A House is a Home


OPENING RHYME: Open, Shut Them

FINGERPLAY: Tap at the Door

Tap at the door,
Tap one hand with fingers of other
Peep in,
Form fingers into rings around eyes.
Turn the knob,
Make turning motion with other hand.
Walk in,
Walk fingers of one hand on palm of other.
And – shut the door!
Clap loudly.

Credit: SurLaLune Storytime

BOOK 1: Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino
Mollie’s Review: Two good friends, Owl and Rabbit are next door neighbors. They both live in small houses, perfectly happy, until one day Rabbit’s garden grows so big it blocks Owl’s perfect view. Owl begins building his house taller which ends up blocking Rabbit’s view. The two begin an all out house building frenzy causing their relationship to suffer. An important lesson is learned when the wind blows…rekindling Owl and Rabbit’s friendship.

This book has gorgeous illustrations!

FLANNEL: Whose House? Guessing Game
What animal lives in a pond?  A tree?  A nest? A barn?  A cave?  Cover each animal with its’ house, and let children guess! If they need extra help, make the noise of the animal (Moooo!) or give them a clue.

Whose House Flannel Board with Templates, from Sunflower Storytime

Printable Whose House? – Houses
Printable Whose House? – Animals

To make the animals for this flannel board, I first printed the clipart onto fabric (yes fabric!)  Visit A little bit of quiet for instructions on printing on fabric.  (I cut my fabric to 8.5″ x 11″ and used Elmer’s Spray Adhesive.) After cutting the animals out, I used the spray adhesive again to attach them to felt.  Nifty!

ACTION SONG:  Jumping and Counting (with Houses)
Music:  Jumping and Counting by Jim Gill
I put the houses on the flannel board one-by-one and we practiced the colors of the houses first.  And then we practiced counting them.  Then I put on the music, and we jumped and counted houses again!

10 HousesPrintable 10 Houses

BOOK 2: A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman
An older book (first published in 1978) with wonderful rhyming text.  It starts out:

A hill is a house for an ant, an ant.
A hive is a house for a bee.
A hole is a house for a mole or a mouse
And a house is a house for me!

A web is a house for a spider.
A bird builds its nest in a tree.
There is nothing so snug as a bug in a rug
And a house is a house for me!

The pictures are a little busy and muted for reading to a group, so instead I showed this SlideShare by Emily Whiteside on our large TV.  It’s fun and interactive, with questions for the kids to answer at the end.

A House if a Home SlideShareCLOSING SONG: Skinnamarink

CRAFT: Microwave Puffy Paint Houses
A friend sent me a link on Facebook with a recipe for Microwave Puffy Paint and I figured I had to try it out!  And guess what…it really does work!  I used the recipe from MommyLabs, where you can find additional instructions and ideas.

1 cup flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup water
A few drops food coloring

Mix ingredients together.  It should be the consistency of pancake batter (add more water as needed.)  I love that this “paint” is edible and safe to give to little ones.  Although, you wouldn’t want to eat it; it’s very salty.  I tried it. 🙂

I put the paint in snack size Ziploc baggies and tied them up with rubber bands.  IMG_20140320_105442_486Then I cut the a small hole in the tip of each baggie and let the children paint away!  I used half-sheets (so that they fit in the microwave) of cardboard or card stock.

Waiting for their works of art to finish “baking.”

Once their works of art were completed, I popped them in the microwave for 30-40 seconds and let the magic happen.  This was such a fun craft – and really not that messy.  The best part was that after the paint came out of the microwave, it was dry!  So it wasn’t messy to take home.  (Also it smelled yummy…like pancakes.)


Purple Little Bird by Greg Foley
A simple, clean design and humorous text will most certainly appeal to children.  A must-have!

Bear at Home/ Oso en Casa by Stella Blackstone
Very simple text. But I love that this is in English and Spanish.  It’s great for sneaking a few Spanish words into a storytime – Oso, la puerta, llave, casa, etc.

The Three Little Pigs by Emily Bolam
Bright pictures and simple text.  A great retelling to use as a read aloud.

Home by Alex T. Smith
Cute story and pictures, but a little too long for toddler storytime.  I think this would be better suited for preschoolers!

One thought on “A House is a Home

  1. Pingback: Storytime Thursday: Houses and Homes – The Tinkering Librarian

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