Category Archives: toddler time

Toddler Time: Colors

Continuing to tie my school-aged program themes in to my Toddler Time themes, I had a Colors Themed storytime this week. This was made more challenging by the fact that I just did a whole mess of color storytimes in the Spring! Well, if nothing else, at least there are lots of awesome toddler books on this subject, so it was kind of fun to branch out to brand new books.

Opening Song: Welcome, Welcome Everyone

Welcome, welcome everyone.
Now you’re here; let’s have some fun!
First we clap our hands just so,
then we bend and touch our toes.
Welcome, welcome everyone.
Now we’re here; let’s have some fun!

Nursery Rhyme: The Old Grand Duke of York

Oh, the old grand duke of york,
He had 10,000 men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
then he marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up.
And when they were down, they were down.
And when they were only halfway up,
they were neither up nor down.

Action Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Book: Brown Cow, Green Grass, and Yellow Mellow Sun by Ellen Jackson and Victoria Raymond

I found this book hiding on the shelves first because the colors in the title caught my eye. What is really cool about it, though, is that it shows the process of how butter is made. For kids who have maybe never seen a live cow before, and who have always gotten their butter from a package at the grocery store, where butter comes from is a revelation! I love the illustrations in this book – they have an almost folk-art feel that really compliments the agrarian theme. This book is definitely worth a try for your Toddler Times! Give it a read first, though, as the rhythm is a little uneven.

Song: Bread and Butter

With my younger kids, we just did a random song, because we had so many kids the music sticks were out of the question. Also because Ms Ariel totally forgot her Toddler Time cheat sheet and forgot every song she had ever planned to use. It was a rough day! My preschoolers definitely have been digging the music sticks, though.

Bread and butter, toast and jam,
I hit my sticks as [loud, soft, fast, slow] as I can!

Book: Counting Ovejas by Sarah Weeks and David Diaz

I LOVE this book for so many reasons. I’ve been trying to incorporate more bilingual books into my story time, since I do live in a bilingual city! This book has it all – Spanish and English, colors, funny sight gags, counting, and a sweet bedtime theme. If you aren’t a fluent Spanish speaker (that’s me!), make sure you run through it at least once to perfect your color pronunciations!

Finger Play for Toddlers: Open Them, Shut Them

Finger Play for Preschoolers: Put Your Hands Up High

Action Song: Fruit Salad

Book: I Spy with My Little Eye by Edward Gibbs

This series is really great! There’s a small hint about who the animal is, and a die-cut circle let’s you see their eye. All the kids loved guessing what the animal on the next page was. The illustrations are really beautiful – realistic and expressive at the same time. If you can, I’d definitely recommend snagging this book (or any of the other I Spy books by Gibbs) for your storytime collection. They are a delight!!

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

I put out some pasta and rice that I had dyed different colors with vinegar and food coloring. The kids LOVED sorting it and pouring it between cups I had put out. Several of the adults asked how I dyed it, so hopefully they’ll make some at home! I really think my effort to incorporate more easy sensory play examples into storytime has encouraged parents to explore easy things to do at home. SCORE!

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Toddler Time: Airplanes

My school-aged program this week was making paper airplanes, so, like a true trooper, I put together an awesome storytime full of plane books. It started out as a “things that go” storytime, but I actually found enough plane books to make it just planes. Awesome!

Opening Song: Welcome, Welcome Everyone

Welcome, welcome everyone.
Now you’re here; let’s have some fun!
First we clap our hands just so,
then we bend and touch our toes.
Welcome, welcome everyone.
Now we’re here; let’s have some fun!

Nursery Rhyme: The Old Grand Duke of York

Oh, the old grand duke of york,
He had 10,000 men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
then he marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up.
And when they were down, they were down.
And when they were only halfway up,
they were neither up nor down.

Action Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Book: Miss Mouse Takes Off by Jane Ormerod

I love that this book is from the point of view of Miss Mouse (a stuffed animal!) So many kids have a special stuffed friend, and I think it’s fun for them to think about things from their friend’s point of view. My younger patrons enjoyed this book less than the preschoolers, who were much more interested in the plot. My only qualm is that the point of view shifts a little when Miss Mouse disappears, which was a little elicited some questioning looks from kids.

