Storytime Spotlight: Lost and Found

I’m prepping a Lost and Found storytime for 2020 and realized I never blogged about it in 2018! This is one of my all-time favorite storytime themes. Many young children experience separation anxiety and this theme gives us a safe space to explore those feelings. Also, who hasn’t felt the anguish of losing a beloved toy or stuffed animal? I’ll never forget losing Barney at Chuck E. Cheese at the tender age of six. I still wonder where my purple pal went. Who did he go home with? What adventures did they have? Or was he lonely in the lost and found? Donated to charity when we didn’t come back? Dumped in a trash bin? I’ll never know! 😭

ANYWAYS… I ran through this plan three times at three different branches for mixed-age family storytimes. Here goes!


Welcome & Set Expectations

*Sing: Wake Up Hands

After our opening song, I reached for our first book… but my storytime bag wasn’t there! Oh no! I lost it! I described the bag and encouraged the kiddos to use spatial vocabulary to help me find it. Someone left my bag on top of the window ledge… who could that have been? 🙂

Math Message: Playing & Building Spatial Vocabulary

“Grown-ups, a lot of times we think about math as counting and numbers, but math is so much more! Research shows that spatial awareness NOW, or understanding the position of objects in relation to their environment, is a big part of both math and reading success LATER. When you play games like I Spy and give clues with spatial words, like under and over and next to, you help your child learn important math words they need to understand spatial relationships.”

Read: Where Is Bear? by Jonathan Bentley

Y’all, this book. It’s delightful on so many levels! It’s great for encouraging kids to use their spatial vocabulary to describe where the bear is on each page. There’s a delightful twist at the end, too.

This page is particularly excellent for building print awareness! I always give the group a heads up that the words on this page are very BIG, so that means we read them in a LOUD voice – cover your ears if you don’t like loud noises!

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Talk: Faces/Feelings

Speaking of anguish, we looked at some photographs and talked about how each child was feeling. We found the face that probably just lost their teddy bear and then sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with additional verses for our extra feelings.

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Lit Tip: Talking & Building Emotional Intelligence Vocabulary

“Grown-ups, talking about both our own feelings and other people’s feelings is so important! Research shows that kids with emotional intelligence do better in school and life because they can self-regulate and build strong relationships. When you read books, talk about how the characters are feeling and make connections. This helps your child build the vocabulary they need to better recognize their own feelings and communicate with you.”

Sing: If You’re Happy and You Know It… (with extra feelings verses)

*Sing: If You’re Ready for a Story…

If I had more preschoolers in the crowd, we wrapped up storytime with…

Read: Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage

Sing: The Monkey Dance by The Wiggles

Sing: Little Red Wagon (stretchy band)

And when the crowd trended towards toddler, we…

Read: What’s the Matter, Bunny Blue? by Nicola Smee

Sing: Bunny Hop by Katherine Dines

Sing: Sleeping Bunnies by Kathy Reid-Naiman (scarves)

Learning Through Play


I can’t wait to try this theme out again! There are SO MANY great books to choose from. Here’s some more of my favorites:

lost found more books

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