05 April 2015

Construction Theme - Toddler Storytime

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 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: I Love Tools by Philemon Sturges
Song: Construction Worker Song
Song: Five Little Nails with Playdoh and Beads
Book: B is for Bulldozer
Song: Stack the Blocks with foam blocks
Craft: Tool Belt
Bubbles + Stickers + Colouring Sheet + Bookmark
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: I Love Tools! by Philemon Sturges


This book has nice, simple pictures. The concepts might be a little too advanced for the younger toddlers, but I think asking questions about what the tools might do, or talking to them about what each tool can do, or what noises they might make, help with building vocabulary. I also showed them the construction hat above so that I could talk to them about safety.

Song: Construction Worker Song 
(Tune:  The Wheels on the Bus)
This is the way we pound our nails, pound our nails, pound our nails
This is the way we pound our nails, so early in the morning

...saw the wood
...turn the screwdriver
...drill a hole
...stack the bricks
...stir the paint
...paint the walls

This is an action song, so we made sawing, nail pounding, stacking, drilling, etc. motions while singing the song.

Song: Five Little Nails 
(Tune: This Old Man)
Five little nails, standing straight and steady
Here I come with my hammer ready!
With a bam, bam, bam! That nail goes down.
Now there’s just four nails to pound.
(count down)


Using Playdoh, beads and tapping sticks, we arranged the beads on the Playdoh and pounded the nails into the Playdoh while singing the song above.

Later, when I did this same activity and song during family storytime, I amended it so that instead of using the beads, I asked the kids to roll their Playdoh into 5 chunky cylinders. These cylinders were their nails, and they pounded them down while singing the song. I think this way worked a lot better than when we used the beads, especially for the younger toddlers.

Book: B is for Bulldozer by June Sobel

It's a nice book, but a little too long for toddler storytime. We only got to letter G, if I remember correctly, before we had to go on to another activity.

Song: Stack the Blocks
(Tune: The Ants Go Marching In)
We stack the blocks one-by-one
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We stack the blocks one-by-one
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We stack the blocks one-by-one
We are having so much fun
Then they all go tumbling down – to the ground
Boom, Boom, Boom!

For this activity, the toddlers had to stack their blocks as we sang the song. It only worked out for the first round of the song, since the second round requires that the toddlers stack the blocks "two by two", and I didn't have enough foam blocks. Whoops! Regardless, the toddlers liked having the blocks in their hands, and it became a good clean-up activity afterward, when I asked them to help me put the foam blocks away. One of the toddlers even sorted out the pink ones separately!

When I did this activity and song again for a family storytime, I scrapped the foam blocks and handed out music shakers instead. We danced around in a circle and jumped up while yelling "hurrah!". We then fell to the ground and pounded our hands on the floor for the words "boom, boom, boom!". This worked out a lot better than the foam blocks, methinks.

Craft: Tool Belt
Our awesome teen volunteers helped us by cutting the tool shapes using this template I found on the internet.

-blue foam, with 6 cut slits to house the tools
-coloured card stock, cut into tool shapes
-hole puncher
-crayons and stickers to decorate the tools

Bubbles, Handouts, Stickers, Bookmark
We had time for the parachute today! Yahoo! I then handed out a construction theme colouring sheet and stickers, and blew bubbles for the kids. Since this was the last session of the season, I also handed out bookmarks to promote our next 8-week storytime season.


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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