Song: Bread and Butter

We again had waaaaay too many kids to do the music sticks in my Toddler Time, so we did this song only in Storytime, which is always a smaller group. With my toddlers, we sang The Plane in the Sky (featured below).

Bread and butter, toast and jam,
I hit my sticks as [loud, soft, fast, slow] as I can!

Book: Pilot Pups by Michelle Meadows and Dan Andreasen.

Another book that did slightly better with the older kids than the toddlers. Toddlers seemed to enjoy it fine, but the preschoolers were super excited to discover that the pups were just toys, the mountain was a sleepy dad, and stuff like that. I really like the illustrations, which are realistic despite the Toy Story-esque plot.

Finger Play for Toddlers: Open Them, Shut Them

Open them shut them is fun because it’s easy, and most moms and dads already know it. I usually have really high participation with this one!

Finger Play for Preschoolers: Put Your Hands Up High

Kids are always so reluctant at the beginning of this song, but they’re always smiling by the end. That’s a pretty awesome song, y’all.

Action Song: Fruit Salad

My toddler moms really seem to enjoy this song – at the end, they bounce the babies up and down for each syllable of FRUIT SALAD, FRUIT SALAD. The preschoolers think I’m silly for singing a song about watermelon!

Book: Flying by Donald Crews

I had another large and super wiggly group this week. Thank goodness this book is super duper short. I flew through it (HA!). I think this book would make a pretty cool felt board, if you’re the kind of person who has time to make feltboards (that used to be me! Not during summer, though!)

Early Literacy Tip of the Week:

Travel offers lots of different opportunities to learn new words. When travelling somewhere, talk to you kiddo about the new objects and vehicles around you. Try checking out some picture books or watching some YouTube videos together about where you’re going before you get there, and talk about the things you’ll be doing on vacation. Remember, the more you talk, the more kids learn!

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

This was another wacky crazy storytime! I made up a batch of cloud dough for the kids to play with during our free play time at the end of the program. The kids loved it soooo much! The adults and our custodian, not so much. What can you do? Kids gonna make a mess, and that’s okay by me. I’ve been trying to incorporate more sensory materials in my free play time, and it seems like the small additional time investment is really paying off!

Toddler Time: The Five Senses

This was the first Toddler Time of summer, and ho boy, did I ever feel it. My Toddler Time that usually has a solid 15 kids had over 30! The crowd also included lots of newbies, which is good, but also tough, because they don’t know the rules of the road, so to speak.  This was a crazy crazy CRAZY Toddler Time. I also switched up my songs, so it made it feel even wackier. I tried to tie in my school age program themes for the week with the Toddler Time theme, which resulted in some..strange choices on my part this summer. Oops!

Opening Song: Welcome, Welcome Everyone

Welcome, welcome everyone.
Now you’re here; let’s have some fun!
First we clap our hands just so,
then we bend and touch our toes.
Welcome, welcome everyone.
Now we’re here; let’s have some fun!

Nursery Rhyme: The Old Grand Duke of York

Oh, the old grand duke of york,
He had 10,000 men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
then he marched them down again.
And when they were up, they were up.
And when they were down, they were down.
And when they were only halfway up,
they were neither up nor down.

Action Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Book: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle and Bill Martin Jr.

Those bears! So applicable to every situation! With my younger toddlers, we just breezed through the book. With my preschool-y kiddos, they helped me make the noises. Great book that scales up and down seamlessly.

Song: Bread and Butter

This song goes with our music sticks. I actually didn’t get to use the music sticks with our first group, because there were so many kids and I didn’t have enough music sticks!! The second group dug it, though. Well, you live and you learn.

Bread and butter, toast and jam,
I hit my sticks as [loud, soft, fast, slow] as I can!

Book: Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

If you need a description of this book, you are in for a treat! It’s a delight. Also, delicious.

Finger Play for Toddlers: Open Them, Shut Them

Since I phased out the parachute play we were doing in the Winter, I added in some new stuff. Open Them, Shut Them is a classic, and it’s FUN!

