Toddlers: Growing Up

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

Little Bitty Friends by Elizabeth McPhee**
Lulu’s Busy Day by Caroline Uff**
Now I’m Big! by Karen Katz**
What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby? by Cressida Cowell

Early Literacy Tip
Giving your children paper and crayons, markers, or pencils even when they can only scribble is the beginning of early writing. Posting your child’s work on the refrigerator or around the house will show them how proud you are of their efforts.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Songs for Wiggleworms***

Featured Track: #18 “The Milkshake Song”***

Flannelboard: Ten Little Babies

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Egg Shakers Up***
  • Put Your Shake On Your***
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • This Is Big***
  • Tick, Tock***

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
I read Lulu’s Busy Day and Now I’m Big! and both of them were great hits. I talked with the toddlers and caregivers about being big kids and the different things that we can do now that we’re big! (I did paperclip the diaper/potty spread in Now I’m Big! since the younger toddlers are often still in diapers and I didn’t want anyone to feel left out!) Since this was my last class with this group, I did THREE shaker songs, using Songs for Wiggleworms “The Milkshake Song” as my finale piece.

Thursday morning (9:30)
Since this is a quieter group, I read both Lulu’s Busy Day and Little Bitty Friends. Little Bitty Friends just barely ties into the theme of growing up, but I loved the soft illustrations and calming effects of the book on the group! This group did AMAZING with “Put Your Shaker On” and I stretched us by adding in new body words like: shin, thigh, heel as an example to caregivers on how to stretch vocabulary.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Both Now I’m Big! and Little Bitty Friends were wonderful. I especially made sure to read Now I’m Big! in this class because I have several friends who are expecting little siblings to join them within the next few months or so and I love how the book ends. I also did more body parts vocab with this group and it worked out just as well as the last!

Toddlers: Messy and Clean

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

messyandclean

Dini Dinosaur by Karen Beaumont
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont**
Time for a Bath by Phillis Gershator
Uh-Oh! by Rachel Isadora**

Early Literacy Tip
Ribbons are very versatile and can be almost anything. Today we are going to use our ribbons to show directions like up, down, in, and out.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Hot Dog! (Caspar Babypants)

Featured Track: #6 Messy Face

Flannelboard: Five Clean and Squeaky Pigs**

Flannelboard: Five Elephants in the Bathtub

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Roly Poly**
  • These Are the Colors**
  • This Is Big, Big, Big**
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom**

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
I was sick this morning and didn’t see my Monday class.

Thursday morning (9:30)
This group’s favorite book was definitely I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More. I invited the toddlers and caregivers to play along with the book and pretend to paint each other. It was really fun to see the interaction between the grown-ups and their kiddos. I loved the ribbons early literacy tip and thought that it was received well by caregivers.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Uh-Oh! was a big hit in this group because I asked caregivers to talk while I panned the book, talking about messes and whether or not our toddlers were still messy kids. I liked that this book talked about other uh-ohs/messes rather than just being dirty. This group was FASCINATED when I did the flannelboard “Five Clean and Dirty Pigs” — their faces lit up with amazement/glee when the pigs became suddenly dirty or clean.

Preschoolers: Numbers

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

numbers

1 Big Salad by Juana Medina*
123 Peas by Keith Baker*
One Family by George Shannon
The Very Cold, Freezing, No-Numbers Day by Ashley N. Sorenson**

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Here Comes the 123s**

Featured Track: #6 High Five!

Flannelboard: Five Little Birds**

Flannelboard: Picture Counting Windows**

Letter of the Day: N**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree**
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
Oh, this group had a great time counting with me. Their favorite book was easily 123 Peas — this group was much of the same friends from this alphabet storytime and they remembered the ladybugs. So, we went on a ladybug hunt. I wound up calling each kiddo individually to have a chance to find the ladybugs as we counted. This was an unscheduled departure from what I had planned and took up a lot of class time, but it was hugely rewarding (and very Whole Book Approach) to spend this time with a single book!

