25 October 2014

Under the Sea Theme - Toddler Storytime

For the Under the Sea themed toddler storytime, I was lucky enough to receive a themed box from our big central library. I greeted the kids with a cute octopus toy that made duck noises whenever it was squeezed. Too cute! And the kids seemed to like it too!

Age group: toddlers (24 - 36 months)
Group Size: about 10 kids and one parent/caregiver per toddler
Time: 10:30am to 11:15am

Parent/Caregiver Handout
One of my colleagues told me that one of the ways we can encourage parents to participate is to give them printouts of the songs and rhymes we use. This way, they can participate with the child beside them, or on their lap, and the handout close by. Here are the ones we used for this storytime:

The Plan
Welcome Song*
Rhyme: Up Down Turn Around*
Song: Hands Are Clapping*
Book: Octopus's Garden by Ringo Starr
Song: Shake Senora by Harry Belafonte Jr. (or Slippery Fish song)
Finger Play: Five Little Fish
Book: sea animal recognition and counting boardbook
Felt Story: Blue Sea by Robert Kalan
Craft: under the sea puzzle
Bubbles and Handouts*
*these are the ones I use for every toddler storytime session
Welcome Song
(sing to tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down”) 
Hi hello and how are you
How are you? How are you?
Hi hello and how are you?
How are you today?
It’s a bright and sunny day
Sunny day, sunny day
It’s a bright and sunny day
For storytime and play!

Stretching Rhyme: Up Down Turn Around
Up, down
Turn around
Touch the sky
Touch the ground
Wiggle fingers
Wiggle toes
Wiggle shoulders
Say hello!

Song: Hands Are Clapping
(sing to tune of “Skip To My Lou”)
Hands are clapping
Clap clap clap
Hands are clapping
Clap clap clap
Hands are clapping
Clap clap clap
Clap your hands my darling!
Continue with …

-feet are stomping
-arms are flapping

End with …

Now let’s sit on the floor
Now let’s sit on the floor
Now let’s sit on the floor
Sit on the floor my darling!

Or continue more actions …

Toast in the toaster
Getting very hot
Tick tock tick tock
Up you pop!

Book: Octopus's Garden by Ringo Starr
Reaction: I sang this whole song to the kids even though I forgot the tune for some parts of it. Whoops! Regardless, the kids really loved the pictures, and helped me count the creatures on the pages.

Song: Shake Senora by Harry Belafonte Jr. 
Reaction: I gave the kids some shakers so they can shake their wiggles out. I love this song but it wasn't such a successful addition to my storytime repertoire because the song didn't have a set structure for the kids to follow. Usually, I would tell the kids to clap their hands, stomp their feet, etc., but this one was just a free-dance song. I thought it would be okay, but the toddlers looked lost. They tried following my movements, but I didn't really have any set movements either. For next time, if I use this song again, I will have some set movements for the kids to do. Also, I had prepared the Slippery Fish song for this slot, but completely forgot about it, so you can use that song instead of the one I used. Check out JBrary's awesome version of the actions used in the song.

Finger Play: Five Little Fish
Five little fishes swimming in a pool
This one said,  "The pool is cool."
This one said,  "The pool is deep."
This one said,  "I'd like to sleep."
This one said,  "I'll float and dip."
This one said,  "I see a ship."
The fishing boat comes.
The line goes 
All the little fishes swim away in a flash! 
(fingers "swim" away quickly)

Reaction: We have a glove with five small fishes that attach to each finger with Velcro. I took the rhyme from Yakaberry Rhymes. All the fishes were pretty and flashy enough to capture the toddlers' attention, and I stretched out this activity by asking the kids the colour of each fish as I introduced them. I thought it was received well. Some of the toddlers kept trying to snatch the fishes away :D

Book: sea animal recognition and counting boardbook
Reaction: I can't remember the name of this book, but it was a really good one. Rats! If I happen to get the name of it, I will revise this post with the information. The book had all these small sea animal pieces. I gave each toddler a small piece, and as I read the book, I asked a toddler to come to the book if they had the sea animal piece that would complete the page. They also participated in counting the sea animals. It's hard to explain. I'll try to get a picture of it next time I get my hands on the book...

Felt Story: Blue Sea by Robert Kalan
Reaction: this was a very simple story, and each time one of the fishes escaped from its predator, I asked the kids if each fish would be able to fit through the porthole, net, etc. I think the kids enjoyed shouting out their answers. 

Craft: Under the Sea Puzzle
This craft uses clip art from several sources. I just asked our awesome volunteers to cut the sea animal shapes. Each toddler received a set of five sea animals and a blue card stock sheet with the outlines of each sea animal on the page. First, the toddlers and their parents matched and glued each sea animal to its outline on the blue sheet, and then coloured each animal.

blue card stock
crayons or markers

Parachute with Rhymes
(Sing to “The More We Get Together”)
Come under my umbrella
Umbrella, umbrella
Come under my umbrella
It’s starting to rain!
(Sing to “Frere Jaques”)
Peek a boo, peek a boo
I see you, I see you
I see your button nose
And your tiny toes
Peek a boo, peek a boo.

Bubbles and Handouts
-I usually play the Beach Boys' song, Wouldn't It Be Nice, when blowing bubbles for the kids
-2 Whales colouring sheet from Printable Colouring Pages

Credits: I took the songs and rhymes from a variety of sources, some from work, and others from different parts of the internet. I will try to give credit where it is due, so if something is yours and I haven't credited you, please let me know and I will link back to you. Thank you!
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