Bilingual Storytime Kits

A “Storytime Kit” is basically a storytime in a bag you can take home and do with your kids or with your class if you teach. I put together nine to start with at my library, and 3 of them are Spanish-Bilingual.

If you are curious about making Storytime Kits, or just want some ideas for storytime yourself, here are the instructions I place in every bag, along with a list of supplies.


What would be a useful Storytime kit for you? Let me know in the comments!

Un kit de cuentacuentos es como un cuentacuentos en bolsa para llevar a casa y compartir con tus hijos o con tu clase si eres una maestra. Hice nueve para mi biblioteca, 3 de ellos son bilingüe-español.

Si tienes una curiosidad sobre que pones en un kit de cuentacuentos, o si quieres ideas sobre un cuentacuentos, estos son los paquetes que pongo en cada bolsa con detalles sobre actividades y materiales.


¿Que sería un kit de cuentacuentos útil para ti? ¡Dime en las comentas!


What would you add to a Garden Storytime for Preschoolers?


What would you add to an Under the Sea Storytime in Spanish?


Búho? Lechuza? Tecolote? Owl Storytime in Spanish


I love doing a Owls as a pre-Halloween Storytime in October. Many activities can circle around Halloween but it is also fresh and it’s own topic.

Here are the books I read. My program tend to skew young even for toddlers. I usually only do two books for Toddlers (this may be controversial) along with a flannel or two, or something with puppets.

owl storytime

Not to get too linguist-y, but as many of you know, Spanish often has many words for the same noun. “Owl” is super special as it has THREE words to imply the same basic thing.

Lechuza- Spanish origin (though, just to add to the confusion, there is a Giant Evil Owl Witch legend called La Lechuza with Mexican origins).

Búho- Used over much of Latin America. Supposedly because the word is like an onomatopoeia.

Tecolote- Nahual origin. most popular in Mexico, as well as part of Guatemala and Honduras.

For some complete information about the slight differences between these words and specific type of owl they describe, visit this site (in Spanish): Buho Vs Tecolote

In everyday use, however, one would be hard pressed to get corrected. These words are, as one would expect, regional. I wouldn’t normally harp on anything so academic at a Toddler Storytime (!!), but my group is mixed Spanish-speaking, Bilingual, and English-speaking. I sometimes have a few limited- English Chinese speaking families. Different songs and stories I was using have different words to mean the same thing, so I spent just a few minutes going over the different words.

3 owls

Now that we are on the same page, lets go over some other activities from Owl Storytime!

FullSizeRender (7)

Openning: Tiempo de Leer, Hola Amigos, Buenos Dias

Body Rhyme: Pegamos el Piso Juntos (Mother Goose on the Loose)

Listen and Learn: Did you know, all these words mean the same thing. Repeat after me: Buho, Lechuza, Tecolote. Each one is from a different region. (Then, I explained what I just covered above, briefly. I ended with repeating the words, but popping out one of the 3 identical owl finger puppets as we said each word, to visually show that each word can mean the same animal).

Read: Buenas Noches, Buho by Pat Hutchinson.

  • I have read this book once before for Cuentacuentos and it did not go very well. This time however, they were more engaged, so maybe it was just an off day before. Something I added was, on one of the last pages all the noises are reviewed. I went through each one, then asked everyone to think of which noise was their favorite. On the count of 3, we all did our favorite noise for a few seconds before I did the sign for STOP and we all stopped. Then read the last line, which was ‘And owl still could not sleep!” This was really fun and even the parents were giggling.

Sing: Los Pollitos

Flannel: ¿Tecolote marrón- que ves ahí?

brown owl

This is done just like Brown Bear Brown Bear, which is also my second book. To be honest, I didn’t think of that until right before Storytime (yikes!). But no one seemed to mind and it is so great for encouraging participation.

Here is the way I translated this into Spanish:

¿Tecolote marrón- que ves ahí?

  • Tecolote marrón, tecolote marrón.  ¿Que ves ahí? Veo una fantasma blanca mirándome a mí.
  • Fantasma blanco, fantasma blanco. ¿Que ves ahí? Veo un gorro verde mirándome a mí.
  • Gorro verde, gorro verde. ¿Que ves ahí? Veo un murciélago morado mirándome a mí. (¡Este parte es un trabalenguas!)
  • Murciélago morado, murciélago morado. Que ves ahí? Veo un gato negro mirándome a mí.
  • Gato negare, gato negro. ¿Que ves ahí? Veo una calabaza anaranjada mirándome a mí.
  • Calabaza anaranjada, calabaza amarando. ¿Que ves ahí? Veo una hoja roja mirándome a mí.
  • Hoja roja, hoja roja, que ves ahí? ¡Veo una araña amarilla mirándome a mí!                       (I act scared at this part)

This was a great time to go right into La Arana Pequenita.


