Easter Bunny Storytime

Has Spring sprung at your local library? If it has, I’m sure there’s an endless rotation of gardening story times to go around, but I love a good Peter Cottontail sing-along in Springtime.

To preview the songs we sing at the intro and outro of our Storytimes, visit our “Favorite Programming Songs” post under the Children’s Services tab, or under Themes.

Talking Points:

  • For those who celebrate Easter, they are often visited by the Easter Bunny! Has anyone seen a bunny before? Can you tell me what a bunny looks like?
  • How does a bunny move, can you show me?
  • Can you make your hand look like a bunny, now can you make it hop?
  • Why does the Easter Bunny hide eggs for us to find? (Kids can come up with some amazing answers to this one.)

Read: The Easter Bunny’s Assistant by Jan Thomas

Video by Storytime at Awnie’s House

Fingerplay: Here Is A Bunny

Here is a bunny with ears so funny (two fingers in a peace sign to make ears)

And here is his hole in the ground (other hand makes a circle)

At the first sound he hears, he pricks up his ears (peace sign fingers wiggle and perk up)

And hops in the hole in the ground (bunny hand jumps into the circle of your other hand to hide)

Read: The Easter Egg by Jan Brett

Video by Reading Rhino

Sing: Little Bunny Foo Foo (Nursery Rhyme)

Little bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest,
Scooping up the field mice,
And bopping them on the head.

Down came the good fairy,
And the good fairy said,
“Little bunny Foo Foo, I don’t wanna see you,
Scooping up the field mice,
And bopping them on the head.”

“I’m gonna give you 3 chances,
Then I’m gonna turn you into a goon!”

(I’ll give you 2 chances, 1 more chance…)

What do you think happened to Little Bunny Foo Foo?

Read: Chester’s Colorful Easter Eggs by Teresa Smythe

Video by Ishan’s Story House

Felt Activity: Chester’s Eggs Matching Game! I copied the eggs from Chester’s Colorful Easter Eggs and made my own felt pieces to coincide with the book. As Chester’s eggs are revealed, I add the matching egg to the felt board. When the book is done, I have 6 eggs! Make sure the eggs are numbered for the extension activity below.

The activity below helps children work on predictions and context. Explain to the children–“Listen to a story about a child, then pick the egg you think the child in the story would like best!”

  • First story: Pepper loves the color Purple! She wears purple pants, purple print shirts, and only eats purple things. Eggplants and Grapes! (P for Purple) Pepper’s egg is egg number…?
  • Second story: Owen loves to play with flowers and he grows a garden of daisies all year round. (O for Orange) Owen’s egg is egg number…?
  • Third Story: Robin just loves Easter, it’s his favorite time of year. He loves listening to the birds chirping outside his window at all hours of the day. Sometimes he takes binoculars and watches them chirp in their nests. (R for Red) 
  • Fourth Story: Gina takes loves to play soccer! She comes home with grass stains all over her pants and shirt from sliding to kick the ball. She loves playing outside. (G is for Green)
  • Fifth Story: Yasmine loves to write letters for the holidays to her friends and family. All of her greeting cards have big, huge letters that say “HAPPY HOLIDAYS” on them, with swirly, pretty handwriting. (Y for Yellow)
  • Sixth Story: Bobby fishes with his grandfather every Tuesday. They go out on the boat when it’s really, really early, and the sun isn’t quite up yet. Then they put their lines in the water and wait for fish to bite. It’s Bobby’s favorite time of the week. (B for Blue)

Imagination Play:

  • Hide eggs around the room for children to find on an Easter Egg Hunt.
  • If you have a large group, give recommendations for the children: “find three eggs and bring them back to the storytime corner!” That way all the children have an equal chance of finding eggs.
  • Count the eggs all together.
  • Sort the eggs by color.

