Toddler Storytime: Horses (and Show Jumping!)

I have been looking forward to this storytime for weeks! This theme was entirely inspired by Dana Sheridan of the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University, who runs a fantastic blog called Pop Goes the Page. If you haven’t checked it out yet, prepare to be amazed by her incredible book-related craft projects. This week, I followed her directions for creating a real-life show jumping competition to use following our horse-themed storytime. While it was labor intensive to create, the kids had an absolute blast.

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Books Read:

Horses: Trotting! Prancing! Racing! by Patricia Hubbell
Noni the Pony by Alison Lester
Clip-Clop! by Nicola Smee

Opening Song: I Wake Up My Hands
Our new opening song, inspired by JBrary!

I wake up my hands with a clap, clap, clap.
Clap, clap, clap. Clap, clap, clap!
I wake up my hands with a clap, clap, clap
And wiggle my waggles away.

Repeat with:
I wake up my feet with a stomp, stomp, stomp.
I wake up my head with a nod, nod, nod.
I wake up my hips with a shake, shake, shake.
I wake up my belly with a beep, beep, beep.

Discussion & Sign: We talked about what horses look and sound like, and the difference between a horse and a pony. Then, we learned the ASL sign for Horse. My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Book 1: Horses: Trotting! Prancing! Racing! A perfect introduction to our theme, and just the right amount of content and information for this wiggly group.

Action Song: “The Feet of a Horse Go Thump, Thump, Thump”
A great action song to the tune of “Wheels on the Bus,” which I adapted from One Little Librarian’s hippo-themed version. We stomped our feet, neighed with our noses and swished our tails.

The feet of a horse go thump, thump, thump,
Thump, thump, thump,
Thump, thump, thump.
The feet of a horse go thump, thump, thump,
All day long.

The snout of a horse goes neigh, neigh, neigh…
The tail of a horse goes swish, swish, swish…

Action Song: “Giddy Up”
A great activity from Anne’s Library Life. Since we were already up and moving, we hopped on our imaginary hoses and ran through this action song, sung to the tune of the William Tell overture. We repeated the activity several times, quickening the pace as we went.

“Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up-up-up!
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up-up-up!
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up-up-up!
WHOA, Horsie! ” (lean back and pause)

Book 2: Noni the Pony. A story about an adorable pony and her friends, Dave the Dog and Coco the Cat. Short and sweet.

Activity Horses in the Barn
An adaptation of our animal sorting game — I printed our horses in four different colors and distributed one to each child. Then, based on the color horse they were holding, they could come up and put it in the “barn:”

This was inspired by a similar activity posted at Storytime Katie, and repeated by One Little Librarian. I used her verse, again adapted from her hippo-themed storytime, before calling out each color:

Hold your horse up high,
Hold  your hose down low,
Hold your horse & turn around!
Hold your horse up high,
Hold  your hose down low,
Put your purple horse in the barn!
(Repeat with each color.)

Book 3: Clip-Clop! The classic story about a courteous horse providing rides to his free-loading friends.

Closing Rhyme: “Wave Hi, Wave Low”
The version we use, with the ASL sign for goodbye:

I think it’s time, we’ve got to go,
So wave your elbows, wave your toes!
Wave your knees, wave your lips,
Blow me a kiss with your fingertips!
Wave your ears, wave your hair,
Wave your hips and your derriere.
Wave your fingers way up high,
Wave a hand and say goodbye!


Extension Activity: Show Jumping!
Ever since I stumbled across Pop Goes the Page, I’ve been trying to step up my storytime game. I especially love this horse jumping activity, which you can view in detail here. I knew I had to give it a shot, which meant creating some sweet horse jumps and a small herd of storytime stallions. I made up four horses for the toddlers to share, and three jumps which we lined up in the hallway outside of our room. Then, the games began!

The horses (affectionately named Princess, Sparkle, Pumpkin and Spice):

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And the jumps, in all their glory:

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Every racer also won a horse ribbon, which I made out of cardstock:

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The kids had a lot of fun with this, and I think the jumps were just the right size for this age group. That being said, the jumps did not last very long, but the horses are still holding up nicely. I’ll have to keep them around for a future project.

