Just a Little Give and Take (Storytime)

The idea for this storytime began as a stealing theme. However, a combination of lack of books and worry about how to frame stealing, quickly led the program to evolve into a give and take storytime.

I started with Did you take the B from my _ook? by Beck and Matt Stanton. This is a really silly book, in the fashion of BJ Novak’s The Book with No Pictures, where the adult (me) is forced to say ridiculous things.


Next we played who took the cookie from the cookie jar. Before starting I went around the room and asked each child their name. We have a lot of regulars, and I know their names well, but we also have been getting a lot of new kiddos, and I didn’t want to single them out by asking only their names. Then, we did the chant through many times until every child’s name had been called. They are a very quiet group, so it was tough to get them to do the “who me” and “not me” parts, but it was still fun. When everyone had been called on, I ended the game by admitting I took the cookie.

Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?
NAME took the cookie from the cookie jar.
Who me?
Yes, you!
Not me!
Then who?

Our next book was Rhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman. The kids had a blast trying to guess what rhyme the thief would replace things with.


Next I wanted to do a rhyme that focused more on giving, since the first two books and rhyme were all about taking. I created this simple rhyme and game based off the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books.

I’ve got a _____, yes I do!

Who should I give this _____ to?

I pulled out each food item, and had the kids guess which animal I should give it to. It worked well with this group, because as preschoolers most of them were already familiar with the books and characters.


The last story I did was A Cake for Barney by Joyce Dunbar. We have a prop to go along with this story, so I adapted it a bit to fit what puppets I have. We have a little cake with removable cherries on top, so during the story Barney either gave other animals one of his cherries or had other animals take one of his cherries.


Instead of a craft this week, we played a game of musical chairs. It was nice to do something more active, rather than sitting down for a craft project. We started the game with enough chairs for everyone, and then the several adults who were playing got out first. This allowed all of the kids to play for several rounds before any of them ended up without a chair. Despite several wipe-outs and lots of tears from kids left without a chair, the game was a fun activity. By the end, every child (even those who had been balling minutes earlier) left with a smile. It was also a good lesson that you don’t always get what you want.

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