Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Toddler Storytime: Happy Thanksgiving!

I had my last story time of the Fall session this week.  I usually take the month of December off from weekly story times (not that it's a vacation for me; I'll be working on projects that have been piling up) due to the busy holiday season.  Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I thought it was appropriate to end the Fall story times with a Thanksgiving theme.  Here is what I did:

DISCUSSION:  What Are You Thankful For?
The children in my toddler group are mostly 2-3 years old, so we had a quick discussion about things they are thankful for.  Trucks, toys, parents, cousins and families topped the list. :)

BOOK:  Splat Says Thank You! by Rob Scotton
Splat's best friend Seymour is sick and hasn't smiled in a while.  Splat decides to make Seymour a friendship book thanking him for all the wonderful things he has done for Splat, in hopes that it will make him smile.  This was a nice book to share after talking about things we are thankful for; the kids got to yell out "Thank you" each time Splat said something nice about his friend.

SONG:  "If You're Thankful and You Know It"
(tune: "If You're Happy and You Know It")

If you're thankful and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're thankful and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're thankful and you know it, and you really want to show it,
If you're thankful and you know it, clap your hands.

Continue with stomp your feet, shout "I am!", and do all three.

(Source: Sunflower Storytime)

FLANNEL SONG:  "Did You Ever Seen a Turkey?"
(tune:  "Did You Ever See a Lassie?")

Did you ever see a turkey, a turkey, a turkey,
Who struts around the farmyard with feathers so bright?
With red ones and orange ones and yellow ones and brown ones,
Did you ever see a turkey with feathers so bright?

Continue with pink ones and green ones and blue ones and purple ones
Continue with striped ones and spotted ones and glittery ones and a cow one

(Source:  Miss Sarah Storytime)

BOOK:  Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr
Turkey does not like Thanksgiving.  He needs to get away from the farmer - fast!  He tries hiding in various places around the farm.  Kids love shouting out "Run, turkey, run!"  For the toddlers, I ask them where turkey is hiding and what kind of animal is he pretending to be.  This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving books and is great to share with preschoolers, too.

FLANNEL SONG:  "We Eat Turkey"
(tune:  "Frere Jacques")

We eat turkey, we eat turkey.
Oh so good, oh so good.
Always on Thanksgiving, always on Thanksgiving.
Yum, yum, yum!  Yum, yum, yum!

Continue with mashed potatoes, corn, squash, and pumpkin pie.

Dinner's over, dinner's over.
We are stuffed!  We are stuffed!
What a great Thanksgiving, what a great Thanksgiving.
Yum, yum, yum!  Yum, yum, yum!

(Source:  Storytime Secrets)

For this rhyme, I printed out clip art of each food item, cut them out, laminated them, and glued a piece of felt onto the back.  I also acted out the verses, pretending to eat the food and rubbing and patting my tummy.  Between verses, I asked what are some things we eat on Thanksgiving and a little boy kept telling me "stuffing" each time I asked!  I'll have to find clip art for that for next year, buddy, because that's my favorite food, too!

CRAFT:  Paper Scrap Turkeys
I found this craft idea on Pinterest.  This is very easy and a great way to use up construction paper scraps.  Ahead of time, I cut out turkey bodies from brown construction paper.  Using scissors with a scalloping edge, I cut out squares of construction paper.  All the toddlers had to do was glue their turkey onto a piece of construction paper and glue paper scraps around it to make feathers.  Their grownups could also make a beak and feet out of scrap paper, if they desired.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Toddler Storytime: Pets

This is a versatile theme for storytime, because there are so many picture books about animals.  The obvious choices are cats or dogs, but you could include books about fish, snakes, hamsters, and the list goes on!  Here is what I did:

BOOK:  What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd
Jack would like a pet and his mother said yes, but what should they get?  Jack has several suggestions, from an elephant to a Tyranasaurus Rex, but mom explains why each of these animals would be impractical.  This is a funny book, and I love the illustrations.

RHYME:  I Went to the Pet Store
I used puppets and had the kids "guess" the animal based on the rhyme.  You could also make the animals out of felt and use on a flannelboard.

I went to the pet store and made a special wish.
The pet that I wanted was a very special (fish)!

I went to the pet store, I went there at a jog,
To get a pet with a wagging tail, it was a little (dog)!

I went to the pet store, it had become a habit.
The pet I wanted now was a soft, white, fluffy (rabbit)!

I went to the pet store, I'm sure this sounds absurd,
But the pet I wanted was a colorful flying (bird)!

I went to the pet store, it was no mistake.
What I really wanted now was a hissing green (snake)!

(Source: Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan.  Chicago: American Library Association, 2009)

SONG:  "The Goldfish" by Laurie Berkner (from The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band)
This interactive song is so much fun!  Kids get to act out swimming like fish and other activities like riding a bike and taking a nap.  My toddler group loves to play with the musical instruments, so I usually put a bunch out when we dance to songs.

BOOK:  A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann
Four kittens have never seen winter or snow, and three of them are worried they won't like it, but their sibling can't wait to experience it.  The kittens watch out the window as the seasons change and snow finally arrives.  The three kittens watch as the fourth kitten has so much fun in the snow that they all decide to go out and enjoy it.  This is a really cute story.

FLANNEL STORY:  Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
A child writes to the zoo asking for a pet.  The zoo sends a different animal, but there is something wrong with each one, so it gets sent back, until the perfect one arrives.  The template for this story is available at Kizclub.  I didn't have time to make it out of felt, so I printed out the images, laminated them, cut them out, and attached a magnet to each piece.  Voila!  Instant story on a board.

FLANNEL STORY:  Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
This is a great story to share because it incorporates colors, counting and a dog!  I did make this out of felt and it was very easy because there aren't a lot of pieces.  The template is from Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan and is available online.

CRAFT:  Tabby Cat
I found this craft idea from The Mailbox, a magazine for teachers our library subscribes to.  They have some easy and fun ideas for things to do in the classroom.  This was a great craft for toddlers because it didn't involve a lot of steps, just folding paper, tearing paper, gluing and coloring.