Storytime Themes

Kindness Storytime | Build a Better World

The Plan




I’m going for old-favorites-that-have-almost-nothing-to-do-with-my-theme this summer in the music department.  Maybe lazy, but fun for the kids.

Opening song: “Hands Go Up”
See my first blog post for lyrics.  

“If You’re Happy and You Know It”
Nothing original about this one.

“Clap Your Hands”
(To the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)
Clap, clap, clap your hands
As slowly as you can.
Clap, clap, clap your hands
As quickly as you can.

Shake, shake, shake your hands…
Roll, roll, roll your hands…
Rub, rub, rub your hands…
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle your fingers…
Pound, pound, pound your fists…

I did this song right after reading Whose Hands Are These? in keeping with the subject of hands.  Be sure to change the tempo of the song to match the “slow” and “quick” lines.  The rhyme came from Wee Sing Children’s Songs and Fingerplays, but I added the tune.


Balloon Cards


  • Large balloon shapes cut out of construction paper in various colors
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • 7-8″ lengths of yarn in various colors

I found this craft idea on Pinterest, and it complements A Sick Day for Amos McGee perfectly.  I simply asked the children to think of someone to whom they would like to give a card.  They could write a message on the balloon, draw a picture, or do some combination of both.   The kids were so sweet about this craft, and one little girl was excited to give her balloon to a friend who she said was very sick.  It was a simple, but effective, way to encourage the attitude of kindness that we talked about in the stories.

How It Went

This storytime was Week 2 of our Build a Better World Summer Reading Program.  This particular theme started out very vague when I was planning it last spring, but it ended up coming together really well.  I tried to tie it into the CSLP theme by emphasizing that acts of kindness and service can help build a better world.  If You Plant a Seed is short and has little text, but fortunately it is a very large picture book so all of the kids could see it really well.  You Will Be My Friend! was my wild and crazy story for the week, and I enjoyed hamming it up as much as possible.  I wasn’t sure how Whose Hands Are These? would work out, but the kids figured out the guessing game concept really quickly.  My first group was great about waiting for me to pause at the end of each stanza to give their guesses, but my second group was more impatient.  Regardless, both groups were pretty good at figuring out the professions from the illustrations and rhymes.  I did A Sick Day for Amos McGee at the end so that it could lead right into the craft, and I pointed out the balloon motif in the illustrations.



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