Beyond Storytime: June 8 – 12

A collection of extra activities you can add to your day to get more out of our Storytimes!

Each Friday we’ll be bringing you a preview of the themes for the next week and suggestions for ways to build extra learning and fun into each day.

Here’s a reminder on how to access Tumblebooks before we get started.

Monday June 8, 2020

Theme: Friendship
Activity: Friendship Tree
Extra Story: “Always” by Alison McGhee on Tumblebooks


  • 1 cup of little rocks
  • Large recycled aluminum can (400ml are a good size) or a large glass jar
  • A branch with many little branches coming off of it
  • Ribbon or yarn or string or embroidery thread
  • Paper cut into circles
  • Paint (optional)
  • Hole punch (optional)

Step 1: Wash out the recycled aluminum can or jar so there is no leftover debris inside nor any paper on the outside.

Step 2: If you have paint at home, encourage the kids to paint their can! They could also glue pictures to the can, or modge podge materials onto it. Leave the can to dry.

Step 3: Cut out circles from pieces of paper or recycled cardboard. Punch a hole near the “top” of your circle. These circles are going to represent friends, family members, and activities your child enjoys doing with these people.

Step 4: Have the kids colour and decorate the circles to represent the friends and family in their lives. Write things they enjoy doing with these people on them, things they love about these people, or things they love about themselves. Encourage them to colour/draw pictures that represent these things on the circles! Once they have finished colouring their circle, thread through a piece of ribbon/yarn/thread to make a loop for hanging. Try to make one for each of the branches on your “tree”.

Step 5: Decorate the “tree”. Use embroidery thread, yarn, or paint to decorate your branches. Then put the branch into your dried and decorated can. Fill the can with rocks around your branch. Fill to the top of the can to really stabilize the “tree”.  Have the kids decorate their tree with their memories and friendship circles!

*For an alternative version of this, create the tree with friends/family members (if it is safe to do so). This can be an ongoing project, and when others are over, you can encourage them to help your child add to the tree and watch it grow with friendship memories over time!

Tuesday June 9, 2020

Theme: Transportation
Activity: Transportation Classification Sorting
Bonus Challenge: Recycled Material Car Track
Extra Story: “Toopy and Binoo: The Big Race” by Dominique Jolin on Tumblebooks

Transportation Classification Sorting


  • Transportation Flashcard PDF
  • Scissors
  • 3 pieces of paper
  • Alternative: use our attached printout

Step 1: Print and cut out the transportation flashcards.

Step 2:  Lay each card face down on a flat surface.

Step 3: Lay out 3 pieces of paper to represent “Land”, “Water”, and “Air”. This can be done with 3 different colours of paper (Example: blue for water, green or brown for land, and white or yellow for air), or by drawing a picture on 3 pieces of paper (road, ocean, sky), or by using our print out.

Step 4: Have the child flip the transportation flash cards up one at a time and sort them based on whether the items travel by land, water, or air! (Note that one of these items can go in two different places!)

Pro-Tip: To continue playing this game, make up a character (like a mouse) who needs to get to a destination. How will they get there using all of these forms of transportation? Create a story using the transportation cards!

Bonus Challenge:

Using whatever recycled materials or items around the house that you can find, we challenge you to make the ultimate hot wheels car track! Pass it through toilet paper roll tunnels, down couch slopes, and whatever else inspires you. Take a picture of your creation and send it to us at

Wednesday June 10, 2020

Theme: Silly
Activity: Can you make a silly face?
Extra Story: “Wiggle” by Doreen Cronin on Tumblebooks

What is sillier than objects that don’t normally have faces having faces! Walk around the house finding objects that don’t have faces and make faces for them. You can do this by using craft materials (such as googly eyes and glue), or you can draw and cut out eyes and make faces for things like your couch! What can you turn into a silly face?

Here are some of our examples:

Thursday June 11, 2020

Theme: Ducks
Activity: Waddle Like a Duck
Extra Story: “One Duck Stuck” by Phyllis Root found on Tumblebooks

This one is all about being silly with the art process, so don’t worry about the end result, simply let the kids play around with the paint and watch the prints they make! They will be able to feel the squishy texture of the paint under their “duck feet” and experience making prints with something other than their fingers!


