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:

Books:

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.

Songs:

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,
Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!
You brush your teeth,
Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!

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,
“Fiddle-dee-dee,”…

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

CHORUS
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.

CHORUS

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!

CHORUS

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.

Bedtime Stories

Worry Doll by Addie

Worry Doll by Addie

Sorry for the lapse in my posts!  I have a backlog of storytimes I need to write up, but I’ll start with the one I did last Wednesday, because it featured some of my favorite picture books.  The theme was Bedtime.  Here’s what we read:

napping

The Napping House by Audrey Wood (Amazon.com link)

A fun, cumulative rhyme about a pile of sleepers that includes a granny, a child, a dog, a cat, a mouse, and a flea.  I like to read it in a hushed voice until the dramatic turn in the middle, when the flea bites the mouse.  The kids giggled as the pile of creatures grew bigger and bigger, and laughed when the bed broke.

squeaky

The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald; illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma (Amazon.com link)

Margaret Read MacDonald is a master at retelling old tales.  Her picture books usually include lots of repeated words or phrases for kids to chime in on.   A few weeks back, I read Pickin’ Peas, which one family enjoyed so much that they returned to the library later in the week to check out.  This story is about a little boy who is sleeping over at his grandparents’ house.  At bedtime, his Grandma says, “Now when I turn off the light, and close the door, are you going to be scared?” “NO! NOT ME!” says the boy.  But when she closes the door, it makes an awful squeak, and the little boy cries.  So Grandma brings in the cat to keep the boy company.  But of course the door squeaks again.  So Grandma brings in the dog.  The story gets more and more absurd, as more and more animals crowd into the bed.  The kids and parents laughed at Grandma kissing the pig goodnight, and dressing the horse in pajamas, and the kids loved saying the repeated, “No! Not me!” every time.  Always a hit.

granny

What! Cried Granny…An Almost Bedtime Story by Kate Lum; illustrated by Adrian Johnson (Amazon.com link)

This is one of my all-time favorite read-alouds.  It works well for a wide range of ages.  Like The Squeaky Door, it is about a little boy (whose name is Patrick) sleeping over at his Granny’s house.  But when Granny tells Patrick to climb into bed, he informs her that he doesn’t have a bed there.  “What?” cries Granny, and rushes out to cut down some trees and build Patrick a bed.  But then she discovers he doesn’t have a pillow.  This book is great for promoting print awareness (you can point out the word “What?!” which gets bigger and bigger every time it is repeated), and prediction (the kids enjoy guessing what Granny will have to make next.  But it’s also just a funny story, with big, brightly colored illustrations.

pigeon

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems (Amazon.com link)

Whenever I have a Mo Willems book in my storytime stack, the kids always spot it right away, and demand that I read it.  So it was no surprise when someone shouted out, “Read the Pigeon book!”  This one, like the other books about that naughty Pigeon, encourages the kids to say “No!” to the Pigeon’s constant wheedling, this time about why he should be allowed to stay up a little longer.

lullaby

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas (Amazon.com link)

Jan Thomas writes a lot of great read-alouds, full of humor and surprise.  In this one, a cowboy is singing his cows to sleep, except “EEEEEK!  Is that a huge hairy spider?”  No, it’s just a flower.  The kids love the repeated, “Eeeks!” and the dramatic irony of knowing when an actual danger appears.  I use a tune my former manager, Thom Ball, came up with for the lullaby, which goes like this: 

SONGS AND RHYMES

Five in the Bed

When I did this at storytime, I actually made it Ten in the Bed, which obviously takes about twice as long to sing.  Click on the triangle for the tune:

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!”

No More Monkeys

I sing the version by Asheba from Putumayo’s Animal Playground.  Here are the lyrics, and ukulele chords (although actually in the recording, I’m playing the new banjolele my in-laws gave me for my birthday.  Squee!  Instant tiny banjo! So easy to play.) Click on the triangle to hear the tune:

Five monkeys were playing on the bed. (C)
One fell off and bumped his head. (C G7)
Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said, (C F)
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” (C G7 C)

“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!  (C)
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!  (C G7)
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”(C F)
That is what the doctor said. (C G7 C)

Four monkeys were jumping on the bed…

(Repeat, counting down to one…)

One monkey was playing on the bed,
She fell off and bumped her head.
Mama called the children, and the children said,
“YES! More monkeys jumping on the bed!”

“Yes! More monkeys jumping on the bed!
Yes! More monkeys jumping on the bed!
Yes! More monkeys jumping on the bed!”
That is what the children said.

CRAFT: Worry Dolls

Worry Doll by Sarah

Worry Doll by Sarah

I was originally going to read Silly Billy by Anthony Browne to introduce the worry doll idea, but the copy I ordered over from another branch didn’t arrive in time.  The kids loved making the worry dolls anyway.  If you aren’t familiar with worry dolls (also known as trouble dolls), they are a tradition that comes from Guatemala, where kids are given tiny dolls to tell their worries to, and keep under their pillows at night.  The book Silly Billy is about a boy who has so many worries that he makes worry dolls for his worry dolls.

For our worry doll craft, I gave the kids clothespins (the kind with the round top), markers to draw faces, pipe cleaners for the arms, and kids’ scissors and multicolored yarn to make hair and clothes.  We used gluesticks to stick the hair on, and wrapped the yarn around the clothespins for the clothes.  The kids needed some help securing the ends of the yarn (I tucked the ends under the wrapped part).  But the parents seemed to enjoy helping with the dolls, and the kids were excited to take them home.

What are your favorite books about bedtime?