Pie in the Sky: A Storytime About Pizza

I had planned to do this storytime right after New Year’s, in honor of National Pizza Week (January 8 through 14). But our area got hit by a series of atmospheric rivers, which turned our outdoor storytime area into a marsh for several weeks. Today was beautiful though, and we had a great time with this theme. I based it heavily on Storytime Kate’s Pizza storytime, with a few tweaks.

Here’s what we did:

Books:

Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig

This is one of my all-time favorite storytime books. When Pete’s plans to play ball with his friends are cancelled by the rain, his father decides to cheer him up by turning him into a pizza: kneading the dough, tossing it in the air, applying toppings (which are really checkers and pieces of paper), and cooking him in the oven (the couch). It’s a sweet story about a shared family game. The kids always laugh when the pizza gets tickled.

Hi, Pizza Man! by Virginia Walter; illustrated by Ponder Goembel

This was a favorite of both of my kids’ when they were little, and the storytime crowd absolutely loved it! When a little girl is hungry and impatient for their pizza to be delivered, her mother asks her what she would say depending on who the delivery person is: a pizza snake, a pizza cow, a pizza cat, etc. The illustrations are hilarious and got lots of laughs from the grown-ups. The kids loved making the different animal noises.

Pizza at Sally’s by Monica Wellington

Simple, sweet story describing the different steps involved in making a pizza. We had passed out play scarves for our Pat-a-Cake rhyme before hand, and I had the kids pretend they were pizza dough as we read: stretching out the scarves, and twirling them in the air.

Songs & Rhymes:

Silly Pizza Song

This song by Rachel de Azevedo Coleman from her Signing Time series is one of my absolute favorites. Here’s a YouTube video with the tune and the signs.

I usually just teach the kids the sign for pizza (there are a lot of different variations in ASL, but I use the one she demonstrates in the video with the double Z) and the sign for cheese, and then I ask them for topping suggestions. Today we had pepperoni, sausage, olives, and mushrooms.

Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake, Pizza Man

I got this one from Storytime Katie. We handed out play scarves, and had the kids pretend the scarves were the dough.

Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Pizza Man!

Bake me a pizza as fast as you can!

Roll it,

And toss it,

And sprinkle it with cheese.

Then put it in the oven and bake it fast, please!

Since we had just read Hi, Pizza Man!, I asked the kids for other types of pizza creators and we made up new verses for them, including:

Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Pizza Cow,

Make me a pizza if you know how!…

Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Pizza Dinosaur,

Make me a pizza as fast as you can roar! R-O-A-R!…

Pat-a-cake, Pat-a-cake, Pizza Elephant,

Make me the kind of pizza I want!…

I Am a Pizza by Charlotte Diamond

This is a classic children’s song by Charlotte Diamond (there were some grandparents visiting from Winnepeg today, who were excited because Charlotte Diamond is from Canada too). We did it as our instrument play-along at the end. It’s also an echo song, which makes it perfect for storytime.

Here’s a video of the original song:

Oh, [C] I am a pizza (I am a pizza),
[G] With extra cheese (with extra cheese).
[G] From tomatoes (from tomatoes),
[C] Sauce is squeezed (sauce is squeezed).
[F] Onions and mushrooms (onions and mushrooms),
[G] Oregano (oregano).
[F] I am a [C] pizza,
[G] Ready to [C] go!

Oh, [C] I am a pizza (I am a pizza),
[G] Pepperoni (pepperoni),
[G] No anchovies (no anchovies),
[C] Or phony baloney (or phony baloney)!
[F] I am a pizza (I am a pizza),
[G] Order by phone (order by phone).
[F] I am a C] pizza,
[G] Please take me [C] home!

Oh, [C] I am a pizza (I am a pizza),
[G] Peppers on top (peppers on top),
[G] Out of the oven (out of the oven),
[C] Into the box (into the box).
[F] Into the car and (into the car and)
[G] Upside down (upside down)…
[F] I am a [C] pizza,
[G] Dropped on the [C] ground!

Oh, [C] I was a pizza (I was a pizza).
[G] I was the best (I was the best).
[F] I was a [C] pizza,
[G] Now I’m a [C] mess!

Stay & Play: Playdough Pizza

Before the storytime, I made playdough using this simple recipe from Jinxy kids, which just requires flour, salt, water, and oil.

For the storytime, I put out golf-ball sized balls of dough on small paper plates, along with playdough toys like plastic rollers and pizza cutters. I had also cut out some clip-art pizza toppings from My Cute Graphics. The kids had a great time rolling and slicing their dough, and adding toppings. Some of them even added extras, like their storytime stickers, and some of the gum nuts they found on the ground at the park.

What are your favorite pizza books or songs? Please share them in the comments below.

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