Tuesday morning
This group LOVED The Very Cold, Freezing, No-Numbers Day, which is a book that I’ve had pinned on Pinterest for quite a while to read in storytimes. And this group also requested to do “Five Little Monkeys Swinging from a Tree” in American Sign Language like we had done during Languages storytime. They also wanted to start off doing it silently, but I led them into using ASL slowly since they were having trouble remembering all the signs.

Toddlers: Counting

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

counting

Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker**
One Family by George Shannon*
Swallow the Leader by Danna Smith
Ten in the Bed by Jane Cabrera***

Early Literacy Tip
The use of small percussion instruments such as bells, rhythm sticks, shakers, and drums help children with muscular development and coordination.
** Notice how this early lit tip has nothing to do with today’s prop of scarves? Whoops! I turned it into a “it’s okay to make mistakes” tips for caregivers.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: ABCs & 123s***

Featured Track: #13 This Old Man

Flannelboard: Five Little Books***

Flannelboard: Picture Windows***

Repeating Extension Activities

  • The Elevator Song**
  • Everyone Can March
  • Popcorn Kernels***
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • We Wave Our Scarves Together***

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
I flip-flopped this week and read my quieter book for the first book, One Family, and it worked really well! The kids were nice and calm after our introductions and our opening song and it was an easy segue. We counted each family in the illustrations and I kept asking if the kids thought the family could grow bigger. I, of course, had some kids that were convinced that it would and some that were adamant that the family could not get bigger. What I really loved was hearing the caregivers have conversations: “That’s the size of our family.” “We have a grandma in our house.” “Oh, look, twins like us.”

Thursday morning (9:30)
This class was packed — I had nearly everyone in attendance on my list — and the class was a bit chaotic because of it. I knew that I needed more active stories, so I went with Big Fat Hen and Ten in the Bed. I did more verses of “We Wave Our Scarves Together” (normally it’s wave, shake, and hide). Today, I added toss and peek-a-boo to help keep everyone’s attention. Remarkably, everyone pays really good attention when the manipulatives come out!

Thursday morning (10:30)
My quiet class! This group needed both active stories Big Fat Hen and Ten in the Bed to draw them into the storytime. I really loved watching a few of the more tentative kiddos play along with the books and activities. I was especially proud of a friend that has struggled with our bubble time at the end. This friend prefers to wait for the bubbles to come to them instead of joining the group in the middle of the rug. But not today! Today, my friend went right into the fray and their caregivers were so thrilled!

Preschoolers: Languages

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

languages

Hands and Hearts by Donna Jo Napoli*
MaƱana Iguana by Ann Whitford Paul
Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora**
Spicy Hot Colors by Sherry Shahan*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Putumayo Animal Playground**

Featured Track: #13 Mdube

Flannelboard: Braille Match**

Flannelboard: Little Mouse (in Spanish)

Letter of the Day: L**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree*
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
This class heard Say Hello! and Hands and Hearts. Their favorite was definitely Say Hello! and I really enjoyed how willing they were to try new words in other languages. We repeated each “hello” several times and I did clarify any pronunciation issues to help the kids with their new words. The kids in this group *really* loved the Braille Match flannelboard and touching each of the pieces. All of the kids thought that the Braille felt “bumpy” and some of the kids counted how many bumps they felt as they touched their number.

Tuesday morning
I chose to read Say Hello! and Spicy Hot Colors in this class. They enjoyed both books equally, but their love went to signing in ASL “Five Little Monkeys Swinging From a Tree”. I learned how to sign this song from Marge Loch-Wouters and her version is available on YouTube for you to learn as well! My favorite moments from this included: loudly humming the words that we took away the first time so they wouldn’t say them, a kiddo who shouted “WHAT??” when I said we would sign the whole song without singing, and the utter pride and silence on their faces — some of them had their lips pressed together to avoid singing — as we signed together. I’m glad this activity went so well because I had a parent specifically request that I teach the kids ASL on our evaluation sheets last session. Also! I have a kiddo who is fluently reading in this class. They are always attentive and never disruptive, but I could see on their face this week the awe of learning something new and it was HUGELY rewarding.