Wrapping Up: I had a great size group this morning, with about 23-25 people total. A few new people are joining each week, and I think I’ve picked up a couple of new regulars. They really enjoyed the horse theme, and loved the “Giddy Up” activity in particular.

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Toddler Storytime: Giraffes

The fall season started up in earnest this week. I’d been a bit worried about my numbers, but now that school is in session the crowds are back. Today, we read all about giraffes!

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Books Read:

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
The Starry Giraffe by Andy Bergmann
Abigail by Catherine Rayner

Opening Song: I Wake Up My Hands
Our new opening song, inspired by JBrary!

I wake up my hands with a clap, clap, clap.
Clap, clap, clap. Clap, clap, clap!
I wake up my hands with a clap, clap, clap
And wiggle my waggles away.

Repeat with:
I wake up my feet with a stomp, stomp, stomp.
I wake up my head with a nod, nod, nod.
I wake up my hips with a shake, shake, shake.
I wake up my belly with a beep, beep, beep.

Discussion & Sign: I asked the kids to guess this week’s theme based on a few clues, and it didn’t take long for one of my regulars to come up with it. Today, we learned the ASL sign for Giraffe. My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Book 1: Giraffes Can’t Dance. A few kids knew this one already, but we enjoyed it just the same! Since this was the longest book of the bunch, we read this one first. Then, I challenged the kids to do some dancing with a special edition of “Clap Your Hands and Stop,” which they loved.

Action Song: Clap Your Hands and Stop
We also stomped our feet, flapped our arms and rolled them together, disco-style. The kids had a lot of fun with this one, and listened really well. This is one of my favorite activities for both releasing pent-up energy and encouraging the little ones to follow directions. I learned about this song from the amazing librarian behind Felt-tastic Flannelboard Funtime!

Book 2: The Starry Giraffe. A sweet book about a lovely giraffe who plucks apples from the top of the tallest tree, and shares the bounty with his friends. This has a great twist-ending which I found genuinely funny, and that the parents seemed to enjoy.

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Song: “This Giraffe Has Blue Spots”
A great activity from Jen in the Library. I’m not so great with the flannel, so I made paper puppets out of cardstock and kept it to three: a giraffe with 3 blue spots, another with 4 red spots, and a final one with 5 brown spots. Taking my cue from Jen’s activity, we sang:

To the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
This giraffe has blue spots, blue spots, blue spots!
This giraffe was blue spots. Count them with me now.

Then we proceeded to count up our spots. The kids couldn’t wait to get their hands on these guys, but I’ve made it a point to let them play with props after storytime is over and not while we’re using them as a group, and that seems to be working. I stressed this again to our new families at the beginning of the session, and I think the message is sinking in.

Regrettably, I did not have time to share our third book, Abigail, which is a slower-paced book about a giraffe who loves to count. I still recommend it as a great accompaniment to the theme! It also ties in perfectly with Jen’s counting activity (above).

Closing Rhyme: “Wave Hi, Wave Low”
The version we use, with the ASL sign for goodbye:

I think it’s time, we’ve got to go,
So wave your elbows, wave your toes!
Wave your knees, wave your lips,
Blow me a kiss with your fingertips!
Wave your ears, wave your hair,
Wave your hips and your derriere.
Wave your fingers way up high,
Wave a hand and say goodbye!


Wrapping Up: As I mentioned before, I’ve been worried about maintaining my numbers this season as we got off to a rocky start, but this was our first session since school has started, and wow. Almost all of my regulars returned, and I had at least four new families. Everyone gelled together nicely, and they seemed to enjoy today’s stories and songs. Personally, I loved this theme and the activities that went along with it, and hope to do it again soon! The Starry Giraffe in particular was a great find.

Toddler Storytime: Hello!

Summer is nearly over, which means we’re back on the school-year schedule. This will be my second year performing Toddler Tales at my library, and I’m anxious to see how many holdovers I’ll have from last year’s group, and how many new kiddos will be joining. I figured the best way for us to start off the new year, given such an uncertain start, was to say “hello!”

