Sea Creatures!

I wanted to do a storytime that introduced the kids to a lot of different animals — ones that they might not know, and ones that definitely do not have enough books to have their own storytime. So, I mashed them all together and did a sea creatures storytime.

Our first book was “Over in the Ocean” by Marianne Berkes.

I fell in love with this book. It’s a little long, especially if your storytime kids skew towards 2s/3s, but the illustrations are so unique and interesting — the sea creatures were created using clay and then photographed. The colors are so bright and vivid, and the texture is apparent throughout the book. My kids kept getting up to touch the pictures, and I had to remind them to sit down often! That’s a high compliment, if kids are naturally drawn to the book itself!

I followed up with “I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean” by Kevin Sherry.

This book is such a great book for storytime. The kids love giant squid, and while I was worried that they might be scared by the ending of the book, they were totally fine with it. One of the kids even remarked that giant squid “was bad, so he was eaten!” I loved his sense of justice. Next up a rhyme with puppets:

“Four Little Ocean Friends”
Four little ocean friends living in the sea
The turtle slides away now there are three
Three little ocean friends looking for a clue
“Glub, glub,” said the lobster now there are two
Two little ocean friends not having much fun
Off swam the sea horse now there is one
One little octopus sad and all alone
Back swims the turtle, back swims the lobster, back swims the sea horse
And they played in the sea foam, safe in their home.
Credit: Modified from Beach Fingerplays from Carroll County Public Library

I did this with my very favorite set of fingerpuppets — the Sea Mates set from Manhattan Toy. It’s no longer available for purchase from the company, but I was lucky enough to catch a set for sale in Amazon’s Marketplace.

Next, a familiar book for the kids who were at “Fish Storytime” earlier this summer, “Big Fish, Little Fish” by Ed Heck.

This was my first time repeating a book in the same storytime session, and my younger kids really liked seeing it again. My older kids, on the other hand, shouted out how the book ended. If I had a storytime that was divided up by ages, I think that I would definitely repeat more books with the younger kids.

Song: Did You Ever See a Fishy? (Tune of “Did You Ever See a Lassie?”)
Did you ever see a fishy, a fishy, a fishy
Did you ever see a fishy, swim this way and that?
Swim this way and that way, and that way and this way?
Did you ever see a fishy, swim this way and that?
Credit: Ocean Songs and Fingerplays

We made fishies with our hands while we sang. And then, I read “Rub-a-Dub Sub” by Linda Ashman.

I really enjoyed this story about a little boy who takes on a submarine adventure all from his bathtub. I was very impressed that a few of my kids guessed the ending rhyme — tub! A quick switch to our flannelboard:

Flannelboard: “Five Big Whales”
Five big whales in the sea offshore
One swam up to spout and that left four.
Four big whales in the deep blue sea
One swam up to spout and that left three.
Three big whales in the sea so blue
One swam up to spout and that left two.
Two big whales having loads of fun
One swam up to spout and that left one.
One big whale longing for the sun
He swam up to spout, and that left none!
Credit: Ocean Life Compilation

Last book, “Secret Seahorse” by Stella Blackstone.

As always, I love a good hunt-and-find picture book. The kids were completely engrossed in finding out where the seahorse had gone. This was a great way to keep them engaged to our craft:

This was a super easy idea that I borrowed from Sarah. She did this craft a long time ago with pets/fish, I just changed it up to sea creatures and foam! All the pieces were self-adhesive which made this craft both entertaining and easy.


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