Toddler Time: Oceans!

Today was my first toddler time back from a programming pause, and it was great! I’m a big proponent of smaller groups for toddler times, because I think they’re more fun for parents, kids, and me. I definitely notice more participation when we have fifteen or twenty kids instead of 35. So, this programming session we’re trying out offering two back-to-back toddler times – one for younger toddlers, and one for older toddlers. Since my location doesn’t offer baby times or preschool storytimes (yet!), we end up getting lots of those kids in our toddler times. This way, kids who are great at walking won’t be tackling barely standing up kiddos. Anyhow, on to the books!

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: New nursery rhymes for Fall! We’ve got seventeen straight weeks of toddler time-ing so why not get something new!

Baa Baa Black Sheep
Baa baa black sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for my master,
One for my dame,
One for the little girl
Who lives down the lane.
Baa baa black sheep
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir
Three bags full.

Five Fat Sausages
Five fat sausages frying in a pan
All of a sudden one went *BAM* (clap hands)
Four fat sausages frying in a pan,
All of a sudden one went *BAM*

…one fat sausage frying in a pan,
But it went POP! when it should have gone *BAM*!

Opening Fingerplay: Dance Your Fingers Up
Dance your fingers up,
Dance your fingers down,
Dance them in a circle,
Dance them all around.
Dance them on your shoulders,
Dance them on your head!
Dance them on your belly,
then put them all to bed.

Book: I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

I really do love this book! I like how simple but funny the plot is. I don’t think my toddlers really understand the joke at the end, but the parents enjoyed it! Plus it has big, clear pictures that are great for sharing.

Song: The Waves in the Sea

A find from Sur La Lune that was a big hit. A simple, fun song that is easy for even the littlest kiddos to participate in!
The waves on the sea go up and down,
Up and down, up and down,
The waves on the sea go up and down
All day long.
Additional Verses:

The shark in the sea goes snap snap snap..[Clap your hands.
The fish in the sea go swish swish swish..[Swish back and forth.]
The boats in the sea go toot toot toot…[Make blowing horn motion.]


Book: Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins

Hooray for Hooray for Fish! These drawings are so great for sharing because they are so big and bright! I also love me some rhyming text for toddler times and baby times. It’s just more fun to read outloud! The older toddlers were amused to no end with the silly fish (like the Ele-fish!), and the younger toddlers were just entertained by the bright art.

Song:  Three Little Fish

A song from a website called 1-2-3 Learn Curriculum, I thought this one would be a hit. It fell pretty flat, though, with both groups. Nothing wrong with it, but it was just a little too complicated and short for my group.

(to Three Blind Mice)

Three little fish. Three little fish.
(hold up three fingers)
See how they swim.
See how they swim.
(make swimming motion with arms)
Round and round –  look how fast they go!
(swim fast – sing fast)
Now they are going very slow.
(swim slow – sing slow)
Three little fish, three little fish.
(hold up 3 fingers again).

Book: Rub a Dub Sub by Linda Ashman

This book has amazing vocabulary! There are so many different kinds of sea creatures mentioned, and the rhyme scheme is pretty awesome. Plus,I really like that he’s in the bathtub the whole time (SPOILER ALERT!) – the parents laughed at that a lot.

Shaker Songs: New shaker songs, too!

Shake It to the East
Shake it to the east, shake it to the west.
Shake it all around and then you take a rest.
Shake your shakers up, shake your shakers down.
Shake it, shake it, shake it and then you settle down.

Shaking your Shaker!
Shaking your shaker.
Shaking your shaker.
Shaking it up high.
Shaking it down low.
Shake it to the left.
Shake it to the right.
Tap it on your foot.
Tap it on your knee.
Shake it LOUDLY!
Shake it quietly.

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

I really enjoyed having smaller crowds (21 kids at our first storytime, and 16 at the second). I know lots of people do amazing storytimes for a hundred kids, but I love how when you have a smaller group all the kids participate more and the storytime can be more interactive.  Plus, it’s hardly any more work for me, because I’m presenting the same thing both times. Excellent!

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