Toddlers: Houses

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

houses

Bear at Home by Stella Blackstone
The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson**
My House by Byron Barton***
Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin*

Early Literacy Tip
All children need to learn how to stop what they’re doing. Playing games the incorporate the concept of stop gives children the opportunity to practice and hone their stopping skills.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Lemonade (Justin Roberts)***

Featured Track: #10 Tree Home

Flannelboard: A House for Birdie*

Flannelboard: Little Mouse, Little Mouse***

Props: The Three Little Pigs (Melissa and Doug, no longer available from what I can see)

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Egg Shakers Up***
  • Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes
  • Put Your Shaker On***
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom*

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
This was a fantastic class. They loved both My House and The House in the Night. I think I really did a good service to The House in the Night by saving it for last, introducing it a quiet-down book, and promoting a chance to soothe our toddlers. It worked! I mean, it really worked — I had one toddler who was doing the sleepy eye blink, haha. They loved playing “Little Mouse” which I played twice with them!

Thursday morning (9:30)
This group really only had success with My House today. They were too keyed up to enjoy Where Is Tippy Toes?, so I skipped a few pages to finish up the book early. They were PROFESSIONALS at “Put Your Shaker On” — even when I changed up the song and added in elbow for the toddlers to get a chance to cross the midline. (Which also gave me a nice opportunity to share a caregiver tip!)

Thursday morning (10:30)
And my last group was the most low-key, but really opened up when we played “Little Mouse” on the flannelboard. I loved hearing them shout colors or point to colors on their clothes (which is a tip I give for my non-verbal kiddos). I could tell that we were getting tired by the end of storytime because I had a couple of criers. I tried to remedy this with The House in the Night, but it wasn’t as successful as Monday. But we ended with bubbles and as everyone knows, those are magical to toddlers.

Preschoolers: Books

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

books

I’m Not Reading! by Jonathan Allen**
Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn*
This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne*
Where Are My Books? by Debbie Ridpath Ohi*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: The Bossy E**

Featured Track: #5 More Books for Me

Flannelboard: Five Little Books**

Props: Alphagator*

Letter of the Day: B**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum*
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
Both I’m Not Reading! and This Book Just Ate My Dog! really captivated the kids. They thought it was hilarious that Baby Owl was covered up by Tiny Chicks and his friends. We had a great conversation about whether or not all of my storytime friends could fit on my lap. One of my kiddos kept shaking their head and saying, “Only one of us!” I appreciated that no one decided to turn that into a hands-on learning experience, haha! We used Lola Loves Stories as a prediction text. I asked the kids what they thought Lola would be after every book that she read. They got very good at paying attention to see what she would be the next day!

Tuesday morning
The kids were very into I’m Not Reading! and trying to count the birds in this storytime. They also LOVED “Five Little Books” because I used finger puppets to check the book out and let my rabbit hop on their shoulders or my dog licking their arms (if they wanted a puppet visit, most of them did). The books were a little bit too restless while I began the second book Where Are My Books?, but they did settle down once they realized the gravity of the book’s situation. One of them commented, “No one should steal books, Miss Katie.” I’m sure my dramatic reading helped focus their attention.

Toddlers: Winter Animals

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

winteranimals

Jingle Jingle by Nicola Smee*
Little Penguins by Cythnia Rylant**
Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming
Winter, Winter, Cold and Snow by Sharon Gibson Palermo***

Early Literacy Tip
Be sure to share factual books with your young children. Follow their interests, whether in a particular animal, in how things work, in trains, or in anything else the piques their curiosity.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Stinky Cake***

Featured Track: #18 The Penguin Song

Flannelboard: Five Little Bears

Props: There’s Something In the Snow***

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Roly, Poly***
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • These Are the Colors Over You**
  • This Is Big, Big, Big***
  • Tick, Tock*

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
For this class, I opened up with Winter, Winter, Cold and Snow and had the kiddos get up and pretend to be the animals featured in the pages. The toddlers really enjoyed showing me how they could hop like the rabbit and fly like the owl and chickadee. I followed this with lots of movement before settling into Jingle Jingle as a bounce & read. The whole class seemed a bit tired this morning and I think that affected how our second book went.

