story time

Pumpkins & Halloween Story Time (Outreach)

Since I only see my outreach daycare kids once a month I often combine books and themes from my entire month for their story time. Even though it’s only mid-October I knew I wanted to do a Halloween-themed story time for them. I also thought (since I wouldn’t see them before the holiday) we could discuss what costume they were planning on wearing.

Welcome Song: Hands Go Up and Hands Go Down
(to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Hands go up and hands go down
I can turn around and round
I can hop upon two shoes
I can listen so can you
I can sit, I’ll show you how
Story time is starting now

Song: The Leaves are Falling Down (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
Red, yellow, green and brown (tap knees)
The leaves are falling down

Book: Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson; illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke


I love this book about a little fox caring for his favorite tree when he sees its leaves start falling to the ground. It’s way too long for my preschoolers but I knew my outreach kids could handle it. I didn’t get the Ooo’s at the end that I sometimes do (there’s a sparkly tree) but they were quiet and engaged in the story.

Flannel: Five Little Leaves
Five little leaves on the tree next door
One fell off and then there were four
Four little leaves all over the tree
One fell off and then there were three
Three little leaves where the wind blew
One fell off and then there were two
Two little leaves sitting in the sun
One fell off and then there was one
One little leaf in the tree all alone
The wind blew and blew and now there are none!
Source: Storytime Katie

Song: Alice the Camel
Alice the Camel has five humps
Alice the Camel has five humps
Alice the Camel has five humps
So go Alice go
Four // Three // Two // One
Alice the Camel has no humps
Alice the Camel has no humps
Alice the Camel has no humps
‘Cause Alice is a horse

One of the teachers actually knew this song from Barney so she was in on the ending joke with me.

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*)

Before we read our first Halloween-themed story I asked what everyone was going to be. I thought several might be undecided since Halloween is still a couple weeks away but only one still hadn’t decided! There were several superheroes, one Elsa (will this Frozen craze ever end??), some animals … the usual. One of the girls is going to be Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz so I told the kids how the slippers are actually silver in the book but they were made ruby in the movie since it looked better on film and against the Yellow Brick Road. Fun movie trivia!

Book: No Zombies Allowed by Matt Novak


Two witches are throwing their annual Halloween party and, not wanting the same messiness from last year, decide not to invite the zombies, werewolves, vampires, skeletons, etc. When they realize witches are no better, they decide to include everyone. I love the message and the illustrations are bright and funny.

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Sung three times, getting faster each time.

Wiggle Rhyme: Watch Out for the Bugs (to the tune of Jingle Bells)
Clap your hands, stomp your feet
Wiggle all around
Throw your hands up in the air and now let’s touch the ground
Touch your head, touch your hips, give yourself a hug
Now sit down upon the floor
But watch out for the bugs!! (stamp out the bugs)

Action Rhyme: “Pumpkin Pumpkin” (to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (hold arms wide at sides)
Once you were a seed so small (pinch fingers together)
Now you are a great big ball. (make a big circle overhead)
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground (touch the ground)
How’d you get so big and round? (hold arms wide at sides)
Source: SurLaLune Storytime

Book: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler


The kids really liked this one even though they had all heard it before (apparently it had been the Book of the Week the week before!). The magic of a great, rhyming book!

Egg Shakers: Shake It by Sally’s Music Circle

Book/Song: Five Little Pumpkins illustrated by Ben Mantle
(to the tune of Baa Baa Black Sheep)


Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said, “It’s half past eight.”
The second one said, “There are witches in the air.”
The third one said, “Good folk beware!”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run.”
The fifth one said, “Let’s have some fun.”
Ooooooooh went the wind
And OUT went the light
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

I bought this book at Five Below for my son so I borrowed it from him and brought it with me. Instead of doing this as a flannel I did it as a book/song. I read it through once but in hindsight, I should have done it once more so they could have tried to sing along. The kids at outreach really love participating and singing along. They’re a great audience!

By this time the fire truck/firefighters for a Fire Prevention Week visit were in the parking lot at the daycare and there wasn’t much hope of keeping their attention much longer. Luckily my next book was short and sweet and then it was time for our goodbye song.

Book: Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds; illustrated by Peter Brown


A suspenseful tale of a bunny who thinks he’s being followed by creepy carrots from his favorite patch. Not a Halloween story per se but a good “scary” tale to go along with the theme.

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This (to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell)
We wave goodbye like this.
We wave goodbye like this.
We clap our hands for all our friends.
We wave goodbye like this.

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