Toddler Time: Pirates!

We’re doing a treasure-map craft for our school-age kids this week, so I thought the Toddlers would want to get in on the action, too! Strangely, I ended up reading three books about pretending to be a pirate, and none about actual priates.  But real pirates aren’t too nice, now are they!

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: Hickory Dickory Dock and Diddle Diddle Dumpling

Opening Fingerplay: Open Them, Shut Them

Book: Pirate Nap by Danna Smith

This book is bright and has really clean illustrations that make it perfect for reading to a group. It’s a natural to read aloud, featuring rhyming couplets on each page and lots of juicy vocabulary. It kept the toddler’s attention incredibly well! I read it first because it’s a bit on the long side for a toddler book; I figured I had to take advantage of their fresh attention spans! The only qualm I have is that I wish the colors were a little more guess-y. As in, I almost wish the color words all came at the end, so the kids could shout out the color based on the rhyme and pictures. But it’s a great book nonetheless. I would definitely use it again — maybe paired with Dog’s Colorful Day in a color-filled storytime?

Song: If You’re a Pirate and You Know It

Born librarian supplied this hit of a song. It was great to get some wiggles out and it was a big hit.

If you’re a pirate & you know it, swab the desk (swish, swish)
If you’re a pirate & you know it, swab the desk (swish, swish)
If you’re a pirate & you know it, then you’ll hear sea winds a’blowin
If you’re a pirate & you know it, swab the desk (swish, swish)

(Walk the plank, stomp stomp // Say ahoy, ahoy!)


Book: Bubble Bath Pirates by Jarrett J Krosoczka

I really, really like Jarrett Krosoczka’s books for toddler time. They are large format, they pictures are fun, and they have just enough text to make them snappy without feeling long. The toddlers and parents especially loved counting down to five on the page about pulling the plug on bath time. Totally recommended!

Song:  There Was a Pirate

I made a flannel with the letters P O L L Y and five starbursts. We sang this song and I pointed to the letters as we went — a nice bit of literacy skills worked in there, if I do say so myself. Also, just fun. BINGO songs are perfect for toddlers, because they feature repetition, spelling, and rhythm!
 
There was a pirate who had a parrot
and Polly was her name-y
P O L L Y, P O L L Y, P O L L Y
and polly was her name-y.

Flannel Board: Sail, Sail, Sail Your Ship

A rhyme from Fingerplays and Action Rhymes, which has all kinds of great storytime stretchers. Modified a little because I forgot the words!

Sail, sail, sail your ship
Gently over the sea
Ahoy, ahoy, ahoy, ahoy!
A pirate’s life for me.

Book: Peg Leg Peke by Brie Spangler

This story is SO SO cute, and I really love the idea of pretending when you’re feeling blue about something. I’d lost a lot of attention by this point, though, so I pretty much skipped the second half of the book. Oh well!

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 a good storytime! My toddlers (and much older kids who end up at toddler time) have already gotten so much better about putting their shakers back in the basket after we sing our songs and not grabbing the flannel board shapes. Listening at storytime really is a learned skill! I am proud of them for listening pretty well. All the books this week were definitely ones I’d use again – although Peg Leg Peke might be a beginning of a storytime book instead of an end of storytime book. One mom told me that this was a “really fun” toddler time, which is always nice to hear!

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