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



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”!

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