04 April 2015

Valentine's Day 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: A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy
Activity: The Kissing Hand
Activity: Counting Hearts
Activity: 6 Little Valentines
Song: You Are My Valentine with shakers
Book: Be Mine Be Mine Sweet Valentine
Craft: Love Bug Hat
Colouring Sheet and Stickers
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: A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy

This is a nice, interactive short story! I asked the kids to help me make the different sounds of the animals.

Activity: The Kissing Hand
Chester the Raccoon
really missed his mom.

So she gave him a kiss
in the middle of his palm.
The kiss helps him,
when they are apart.
Can you help him
find the matching heart?

I gave a felted coloured heart to each child. They had to match up their heart's colour to another child's heart colour, and then give the two hearts to a stuffed animal in the middle of the group. We only did the rhyme once, and then I asked..."Can you help him find the ____ hearts?", calling out different coloured hearts for the blank space. This turned out to be a nice colour recognition activity, although in retrospect, colours like peach and light pink versus dark pink are a little too complicated for them at this stage. Whoops!

Activity: Counting Hearts

I gave the felt hearts back to the toddlers (the ones we used in the last activity above), then placed a number on the felt board. I asked the toddlers to add hearts to the felt board that would equal the number on the board. The older toddlers were able to actively participate in this activity, but the younger ones followed their older peers and added their hearts to the board as well! I think this activity was a little confusing for everyone, so we didn't continue for long.

Activity: 6 Little Valentines 
Six little Valentines were sent to my house,
The first one said, “I love you, From Mouse.”
Five little Valentines, brought in a wagon,
The second one said, “Be mine, Love Dragon.”
Four little Valentines full of love and merit,
The third one said, “You are sweet, From Parrot”
Three little Valentines just for me,
The fourth one said, “Be my honey, Love Bee.”
Two little Valentine’s mailed with care,
The fifth one said, “Here’s a hug, From Bear.”
The last little Valentine, from a turtle named Jay,
This one said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Each toddler was asked to choose a stuffed animal friend, one for each animal/creature in the rhyme above. As we went through each rhyme message above, I asked , "Awww...where's (insert animal/creature here)?". I then gave a paper Valentine to the animal/creature in question, and said, "Thank you!". Unfortunately, I added this activity to the roster at the last minute, so I didn't have enough Valentines for each child. I only made 6 heart-shaped paper Valentines with the messages from the rhyme above. To make up for the lapse, I asked the first set of children to give back their paper Valentines so that we could share and do the rhyme again. In the second round, the rhyme above didn't necessarily rhyme, since some of the toddlers chose stuffed animal friends that were different from the ones in the rhyme. Regardless, I think everyone had fun "receiving" Valentines. 

Song: You Are My Valentine 
(Tune: You Are My Sunshine)
You are my valentine
My only valentine
You make me happy
Oh yes you do
And you should know dear
How much I love you
Here’s my heart
And it's for you.

We used shakers while singing the song. This helps the children learn rhythm.

Book: Be Mine Be Mine Sweet Valentine by Sarah Weeks

We started to read this book but were unfortunately interrupted by blaring fire alarms. They were doing a sound test for the building that day, so we scrapped the book and decided to do the craft a little earlier than usual. 

Craft: Lady Love-bug Hat

-red bristol board, cut lengthwise (or white bristol board painted red, as in the example above!)
-black construction paper, cut into half circles for the ladybug's face
-googly eyes
-different coloured pieces of foam, cut into long antennae and heart shapes
-black dot stickers
-white pencil crayon to draw in the mouth

The painting and prep work was done by volunteers. Each toddler received a small ziplock bag with all their craft components. With the help of the caregivers, the toddlers had to glue the googly eyes, the antennae and the ladybug's face onto their red bristol board strips. Then they had to add the black dot stickers. The caregivers taped the strip's ends together to finish the hat.

The toddlers enjoyed sticking the black dot stickers onto the ladybug, and it seemed that the parents and caregivers also enjoyed the end results of this craft. A lot of them were taking pictures of their toddlers once the hats were finished :)

Bubbles, Handouts, Stickers
We had time for the parachute today! Yahoo! I then handed out a Valentine's Day themed colouring sheet and stickers, and blew bubbles for the kids.


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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