  • Recycled cardboard
  • Long piece of paper or multiple pieces taped together
  • Paint
  • Painters tape, medical tape or other skin-friendly tape
  • Printable duck foot template (attached)

Step 1: Using the template provided (or you can free draw it!) trace out the shape of a duck foot on two pieces of recycled cardboard (cereal box or other) and cut them out.

Step 2: Outside (if possible) lay out a long piece of paper, or material, or multiple pieces of paper, to do the art on.

Step 3: Tape the duck feet to the child’s feet (please make sure to use a tape that is going to be skin-friendly and come off easily).

Step 4: Fill up a flat pan or paper plate with paint. You can do this with multiple plates and assorted colours to see the prints happen over top of other prints.

Step 5: Let the kids dip their duck feet in the paint and waddle along their print friendly surface! The kids will have a blast with this messy process art activity!

Pro tip: Paint may end up on their little feet, so have a tub of water and soap readily filled outside to scrub the paint off right after the activity!

Friday June 12, 2020

Theme: Emotions
Activity: Feed the Emotions
Extra Story: “Stand up to Bullying” Playlist on Tumblebooks

This is an emotion recognition game. You can use the attached PDF in a variety of ways, including the two we will be explaining today!

While playing the game, make sure to ask questions about the emotions and make comments about when we might experience them to help the child identify with them. 


  • PDF printables (attached)
  • Scissors
  • 4 containers, bowls, or recycled boxes (such as a Kleenex box)
  • Paper plate
  • Paper clip
  • Paper fastener OR: a Tooth pick/pipe cleaner and a Bead
  • Glue

Step 1: Download and print each of our emotion printable PDFs.

For the emotion flashcards, scale to print 6 copies per page, so you have 6 of each emotion card (6 happy faces, 6 sad, 6 mad, 6 scared). Print the large-scale emoji’s and the spinner template at full size.

Pro-tip: If you do not have a printer, don’t worry about using these! Simply draw out smiley faces for the game. As the templates show, you want 6 of each emotion in smaller cards and one big smiley face for each emotion (4 total). On your paper plate, draw out a “pie” with those emotions in each section of the pie.

Step 2: Cut out each emotion card, the spinner template, and the faces.

Step 3: Make the spinner wheel. The supplies you will need for this are:

  • paper plate
  • spinner template
  • scissors
  • paper clip
  • a paper fastener (or alternatively, a pipe cleaner and a bead or a tooth pick and a bead)
  • glue

Glue the emotion wheel template to the paper plate, then poke a small hole to fit the paper fastener through the middle. If you need a tutorial on how to make a spinner with a paper fastener, check out this video!

Alternatively, you can do what we have done here: Poke the hole through the paper plate. Cut a toothpick down to about 1 quarter of its size and cut off the sharp ends. Using a hot glue gun, place a glob of glue on the back end of the paper plate on top of the hole. Poke the toothpick through the hole so that its just poking through the back. Hold until the glue dries. Place the paperclip onto the top of the toothpick on the front of the emotion wheel, then use the bead and another dab of hot glue to cap the toothpick. This will stabilize the paperclip!

Step 4: Now it’s time for the game! Place each large face cut out on a bowl or box. Lay all of the cards face up (and mixed up to make it a bit more challenging) so you can see them. The kids then flick the spinner on the wheel so that it lands on one of the emotions, then they locate that emotion card and place it in its corresponding bowl! Ask them questions and make conversation about the emotions that they land on. First ask if they know what the smile is feeling, then try and describe it to them. Example: “This face looks very sad. You can tell by the way his smile has turned upside down, there is a tear on his face so he might be crying. Do you ever feel sad? I feel sad when…” then repeat for each emotion.

For an alternative, instead of using the spinner and sorting, make a memory game out of the emotion flashcards!

That’s all for this week! We’ll be back next week with more Storytime fun.

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