Toddler: Rhyming Words and Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?

Toddler storytime is full of little ones these days. The caregivers are hungry for tips and are so enthusiastic. The kiddos are moving to the rhythm, clapping, signing, pointing to the book illustrations, touching the felt pieces and just generally getting into storytime. What a blast!

Weekly Early Literacy Tip: Singing nursery rhymes or other songs is fun and fosters early literacy! We usually sing slower than we speak and as we sing kids can more easily hear the individual sounds in words. This is called phonological awareness and will eventually help your child sound out words when they are ready to read. often the ending sounds are the easiest to hear, so we’re focusing on rhymes today.

Welcome Song: The More We Get (Read) Together (with ASL)

I brought along my monkey puppet to sing with us on this next song. This crowd LOVES puppets.

Action Rhyme: Monkey See Monkey Do
Monkey see, monkey do
Little monkey in the zoo
Monkey, monkey, in the tree
Can you jump around like me?
(…clap your hands…climb a tree…nod your head…sit down…)

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks book image

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks by Eve Bunting and Sergio Ruzzier (Photo source: ruzzier.com)

Book: Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting & Sergio Ruzzier (Clarion Books, 2013)

Bunting’s book reads well as a story, unlike some rhyming stories that seem forced. The amount of text, story line and word choice create a pacing, when read aloud, that encourages emphasis on the rhyming words and offers opportunities for the youngest storytime kids to interact with the illustrations and make connections with the text. One on one sharing allows for even more conversation, reinforcing the value of this title as a repeat read.

 Felt game: Little Fox, Little Fox
This felt game was inspired by erinisinire. Lots of people have versions of this game (and it’s cousin Little Mouse, Little Mouse) as Jbrary found out, but I do love this fox the best and it ties nicely with the book we shared this week which includes a fox and some boxes. I used my Folkmanis fox puppet (called Big Fox in this game instead of mom or dad fox) to add another dimension and reinforce the concept of big and small.

Some of the toddlers wanted to hide the fox as well as find it which worked out great because the hiders still let us say the rhyme and were surprised when we found it behind one of the different colored boxes!

Bubbles!
Before we sang this song and popped bubbles together, I mentioned why I count starting with my thumb. We count to three a lot during this storytime to show how easy it is to integrate counting (math) into daily activities and I always start with my thumb. These first three fingers are essential for pinching and grasping small objects and will later be used to hold a paintbrush or writing tool.

Bringing out a box of scarves after I put the bubbles away is a great transition! Before our next song which used different colored scarves, I explained and demonstrated what we were going to do with our scarves and then we sang together. For example we were going to wave the scarves overhead and then rub our hair.

Scarf Song: Scarves in the Air
Put your scarf in the air, in the air
Put your scarf in the air, in the air
Put your scarf in the air, now rub your hair
Put your scarf in the air, in the air
…on your knee, count to three
…on your toe, way to go!
…on your head, who has red? (the families with a red scarf waved it in the air)
Source: Read, Sing, Play
See and hear the tune in action with KCLS

Action Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It
If you’re happy and you know it, wave your scarf.
If you’re happy and you know it, wave your scarf.
If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it.
If you’re happy and you know it, wave your scarf.

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you’re happy and you know it, shout “hooray!”
If you’re happy and you know it, do all three.
(wave, wave, clap, clap, hooray!)

Time to clean up our scarves! I usually have a bag to put the scarves in, but today I brought a box so we could sing this song!

Song: Picking up scarves
Pickin’ up scarves and put them in the box
Pickin’ up scarves and put them in the box
Pickin’ up scarves and put them in the box
Put the scarves in the box
Source: KCLS

Closing Song: Ring Around the Rosie

Activity: Dot painting!
Today I brought out the paint dobbers and some plain white paper for toddlers to try. For some kids, it’s their first experience painting. For all of the kids and adults, it offers a great opportunity to experiment with and talk about colors and patterns.