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Books Read:

Say Hello Like This! by Mary Murphy
“Hi, Pizza Man!” by Virginia Walter & Ponder Goembel
Say Hello! by Linda Davick
Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora

*A note on this theme: I knew that I wanted to try something like this for a while, but I was afraid that the theme might be too limiting. I’m happy to report that — as usual — I was wrong. There are lots of different ways to spin the concept of saying “hello.” Some of these books explored animal greetings (like Say Hello Like This; Hi, Pizza Man!, or Hello, Day by Anita Lobel), others explore the ways in which humans greet each other (Say Hello! by Linda Davick), and still others teach how to say hello in other languages (Say Hello by Rachel Isadora). It was the perfect way to kick off a new year of storytimes.

Opening Song: I Wake Up My Hands
Our new opening song, inspired by JBrary!

I wake up my hands with a clap, clap, clap.
Clap, clap, clap. Clap, clap, clap!
I wake up my hands with a clap, clap, clap
And wiggle my waggles away.

Repeat with:
I wake up my feet with a stomp, stomp, stomp.
I wake up my head with a nod, nod, nod.
I wake up my hips with a shake, shake, shake.
I wake up my belly with a beep, beep, beep.

Discussion & Sign: I decided to continue teaching my group sign language this year, even though we are no longer using it in our opening and closing songs. The parents, for one, seemed to enjoy it last year, and I think it enhances the session by offering my pre-verbal kiddos a different way to communicate. Today, of course, we learned the ASL sign for Hello. My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Book 1: Say Hello by Linda Davick. A simple introduction to our theme. This book explores different ways humans (and their pets) can say “hello” to one another — with a hug, or a kiss, or a whisper, or a treat. Bright, colorful illustrations complement the rhyming text.

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Action Song: “This is the Way We Say Hello”
Our traditional Opening song. Sung to “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush,” this simple song was a great way for us to practice saying hello in different ways (for example, with a clap or a stomp).

Action Rhyme: “Open, Shut Them”
The perennial favorite.

Book 2: I had two great books that featured animals saying hello. At the last minute, I decided to go with Hi, Pizza Man!, which both the kids and their families always enjoy. This book has a simple concept but it’s a lot of fun, and the unexpected illustrations make for a nice surprise as you move through the book. I’ve used this book a few times now, and it never disappoints.

Flannel Activity: Can We Find…?”
A twist on one of our favorite activities, inspired by Storytime Katie: a seek-and-find flannel board! On a handheld flannel board, I pasted six different colored doors and hid an orange cat beneath one of them. I hid other animals beneath the rest of the doors, Each round, I had one child to pick a color door to look beneath. Before we checked each door, we sang:

To the tune of “The Muffin Man:”
Can we find an orange cat? Orange cat, orange cat.
Can we find an orange cat? We want to say hello.

Then we’d lift each door to see! As we found each animal, we said hello to the animal in our language (“Hello, Pig!”) and then in its language (“Oink!”). This was a great way to incorporate the seek-and-find element into this week’s storytime, which the kids always enjoy. I’ve made about 5 or 6 different iterations of this game, now, so most of the animals were already done. (Our orange cat was actually “Tippy Toes” from this summer’s cat-themed storytime).

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Action Song: “Say Hello To Your Toes” (Storytime Secrets)
Sung to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down,” this simple song encouraged us to check in with different parts of our bodies. We began with toes and repeated the song for knees, tummies, hands and elbows.

Say hello to your toes, to your toes, to your toes!
Say hello to your toes. Hello, toes!

Book 3: Say Hello. A sweet story about a young Hispanic girl and her dog, who set off one morning to greet the various inhabitants of her neighborhood. This book teaches kids how to say hello in eight different languages. I skipped two greetings that would have been overly complicated for my age group, but overall, this was a lot of fun! It’s never too early to start teaching a new language.

Closing Song: “It’s Time to Say Goodbye”
A new closing song, sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” JBrary’s version (linked above) is a tiny bit different from mine.

Oh, it’s time to say goodbye to all our friends. (Clap, clap!)
Oh, it’s time to say goodbye to all our friends! (Clap, clap!)
Storytime is done today,
Come again another day.
Oh, it’s time to say goodbye to all our friends. (Clap, clap!)


Wrapping Up: This was a soft launch to the fall session — the kids are still on vacation  and many were ramping up for a new school year, so attendance was lower than usual. That said, this themed worked really well. My regulars were excited to learn a few new songs, but they were also happy to revisit some of their favorites (can anything beat the universal appeal of “Open, Shut Them?” Except maybe “Despacito?”). Overall, this was a fun theme that opened up a lot of fun actions and activities. A good start.

