Time to Eat!

This storytime can be used anytime to discuss food, and what people find good to eat. This also can be called “Food Storytime.” The books listed here are usually appropriate for Preschool or Family storytime.

Welcome/Opening Activity:

Opening fingerplay:
(match actions to words)
Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Give a little clap, clap, clap!
Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Lay them in your lap.
Open, shut them, open shut them,
To your shoulders fly.
Then like little birdies, let them flutter to the sky.
Falling, falling, falling, falling,
Almost to the ground.
Slowly pick them up again,
And turn them ‘round and ‘round.

Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them,
Roll them just like this!
Wave them, wave them, wave them, wave them,
Blow a little kiss!
Turn them, faster, faster, faster,
Fast as you can go!
Turn them, slower, slower, slower,
CLAP!  Then turn so slow…

Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them,
Right up to your chin.
Open up your little mouth…
But do not let them in!
Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them,
Right up to your cheek.
Cover up your little eyes,
Then give a little peek!
Adapted from: http://www.preschoolbystormie.com/finemotor.htm

Transition Fingerplay: RIGHT HAND, LEFT HAND
(Most storytellers sit or stand facing the children, so when raising your left or right hand, it’s the opposite to the children facing you. This confused me to no end when I was younger.)
This is my right hand, I’ll raise it up high.
(Raise your left hand, their right hand.)
This is my left hand, I’ll touch the sky. (Raise your right hand, their left hand.)
Right hand, (Show left palm, their right palm.)
Left hand, (Show right palm, their left palm.)
Roll them around. (Roll hands around.)
Left hand, (Show right palm, their left palm.)
Right hand, (Show left palm, their right palm.)
Pound, pound, pound. (Pound fists together.)
Source: http://www.esl4kids.net/fingerplays/hand.html


Title: Dim Sum for Everyone
Author/Illustrator: Grace Lin
Publisher/Date: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2001
Comments:  Dim sum is a brunch enjoyed between 10 am and 1 pm. The good stuff is gone by around 2 pm!  Order dishes from rolling carts. A variety of small plates washed down with tea is a great way to start a weekend afternoon! Another book to try is Feast for 10 (Clarion Books, 1993) by Cathryn Falwell. This book features an African American family preparing, cooking, and enjoying a family dinner. This book is also great for Thanksgiving storytime.

Title: Yoko
Author/Illustrator: Rosemary Wells
Publisher/Date: Hyperion Book, 1998
Comments: Yoko eats sushi for lunch but is teased by the other students, who mock unfamiliar food. This book can also be used for Cat or Bullying stories. Another book to try is Lotus Seed (Sandpiper, 1997) by Sherry Garland, illustrated by Tatsuro Kiuchi. This book is about a grandmother in Vietnam who keeps a lotus seed with her as she emigrates to the United States. This book is a bit long for preschoolers, but can work with older kids in Family or Bedtime stories.

Title: Cora Cooks Pancit
Author/Illustrator: Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore / Kristi Valiant
Publisher/Date: Shen’s Books, 2009
Comments: A picture book celebrating Filipino culture. Another book to try is Bee-bim Bop!(Clarion Books, 2005) by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee. This book celebrates the joy of saying and eating this delicious Korean dish of rice and vegetables (with a little meat or egg thrown in).

Storytelling/Oral History:

5 fat sausages (hold up 5 fingers of 1 hand)
Frying in a pan (wiggle 5 fingers)
All of a sudden, 1 went, “Bang!” (clap hands)
4 fat sausages (hold up 4 fingers of 1 hand)
Frying in a pan (wiggle 4 fingers)
All of a sudden, 1 went, “Bang!” (clap hands)
3 fat sausages (hold up 3 fingers of 1 hand)
Frying in a pan (wiggle 3 fingers)
All of a sudden, 1 went, “Bang!” (clap hands)
2 fat sausages (hold up 2 fingers of 1 hand)
Frying in a pan (wiggle 2 fingers)
All of a sudden, 1 went, “Bang!” (clap hands)
1 fat sausage (hold up 1 finger of 1 hand)
Frying in a pan (wiggle 1 finger)
All of a sudden, it went, “Bang!” (clap hands)
No more fat sausages frying in a pan! (hold up closed fist)
Source: http://www.thebestkidsbooksite.com/funfingerplay.cfm


Two fat sausages, (hold up 2 fingers)
Sizzling in a pan. (wiggle 2 fingers)
One went, “POP!” (throw 1 hand over shoulder)
And the other went, “BANG!” (throw the other hand over shoulder)
Adapted from source: http://www.lanterntree.com/nurseryrhymes/FiveFatSausages.html