Thursday morning (9:30)
I changed it up for this class and opened with a quieter book — Little Penguins — to start and saving Winter, Winter, Cold and Snow as the more active second book. This worked WONDERS and helped my class stay with me throughout the day. This class *really* benefited from the caregiver tip when I talked about using non-fiction with kids. Most of the caregivers had a look of “Oh, I can do that? I can do that!” and it was a delight.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Since it worked so well for the class before, I did the same book pairing again with this class. Again: total success! This was the only class that I did “Tick, Tock” with this week and it’s because it’s my smallest class. We have more time since passing out ribbons/cleaning up doesn’t take as long. They LOVED “Tick, Tock” so much. Some of my kids are new to storytime this session and it was their first ever “Tick, Tock”!

Preschoolers: Shapes

For more information on how I plan and prepare my preschool storytimes, check out this introduction post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one class.

The Plan

Books

shapes

Apples and Robins by Lucie Felix
City Shapes by Diana Murray*
Go, Shapes, Go! by Denise Fleming**
Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong*
Round is a Tortilla by Roseanne Thong*

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Forest Friends’ Nature Club Album**

Featured Track: #4 Shapes Are Everywhere

Flannelboard: Color Zoo

Flannelboard: The Shape Story**

Letter of the Day: S**

Repeating Extension Activities

  • Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree**
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • Icky Sticky Bubble Gum
  • Movement Cube

How It Went

Monday morning
This was my first session on Monday mornings and it went pretty well. I had a kiddo that did so good for the first fifteen minutes and then asked to go to the bathroom. Then, they all wanted to go to the bathroom. Luckily, I was able to clarify with the group that only the first kiddo needed to go. This morning I read Round is a Mooncake & Round is a Tortilla and had the kids trace the shapes in the air. And I invited the kids to come up to the book and find shapes in the page spreads that asked readers if they could find more shapes. It worked SO WELL. I really liked using both titles and talking about the different examples of shapes that we saw.

Tuesday morning
This is my large group (19 kids) and there is a bit more class management that’s needed for everyone to remember to sit still and follow directions. That being said, we had a really interactive class today that involved chomping monkeys, acting like shapes in Go, Shapes, Go! and finding shapes in City Shapes. Our flannelboard story really captivated this audience. They really enjoyed telling me what color shape and the name of the shape. And they were guessing very quickly after the new shape was placed what the shapes made together.

Toddlers: Things That Go

For more information on how I plan and prepare my toddler storytimes, check out this introduction post. And for a complete list of the repeating extension activities, visit this post. I starred the materials used in the plan; multiple stars indicate use for more than one session.

The Plan

Books

thingsthatgo

Good Night, Truck by Sally Odgers
Hello, Airplane by Bill Cotter**
Supertruck by Stephen Savage*
Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia*

Early Literacy Tip
Because children love to imitate their parents, it is very important for you to be engaged in all of the activities we do today. Seeing you participate will inspire your children to join in.

Theme Extension Activities

Featured CD: Ladybug Music Green**

Featured Track: #10 Big Fire Truck

Flannelboard: Lots of Cars**

Flannelboard: Red Crane, Red Crane

Repeating Extension Activities

  • The Elevator Song**
  • Everyone Can March
  • Popcorn Kernels**
  • This Is Big, Big, Big**
  • We Wave Our Scarves Together**

How It Went

Monday morning (9:30)
I didn’t get to do a Monday class because I was at ALA Midwinter. But my fabulous co-worker covered for me and the kids had a good time!

Thursday morning (9:30)
I really missed my toddler classes during our storytime break. So many of my friends came back to visit and they had grown and developed new skills and I missed it! This group really loved waving to “Hello, Airplane” and paid really close attention to the storyline. Our second book — Supertruck — did not hold their attention as well. But I think that’s because this was a first session. Those are always harder because we’re settling into a routine.

Thursday morning (10:30)
Another class that enjoyed “Hello, Airplane” especially when I told the kids that I had just been on an airplane for the ALA Midwinter Conference. I like making personal connections when I can so my families can get to know me & the larger library world. I also used a tip from the most recent Guerrilla Storytime which Kendra shared about doing rhymes in threes so kids can see/hear, learn, and then do.