Toddler Storytime: Cats

This week’s storytime was inspired by a book I’ve been hoping to use for a long time: Brendan Wenzel’s They All Saw a Cat. I’ve never done a cat-themed storytime, being more of a dog person myself, so it was due time for me to embrace the felines.

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Books Read:

Cat’s Colors by Airlie Anderson
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Where is Tippy Toes? and Cat Count by Betsy Lewin

Opening Song: “So Early in the Morning”
To the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.” We use the ASL sign for “hello” in the first verse.

This is the way we wave hello,
Wave hello, wave hello,
This is the way we wave hello
So early in the morning.

Repeat with clap our hands, stomp our feet, jump around.

Discussion & Sign: The kids and I chatted about cats — how they move, what they sound like, etc. Then we learned the ASL sign for Cat. My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Book 1: They All Saw a Cat. I’ve loved this book since the first time I saw it, and it worked even better than I could have imagined. Wenzel’s stunning illustrations capture how a single cat is viewed by a variety of different animals, and ends with how she sees herself. It’s a great lesson on perspective, but surprisingly the kids also thought it was really funny. Definitely a book I’ll revisit in the future.

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Song: “When Cats Get Up In the Morning (with Puppets)
I broke out the puppets to use with this simple, repetitive song. We ran through the verses for a cat, a dog, a pig, a cow, and a chicken.

Book 2: Where Is Tippy Toes? A hide-and-seek book with cut-out elements. We ultimately find Tippy Toes, the curious orange cat, under the covers of her child’s bed. Betsy Lewin has several other cat-themed books that are great for storytime, including Thumpy Feet and Cat Count.

Flannel Activity: Hide & Seek Game (Baby Bird, Baby Bird)
One of our favorite activities, courtesy of  Miss Mary Liberry. On a handheld flannel board, I pasted six different colored blankets and hid an orange cat, Tippy Toes, beneath one of them. I also hid a bird, a dog, and a mouse beneath three of the other blankets, and left three blankets empty. Each round, I had one child pick a color blanket to look beneath and we’d ask, as a group: “Where is Tippy Toes? I bet [child’s name] knows!” Jayson, our storytime assistant, found Tippy Toes on the first try this week, but we still had fun uncovering the other animals.

Action Song:  I Wake Up My Hands
One of my new favorite songs, courtesy of JBrary. This is a great transitional song to bridge different activities together, while also releasing pent-up energy.

Book 3: Cat’s Colors. A cat-themed take on Dog’s Colorful Day. A white cat moves throughout the world, and “picks up” colors on her coat. Before reading, I passed out scarves to our group (their new favorite thing, oh God) and as we encountered each color, I asked the kids to shake the matching scarf. While they did that, our storytime assistant helped me to add different color spots to our white flannel cat. In retrospect, I think I tried to do too many things with this book. The scarves worked fine with this one and so did the flannel, but both in conjunction made things a bit chaotic.

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Scarf Song: “Wave Your Scarf”
Now that they had scarves, we had to use them. This is the most versatile scarf song I know, sung to the tune of “London Bridge.” Or course it’s from JBrary. You had to ask?

Closing Rhyme: “Wave Hi, Wave Low”
The version we use, with the ASL sign for goodbye:

I think it’s time, we’ve got to go,
So wave your elbows, wave your toes!
Wave your knees, wave your lips,
Blow me a kiss with your fingertips!
Wave your ears, wave your hair,
Wave your hips and your derriere.
Wave your fingers way up high,
Wave a hand and say goodbye!


Wrapping Up: Overall, the summer session has not quite lived up to my expectations (as you might have noticed from the lack of new posts). But this was a great theme, and the kids really enjoyed this week’s activities. All three of the books were well-received, and the songs and activities worked fine. I still consider myself a dog person, but you can score one for the cats.

Toddler Storytime: Finale of Favorites (and a Birthday Surprise!)

It’s finally here — our last storytime of the season! (Well, kinda). Back when I began planning this year’s sessions, I always intended to use this final week as a celebration of our favorite songs, stories and rhymes. And here we are!