Finger Play for Preschoolers: Put Your Hands Up High

Thank you once again, JBrary. This song is AMAZING. And super duper fun! I’ve used it so far with preschoolers, outreach groups of varied ages, and second graders. They were all giggling super hard by the end.

Action Song: Fruit Salad

This one’s from Kendra. It is also SUPER DUPER FUN GUYS. It’s simple enough for babies, but older kids think it’s hilarious too.

Watermelon, watermelon (make oval with hands)
Papaya, papaya (make a papaya shape with hands (kinda like a pear!)
Banananananana, bananananana (hug arms to body and rock them back and forth, like a baby)
Fruit salad! Fruit salad! (wiggle hips!)

Book: I Stink by Kate McCullen 

This book is challenging, even with a good group. The garbage truck does this little “talking to himself” thing that doesn’t necessarily translate well to reading aloud. With this crazy group of wigglers, it wasn’t my most successful choice. I flew through it, skipping a few pages here and there. I really like this book for a lap-sit, but it was not a winner for this group.

Early Literacy Tip of the Week:

It’s okay to use words that your toddler doesn’t understand yet – that’s how they build vocabulary! Try to use lots of different words, and explain what they mean. A big vocabulary is one of the key predictors of success in school!

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

WOAH. I was sweaty and exhausted after this Toddler Time. It was fun but crazy. I should definitely have realized that summer was upon me and chosen more crowd-pleasing and shorter books. But there ya go. It was fun, although some of the kiddos got a little overwhelmed. Hopefully they’ll be back and have fun again!

Toddler Time: Birds

There are a lot of great books about birds, so I thought I’d do a toddler time about them! That’s all I’ve got for an intro today, folks!

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Nursery Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Book: Birds by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek

This is a really great book! It has brief enough text to make it a great Toddler Time contender, and Laura Dronzek’s illustrations are both evocative and realistic. It’s strange, though – while reading it, I am always expecting it to be a rhyming book, but it’s not. So that always messes with my reading rhythm. But that’s no fault of the book! It’s just due to some strange quirk in my brain. What I also really like about this book is that it plays around with the idea of birds a little – they can be any size or shape or color, so what makes them all birds?

Song: Storytime Cube

Book: Little Green by Keith Baker 

This is another beautiful book! The illustrations are just so gorgeous and have so much depth. I also like the idea of watching an emerald hummingbird flitting around the garden. In reality, though, I think this book plus Birds was too much description and too little plot. The toddlers were getting pretty wiggly at this point.

Activity: Parachute Play

Now that my regulars have all gotten used to the parachute, it contains only delight, and no fear. I’ve found the winning recipe for us is toddlers underneath (or on the side if they don’t want to go in), and parents on the edge. It’s also a great way to get the parents to participate – you can’t just sit there because I’m going to put a parachute on your head if you don’t move!

Book: The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett

What a great book! Even though the birds may or may not have gotten chomped at the end, my toddlers LOVED this book. I can’t imagine the challenge of telling a story in so few words, but Emily Gravett knocks it out of the park again. Also, it’s a fun opportunity to talk about how not just birds come out of eggs!

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

This storytime was EXTREMELY wiggly. I don’t know if it was the weather, or the stories I picked, or the fact that we had a bigger group, but this wasn’t a particularly engaging storytime for them, I don’t think. Ah well, you can’t win ’em all!

Toddler Time: Emma Dodd

I thought it would be a nice change of pace to do a Toddler Time that a theme based on animals or whatever, but instead do an author. I talked a little about what an author was at the beginning of Toddler Time, and why I like Emma Dodd in particular (’cause she’s awesome!) I would like to think that by talking about things like authorship, I’m encouraging parents to talk to their toddlers about all kinds of different topics – even hard ones! I also just like exposing my parents to different authors – I know how hard it is to find good books, and knowing a few authors can be a good way for parents to feel like they have a handle on it.

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Nursery Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Book: Dog’s Noisy Day by Emma Dodd

I love the dog books soooo much. They’re just fun to read aloud, and I find that the bold illustrations are popular with toddlers. Anyway, this book is awesome. You definitely want to read it to some kids!

