Time for Bed: A Storytime About Sleep

Today (January 3) is the Festival of Sleep, which I gather was created to encourage people to relax and recover after the hectic festivities of the holidays. Here in the Bay Area, we’re in a temporary lull between huge rain storms, and I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to brave our Outdoor Musical Storytime, but we did end up with a nice small group.

Here’s what we did:


Bedtime for Mommy by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by LeUyem Pham

I hadn’t planned on reading this one, because the illustrations are a bit too small for my usual group, but with the smaller turnout, it worked perfectly. I love all of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s books, and this is one of my favorites. A little girl patiently puts her mother to bed, guiding her through the nightly routine of toothbrushing, bath, picking out an outfit for the next day, and reading together. When she finally gets Mommy tucked in for the night, it’s time to put Daddy to bed too. Claire read the part of the mother, and I read the little girl. The kids and grown-ups all loved the role reversal.

Tuck Me In by Dean Hacohen and Sherry Scharschmidt

Very simple but adorable book about baby animals asking to be “tucked in” by having the half page “blanket” flipped over to cover them. Our group was small enough that each child could take a turn tucking in an animal.

What! Cried Granny by Kate Lum; illustrated by Adrian Johnson

This is one of my favorite read-alouds, about a boy going to his first sleep-over at his grandmother’s house. But when Granny tells him it’s time to get into bed, he complains that he doesn’t have a bed at her house. “What!” she cries, before chopping down a tree and building him a bed. But then he complains he doesn’t have a pillow. The kids love chiming in on the repeated “What’s?!” and the punchline at the end always gets a laugh.


Brush Your Teeth by Raffi

I did this one as a follow-up to Bedtime for Mommy. Here’s a link to the Raffi video:

When you wake up in the morning,
It’s a quarter to one,
And you want to have a little fun,
You brush your teeth,
You brush your teeth,

When you wake up in the morning,
It’s a quarter to two,
And you just can’t think of something to do,
You brush your teeth…

When you wake up in the morning,
It’s a quarter to three,
And your mind starts humming,

When you wake up in the morning,
It’s a quarter to four,
And you think you hear a knock on the door,
You get a little scared,
And then you brush your teeth…

When you wake up in the morning,
It’s a quarter to five,
And you just can’t wait to come alive!…

Hop, Little Bunnies

I learned this one from a local daycare provider, who used it every day with her kids. The motions are pretty self-explanatory, but you can either have the kids physically pretend to sleep and then hop around, or you can have them make bunny ears with their fingers. There are different versions of the song, but the tune I used is the same as in this video by Little Baby Bums Nursery Rhymes for Babies:

See the little bunnies sleeping

‘Till it’s nearly noon.

Shall we wake them with a merry tune?

They’re so still.

Are they ill?

NO! Wake up little bunnies!

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop!

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop!

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop!

Hop little bunnies, hop and stop!

Five in the Bed

There were five in the bed (hold up five fingers)
And the little one said,
“I’m crowded! Roll over!” (roll hands around each other)
So they all rolled over,
And one fell out,
There were four in the bed
And the little one said…
(Repeat, counting down until one.)…

There was one in the bed,
And that little one said,
“I’ve got the whole bed to myself!
I’ve got the whole bed to myself!
I’ve got the whole bed to myself!
I’ve got the whole bed to myself!”

Grandma’s Feather Bed by John Denver

I loved this song when I was little, so it was fun to do it for our instrument play-along. Here’s a video of John Denver singing it:

[C] When I was a [F] little bitty boy
[C] Just up off the [G] floor,
We [C] used to go down to [F] Grandma’s house
[C] Every month [G] end or [C] so.
We’d have [C] chicken pie, [F] country ham,
[C] And homemade butter [G] on the bread.
But the [C] best darn thing about [F] Grandma’s house
Was the [G] great big feather [C] bed

It was [C] nine feet high, [F] six feet wide,
[C] Soft as a downy chick.
It was made from the feathers of [F] four-eleven geese,
[C] Took a whole bolt of cloth for the tick.
It’d [C] hold eight kids, [F] four hound dogs,
And the [C] piggy we stole from the shed.
Didn’t get much sleep, but we [F] had a lot of fun
On [G] Grandma’s feather [C] bed!

After supper we’d sit around the fire,
The old folks’d spit and chew.
Pa would talk about the farm in the war,
And granny’d sing a ballad or two.
I’d sit and listen and watch the fire,
Till the cobwebs filled my head.
Next thing I’d know I’d wake up in the morn’
In the middle of the old feather bed.


Well, I love my ma, I love my pa,
I love granny and granpa too.
Been fishing with my uncle, wrestled with my cousin,
And I even kissed Aunt Lou, eww!
But if I ever had to make a choice,
I guess it oughta be said,
That I’d trade ’em all plus the gal down the road,
For Grandma’s feather bed!


Stay & Play: Bedtime Paper Dolls

I based this cute craft on one I found on Fun With Friends at Storytime. Before the storytime, I folded pieces of colored printer paper in half, and cut the top half off of the left side of each sheet. Then I printed out some blank paper dolls (like these from Printablee.com).

For the storytime, I put out the blank paper dolls, some markers and crayons, and glue sticks. The kids enjoyed decorating their paper dolls, then gluing them onto the right side of the paper, and “tucking them in” by folding the left side of the paper on top.

Happy Festival of Sleep! If you have any favorite books or songs about Sleep or Bedtime, please share them in the comments below.


One thought on “Time for Bed: A Storytime About Sleep

  1. Pingback: Hitting the Right Notes: Using Music in Storytime | The Loudest Librarian!

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