Now, in all fairness, this was supposed to be the final storytime for the year, with a new session beginning in September. But our regulars have loved coming so much, and were so insistent that we continue, that both my co-worker and I decided to implement a summer session. So, technically, this is just a ceremonial end to our sessions. I’ll be back in three weeks.

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Books Read:

Jump! by Scott M. Fischer
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont & David Catrow
Pat-a-Cake Baby by Joyce & Polly Dunbar

Opening Song: “So Early in the Morning”
To the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.” We use the ASL sign for “hello” in the first verse.

This is the way we wave hello,
Wave hello, wave hello,
This is the way we wave hello
So early in the morning.

Repeat with clap our hands, stomp our feet, jump around.

Discussion & Sign: I explained that we’d be celebrating our favorite songs and stories from the previous year, and then asked the kids about what they’d enjoyed the most. Then we learned the ASL sign for Celebrate. My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Book 1: Jump! (Originally used during “Body & Movement” and “Letters & Rhymes” storytimes)The hardest part about planning this storytime was choosing which books to read. Jump! was the first story we shared together, so it holds a special place in my heart. Some of our other favorites included Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Dusky Rinker, Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin, Jr., and Who’s Driving by Leo Timmers. Jump!, though, is a reliable, rhyming book with plenty of action to keep the kids moving.

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Song: “Bubble, Bubble, Pop!”
A fun, repetitive action song set to the tune of “Ten Little Indians.” We swapped out fish for sharks, and sang through five verses. This one has always worked well with my group, and one mother told that her daughter couldn’t stop singing it at home. It is pretty catchy.

Fingerplay: “Open, Shut Them”
Our favorite thing in all the land.

Book 2: I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! (Originally used during “Colors” & “Letters & Rhymes” storytimes). Karen Beaumont is one of my favorite children’s authors, and this book is much of the reason why. Bright, quirky illustrations by David Catrow complement the fun rhyming structure.

Action Song:  “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”
A great song to use with I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, and one that my toddlers always enjoy.

Book 3: Pat-a-Cake BabyA new book for us, to transition into the “birthday” sub-theme I had going on. Today was one of my regular patron’s 4th birthday, and three others had celebrated their birthdays within the week. I figured that since we were celebrating already, we might as well celebrate our birthdays, too.

Activity: Add a Candle to the Birthday Cake!
I made a large, layered birthday cake out of paper and cardboard, and my plan was to present it to our birthday boy, sing him a round of “Happy Birthday,” and then invite him to add a candle to the cake (I made about 30 different colored paper candles for the kids to stick wherever they wanted). Unfortunately, the birthday boy couldn’t attend this session, so we jumped right into the second part of the activity. I asked everyone who’d had a birthday in May to come up and add their candle, and then we cycled through every month until each child had a turn.

Song: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”

Closing Rhyme: “Wave Hi, Wave Low”
The version we use, with the ASL sign for goodbye:

I think it’s time, we’ve got to go,
So wave your elbows, wave your toes!
Wave your knees, wave your lips,
Blow me a kiss with your fingertips!
Wave your ears, wave your hair,
Wave your hips and your derriere.
Wave your fingers way up high,
Wave a hand and say goodbye!


Wrapping Up: I had high hopes for this storytime, and was honestly a bit flummoxed when my special guest didn’t show. But, we rolled right through it. The kids enjoyed revisiting some of their favorite books, rhymes and songs, and they especially enjoyed taking home a balloon at the end of the session (my “present” for all of their birthdays). We also spent a lot of time blowing bubbles during play time. All in all, this was a fitting end to a great year of storytimes. On to the summer session!

Flannel Friday: “Polar Bear’s Underwear” by Tupera Tupera

A quick “flannel” board to accompany Tupera Tupera’s adorable picture book, Polar Bear’s Underwear! I used this during a bear-themed storytime in April, and it garnered plenty of giggles.

Like almost all of my flannel boards, there is no felt involved here. I make my sets on cardstock or construction paper, and laminate them to increase durability. For this set, only the bear itself needs to stick to the flannel board, and masking tape does the trick. I use Velcro squares to keep the rest of the pieces together.