Puppet Story: Tres Lechusitas

I used 3 little owl finger puppets to do my Spanish version of “5 in the bed.” When I say Pop! I take one off my finger quickly and look surprised.

  • Tres lechucitas jugaban en un árbol y la más chiquita dijo “muévete a un lado, muévete a un lado,” entones todas se movieron y (¡pop!) una se cayó!

    Dos lechucitas jugaban en un árbol y la más chiquita dijo “muévete a un lado, muévete a un lado,” entones todas se movieron y (¡pop!) una se cayó!

    Una lechucita jugaba en un árbol y grito- Uuuuuu, Uuuuuu (todos juntos) Uuuuuu uuuuuuu. Y…se fue a dormir (zzzzzzzz).


Read: Brown bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin

When I read this book, I only did the first few pages, then I switched from using the book to using puppets to continue the story.

Please check out this awesome video where I learned this! Storytelling with Puppets

I saved a beautiful owl puppet for last. This owl puppet is so great, even the head swivels!  When I pulled him up, I pretended to snore for him. I pretended the owl was sleeping, with his head turned to the back. I had the children help me try to wake him up my clapping, stomping, and finally yelling LECHUZA, which did the trick.

I pretended the owl was grumpy we had woken him. I said “Pues, queríamos saber lo que ves, Lechuza.”

La Lechuza says “Uhf! ¡Esto es lo que veo! ¡Veo muchos niños y niñas mirándome a mí! ¡Déjame ensenarles una canción para que no me molesten otra vez! Repiten después de mi:

La Lechuza (La lechuza)

Dice Shhhh (Dice Shhh)

Hagamos Silencio (Hagamos Silencio)

Por favor (Por favor)

This repeat after me song, La Lechuza, is popular in Argentina. My friend a nearby library taught it to me, but here is a video to get the idea. Words are slightly different.

I got this idea about waking a grumpy owl from this video on YouTube, and tailored it into other activities I know.

We close Storytime same as always- some stretching and good bye songs!

My English one tomorrow will likely be very similar. Let me know if you want any details on that, like how to do the Grumpy Owl story in English!

¿Quieres más información en español? ¡Avísame! Quiero traducir todo en algún momento, pero me cuesta mucho entonces será algún tiempo en el futuro. ¿Que tipo de información quieres como padre o educador hispanohablante? Deja un comenta 🙂

Storytime Expectations//Guia Expectativa

Hola Storytimers!

About a year ago, I took over a long-standing Toddler Storytime program at my library. The previous instructor had been at it for 8 years, and the previous for 9 years before that. It is conceivable there are parents here who attended this program one instructor before me! It can be alot of pressure when stepping into big shoes.

As you could probably guess from this blog, I care deeply about creating accessible and cultural competent programming at public libraries. Many parts of the United States can not truly be considered monolingual. Especially where I live and work. Less than 30% of the population of my city is white (non-Latino), and the two most popular languages spoken here are Spanish and Cantonese. We have also had an influx in Arabic-speaking families, and we have a sizeable Ethiopian community as well.

When I look out at my Storytime crowd, I see an America I am proud of.

I also see a number of confused faces because I only two out of probably 5 or 6 languages parents understand!

These two posters, plus another in Chinese (I have been told is not a great translation so holding out for another translator!) became an effective way to communicate expectations without laying down the law, and with visual representations speakers of other languages could intuit.

Within 2 weeks of having these up behind me, parents no longer fought over chairs, or plopped their 18 month old in the front and walked to the back. The expectation was clear- sit with your little one. Have fun!

Taking a walk out the door when a little one is crying…this one is still hard. But I do feel that has improved as well.

These images are courtesy of Arthur Bond and Amy Holland of the Irondequoit Library.


¡Hola amigos!

Quería compartir un recurso que construí para aumentar participación de padres durante mi programa de cuentacuentos para niños de 12 meses- 36 meses.

Imagenes son de reconocimiento at Arthur Bond y Amy Holland de Irondequoit Library.

Comment: What are your Storytime guidelines and how do you communicate them with families? What about when you have a multilingual crowd?

Comenta: Como comunicas expectaciones a padres durante tus programas? Como comunicas cuando hay un comunidad multilingüe?