story time

Beach Story Time

This was the first story time I ever gave as a children’s librarian. My hands were shaking and I was so nervous. Now story times don’t faze me at all. In fact, they’re probably my favorite part of the job!

Welcome Song: Hi Hello and How Are You (to the tune of London Bridges Falling Down)
Hi, hello and how are you?
How are you? How are you?
Hi, hello and how are you?
How are you today?

Song: Clap Clap Clap Your Hands (to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Clap, clap, clap your hands
Clap them now with me
Clap your hands let me see
Clap them now with me

Tap, tap, tap your knees // Shake, shake, shake your feet

I like this song and revisiting it here makes me want to revive it … I learned it from the librarian I worked with during my practicum.

Book: To the Beach by Linda Ashman; illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott


Cute story about a family who never actually makes it to the beach and ends up relaxing in their own front yard.

Early literacy tip: Singing!
Singing to your children creates phonological awareness which is the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words with rhyming, playing with syllables or parts of words, and hearing the beginning sounds of words.

The full-time librarian I work with does an early literacy tip at every story time she does (toddlers and babies) and so I tried it for awhile. I got mostly blank stares and politely fixed faces, like I was a waitress reciting the specials. So I gave them up. But I’m including the tip here in case it helps anyone out! I’m not averse to giving literacy tips. In fact, I love them and think they’re useful and so important to children and their growth but with my group, they went over like a lead balloon.

Song: The Sea (to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus)
The waves on the sea go up and down, up and down, up and down
The waves on the sea go up and down, all day long

The sharks in the sea go snap, snap, snap //
The fish in the sea go swish, swish, swish //
The boats on the sea go toot, toot, toot

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat
I do three verses of this classic:
Row, row, row your boat (the traditional way) //
Rock, rock, rock your boat, sway from side to side
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily what a bumpy ride (bump hands on lap) //
Row, row, row, your boat, gently down the stream
If you see a crocodile (crocodile snap with arms), don’t forget to scream (*AH*)

Real world literacy tip: Sing to your kids even if you don’t have perfect pitch! In songs, each syllable has a different note. Without thinking about it, children are hearing words being broken down into parts. This helps them with reading when they have to sound out words. Music and repetition makes words easy to remember.

Yes, she’s hardcore and does a tip and how to apply it in real world situations. Again, it didn’t work for me but hopefully it works for you!

Book: When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore; illustrated by Howard McWilliam


I love this story about a little boy at the beach with his family who spends the day with his dragon causing trouble and having fun.

Egg Shakers: Shake It by Sally’s Music Circle

Song: Octopus’s Garden by The Beatles

I played this song off of my phone for the kids to dance to with their shakers. I had a grandmother there with her grandkids who loved it and sang along with me. She even commented to me afterwards that it was nice to hear the song again. Unfortunately, it didn’t go over well with anyone else. I guess it’s a lesser known Beatles song to begin with. I was trying to incorporate some non-kid songs into the mix to expose them to music that was a little … well … cool. I even explained to the kids that octopuses really do make gardens of their own with stones and rocks. *thud* I haven’t tried this again. I almost incorporated All Together Now (another Beatles song) into the mix this fall but I chickened out. If you do this let me know how you made it a success!

Book: Beach Day by Karen Roosa; illustrated by Maggie Smith


After reading this I asked them what their favorite things to do at the beach were. We’re lucky we live so close to the ocean. Most of the kids had been to the beach and could participate in the discussion.

Goodbye Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It
If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it then your face will surely show it
If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands

Stomp Your Feet // Shout Hooray // Do All Three

And there you have it. My first story time as a children’s librarian. I had some lessons to learn and some nerves to overcome but all in all I think it went well!

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