Toddler Time: Dinosaurs

Continuing with our Dig Into Reading SRP theme, I did a dino toddler time this week! Dinosaurs are pretty much one of the perma-popular topics for almost all ages, and even though I was doing this toddler time for a new group, I knew it would be a hit!

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: Hickory Dickory Dock and Diddle Diddle Dumpling

Opening Fingerplay: Open Them, Shut Them

Book: Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton

This book is SUCH a classic to me. I am pretty sure one of my first grade teachers read it to us. The bold, blocky colors and primitive looking art keep it from looking dated, and the short, easy text make it awesome for toddler time. It was definitely a hit!

Action Rhyme: All Around the Swamp

Gotta have a silly Wheels on the Bus variation, right?!? This song was challenging if only because sometime dinosaur names are hard to pronounce. But it definitely leads itself to singing and moving, which is always good. I snagged it from Sunflower Storytime.

The pteranondon’s  wings
Went flap flap flap
Flap flap flap
Flap flap flap
The pteranondon’s wings
Went flap flap flap
All around the swamp!

(triceratop’s horns went poke poke poke, apatosaurus’ mouth went munch, munch munch)


Book: Stomp, Dinosaur, Stomp! by Margaret Mayo

Whooo boy. This book is waaaaay longer than I remembered when I was planning this toddler time. I ended up skipping big chunks of pages, because everyone was getting kinda wiggly. It wasn’t a total flop, just too wordy for this particular group.

Song: One Dinosaur Went Out to Play

From Mel’s Desk comes this delightful play on the classic song One Elephant Went Out to Play. I was originally going to make a flannelboard for this song, but I didn’t have time. It turned out fine anyway.

One dinosaur went out to play
On a giant fern one day
She had such enormous fun
That she called for another dinosaur to come:

Raise hands to cup mouth, and call loudly: Oh, Diiiiiiiiiinosaur!

(Slap hands on thighs to make “running” sounds.)

Two dinosaurs went out to play…

Three dinosaurs…

Four dinosaurs…

Five dinosaurs went out to play
On a giant fern one day
They had such enormous fun
That they played until the day was done!

Book: Dinosaur vs Bedtime by Bob Shea

One very silly dinosaur book to finish off the storytime. This held the toddlers’ attention, even though they had been listening to stories and songs for fifteen minutes already. A total hit (obviously!).

Shaker Songs: We’re Going to Kentucky and Shake Your Shakers High

Song: Rum Pum Pum

Goodbye Song: Goodbye, Goodbye I’ll See You Soon

This was my first storytime at my new branch! My start date had been a little unsure, so I found out on a Thursday that I would be officially transferring on Tuesday! It was a crazy week, and I was definitely glad I had hammered out this Toddler Time a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t have time to make a flannel, and I was going to use Simms Taback’s dino fold out game, but oh well!

Overall, the crowd was MUCH bigger than I’m used to. I’ve been doing storytimes for two to five families. This toddler time had almost thirty kids! It was really fun, and the parents were great sports about singing along. I do believe that the next programming session will need to add a storytime for the kids who have aged out of toddler time, but it was a great start! I’m definitely looking forward to hanging out with all my brand-new regulars.

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