preschool storytime: bears!

Normally my co-worker Kathy does the preschool storytimes, but today she was taking a day off, so the task fell to me. Luckily I knew in advance, enabling me to plan an action-packed story hour. I’ve been finding that themes help me when I’m planning for the older crowd (since my usual audience might not even be crawling yet, 4 and 5 year-olds seem “older” to me!). I didn’t want to go with a school theme, but bears seemed on-target for the cooling weather, the turning leaves, and the all-around feeling that hibernation is drawing near (despite the fact that it’s still in the mid-70s).

Storytime Katie has a couple of bear-themed storytimes on her blog, which I use often for inspiration. I saw Orange Pear Apple Bear surface in both of those storytime plans, but we didn’t have a copy in my library. I was lucky a library in our consortium had it available, because it is a delightful picture book by Emily Gravett! I love her, anyway, so I was happy to share something different by her. Where is Bear, by Leslea Newman, is a rhyming romp that the kids really enjoyed. It also has a little twist that they found pretty funny.

orangepearapplebear whereisbear






On to the plan:


-Shake My Sillies Out, from More Singable Songs by Raffi

-Ring Around the Rosie


-Going on a Bear Hunt (I hung up photos of each obstacle as a visual reminder for myself and for the kids. We talked beforehand about what each was, and that made it easier for them to recognize what was coming next).

-This is Big, Big, Big from Mel’s Desk

-Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

-Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Read: Orange Pear Apple Bear – Emily Gravett


-John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt,

-Two Little Blackbirds

-There Was a Little Turtle

Read: Where is Bear? – Leslea Newman

Shaker egg song:

-“I Know A Chicken,” – Laurie Berkner

Little Mouse Activity

Weston Woods Story Video: Goldilocks and the Three Bears, by James Marshall

Coloring sheets

I should also mention that we have added a second storytime to the same day, for 4-6 year olds in the afternoon. Because I was the stand-in, I just used the same storytime twice, but I deleted the little mouse activity and added in a third book for the older crowd. The book I added was Bearsie Bear and the Surprise Sleepover Party, by Bernard Waber.


Under normal circumstance, I LOVE THIS BOOK. I forgot how long it is, though. I think it took me a full 20 minutes to get through all the animals. Sadly, only two kids showed up to this storytime. I can’t help but think that Bearsie Bear would have gone over better if there was a bigger group that didn’t mind getting a little wild (because it is so silly and fun!).

I don’t know. I think three stories is a lot for a storytime, especially if there is a longer book in the mix. I’m curious to hear how many stories other folks include in their storytimes for Kindergarten-aged children!



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