That’s What Friends Are For: A Storytime for Best Friends Day

Tomorrow (June 8, 2022) is National Best Friends Day, which made for a really fun storytime theme. During the Stay & Play activity at the end, one little girl asked everyone at the table, “Do you want to be a friend?” so I think the message got through!

Here’s what we did:

Books:

Bob and Flo by Rebecca Ashdown

Very cute story about a penguin named Flo, who discovers that her lunch bucket is missing on the first day of preschool. Meanwhile, another penguin named Bob seems to be wearing an unusual hat, standing on a familiar looking stool, and making bucket-shaped sand castles. When Bob gets stuck on the top of the slide, Flo uses her bucket to set him free, and the two new friends enjoy whooshing together through the water.

Be a Friend by Salina Yoon

Adorable book about a boy named Dennis, who never speaks, but loves to communicate in mime. Although he is lonely at first, he soon finds a friend who shares his interests. I read the story, while my coworker Claire demonstrated the different mime motions for the kids to copy. Lots of fun!

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Very simple, clever story about a stick and a stone who start out alone, but become friends when Stick saves Stone from a bullying Pinecone. Stone returns the favor when Stick gets stuck in a puddle, and they become the best of friends.

Songs:

Do You Want to Be My Friend?

To the tune of Do You Know the Muffin Man? or Mary Had a Little Lamb

I found this one on this nice collection of friendship songs from PreschoolEducation.com. We had fun doing different actions suggested by the kids and parents:

Do you want to be my friend,

To be my friend,

To be my friend?

Do you want to be my friend,

And jump along with me?

Repeat, changing the action each time. We did jump, clap, spin, nod, dance, pat, and skip.

Do As I’m Doing

We sang this as a follow-up to Be a Friend, and asked for the kids to demonstrate different actions for us to copy as we sang the song each time.

[C] Do as I’m doing, follow, follow [G7] me.

[C] Do as I’m doing, follow, [G7] follow [C] me.

[C] Follow, [G7] follow, [F] follow [C] me.

[F] Follow, [C] follow, [G7] follow [C] me.

Follow, [G7] follow, [F] follow [C] me,

[F] Follow, [C] follow, [G7] follow [C] me.

If You Want to Be a Friend

To the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It. We used the American Sign Language signs for Hello, Name, and Play.

[C] If you want to be a friend, say, [G7] “Hello!”  Hello!

If you want to be a friend, say, [C] “Hello!” Hello!

If you [F] want to be a friend, you can [C] talk to without end,

If you [G7] want to be a friend, say, [C] “Hello!” Hello!

If you want to be a friend, say, “What’s your name?”…

If you want to be a friend, say, “Come and play!”…

We Are Going to Be Friends by the White Stripes

We did this song as one of our instrument play-alongs (when we hand out shakers to all the kids). It’s a song that has special meaning to me because it was a favorite of Barbara Amberg’s, a dear friend and mentor of mine, and one we used to do in Musical Storytime, led by my friend and manager, Thom Ball. Both of them are no longer with us, but I thought of them while we were singing, and the kids really seemed to enjoy the song.

[C] Fall is here, hear the yell,
[C] Back to school, ring the bell.
[F] Brand new shoes, walking blues,
[C] Climb the fence, books and pens.

[G7] I can tell that [F] we are gonna be [C]friends.
[G7] I can tell that [F] we are gonna be [C]friends.

[C] Walk with me, Suzy Lee,
[C] Through the park and by the tree.
[F] We will rest upon the ground,
[C] And look at all the bugs we found.

[G7] Safely walk to school [F] without a [C] sound.
[G7] Safely walk to school [F] without a [C] sound.

[C] Here we are, there’s no one else.
[C] We walk to school all by ourselves.
[F] There’s dirt on our uniforms,
[C] From chasing all the ants and worms.

[G7] We clean up and [F] now it’s time to  [C] learn.
[G7] We clean up and [F] now it’s time to [C] learn.

[C] Numbers, letters, learn to spell,
[C] Nouns and books, and show and tell.
[F] At playtime, we will throw the ball.
[C] Back to class, through the hall.

[G7] Teacher marks our [F] height against the [C] wall.
[G7] Teacher marks our [F] height against the [C] wall.

[F] And we don’t notice any [C] time pass
[F] We don’t notice any [C] thing
[D] We sit side by side in every class.
[F] Teacher thinks that I sound funny,
[G7] But she likes the way you sing.

[C] Tonight I’ll dream while I’m in bed,
[C] When silly thoughts go through my head.
[F] About the bugs and alphabet,
[C] And when I wake tomorrow I’ll bet

That [G7] you and I will [F] walk together a-[C] gain.

Cause [G7] I can tell that [F] we are gonna be [C]friends.
[G7] I can tell that [F] we are gonna be [C]friends.

 

Stay & Play: Craft Stick Friends

This was a simple idea that ended up being a lot of fun. I put out craft sticks, markers, pipe cleaners, yarn, googly eyes, scissors, and glue sticks for the kids to make their own “craft stick friends.” Both the kids and the grown-ups got really involved in making them, and they were all adorable!