy dog for a children’s program.  Of course, I jumped at the opportunity, but I wanted to have a trial run with the dog just in case.  So, I planned this storytime.  Mostly, the theme is dogs, but I tried to place some emphasis on reading as well.

Books

  • Hooray for Reading Day!  by Margery Cuyler
    • This is the most perfect book for a “reading to dogs” program.  I found this one entirely by accident on my library’s shelves and got so excited.  The main premise of this story is the main character gains confidence in reading because she practices with her dog.  I know, so perfect!
  • Katie Loves Kittens  by John Himmelman
    • This is such a cute book!  It makes me smile every time I read it.
  • Bark, George  by Jules Feiffer

Extension Activities

“Do Your Ears Hang Low”

It has been years since I’ve sung this song, so I had to review the motions and lyrics.  My favorite version is Barney’s, which I found on Youtube.  In storytime, we sang the song through four times, and I increased the tempo each time through.  That always gets a laugh from the kids.

Bark, George Storytelling Kit

I am so ridiculously proud of this extension activity.  I saw this idea on Pinterest, and fortunately, Literary Commentary has very detailed instructions for making the box.  I pretty much followed her instructions exactly, but I added the back flap to the box (see bottom left picture) so that I could stick each animal in one at a time.  I wanted the kids to pull the animals out of the box, and this way I made sure that they always grabbed the right animal.  The stuffed animals were ones that either I or the library had.  And, yes, I realize that my “duck” is actually a swan, but that was as close as I could get.  None of the kids seemed to notice.

Craft

I was incredibly lazy with the craft this week.  I wanted the kids to make bones for the dog, so I found some bone clipart online, resized it in Publisher, and printed it out on cardstock.  Then I gave the kids markers and let them go to work.  I think I need to move away from clipart crafts for awhile because this is starting to become a pattern.

How It Went

I had so much fun with this storytime!  The dog was really sweet, and I hope that with time and some training, he will be great in the library.  Isn’t he cute?!

I read Hooray for Reading Day! and Bark, George, but the therapy dog’s handler read Katie Loves the Kittens.  She had expressed a desire to read, so I let her have that one.

The George box was a huge hit.  Bark, George is already a great book, and adding the interactive element made it even more fun.  One of the little girls loved it so much that she wanted to keep playing with George after storytime was over.  In all, it was a successful day, and I hope that this will be the beginning of an ongoing therapy-dogs-in-the-library program.

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