OPENING: “Hello Friends” (with sign language)
BOOK: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
This book is an absolute “must” for farm storytime. It is such a great, funny classic.
FINGERPLAY: “Two Mother Pigs”
Credit: Storytime Katie
Two mother pigs lived in a pen (show thumbs)
Each had four babies, and that made ten (show fingers & thumbs)
These four babies were black as night (thumb in palm, wiggle fingers)
These four babies were black and white (switch hands, repeat)
But all eight babies loved to play
And they rolled and rolled in the mud all day (roll hands)
At night, with their mother, they curled up in a heap (clasp hands)
And squealed and squealed till they fell fast asleep.
MOVEMENT: Gross Motor Farm Game
Credit: Modern Preschool
Modern Preschool has some really cute farm-themed movement flashcards that I printed out and used in storytime. I wasn’t sure how to present the cards at first. I ended up fanning them out in my hand face down, and each child pulled out one card without looking, and we all did the action together. In hindsight, I think that was a really good method for using the cards because it added the feeling of playing a game.
BOOK: Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
Like most of Margaret Wise Brown’s book, this story is very calm and simple. However, my kids enjoyed pointing out the animals as I listed them in the text.
SONG & 3D Extension: “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”
Credit: childhood (song)
I love doing familiar songs with a twist in storytime, and Future Librarian Superhero had a fabulous idea for adding a visual element to “Old MacDonald”. I have a good set of farm stuffed animals (not puppets), and I made the barn out of a cardboard box. As she said, it doesn’t have to be fancy. My storytime kids loved this part of the storytime, and they even had some fun playing with the box and animals afterward.
BOOK: Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton
Sandra Boynton is one of my favorite picture book authors, but I just wish that I could find non-board-book versions of her stories. Their size makes them hard to use with a group. Nevertheless, I really wanted to use this book, especially because there is a song version of it available for free on SoundCloud. In storytime, we read the book first, and as I read, I encouraged the kids to pay attention to the words and motions because we were going to act out the story after we read it.
SHAKER EGG SONG: “Barnyard Dance”
This song went reasonably well with the shaker eggs. It’s a good length for my group (very short), so it kept their interest.
SHAKER EGG SONG: “I Know a Chicken”
I love Laurie Berkner, but this song is too long. I keep having that problem with her music in storytime. I like the content, but my kids are bored after about a minute and a half.
BOOK: The Grumpy Morning by Pamela Duncan Edwards
This is another classic from my childhood. A very simple and short story that would also work well in a feelings storytime.
CRAFT: Peek-a-Boo Farm Animals
This craft was my attempt at letting the kids make something similar to my barn box. It took a little while for some of them to understand the premise behind the craft, but they enjoyed decorating their barns and animals. Also, it was a good opportunity to practice farm animal identification and sounds (“What does the cow say?”) with the younger kids.