Song: Storytime Cube

Book: I Love Bugs by Emma Dodd

One thing I really enjoy about this book is that it’s not about your typical lovable puppies or kittens or whatever. Nope, it’s unapologetic about creepy crawly bugs! Also the illustrations are adorable.

Activity: Parachute Play

We threw some balls on top of the parachute and let the kids bounce them around today. The parachute continues to amaze and entertain, and I am continually relieved that I don’t have to come up with cutesy songs every week. Win – win – win.

Book: Forever by Emma Dodd

This is an incredibly sweet book about parental love. It’s a little on the small side for sharing, but if you use a document projector than that won’t matter (I don’t have any understanding of this sorcery, but I’ve heard of it in story and song). There are a lot of silvery highlights in the pages, which makes it seem kind of magical.

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

Emma Dodd is a really excellent toddler author – one of the best. You can tell that she writes her books with an ear toward how they will sound when they’re read aloud. That makes a big difference! It’s also incredibly difficult to find books that are short enough for toddlers to sit through. Anyhoo, this was a fun storytime – I definitely feel encouraged to do more storytimes based on authors and illustrators!

Toddler Time: Elephants

Elephants are adorable, right? I feel that they are one of the most recognizable animals out there for the younger set.

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Nursery Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Book: Hide and Seek by Il Sung Na

I love Il Sung Na’s illustrations, because I feel like they’re whimsical and expressive without feeling forced. My favorite thing about this book, though, is the amazing number of textures. Although the drawings themselves are simple and straightforward, everything from rhino skin to grassy plains comes to life because of the organic-looking textures. This plot of this book is a typical hide-and-seek story, with a liberal does of counting worked in. Great for toddlers and preschoolers.

Song: Storytime Cube

Book: How to Hug by Maryann Macdonald and Jana Christy 

A sweet little book with some important concepts, How To Hug is a great way to talk about the ways we interact with people (or maybe shouldn’t!). I like that this book subtly reinforces the idea that it’s okay to not want to be touched, or to be hugged only a little, while still encouraging kids to show their loved ones they care. Although I thought the soft illustrations were made with pastels, the artists note tells me they were created digitally. They’re pretty delightful either way.

Activity: Parachute Play

 

Book: Splash by Flora McDonnell

This is a really beautiful book with simple text. I think you could definitely use this book in a baby time with no problems! Which also means it’s a great book to read at the end of toddler time, when they’ve become wiggly from the parachute and they’ve been listening patiently for twenty minutes. I really love the illustrations  – I think the combination of watercolors and acrylics lends the animals and water a nice depth that you just can’t get with only one medium. Unfortunately, it seems like all of the copies of this book in our system are nearing the end of their lives, so I’m a bit sad. Oh well, that’s the cycle of books in a library, right?

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

Okay, I’ll admit that most of the books I used for this storytime only included elephants in a ensemble cast of animals, but whatever! They were all fun to read, and it was a fun storytime for everyone! For some reason, my numbers are ramping up each week. We’re not a SUPER busy library, so seeing my number of kids in Toddler Time jump from 6 or 12 to 20 or 25 is a big thing! I’m wondering if people are just getting out of the house more, and they’re making the library a destination on their way to the park. Who knows! I’ll take ’em, no matter how or why they get here!

Toddler Time and Story Time: Caldecott

There are lots of reasons we as children’s librarians do storytimes. Part of it is exposing parents to early literacy techniques and strategies, part of it is giving kids and parents a place to socialize, and part of it is about getting parents and kids into the library. One of my favorite roles, though, is introducing parents to new picture books they might not have otherwise discovered. A lot of parents don’t know what the Caldecott is, and never venture over into the Awards section to explore them. I thought taking a day to explore the Caldecott award and honor books would be fun! We started out this group of books with me talking to the parents a little about what the Caldecott is, and letting them know that the librarians are always happy to help them find books that are award winners that are ALSO fun to read for their kids.

