Sing, Talk, Play, and Read…in less than an hour

Singing, talking, playing, and reading. It can be done in less than one hour. I promise. And I’m going to tell you how.

Step 1: Visit your Stark County District Library location and attend storytime. That’s all.


Foster and his sister play in the water table and discover what happens when you put candy canes in water.

Here’s the proof: Today at storytime, we read three books, sang four songs, played in the water table with water, candy canes, and toys, talked about the reaction between the water and candy canes, and then created a beautiful candy cane painting. And we were done by 11:15 (just 45 minutes after we started).

And just in case you can’t make it to the library, here’s how you can do all of this at home.

We started with the storytelling portion of storytime. You just need a couple books and some songs. As you read, feel free to stop and ask questions about the characters, storyline, or pictures. Here’s what we used:

  • Welcome Song: “Wiggle Them, Wiggle Them”
  • Action Rhyme: “This is Big, Big, Big” 2x
  • Story: Llama Llama Jingle Bells by Anna Dewdney (let your child choose the story…we chose this because Foster loves the Llama Llama series)
  • Song: “Up on the Housetop” with hand motions 2x
  • Story: Shh (this is my absolute favorite Santa story) by Julie Sykes
  • Song: “Jingle Bells” (you can add bells to make even more fun!)
  • Story: Peek-a-Boo Snowman by Charles Reasoner

Our friend plays with a shrinking candy cane.


Peek-a-boo! Use toys in unexpected ways.

Then we moved to the play portion of the program. I filled a water table (you can use a sink or the bathtub) with about three inches of water (if that). We talked about the water. What does it feel like? Is it hot? Is it cold? Is it warm?

Then I pulled out the candy canes! What happens if we put a candy cane in water? We made a few guesses and then tried it. Immediately, the water started to bubble around the candy and the color started disappearing. While the candy dissolved, I gave the children some toys to play with. Don’t be afraid to use words like sink, float, disappear, light, heavy, etc. You’ll be surprised what your children already know.

By the time we were finished, the candy had completely disappeared, the water turned a light shade of red, and the room smelled like peppermints.IMG_4427

The last thing we did during storytime was our candy cane painting masterpiece! You need a little red paint (add a little peppermint extract for a sensory bonus!), a marble and a candy cane paper cut out. Place the candy candy cutout in a flat container, squirt a little paint in the corner, and roll the marble back and forth in the container over the paper. Talk about what is happening and why the marble rolls the way it does.

So, while I can’t guarantee storytime will always involve a water table and candy canes, I encourage you to visit your library for storytime and other fun programs because I can guarantee you’ll sing, talk, read, play (and possibly write)! And I encourage you to try these activities at home!


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