Storytime Spotlight: Puppies & Parks (Family Time)

Woke up to cold and freshly fallen snow! It’s a perfect morning to drink hot tea and remember warmer summer storytimes.

I LOVE this theme because it’s so rooted in kids’ everyday experiences. They bring a lot of background knowledge to the table when it comes to parks and playing outside!

Welcome & Set Expectations

*Sing: Bread & Butter

Transition Talk: I’m Thinking Of…

“Let’s play a game! I’m going to give you clues. You listen to the clue, then guess where it is I’m thinking of. Ready? I’m thinking of a place where you lay down with a blanket… great guess, a bed DOES have a blanket, but I’m thinking of somewhere else! I’m thinking of a place where you can lay down with a blanket, and there’s green trees… and sometimes sand… and sometimes water… and slides to play on! What am I thinking of?”

I had a set of photos to go with this but I don’t know where they went, so no picture. Sorry!

Read: Bark Park

Quick and cute rhyming read.

Flannel: One Little Dog Went Out to Play…


One Little Dog Went Out to Play

One little dog went out out to play,

In the Bark Park far away.

He had such enormous fun,

He called for another dog to come!

(bark or howl or yip depending on size of dog)


Credit: adapted from One Elephant Went Out to Play

Clip Art: Daily Art Hub

Love this flannel! So much opportunity for math talk, such as…

  • How are these dogs the same?
  • How are they different?
  • Which one is the longest?
  • Which one is the biggest?
  • Which one do you think barks the loudest? Why?
  • Which dogs do you think would like to play together in a group? Why?

I want to make some pretty dachshunds in patterned sweaters to go with this song, too, so we can sort into groups and notice patterns! Daily Art Hub has another absolutely adorable set here:


“What were some the things the dogs liked to do at the Bark Park? Let’s sing a song and pretend we’re dogs at the park!”

Sing: If You’re a Dog and You Know It…

If You’re a Dog and You Know It

If you’re a dog and you know it, wag your tail.

If you’re a dog and you know it, wag your tail.

If you’re a dog and you know it, and you really want to show it

If you’re a dog and you know it, wag your tail!

Repeat with bark like this, jump up and down, chase your tail, etc.


Credit: Librarian Lisa’s Storytimes

*Sing: If You’re Ready for a Story…

Read: Not a Stick

My favorite celebration of imagination! Perfect book to set us up for our next activity…

Activity: Finish the Drawing

This is one of my favorite writing center activities from my teacher days! In this activity, you start with a line or shape and turn it into a picture. Then you tell a story about the picture. This is a great activity to build both narrative skills and even early math writing – thinking symbolically in pictures!

Get inspired by more starter shapes and other fun ideas from the Center for Childhood Creativity Catapult.

Me: “Let’s tell our own story! This is not a stick. It’s a…. What is it? What do you think it is?”

Kids: “A tree!”

Me: “Once upon a time there was a tree who was bent over. The tree was sad. The tree wanted to stand straight and tall like its tree friends in the forest. What happens next?”

Kids: “Someone pulls it up!”

Me: “A stranger came along through the forest and tried to pull it up – PULL! – but the tree was still bent over. *sigh* What happens next?”

(As you can see, many people and animals came together to help the tree! Kiddos suggested their daddies and mommies because they are so tall and strong, an elephant because it is big, etc. One kiddo thought we might need forces pushing AND pulling to fix the tree.)

Me: “The people pulled on one side – PULL! Anthony and Anthony’s daddy and Abby’s dog and an elephant pushed on the other side – PUSH! And finally, the tree stood up straight and tall. Yay!”

Me: “How do you think that made the tree feel? What did they all do last? What should we name our story? What should be the title?”

Lit Tips: Writing & Print Motivation

Grown-ups, learning to write is HARD WORK! Kids who have practice scribbling, drawing pictures, and telling stories about their pictures are excited to learn more about how writing works. When you ask your child to tell you about their picture, they feel like what they have to say is important and valued. This will motivate them to learn new ways to express themselves when they learn how to WRITE letters and words.

Learning Through Play

So look what came out literally a week AFTER we did this storytime:


I can’t wait to read this next year! Think I will swap this book with Bark Park next time.

*Please visit this page to learn more about my regular storytime songs and routines.

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