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Nursery Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Toddler Time Book: The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and Beth Kormmes

I love so much about the illustrations in this book! The scratchboard is just SO delightful and evocative. My toddlers, however, were not quite as impressed with it as I was. I think that the poem-like aspect of the text wasn’t as engaging as I had planned. I ended up reading this book to about five different groups, since I took it on my outreach circuit with me. They all got fairly antsy during this one. While I love it with all my heart, I think it would be a better fit in a situation with older kids who can appreciate the poem-like nature of the text. It would also serve as a really fun introduction to scratchboard techniques for school-age kids.

Storytime Book: A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C Stead and Erin E Stead

This book’s gentle illustrations and sweet story was a total hit. I was a little worried that Stead’s antique-looking, slightly washed out pallet wouldn’t read well with a group, but all the preschoolers could tell what was going on just fine. They also giggled like fiends when I asked them if animals could really ride the bus or make tea.

Song: Storytime Cube

Toddler Time and Story Time Book: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon and Marla Fazee

I love this book so, so much! It’s full of big, beautiful drawings and a beautiful poem for text. It’s a surprisingly fast read, and kept toddler attention like a champ. With older kids at my outreaches, if I noticed their attention flagging, I would ask them where they thought the characters in the book were before I would turn the page. It worked well to build in some interactivity in a storytime set that wasn’t the most dialogic I’ve even chosen.

Activity: Parachute Play

Toddler Time Book: Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

I read this book to toddlers and babies, and it was a HUGE hit will all of them. One observant little guy even pointed out the cut-outs of the pages, and how that means the same image is on two different pages with different colors. Anyway, this Caldecott-honor book is so full of different words and vocabulary, and it’s so short that it can fill in as much or as little time as you have in your storytime. I LOVE that Laura Vaccaro Seeger made such a beautiful book from such a simple concept: shades of green, depicted gorgeously.

Story Time Book: A Ball For Daisy by Chris Raschka

This was my first attempt at using a wordless picture book in storytime. Let me tell you…it went super well! I had the kids at my story time and outreaches help me “tell the story”, and we talked about how the illustrations told the story without words. It was GREAT! And a fun opportunity to talk about style, facial expression, and color. I even snuck this into an outreach baby time – I told the story pretty quickly. It was a hit all over!

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

This was an excellent toddler time and story time! I’d really encourage you to use more award books in your story times. I don’t often think about them, because the winners are hidden away in a separate section in my library (sigh.), but there are some real gems in there! I also had several parents ask me during play time afterwards for more information about the Caldecott, what other awards there are, and stuff like that. I felt like a total storytime rock star.

Toddler Time: Dirty and Clean

Kind of a different theme than usual, but a really fun one! I let the kids get two hand stamps, one D and one C. We talked a little about opposites and then away we went!

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Nursery Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Book: Washabye Bear by Thomas Docherty

This is an interesting little book about a little girl who loves her bear so much that he gets dirty. After he’s washed, she worries that he’s different, since he smells different and looks different. So, they go on plenty of adventures to get him back to his normal, dirty self. This book was a really big hit with the preschoolers, since I think they understood the difficulty of letting go a beloved toy. The toddlers definitely listened to the story, but I don’t think it resonated with them as much.

Song: Storytime Cube

Book: Not Me by Nicola Killen

I LOVE the illustrations in this book. The remind me of Karen Katz’s big headed and adorable babies, just grown up a bit. The text felt a slight bit clunky at times – the Bertie/dirty rhyme in particular, but it’s short enough that it didn’t really matter.

Activity: Parachute Play

Book: Animal Baths by Bob Barner

I love the illustrations in this book! The collage illustrations are so bold and the lines are so clean – it makes this book a joy to look at! The rhyming text, though, is a little tricky, since the rhymes are between double page spreads. It’s hard to maintain rhythm when you have to pan and wait for all the kids to see. This book would be excellent for a baths storytime, too – it’s kind of interesting to see the different animals and how they bathe differently.

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

A pretty solid storytime! All these books are fairly short, so nobody got too antsy. Animal Baths was the clear favorite with the younger set, while my preschoolers really enjoyed Wash-A-Bye Bear.

