Toddler Time: Underground Animals

Last week, I did an underground animals theme for Toddler Time!  There were a lot of new faces in the crowd, and some of the toddlers had older, preschool-aged brothers and sisters along for the ride.  It ended up working really well, because the older kids really had some interesting questions and observations about the books we were reading, which in turn led to some very nice conversations (and even resulted in me changing my plan a little because they brought something up that I wanted to continue with).  So here’s what we did:

OPENING RHYMES:

OPEN, SHUT THEM
Credit:  Traditional

HANDS UP HIGH
Credit:  Manly Library

Underground Books

BOOKS:

UNDERGROUND BY DENISE FLEMING

MOUSE WAS MAD BY LINDA URBAN

LITTLE WHITE RABBIT BY KEVIN HENKES

MIDDLE RHYMES/GAMES:

ITSY BITSY SPIDER
Credit:  Traditional

WIGGLE WORM GAME
Credit:  Little Family Fun

IF YOU’RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT
Credit:  Traditional

HIPPITY HOP, HIPPITY HAY
Credit:  Preschool Express

Bunny Hunt Flannelboard

FLANNELBOARD:

WE’RE GOING ON A BUNNY HUNT
Credit:  Myself, copying off of the Little Mouse game and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

CLOSING RHYME:

CHILDREN, CHILDREN, TURN AROUND
Credit:  Traditional

HOW IT WENT:

I know I say this a lot, but this plan went very, very well!  The Wiggle Worm game was a great change from traditional rhymes, and it taught the toddlers about taking turns (and once we discussed how we take turns, they were very good about waiting patiently for their turn).  I think the caregivers also loved this game because they got a change to wiggle with and hug their littles!

While we were reading Mouse Was Mad, a 4-year-old started up a discussion about what it means to be angry.  Then, at the end of the book, several preschoolers commented that Mouse was no longer angry; he was happy!  So I then changed up my routine and launched into a rendition of If You’re Happy and You Know It (if you check out the PDF below, you’ll see that I originally planned on singing ‘Here is a Bunny with Ears so Funny’).  After we did the traditional “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…” we did another round with stomp your feet.  And one astute preschooler pointed out that Mouse had stomped his feet when he was mad.  So then I used that opportunity to ask the children what else Mouse did when he was mad, and we ended up singing “If you’re happy and you know it, hop up and down/roll around/scream.”  What a great way to retell the story!  I’ll definitely be doing this again the next time I read Mouse Was Mad!

PDF HANDOUT:

Underground Animals Plan

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