Beyond Storytime: June 1-5

Excited about watching virtual Storytimes but wanting to get more out of them? We are delighted to bring you some extra activities you can add to your day to get more out of our Storytimes! Each Friday we’ll be bringing you a preview of the themes for the next week and suggestions for ways to build extra learning and fun into each day.

If you need a reminder how to access Tumblebooks, see our post here: Learning from Home

Monday June 1:

Theme: Digging
Activity: Dirt Sensory Bin
Extra Story: “Wiggle and Waggle” by Caroline Arnold on Tumblebooks

What you’ll need:

  • Dirt/topsoil/mud/sand
  • Excavating tools (spoon, toothbrush, shovel, cup)
  • Bin (to place the dirt inside, you can also use a large bowl, container etc…)
  • Toys, jewels/beads, bracelets, rings or anything else the kids might find exciting to find.
  • Pen and paper

Step 1: Fill a container or bin up with the substance the child will be digging in.

Step 2: Write out the list of items the kids are finding on a piece of paper. Draw/trace a little picture of the item beside each one for the children to match up.

Step 3: Hide all of your “treasures” in the dirt.

Step 4: Let the children play and dig in the bin. As they find items, direct their attention to your list and have them match the item to the picture and make a check mark beside the item they have found. Help with this part by saying the words on the list.

Example: they pull out a purple button, you say “Wow! So cool, what did you find? That’s a purple button, let’s go through our list. Is this a pterodactyl? No… is it a flower? No… oh! Here we go! A purple button!” Then match up the item to the written word on the list. Even though they are not yet able to read, they will make an association for meaning between written word/alphabet symbols and the item.

Step 5: Once they have found all of the items, hide them all again or hide new ones for them to find. They also may want to simply explore the dirt with the toys through play.

Want to add a little flavour to your Storytime? Bring on the ICK factor and have your kids dig for worms with their spoon while they eat this Mud and Worms in a cup recipe from

Tuesday June 2:

Theme: Farm
Activity: Farm Animal Dance Party
Extra Story: “Farm Adventures” Playlist on Tumblebooks

What you’ll need:

  • A fun kids playlist of songs
  • These amazing animal movement cards!

Step 1: Cut the printouts into flashcards so that each animal has its own card.

Step 2: Lay the flashcards face down on a table or on the floor within close proximity to an open dance-friendly space.

Step 3: Have a child flip a movement card. Whatever that card says is the action they have to do while the music plays. When the music stops, they have to freeze in the middle of their dance move, and then a new card is flipped! Continue to have them flip cards until they are tuckered out!

Pro-tip: Switch up the game by having each child flip their own movement card so that they are all moving like a different animal at the same time. 

Wednesday June 3:

Theme: Favourite Songs
Activity: Songs in a Jar
Extra Story: “I Got Two Dogs” by John Lithgow on Tumblebooks

Do you and your child have a bunch of favourite songs from Storytime and Tiny Tunes? Do you get home and want to sing with your child but have a hard time thinking about a song to do? Create a “Song in a Jar” jar to help spark up some song ideas from home!

Step 1: Find a jar or container that you can spend time decorating together.

Step 2: On pieces of paper or popsicle sticks, write out the titles of each song. One title per stick/piece of paper.

Step 3: Add all of the song titles into the jar. When you are ready for “song time” at home, simply bring out the jar and have the kids pull out a song title stick. Sing the song that they pull!  Take a few minutes out of each day to pull out a song and sing together.

Check out this website for a list of songs you could use for your jar:

Pro-tip: It can be fun to keep a jar of bathroom-based songs in the bathroom for your children to pull from while they are having baths, washing their hands, or going potty. Just make sure they’re pulling the sticks with clean hands!

Here is a list of bathroom songs:

  • This is the way we wash our hands
  • Top and Bottom
  • Tiny Tim
  • Down in the jungle
  • Five little ducks
  • The bath song

Thursday June 4:

Theme: Elephants
Activity: Elephant Trunk Challenge
Extra Story: “You See a Circus, I See…” by Mike Downs on Tumblebooks

What you’ll need:

  • Leotard or tights
  • Tennis ball, weight ball or bean bag (tennis ball works best)
  • Stuffed animal (Light in weight)
  • Painter’s tape (optional)

Step 1: If possible, cut the leotard into two separate legs to make two trunks. Have the child place the tennis ball or weighted item into the leotard so that it’s in the foot of the leotard.

Step 2: Create a start point and end point in your house (use painter’s tape to mark the start and end).

Step 3: Place the stuffed animal at the starting line and have your children (and yourself) place the opening of one of the weighted leotard legs on your head like a toque. The object of this game is to get the stuffed animal from the start to the end using only your leotard trunk. Try not to use hands or feet, only the leotard trunk to push the stuffy from one end of the course to the other!

Pro-tip: If you have carpeted floors, stuffed animals will not work for this. Instead use a light weight ball such as a beach ball for the challenge.

Friday June 5:

Theme: Human Body
Activity: Body Tracing Art
Extra Story: “Human Body” Playlist on Tumblebooks

What you’ll need:

  • Something to trace the child’s body on (large piece of paper, unfolded box, multiple pieces of paper taped together, packing paper)
  • Crayons/felt pens/pencil crayons to colour and trace with
  • Any scrap crafting materials (cut up ribbons, scrap paper, washi tape)
  • Glue sticks
  • Any other crafting items you might have for kids (bingo dabbers, stamps, stickers, etc…)
  • Body Parts Labels

Pro-tip: You can also do this activity outside with just chalk

Step 1: Have your child lay down on the material you are tracing them onto. Trace around their body. While you are tracing, mention what parts of their body you are going around, “I am tracing around your head, and past your ears, now down your neck and around your shoulders”, to encourage body part awareness.

Step 2: Have the child sit up and look at the body you have traced around them. Sing songs like “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes” with the child a few times. Now start asking them where parts of their body are and if they can figure out where it might go on their outline. As you name parts of the body, have the child colour them in or use your craft materials to get creative with the project!

Step 3: Create labels for the body parts (we have attached a printable PDF for you to use, but writing them out with your child beside you shows them what writing looks like, and that the symbols we know as the alphabet have meaning).

Pro-tip: Even if your child is not yet a reader or writer, having the labels with words attached to their creation is important! It is important to show that when put all together, letters from the alphabet symbolize something and have meaning. Spell out what you have written and point to the area it represents both on yourself and on the picture. Draw a line from your picture body part to the label, for example: “This is the word ‘eyes’, these are my ‘eyes’ (point to your eyes), and those are your ‘eyes’ (point to their eyes). Where do you think the eyes might be on our picture?”. Have them point to the eyes or help them if they need it, then acknowledge again that the label you have is the word “Eyes”.

Step 4: Continue to colour, paste, and create all over the body however they want to decorate it. As they move from one area to another, continue to acknowledge the parts of the body!

Pro-tip: If you are creating with chalk instead, do the same thing but instead colour and create your tracing with the chalk. You could use the labels from the print out or simply write out the words with chalk.

Need some ideas for songs to sing for body awareness? Try these:

  • Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  • The Hokey Pokey
  • Wake Up Feet
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It
  • Tony Chestnut

That’s all for this week! We will see you next week for more Storytime fun!