Toddler Time: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

We recently started offering a Toddler Time storytime for our nearby preschools/daycares. We do this special storytime once a month, and I’ve been assigned to them in July, August, and September (and hopefully October, November, Decemeber, etc.). I am absolutely loving this storytime, and I was so excited about August’s bug theme that not even a bad sinus infection could stop me!

Since it’s been a few months since I posted a storytime on this blog, here’s what I did for my bug theme:

toddler-time-bugs-books

Books:

I Love Bugs! by Emma Dodd
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book by Eric Carle
Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi

toddler-time-bugs-activities

Activities:

Here is the Beehive:
w/ bee puppet

Here is the beehive,
But where are the bees?
Hiding away where nobody sees.
Here they come.
Out of the hive.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5
BUZZ!

Itsy Bitsy Spider:
3 ways

The itsy, bitsy spider,
Went up the water spout,
Down came the rain and,
Washed the spider out,
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
And the itsy, bitsy spider,
Went up the spout again.

Great Big Spider w/ great big voices
Rockin’ Rollin’ Spider sung really, really fast

Very Hungry Caterpillar Flannelboard:

Hand out various food and retell the story. Children put the food on the flannelboard when the time comes.

Wiggle Worms Movement Activity:

I created movement cards based off of bugs: wiggle like a worm, flutter like a butterfly, jump like a grasshopper, buzz like a bumblebee. For this activity, I would randomly select a card and we would move like that bug. The kids loved it!

Fuzzy, Fuzzy Bumblebee
w/ pom-poms as our bumblebees
to the tune of Mary had a Little Lamb

Fuzzy, fuzzy bumblebee,
Bumblebee, bumblebee,
Fuzzy, fuzzy bumblebee,
Landing on my toes [place pom-pom on toes]

Repeat with: knee, elbow, shoulder, head, bed (putting the pom-poms back in the tub)

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Mixed Ages Storytime (K-5): Three Little Pigs

Three Little Pigs Activity
Today, I had to give a storytime to a group of kids who ranged in age from Kindergarten to 5th grade. As we all know, these types of storytimes can be very tricky. Normally, I feel as though I lose the kids’ interest when I attempt a storytime for such a wide age range, but today…today things were amazing, so I’m going to share my plan with you all. This plan was inspired by Amy Koester’s Three Little Pigs STEAM program.

Set Up and Supplies:

You will need:

  • A table divided into three areas with tape.
  • Duplo
  • Plastic Cups
  • Index Cards (about half of them folded in half)
  • Jon Scieszka’s The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
  • Music and possibly other cool books (for later)

Intro:

  • Ask the older children to raise their hands. Select 6 volunteers from older children.
  • Bring older children over to the table and assign 2 kids to each of the three supplies (Duplo, cups, and index cards)
  • Tell them that they should build a structure (house, tower, whatever) using their supplies
  • Their building time is during the story. Once the story is over, they are finished.

Story:

  • Read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
  • Have children participate by sneezing loudly

Activity:

  • Once the story is over, have the builders step aside.
  • Tell the other kids that we’re going to try to huff and puff and blow the three structures down.
  • Select three volunteers. They get one breath to try to blow the structures down.
  • Continue selecting volunteers until index cards (and possibly cups) have been blown down.
  • The Duplo will most likely still be standing (unless you’ve got a kid with some amazing lung capacity).
  • Have children return to their seats and break out a hair dryer.
  • Blow everything down.

Follow Up Activities:

  • Depending on time, you can either turn on some music and boogie (the kids really liked doing The Freeze today), read another book, or talk about the library.

How It Went:

This was, by far, the best storytime that I’ve done for such a wide variety of ages. Usually I lose the 4th and 5th graders during storytime, but they LOVED this (even though not all of them got to build). Seriously, I had kids of all ages cheering during this storytime.

And the best part was that they had so much fun during the activity, that they were really up for anything afterwards. This was supposed to be a 30 minute storytime, but the Three Little Pigs activity lasted about 15 minutes, so I had to do a few other activities. The younger ones wanted to read Pete the Cat, and I was afraid that the older ones would stare at me blankly during the story, but they sang along. I then turned on some music, and everybody danced.

So, yes, this was a success, and I’ll definitely be doing it again in the future!

Early Learning Fun: Lines and Measurements

Early Learning Fun Banner

We have an Early Learning Center at my library.  It’s a 2200 square foot room filled with toys and books to encourage early literacy, and it’s a huge draw/asset to the library.  Our intention for this room is for parents and children (ages 6 and younger) to play together and learn together.  My coworkers and I have been tossing around the idea of bringing programming to this room, and we’ve done a few pop-up programs in the room to great success (including a monthly passive programming Letter Play Day that one of my brilliant coworkers arranges)!  This month I decided to do some legit programming in this room to encourage discovery and play among the children and caregivers.  My theme was lines and measurements, and I brought in a few simple activities that we could do together.

How It Went:  There were about 40 people (adults and children) in the Early Learning Center when I came in to start my program.  And I’m pretty sure that none of them actually came specifically for the program.  We were having a drab day with wet snow falling, so I’m sure that everyone who was in the room was there because they couldn’t go to a park.  I made an announcement that I was going to have some activities available for kids to do and that anyone who wanted to participate could, but if they’d rather keep playing, that was cool too.  So in a room of 40 people, I only had 7 children and 2 adults participate in the activities.  Not quite a success number-wise, BUT those who did participate LOVED the activities!  And since this program was on a Saturday, I was reaching kids who don’t normally make it to storytime during the week, so I felt that I was making a big impact.

Click the images below to download the PDF of my Lines and Measurements plan, as well as a few extras that I made for this program:

Lines and Measurements PlanInchworm FB 1Inchworm FB 2Rulers

 

Storytime Activity: Dino Egg Hunt

Today I had another great Toddler Time with the kiddos!  Our theme was Dinosaurs, and it was pretty similar to the Dino theme that I did back in January.  However, one thing that I did do this time that I didn’t do last time was a Dino Egg Hunt.  Originally, I wanted to have plastic dinosaurs in Jello for the toddler to practice their paleontology skills (as seen here), but then I decided that that was too messy of an activity for storytime (maybe for a science club…).  So I went back to the drawing board to think of another idea, and came up with this one…

Dino Eggs

I made extra felt dinosaurs (Template from Mel’s Desk), and folded the dinosaurs up into Easter eggs.  I then hid the eggs in  a corner of the room.  Prior to setting the children loose to find the eggs, I talked to them about how dinosaurs hatched out of eggs.  Then I instructed each child to find two eggs and bring them back to their caregiver.  Afterwards, we opened the eggs, and the children were able to bring their dinosaurs up to the flannelboard.

The kids loved this activity!  They liked the surprise of seeing which kind and color of dinosaur they got in their eggs, and, as always, they loved that they were able to put them up on the board.  Afterwards, we counted how many dinosaurs we had on the flannelboard (19!).