Toddler: Patterns, The Red Hen, and Drumming

Welcome Song: Hello Everybody
(clap hands on lap and then together, clap twice on the word “you”)
Hello everybody, how are you?
Hello everybody, how are you?
It’s such a lovely day, I’m so glad you came to play,
Hello everybody, how are you?

Toddler Yoga: Tall as a Tree
Tall as a tree (Stretch arms overhead)
Wide as a house (Stretch arms out to side)
Thin as a pin (Arms tight against side)
Small as a mouse (Crouch small)

Song: If You’re Ready for a Story
(Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
If you’re ready for a story, tap your head!
If you’re ready for a story, tap your head!
If you’re ready for a story,
If you’re ready for a story,
If you’re ready for a story, tap your head!
… sit down please

The-REd-HenBook: The Red Hen by Rebecca and Ed Emberley (Macmillan, 2010)
This is a fabulous read aloud for toddlers!
I chose this book for a couple of reasons. I really like this version of the old story which has the red hen enjoying the cake on her own after no one would help her prepare it. I think the hen gets walked on in some of the other versions. While I encourage kids to charitable and giving, I like to inspire confidence and pride as well as sharing in storytime environment. The other reason I love this version is because the illustrations are out of this world. They are bright and very eye catching. Emberley also makes sure to move the red hen and the other animals around on the page even if the scene is familiar, keeping the story fresh for even the youngest readers. I asked kids to help me find the red hen on each page, encouraging them to see the pages of the story in a different way. They loved the game, the repeated text, and the red hen’s response to her unhelpful neighbors.

Movement: Bubbles
One little, two little, three little bubbles.
Four little, five little, six little bubbles.
Seven little, eight little, nine little bubbles.
Ten little bubbles go pop, pop, pop!

We spent the rest of storytime playing with balls which we used as drums. I asked parents to help kids keep them on the floor (no throwing) so we could use balls in a new way. This worked marginally well. To help decrease the chaos, I didn’t blow up the small beach balls I used so they didn’t fly as far. Heather Smith of the Elanco Library posted these songs on the ALSC listserv. Here are the songs we used:

Chant: Dum Ditty (spoken)
Dum-ditty, dum-ditty, dum, dum, dum.
Can you hear me play my drum.
Dum-ditty, dum-ditty, dum, dum, dum.
Beating my drum is so much fun!

Action Chant: Tapping on the Drum (spoken)
Rum pum pum, tapping on the drum
Rum pum pum, tapping on the drum
Tapping very slowly, slowly, slowly.
Tapping very quickly, quickly, quickly.
Rum pum pum, tapping on the drum
Rum pum pum, tapping on the drum
And the drummer says stop!

Action Song: Roll, Roll, Roll the Ball
(tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Roll, roll, roll the ball
Roll the ball to me
Then I’ll roll it back again
Quickly as can be.

Goodbye Song: Wave Hi, Wave Low
I think it’s time, we’ve gotta go
Wave your elbows, wave your toes
Wave your tongue, wave your nose
Wave your knees, wave your lips
Blow me a kiss with your fingertips
Wave your chin, wave one eye
Wave a hand and say “goodbye!”

Early Literacy Tip:
Seeing patterns and trying to recognize things that are alike and things that are different is a fun game for children. These activities help them develop the mathematical concepts of patterns and relationships. (modified from : The Early Literacy Kit: A Handbook and Tip Cards by Betsy Diament-Cohen and Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting, 2010)

Photo credit: The Red

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