We’ll Link to That: Winter 2017

Hey, hey, the Winter 2017 edition of the YAACING newsletter is here!  This quarter we’re sharing our favourite oral stories to use with kids from a wide range of ages.  We encourage you read to the entire issue though for even more youth services ideas. You can find all of our columns for the YAACING newsletter on our professional development page.


The art of storytelling is an important aspect of a children’s librarian’s job. Oral storytelling can be daunting, so we’re sharing ten of our favourite oral stories that can be used with kids of any age. Try these in a storytime, a spooky stories around the campfire program, or at your next Summer Reading Club visit.

  1. Chicken in the Library
    This must have been written by a librarian- it allows you to talk about your collection, explain how to seek, locate and check out books at your library AND finishes with a goofy frog pun. Adapt to fit your library and group, this would work for toddlers up to school age kids.
  2. Mr. Wiggle and Mr. Waggle
    You might not think of fingerplays as stories- but trust us, the narrative patterns, characters and story arc all fit the bill. This is fun and easy to do and your toddlers will be asking for it each week, especially as they master the motions with their fingers and hands. Feel free to add in extra bits or shorten it up if kids are getting squirrely.
  3. The Mouse Family Takes a Walk
    We learned this story that uses ASL at a Mother Goose training. We love how the ending includes a positive message about bilingualism. Great for toddlers and up, especially when you repeat it each week.
  4. Grandfather Bear is Hungry
    If you’ve got a bear and chipmunk puppet, you’re all set for this one! This story gives a reason why chipmunk has stripes down his back. It works well in the spring when animals are waking up from hibernation.
  5. Pigeon and Turtle Go to New York City
    This folktale is from Haiti and includes poop jokes and chances for the audience to participate. Recommended for preschoolers or school-age kids.
  6. 10 Fuzzy Chicks
    Short rhymes can function as introductory oral stories for babies and toddlers. This one uses our hands to tell the story of ten chicks hatching. Perfect for spring and summer storytimes.
  7. Little Clapping Mouse
    This story’s got rhythm! Add in some clapping to help those kids that need to move while talking. We love how this one rhymes and we recommend it for toddlers on up.
  8. Billy Goats Trip Trap
    Speaking of rhythm, this story’s got a real beat too! The rhyming couplets make this an easy way to share the classic story with little ones and even infants if parents try it as a bounce. Want to spice it up? Try incorporating rhythm sticks or other musical instruments.
  9. The Three Little Pigs
    Another classic story told through rich rhyming language. This version was written by Carol Ashton and is fun to do with children young and old. Encourage little ones to hold up their fingers and tell the story along with you.
  10. Be a Seed
    This little rhyme reminds us that stories are taking place all around us- even in nature! Have kids try it first with their hands and arms and then tell it again from crouching to standing. A great little story for spring.

Do you have a favourite oral story you love to share with kids? Send us an email at jbrary@gmail.com with your suggestions!

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