Toddlers: Colors

Welcome Song: Hello Everybody

Action Song: Open Shut Them
Open shut them, open shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open Shut them, open shut them
Lay them in your lap, lap, lap

Creep them, crawl them
Creep them, crawl them
Right up to your chin, chin, chin (where is your chin?)
Open wide your little mouth
But do not let them in

Shake them, shake them
Shake them, shake them
Shake them just like this this this

Roll them, roll them
Roll them, roll them
And blow a little kiss!
Muach! (blow kiss with hand)

Action Song: Red, Red is the Color I See (with felt pieces)
Red, Red is the color I see,
If you’re wearing red, show it to me!
Stand up, turn around,
And sit back down on the ground!
(repeat with different colors)

There are other verses to this color song, but I have found that for toddlers who are concentrating hard on figuring out colors, the repetition is easier to follow.

Action Song: Green Says Go!
Green Says, “Go!” (march fast in place)
Go! Go! Go!
Yellow says, “Slow.” (march slow)
Slow… slow… slow…
And Red says, “Stop!” (freeze stop)
GO! GO! GO! (march fast)
Slow… slow… slow (march slow)
STOP!!! (stop)

Credit: Sturdy for Common Things

If You’re Ready for a Story
wave your hands in the air!
… sit down please

Book: Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma DoddDogsColorfulDay

One of the many things I like about this book is that the main character is a dog called “Dog.” Kids can relate. Ask any toddler or preschooler the name of their stuffed friend and inevitably it is named dog or frog or cat, not Billy, Daisy, or Periwinkle.

This book mesmerizes toddlers and preschoolers! They are quickly drawn into the connection between what happens to Dog on his adventure and the additions of colored spots to his white fur. It is a nice complement to storytime because there are a variety of ideas, concepts (math!), objects, and places to talk about as you read the book.

Movement: Bubbles!

Our Friends group just gifted us a parachute for storytime so today I put it to use during a preschool outreach program first thing in the morning and then during the toddler storytime shortly after. The dozen preschoolers went crazy with the parachute and there were tears, I hate to say, when I started winding storytime down. So, I was a little nervous about using it at a toddler storytime with 40 people (about 24 kids). No need! It went perfectly well! Having alot of extra adults is very helpful.

I told caregiverss about the parachute experiment and asked them to help their little ones hold the chute. I mentioned that it was ok if some kids weren’t interested or if they were worried about the noise that might ensue when many toddlers play with a parachute.

This first song set the tone because it was a familiar song we sing often. It gave us the chance to try holding on to the parachute as we walked around during the first verse and then lay it on the floor during the second verse.

Parachute Song: Ring Around the Rosie
Ring (or skip or hop, etc.) around the rosie
Pocket full of posies
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down!

The cows are in the meadow
Eating buttercups
Thunder, lightning,
We all jump up!

The second song let everyone get a chance to see what the chute could do.

Parachute Song: If You’re Happy and You Know it
If you’re happy and you know it, lift it high!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake it fast!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake it slow!
If you’re happy and you know it, shake it low!

Credit: Kendra at Read, Sing, Play

The final song got everyone laughing and giggling! We repeated this one several times before moving on to our regular closing song.

Parachute Song: Pop Goes the Lizard (with monkey and lizard puppets)Pop Goes the Lizard
All Around the Cobbler’s Bench
The monkey chased the lizard
Monkey thought ’twas all in fun
POP goes the lizard

Credit: adapted from Kendra’s version at Read, Sing, Play

Closing Song: Wave Hi, Wave low

Photo Credit:
Dog’s Colorful Day: Kentucky Department of Libraries

 

Looking for more toddler storytime ideas? Visit my Toddler Themes page.

STEAM-y Storytime 4: Colors

This storytime was inspired by Amy Koester’s Color Science post on the ALSC blog about incorporating STEM and science into preschool programs. In fact, after I read her post, I decided to develop my series of summer STEAM-y storytimes.

This week, I began storytime with the Song Cube. It continues to be a hit. Now that kids know about the cube and how the game works, we usually have two or three roll the cube and choose the song to sing.