Toddler Time: Art

A big challenge with this storytime was finding enough books about art that I hadn’t already used for my color storytimes. If I had thought ahead and realized that (hahahaha.), I would have spaced them out a little more, so I could recycle some of my favorite selections (which also would have been an excellent chance to talk to parents about the benefits of repetition!) Alas and alack, I didn’t think of it, so I just found new fun books!

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Nursery Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Book: Andrew Drew and Drew by Barney Saltzberg

A truly charming picture book that feels special without being gimmicky. On each page, Andrew starts out drawing something, and then the page folds out and reveals the rest of the drawing. I really like that the pages are uncluttered, and let the simple pencil drawings shine through. This book is also super short and definitely readable for toddlers.

Song: Storytime Cube

Book: Warthogs Paint by Pamela Duncan Edwards and Henry Cole

Boorish (ha!) warthogs decide to paint the walls of their house in this silly color-mixing book. I was distracted when reading this book by the fact that our copy was full of torn pages, so I don’t have too much to say about the art. Librarians of the world – it’s okay to weed picture books with torn pages!

Activity: Parachute Play

Parachute play continues to be a fun experience! I definitely need to learn some parachute specific songs, and we usually end up singing regular songs while moving the parachute up and down. That doesn’t mean it’s not super fun, though!

Book: I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

This charmer was definitely more well-understood than the original I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean with my toddlers. I think toddlers and preschoolers definitely understand making a mess pretty well! I really, really enjoy that the art on different pages is in different styles. With older kids, this book would offer some really great opportunities for discussion and guessing who the pages are referencing. I also can’t say enough how enjoyable it is to read from a big ol’ picture book. It’s so much easier to pan the book to everyone when it’s not a teeny tiny book.

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

A fun storytime that probably I could do five more times with completely different books! Art is a fun topic, and I think kids get so much crafty stuff shoved at them that it’s nice to think about the art side, too!

Toddler Time: Baby Animals

Since the Winter programming session and Spring programming session in my system are back to back, with no time in between (eep!), I decided to make a few changes to ring in the new session! We transitioned from the color themes to a mix of different stuff, and I switched up my storytime stretchers, too!

Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello

Nursery Rhyme: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Nursery Rhyme: Five Fat Sausages

Book: Whose Baby Am I? by John Butler

This book is stinking adorable. The guessing part is pretty easy, which means toddlers can participate if they’re up for talking and preschoolers feel like they are sharp as can be. The illustrations are soft and fitting of the baby animals they depict.

Song: Storytime Cube

Book: Chicky Chicky Chook Chook by Cathy MacLennan

This book is extremely silly! It’s mostly full of silly noises that baby animals make. The illustrations are cute but silly. Sometimes it’s hard to make an entire book of silly sounds without cracking up! But that’s why I have the best job.

Activity: Parachute Play

I was super delighted when I discovered a 12 foot parachute deep in the recesses of my children’s closet. Who knows who bought it and how long ago it was last used, but I decided I’ll happily use it! I introduced the parachute, and had all the toddlers sit on top of the parachute while the parents grabbed the handles. We moved the parachute up and down and made waves, then sang a song while waving it up and down (I just used whatever song popped into my head – I think we did Twinkle Twinkle). It was a HUGE hit. I think the parachute is just so different than anything they get to do at home, and that makes it special!

Book: Who Are You, Baby Kangaroo? by Stella Blackstone and Clare Beaton

This book is outstanding for two reasons: the vocabulary it introduces and the unique illustrations. Finding out the names of all the baby animals is pretty delightful, and what kid doesn’t need to know that a baby swan is a cygnet? The story isn’t outstanding otherwise, and the rhythm is a tiny bit clunky, but the excellent opportunity to talk about new worlds really makes it great. The illustrations are all created from cloth and beads, and it really does make them stand out. One little girl was talking to me during playtime after storytime, and was asking why the sand on the cover looked so odd. I explained that it was a picture of fabric, and those were tiny beads. She was positively entranced by the idea that you could make an illustration out of the same stuff you make clothes out of!

Shaker Song: Shake It to the East

Shaker Song: Shaking your Shaker!

Song: Rum Pum Pum

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

This was a really fun start to the session. I think the parachute is going to be my new best friend, and I can’t lie – I’m glad to be freed from the tyranny of color themes!