Craft: Craft a basket using strips of pre-cut construction paper! RedTedArt has a great tutorial on this. The children can use the basket they make to use on the Easter Egg Hunt, mentioned in the Imagination Play portion of the storytime.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Children will work on inference and prediction making.
  • Children will use chants and cadences to improve phonological awareness.
  • Children will work on fine motor skills, visual cues and counting up.

And that’s the End: I really enjoy a good “hunt” in the library, whether that’s an egg hunt, a treasure hunt, or a bear hunt! Watching the children go totally wild over a group mission is simply bliss. Parents love seeing their kids get so excited, and the nature of a hunt means that children are running, playing, seeking, and associating–the highlights of a good storytime, in my opinion.

Keep Kids Curious!

Valentine’s Day Storytime

Valentine’s Day is a great way to introduce emotions vocabulary with children. Identifying emotions is an important aspect of being able to regulate emotions. Starting early by giving children the appropriate vocabulary, or the ability to recognize what they’re feeling and put words to it, can also help children develop empathy for their friends and family. The world could always use more empathy!

To preview the songs we sing at the intro and outro of our Storytimes, visit our “Favorite Programming Songs” post under the Children’s Services tab, or under Themes.

Talking Points:

  • Valentine’s Day is a holiday we celebrate with loved ones. It takes place on February 14th every year. Sometimes we write Valentine’s Day cards to friends and family, or give special treats like chocolates and candies.
  • Valentine’s Day is all about love. Who do you love?
  • What does it feel like to love someone? How do we show love?

Sensory Display: I passed out felt cut-out hearts to children in various colors. They held their heart aloft as we played a game. Raise your heart if you feel happy, raise your heart if you feel sad, raise your heart if you feel loving, etc. We made sure to recognize that there are no “good” or “bad” emotions. Then I called the children forward by the color of the heart they received so they could return them to the felt board.

Read: Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis

Video created by Mr. Wil Turner

Sing: “I love you, You love me” (a la Barnie)

I love you, you love me

We’re best friends as friends should be

With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you

Won’t you say you love me too?

Action Rhyme: My Valentine (Identifying emotions rhyme)

My Valentine has feelings, my Valentine with lace,
My Valentine has feelings, he makes an angry/happy/sad/surprised/excited face.

Below is an example of the felt Valentine faces I used, inherited at my library. I would put a Valentine on the board and the children would decide what emotion it was expressing.

Read: LOVE from Sesame Street by Sesame Workshop

Video created by Lolli-Kids Book Club

Finger Rhyme: “I Can Make a Heart” (from JBrary)

I put my hands together, This is how I start (put palms together, as if in prayer)
I curve my fingers right around, (curve the tips of your fingers, rolling inward)
And I can make a heart!

Read: There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Rose by Lucille Colandro.

Video by The Teacher’s Library

Imagination Play Prompts:

  • Let’s try on some emotions today. Let’s pretend to be: happy, sad, angry, excited, funny, tired, etc.
  • Let’s pretend to be someone or something that makes you very happy. I’m going to pretend to make pancakes, because I love eating pancakes!
  • If one of your friends was sad, what would you do to make them feel better?

Craft: I had the children create Valentines for their families using textiles, textured paper, scissors, crayons and markers, tape and various other art supplies. We also have a “lace” crimping cutter that we brought out for the children to crimp the edges of their Valentines.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Children may be able to express their feelings using emotions vocabulary.
  • Children will practice writing their names, cutting with scissors, and identifying shapes.
  • Children will have the opportunity to act out empathy in their imaginative play.

And that’s the End: I love a good holiday Story time, it always feels like the kids are ready to dive into the theme. The free-create craft is a great addition to weeks in-between more “complex” crafts. Kids rarely get the opportunity to create without scripts or instructions, so this one is easy on librarians PLUS best practice for kids, everyone wins. Spreading the love can be a great mission for littles, as well–if you have access to assisted living facilities in your community, the children can decorate Valentines for seniors and their families.

Keep Kids Curious!