16 January 2015

Winter Theme - Toddler Storytime

Age group: toddlers (24 - 36 months)
Group Size: about 8 kids and one parent/caregiver per toddler
Time: 10:30am to 11:15am

This was the first session of winter storytime. I had three toddlers come back from my autumn storytime session, and two newbies. I'm hoping more toddlers come back, but winter is always an iffy season, because the weather plays a huge role in whether we even get anyone in for a storytime. Getting five kids is very lucky! Crossing fingers...

Parent/Caregiver Handouts
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*
Up Down Turn Around*
Hands Are Clapping*
Book: Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
Rhyme: Five Little Snowflakes, with popsicle stick puppets
Song: Snowflakes Dance Around, with scarves
Song: Winter Pokey
Activity and Rhyme: Ten Little Mittens
Song: I'm a Little Teapot
Boardbook: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr. 
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: Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

Reaction: This is a really simple book with a lot of potential for interaction with the toddlers. Every time a new snow person was made, I asked the kids what kinds of things were used to make the snow person's eyes, mouth, buttons, etc. There was even one little girl who kept calling out the names for each of the items I asked for, which is awesome, though I think next time, I will ask each child individually so that the shyer ones can have a turn as well.

Rhyme: Five Little Snowflakes
One little snowflake with nothing to do
Along came another and then there were…two!
Two little snowflakes laughing with me
Along came another and then there were…three!
Three little snowflakes looking for some more
Along came another and then there were…four!
Four little snowflakes dancing a jive
Along came another and then there were…five!
Five little snowflakes, having so much fun!
Out came the sun, and then there were none!

Reaction: Since there were only five toddlers, I was able to give each child one of the popsicle stick snowflake puppets. I asked them to hold up their snowflakes one by one for the rhyme. This didn't quite work out because two of the toddlers were much younger (slightly less than 2 years old), and couldn't understand what I was asking yet. I don't think it mattered much to them though, because they always seem to enjoy just holding something in their hands for any activity we do.

Song: Snowflakes Dance All Around, with Scarves
(sing to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”)
Snowflakes snowflakes dance around (twirl around)
Snowflakes snowflakes touch the ground (touch the ground)
Snowflakes snowflakes in the air (arms up)
Snowflakes snowflakes everywhere (wave arms around)
Snowflakes snowflakes dance around (twirl around)
Snowflakes snowflakes touch the ground (touch the ground)

Reaction: I think I forgot some of the words halfway through the song and had to stop, but the toddlers are pretty forgiving. They stopped and waited for me to regain my way. Playing pretend snowflakes using the soft scarves is a hit with this crowd! Or maybe it was the dancing :D 

Song: Winter Pokey 
(sing to “Hokey Pokey”)
You put your right mitten in,
You take your right mitten out.
You put your right mitten in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the winter pokey [shiver]
And you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!

Other Verses
You put your left mitten...
You put your right boot....left boot...
You put your long scarf in....
You put your warm cap in....

Reaction: I brought in some mittens, a hat, my boots and my scarf, and wore them one by one for the song. There was a lot of participation for this song, but mostly because the song is so familiar to the toddlers.

Rhyme and Activity: Ten Warm Mittens 
Ten warm mittens, hanging on the line,
One blows away and then there are nine
Nine warm mittens, one without a mate,
A bear carries one away and that leaves eight.
Eight warm mittens, just eight not eleven,
One gets buried in the snow and that leaves seven.
Seven warm mittens, which one do you pick?
I'll pick the green one and that leaves six.
Six warm mittens, put one on to try.
Then you take it from the line and that leaves five.
Five warm mittens, we had ten before!
A fluffy bunny needs one and that leaves four!
Four warm mittens, two for you and two for me,
I lost one on the ski slope and that leaves three.
Three warm mittens, looking very new,
One falls into the mud and that leaves two.
Two warm mittens, drying in the sun,
A bird comes down and snatches it and that leaves one.
One warm mitten, what good is one?
A little mouse can have a bed, and that leaves none!
Reaction: I asked each toddler to help me take the mittens down from the clothesline. This is a good activity for fine-tuning motor skills. The toddlers seemed to enjoy themselves, especially because the mittens were really colourful! 

Song: I'm A Little Teapot 
I'm a little teapot
Short and stout
Here is my handle
Here is my spout.
When I get all steamed up
Hear me shout
Tip me over and pour me out!
Reaction: The toddlers were very good at following the different actions. I went through each action--handle, spout, tipping over--before singing the song.

Craft: Snowman Picture Frame
Originally from a post I saw on Pinterest. This craft takes a long time to prepare, but luckily we have volunteers that helped us cut out all the shapes. Afterward, I prepared individual bags for each toddler with the pieces for their own craft.

popsicle sticks, glue-gunned to resemble a small frame
colourful foam, cut out into the shapes of a hat, mittens, boots, a circle face
string, glue-gunned to the back of the snowman's head
googly eyes
black and orange dot stickers for the mouth or the nose
Unfortunately, we didn't have time for the parachute today.

Bubbles and Handouts
Unfortunately, no time for bubbles today either, but I did give out a winter themed colouring sheet!

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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