Fingerplay: FIVE CANDLES
(pretend to blow out each “candle”/ your finger). Warning: younger children, such as preschoolers and kindergartners, will ALL want to tell you when their birthday or anyone else’s birthday is… all at the same time! You may need to do another fingerplay to get everyone to settle down)
Five candles on a birthday cake – five, and not one more.
You may blow one candle out and that leaves four!
Four candles on a birthday cake; it’s there for all to see.
You may blow one candle out, and that makes three!
Three candles on a birthday cake, standing straight and true.
You may blow one candle out, and that leaves two!
Two candles on a birthday cake; helping us have fun.
You may blow one candle out, and that leaves one!
One candle on a birthday cake; we know its task is done.
You may blow this candle out; and that leaves none!
Source: http://earlylit.net/wordpress/category/storytime-component/fingerplays-and-rhymes/

(Try chanting this with an alligator puppet)
Alligator pie. Alligator pie.
If I don’t get some, I think I’m gonna cry.
Give away the green grass, and give away the sky.
But don’t give away my alligator pie!
Alligator cake. Alligator cake.
If I don’t get some, I think I’m gonna shake!
Give away the garden hose, and give away the rake.
But don’t give away my alligator cake!
Alligator stew, alligator stew,
If I don’t get some, I don’t know what I’ll do.
Give away my furry hat, and give away my shoe,
But don’t give away my alligator stew.
Alligator soup, alligator soup,
If I don’t get some, I think I’m gonna droop.
Give away my hockey stick, and give away my hoop,
But don’t give away my alligator soup.
Adapted from a poem by Dennis Lee with from this website: http://www.squidoo.com/swamp

Another story telling activity to try is from this book:
Noodlehead Stories: World Tales Kids can Read and Tell (August House, 2000) by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss, illustrated by Ariane Elsammak. This book of silly stories features noodleheads. While not strictly about food, you can read or tell one of the stories and then ask the kids what they think “noodlehead” means.


Album: So Big – Activity Songs for Little Ones
Artist: Hap Palmer
CD track # 3: I’m a Pretzel
This song requires balance and flexibility, but the children will love trying to contort themselves into a pretzel, and the parents will be amused by how you manage to keep your balance.
Album: One Light, One Sun
Artist: Raffi
CD track # 2: Apples and Bananas
You can make large red apples and yellow bananas to display on the flannel board during the song, as well as the vowels and letters that spell apples and bananas. If there isn’t enough room to display the words, just show them on a large poster board with drawings of red apples and yellow bananas.


Cut out large triangles from brown paper to make a pizza slice.
Cut out smaller, rounded triangle from yellow paper for cheese.
Cut our green squiggles for bell peppers, small black circles for olives, and medium red circles for pepperoni. This craft can be adapted to make vegetarian pizza if preferred.
Have the children glue (with glue sticks) the pieces on the brown triangle to assemble their “pizza.” The smaller the child (ie toddler) the bigger the pieces to make this an easier craft for them. Preschoolers have more developed fine motor skills.
Adapted from: http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/kitchencrafts/a/blpizzacoll.htm

Games/Other Activities:

(You can do this 3 times to lengthen time of stretch, and the kids will not mind!)
I’m a Little Popcorn Kernel,
(sit on floor with arms around your knees in ball)
Shaking to and fro, (rock back and forth)
When the oven gets hot enough (uncurl slowly)
Pop! I go! (jump up)
Source: http://www.thebestkidsbooksite.com/funfingerplay.cfm?fingerplayid=470

For more ideas, try the following book, which has activities suitable for grade school children:
Kid’s Guide to Asian American History: more than 70 activities(A Kid’s Guide Series, Chicago Review Press, 2007) by Valerie Petrillo.


Any kind of food such as cookies or a vegetable or fruit tray for a healthier choice.
Water or juice poured into Dixie cups.
Always keep packaging for ingredient list in case of allergies or those under a restricted diet.
Always hand food to children with napkins and clean hands to ensure good sanitary habits.


(to the tune of: 10 Little Indians)
January, February, March, and April,
May and June and July and August
September, October, November, December.
These are the months of the year.
(then ask the children if they know what month it is)
Adapted from: http://www.preschooleducation.com/scalendar.shtml

(to the tune of: Are You Sleeping)
(hold up a combination of seven fingers on seven days)
Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
The week has seven days
The week has seven days
What’s today?
What’s today?
Adapted from: http://www.preschooleducation.com/scalendar.shtml6

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