Mother Knows Best: A Storytime for Mother’s Day

Yesterday at our Outdoor Musical Storytime, we did stories and songs about mothers. Here’s what we did:


Toad on the Road: Mama and Me by Stephen Shaskan

This is a really cute story about a Mama toad who drives a tow truck, accompanied by her little one. As they drive along, they rescue a goat who has run out of gas, a fox with a flat tire, and a moose in the muck. Finally, they arrive at a party, where they discover where all of their newfound friends have been going.

Baby Goes to Market by Atinuke; illustrated by Angela Brooksbank

Adorable book about a mother and her baby, who are shopping in a Nigerian market. The vendors can’t resist giving Baby different foods: bananas, oranges, chin-chin biscuits, and more. Each time, Baby eats one, and puts the rest in the basket on Mama’s head, without her knowing. Eventually Mama notices how heavy her basket is, and is shocked all the additional food. The crowd laughed at the ending, when the mother says Baby must be very hungry, since he’s had nothing to eat.

Everything is Mama by Jimmy Fallon

Very simple but funny book that shows a variety of baby animals who call everything they see “Mama.” Claire read the part of the babies, and I read the other parts. The kids enjoyed chiming in on the “Mama’s.”


We Bounce and We Bounce and We Stop

One of my all-time favorite storytime songs. It works so well for different ages, and you can do different motions for each verse. We did clapping, turning, leaning, and stomping. The kids always love it!


We bounce and we bounce and we stop!


We bounce and we bounce and we stop!


We bounce and we bounce and we bounce and we bounce,

C                                          G7                       C

And we bounce and we bounce and we stop!

Five Dinosaurs by Nancy Stewart

This one was a fun tie in to Toad on the Road: Mama and Me. I have the kids pretend to drive the car as we sing.

[C] There were five dinosaurs, [F] driving in cars,
[C] Having a really good [G7] time.
They said, [C] “We’ll step on the gas, and [F] go really fast!”
And they [C] did…until one [G7] had a flat [C] tire.
Ka-thunk! Ka-thunk! Ka-thunk! Ka-thunk!
She said, “Go on without me!”

Then there were four dinosaurs…

Repeat, until the last dinosaur has a flat tire, then say,

“She said, ‘I know! I’ll fix the tire! and then I’ll pick up all my friends!”

Then there were five dinosaurs,
Riding in a car, having a really good time.
They said, “Step on the gas, and go really fast!”
And they did, and down the road they went flying.


Five Days Old by Laurie Berkner

We sang this after Baby Goes to Market. It’s a fun action song, and very catchy! Here’s Laurie Berkner’s video:

[C] I’m sitting here, I’m [F] one day old, and [C] I’m sitting here I’m [F] two [G7] days [C] old.

[C] I’m sitting here, I’m [F] three days old, and [C] I’m sitting here I’m [F] four [G7] days [C] old.

[F] One [C] day, I’ll [F] be a [C] year, then [F] I’ll be [C] two, then [G7] three, then four.

[C] As for now I’m [F] sitting here, I’m [C] five days old and [F] no [G7] days [C] more!

I’m jumping up, I’m one day old…

I’m clapping my hands, I’m one day old…

I’m kicking my legs, I’m one day old…

Getting really tired, I’m one day old…

I’m jumping up, I’m one day old..


This song is always a favorite with both kids and caregivers. I go over the sign language for “I Love You” before we sing the song together. Here’s a link to a YouTube video from Super Simple Songs with the tune:

Skidamarink a-dink, a-dink
Skidamarink a-doo
I love you.
Skidamarink a-dink, a-dink
Skidamarink a-doo
I love you.
I love you in the morning
And in the afternoon.
I love you in the evening
And underneath the moon.
Oh, skidamarink a-dink, a-dink
Skidamarink a-doo
I love you.

Circle of the Sun by Sally Rogers

We did this as our instrument play-along at the end. It’s a pretty folk song, that works well because you can add your own verses about different “firsts” in the life of a child. We sang, “Babies take their first steps in a circle of the sun,” and “Babies say their first words…”

[C] Babies are born in a circle of the sun,

Circle of the sun on their [G7] birthing [C] day.

[C] Babies are born in a circle of the sun,

Circle of the sun on their [G7] birthing [C] day.


[C] Clouds to the North, Clouds to the South,

[F] Wind and [C] rain to the [F] East and the [G7] West,

[C] Babies are born in a circle of the sun,

Circle of the sun on their [G7] birthing [C] day.

Stay & Play: Dot Paint Hearts

I intended this to be a resist type project, where the kids used the dot markers to color all around different sized hearts, and then removed the hearts to reveal the heart-shape in white, like the example on the right. But the kids seemed to be more caught up in decorating the paper hearts, and some of them turned out really well (the kid on the right was VERY enthusiastic about the dot markers!).

In any case, to prepare, I cut several paper hearts out of cardstock, and then covered the back with restickable glue stick. For the Stay & Play, I put out the paper hearts, sheets of cardstock, and dot markers.

I think if I did this again, I would either just have the kids decorate paper hearts, or pre-stick the paper frames of the hearts I cut out onto the cardstock, so they could enjoy decorating a big heart, and still have the magic moment when they peeled the frame away.


Where’s My Mom? by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

At my preschool visits this month I’ve read sharing this fun rhyming story about a monkey who can’t find his mother. A butterfly tries to help by pointing out various animals (an elephant, a frog, a snake, etc.), but none of them are the monkey’s Mom. The monkey complains that none of the animals the butterfly has found look like him, but the butterfly points out that her baby caterpillars look nothing like her either. The kids love yelling out, “No, that’s an elephant!” etc. on each page, and the book has a wonderful message about how not all children look like their parents.

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell; illustrated by Patrick Benson

One of my all-time favorite books for toddlers. An adorable family of baby owls wake up to discover that their mother is missing. At first they reassure themselves that she’s probably gone hunting, but then they start to worry. Luckily, their mother arrives just as they are starting to panic. The beautiful illustrations and repeated lines for kids to chime in on, along with the reassuring message make this perfect for storytime.

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

Sweet, funny story about a little girl who puts her Mommy to bed, with all of the usual negotiating and stalling tactics.

Hush, Little Trucker by Kim Norman; illustrated by Toshiki Nakamura

Another book I’ve been reading at the preschools lately is this truck-themed version of Hush, Little Baby. When a little boy loses his toy truck, his mother helps him look for it using a variety of construction vehicles.

What are your favorite stories, songs, or crafts for Mother’s Day? Please share them in the comments below.