One of the great reasons to use the cube is that kids are learning that visual symbols on each side of the cube refer to specific songs and then that letters/words below the image when in specific combinations refer to a specific song. In other words: image of smiling sun + words written below the image = If You’re Happy and You Know it song. The songs are also fun, familiar, and rhyming, further extending the early literacy learning opportunities. It’s amazing what will fit in one small cube!

barnaby-bennettBooks

Barnaby Bennett by Hannah Rainforth and Ali Teo (Huia, 2006) is a fun book to read about a boy who’s favorite color is red and who will only wear red until his aunt designs him a fabulous yellow dinosaur-inspired suit to replace his unwashed attire (including his red underwear). The book is full of alliteration, opportunities for learning new vocabulary, and color identification, all in a way that inspires interaction. Perfect for storytime!

In between books, we needed to sing and stretch. The Color I See song does both. I use colored felt shapes on the flannelboard to reinforce the color I am going to call as we sing each verse. That gives kids time to check if they have the color they see and I say.

Action Rhyme: The Color I See

Red, red is the color I see
If you are wearing red then show it to me.
Stand up and turn around.
Show me your red and then sit down.white rabbit's color book

(repeat with other colors)

Credit: Little Fingers That Play

White Rabbit’s Color Book  by Alan Baker (Kingfisher Books, 1999) was a perfect lead in to the acitvities we planned for storytime. The little rabbit hops into bowls of paint, mixing colors to create different ones.  The kids loved guessing what the new color would be and quickly learned about what happens when primary colors are mixed. As happens in storytime on occasion, I didn’t read this purple little birdbook as written but focused on the conversation it generated. Either way its a great addition to colors storytime.

Purple Little Bird by Greg Foley (Balzer + Bray, 2006) is about a purple little bird who loves purple, especially his purple house and garden, but its not quite perfect.  He sets off to find a perfect world. He finds it, but unexpectedly.  It’s a sweet story, especially for the many purple fans at storytime.

Activities

Color Mixing

Color Mixing and yellow food coloring equals color fun! When the vinegar (acetic acid) and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) combine they form carbonic acid which falls apart to carbon dioxide and water. Kids and their caregivers both learned about chemical reactions, scientific observation, and color mixing as they poured, squirted, and mixed over and over again watching the

Coloring Mixing bottles

colors change and the bubbling. Parents and caregivers also experienced how easy it is to A tray, a small pile of baking soda and squeeze bottles of vinegar colored with blue, red, introduce scientific concepts to little ones.

 

Marble Painting

Marble Painting

For each young artist, I placed a new sheet of white or black card stock in the bottom of one of four  plastic tubs we had set on top of a table covered with a plastic tablecloth. Then the teen volunteer or I squirt a dime-sized amount of yellow, blue, or red onto the paper. On their own, or with the help of an adult, the budding artists slid a marble or small rubber bouncy ball from side to side or in circles over the paper and through the paint. The action creates all sorts of shapes and patterns on the paper.with marbles is fun and easy for all ages! It’s also less messy than finger painting or using brushes because the paint stays inside the tub, for the most part.

Tip: Write kids’ names on the back so they can find their painting if left at the library to dry.

Color Matching

Color matchingLots of little ones were thrilled when they discovered toy cars in the basket I placed at the color matching station! I’ve used these cars before, but they made a good addition to this week’s storytime.

I taped sheets of colored construction paper on a round table and showed kids how to match cars to the colored sheets. After the obvious matches were made, I asked lots of questions about matches using the finer details. For example, the wheel hubs were orange on one car even though the rest of the car was green and we decided to put it on the orange sheet.

After the matching was done, the car enthusiasts took the basket to the carpet for some vehicle play.

Just about every child found not just an activity to sample, but at least one to explore thoroughly, repeating it over and over again. We gladly offered them the time, ideas, and resources to do it.

