story time

Monster Story Time

I chose this theme when I was covering my co-worker’s toddler story time last year. I had just started working at the library about a month before and no one knew who I was and the kids were all very upset that Miss Amy wasn’t there. Tough crowd!

Song: Open Shut Them
Open shut them, open shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap.
Open shut them, open shut them
Put them in your lap, lap, lap.
Creep them, crawl them
Creep them, crawl them
Right up to your chin, chin, chin.
Open up your mouth …
But do not let them in!

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

Book: Go to Bed, Monster! by Natasha Wing; illustrated by Sylvie Kantorovitz

go to bed monster.jpg

Flannel: Five Scary Monsters
Five scary monsters howling out a roar,
One ran away, and then there were four.
Four scary monsters hiding in a tree,
One fell out, and then there were three.
Three scary monsters eating spider stew,
One got sick, and then there were two.
Two scary monsters having lots of fun,
One ran off, and there there was one.
One scary monster, afraid to be a hero,
He ran away, and then there were zero.


This is the first flannel I ever made. I’m very proud of it. I based the monster shape on a sketch my husband drew for me!

Action Rhyme: If I Were a Monster
If I were a happy monster, I’d go ha ha ha! (laugh)
If I were a sad monster, I’d go boo, hoo, hoo. (rub eyes)
If I were a mad monster, I’d go stomp, stomp, stomp. (stomp feet)
If I were a scared monster, I’d go AAH! AAH! AAH! (scream)
But I’m just me, you see, so I’ll just read, read, read. (put hands together like reading book)
Source: SurLaLune Storytime

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

Book: Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin

monsters love colors.jpg

This book was a little too “abstract” for toddlers to comprehend. I’d choose differently next time.

Action Rhyme: Monsters Galore
Monsters galore, can you roar? (*roar*)
Monsters galore, can you soar? (flying motions)
Monsters galore, please shut the door. (*clap*)
Monster galore, fall on the floor! (sit/fall down)
Source: Storytime Katie

I made the mistake of not having them stand up to do this so falling on the floor wasn’t as fun as it should have been. As you can see I still had some newbie mistakes to overcome.

Book: Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley


This was tough in book form. I couldn’t get the group to shout “go away” with me as I wanted them to. Perhaps because they were toddlers or perhaps because they still weren’t “into” me. I’d be willing to try it again with my current pre-K group since they’re used to me and usually pretty willing to go along with my shenanigans.

Egg Shakers: Shake It by Sally’s Music Circle

Book: Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

leonardo the terrible monster.jpg

Finally! A book the group, children and adults alike, enjoyed and even laughed at. Phew! God bless you Mo Willems. This will be a staple for every future monster story time I do.

Song/Book: If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca & Ed Emberley

if you're a monster and you know it.jpg

We all stood up and I read the book to them and they acted out the actions. It all went very well until the end when it called for them to do everything at once. That was a little too overwhelming and I wouldn’t do it with toddlers again.

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