So, the hello dialogue actually worked out!
I brought in a colorful bag filled with "friends" - stuffed animals, and such. I would say, "oh, who's in here?" I'd then grab an animal, but just as it was coming out of the bag I'd put it back in and say, "he's scared!, we should say hello!" They were way into this. It was awesome. So then I say, "oh, he's still scared! Ask him, what's your name" And they do! After I introduce all of the animals, I "put them to sleep" by resting my head on my hands and making sleeping noises. By the time you finish up everyone is nice and quiet