Summer Reading Program 2013: part 2

Phew! Planning season seems to have come and gone while I wasn’t looking. School is finished in just two weeks and the summer reading program begins right after Memorial Day. I have the STEAM-y Storytime line-up ready to go and posted for all to see. While some of the multiple stations that I am cooking up for each week are still in the works, I thought I’d share the themes. Maybe you even have a suggestion or two! I’ll post the details as we do the programs.

Our library offers two storytimes each week, year round. I plan and lead both of them most of the time (we have two community members who visit for the preschool storytime also).  One is a preschool storytime and the other is a mostly toddler group. For the summer, we’ll be focusing on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) in the preschool program. Since we are using the Dig Into Reading theme, many of the storytime themes fit nicely. I even have a teen volunteer this year excited to help with the storytime activities. The preschoolers will love him!

This summer’s storytime themes:

Things That Go! I have used a vehicle related theme for storytime before, but not for awhile. It is a hit with everyone! There are lots of great books to read on vehicles, bikes, and anything that moves. We’ll make cars for a race track, have a car matching station, and make paper airplanes.

This one will go nicely with the Heavy Equipment Show and Tell we have planned for the beginning of the summer program. We’ll be closing off the side street near the library so four construction vehicles can park where families can get a closer look. A new excavator owned by the city a nd a dump truck will be among the vehicles on display. We’ll hand out cards with stats for each vehicle to provide a kind of self-guided tour since we’ll only have a couple of staff and volunteers on hand. It will also be a great time to sign up families who haven’t had a chance to get involved.

Under the Sea, Matey! We are a coastal community so an ocean theme, with a few pirates thrown in, is a perfect fit. We’ll include a sink or float experiment station among other fun activities. This is a great time to share Mango Languages, a digital language learning tool, with families since our library provides free access to the site and app. Mango offers pirate in their list of languages to learn and it is a kid favorite.

We All Dig Dinosaurs! What schedule of storytimes would be complete without dinosaurs? I purchased some small plastic dinosaur skeletons for reading prizes this year as well as a handful to use in an excavation station. We also took the opportunity to dig up some new-to-us dino books for the collection. What do you have planned?

Plants: How Does Your Garden Grow? In June, we’ll still be planting here and the greening of Alaska will be just getting underway.  Gardens are a big part of many families’ summertime  activities, so we’ll celebrate at storytime with matching games and fruit and vegetable crafts.

Let’s Mix It Up With Colors! I’ve been looking forward to using some of the great suggestions from Amy Koester’s Color Science for Preschoolers ALSC blog post. I thought I would add it to the schedule and get kids mixing, painting, and experimenting!

Independence Day! Preschool storytime will happen on July 3rd this year, so we’ll be celebrating the national holiday a day early. Last Fall, I heard about a great picture book ideal for sharing at storytime, and I’ll use it this year. The title? Betsy Ross by Becky White and Megan Lloyd (Holiday House, 2011). Activities for this one are still being cultured in the petri dish of storytime planning….

Digging Up Trouble With Trickster Tales Trickster tales are some of my favorite books to read aloud. When done respectfully, the stories shared from other cultures can be a great teaching opportunity. Alaska has many such tales and we’ll be including some of them in this storytime. Activities still in the works, so stay tuned!

Creepy Crawly Bugs! Local naturalists will be bringing local downed Spruce logs for scientific exploration during this storytime.  We’ll investigate, deconstruct, and identify the creepy crawlies inside. Bringing the outdoors in will be a blast!

Under Construction! We sponsor a LEGO® contest every summer, and this year will be no different. We’ll even bring LEGO®s to layers earthstorytime to let kids build towers, castles, bridges, and more while they also build their literacy skills! It is amazing what narrative skills and vocabulary can be developed while playing with these building blocks.

What’s Under Our Feet? Rocks and Caves Several years ago, I stumbled on a great earth activity in a Montessori book. (I’m still looking for that book….) It is a play doh model of the Earth and all of its layers wrapped inside. Once the ball is made with the layers inside, the ball is cut down the middle and each layer is visible. My kids loved it and I know my young friends at the library will too!