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I first saw this book when it came in more than a year ago, and it’s been on my radar ever since. It’s perfect for a storytime group — a simple, repeating structure, bold illustrations, a built-in guessing game, and, obviously, underwear! The toddlers in my group started giggling as soon as they saw the cover, and didn’t stop until the final page.

The hardest part was making my polar bear — I drew him freehand. It took a few tries to get the proportions right. Once he took shape, I made basic shapes out of colored cardstock to create his eyebrows, eyes, ears and snout. A quick outline in black marker, and he was ready to go!

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Polar bear, looking appropriately bashful.

Next came the underwear. In the book, Polar Bear cannot remember where he placed his underwear and tries on numerous pairs, none of which belong to him. The reader must guess, based on the underwear’s design, which animal should be wearing the pair (i.e., the striped underwear belong to zebra, and the donut patterned underwear to pig).

To make the different pairs, I found images or patterns online and printed them out in large strips, then used a panty-shaped template to cut them all to size (except for the butterfly’s pair, which had to be much smaller!) I put a square of white Velcro on the back of each pair, and another on Polar Bear himself.

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An assortment of underwear.

Now, as it turns out, Polar Bear was wearing his underwear the whole time — he’d forgotten he put on a clean, white pair. So, while making Bear, I drew in a simple outline in pencil, which you can barely see in the first picture. It’s enough to make the kids do a double-take! Who doesn’t love a good plot twist?

Toddler Storytime: Hide & Seek

One of my group’s favorite activities is our hide-and-seek flannel board, inspired by this project from Miss Merry Liberry. They love it so much, as well as searching for hidden objects in our other books, that I decided to build a storytime around it!

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Books Read:

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek
Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow
All Ears, All Eyes by Richard Jackson & Katherine Tillotson

Opening Song: “So Early in the Morning”
To the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.” We use the ASL sign for “hello” in the first verse.

This is the way we wave hello,
Wave hello, wave hello,
This is the way we wave hello
So early in the morning.

Repeat with clap our hands, stomp our feet, jump around.

Discussion & Sign: I explained that today’s storytime would be all about using your eyes and ears to find hidden objects, then we practiced our sign for Look. My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Book 1: Where is the Green Sheep? A classic book that also tackles the topic of opposites. As we read, I asked the kids to think about where a green sheep might like to hide.

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Action Song: “Roly Poly”
One of my favorite action songs from JBrary, and a great way to reinforce the opposite pairs introduced in Green Sheep.

Fingerplay: “Open, Shut Them”

Book 2: Have You Seen Elephant?. A sweet book about a boy who decides to play hide and seek with an elephant, and then cannot find him anywhere (despite the animal’s size and lack of skill). This is a fun one for the kids, as the elephant is featured on each page in obvious and increasingly absurd hiding places. The watercolor illustrations are bright and beautiful, perfect for panning to a crowd.

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Flannel Board: “Little Mouse, Little Mouse”
We had to include a hide-and-seek game! This time, we were looking for a mouse in a house. I made nine different houses in different colors, then hid a mouse behind one and various animals behind some of the others, making sure to leave a few empty. Before checking each house, we asked: “Little mouse, little mouse, are you in the [color] house?”

512bkn-izkl-_sx356_bo1204203200_Book 3: Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt. I really, really wanted to use All Eyes, All Ears because it’s so beautiful inside, but it’s a very quiet story — great for bedtime, but not for a rambunctious storytime group. I had to sub in something more exciting, and Shark in the Park worked well. It also allowed me to repeat a popular activity from our shark-themed storytime…

Activity: “Sherman the Shark”
A project inspired by Sunflower Storytime. I used tacky glue to adhere an old white basket to the back of a cardboard shark. This allows the shark to stand on its own, and acts as a “net” to catch fish. I cut out some creatures and had the kids “fish” for them by picking them out of a blue basket, then we recited the following rhyme: “I’m Sherman the Shark and I’m so hungry! Someone put a nice red crab in my tummy!” We repeated the actions for all of the critters — a green turtle, an orange seahorse, a pink squid, etc.

Closing Rhyme: “Wave Hi, Wave Low”
The version we use, with the ASL sign for goodbye:

I think it’s time, we’ve got to go,
So wave your elbows, wave your toes!
Wave your knees, wave your lips,
Blow me a kiss with your fingertips!
Wave your ears, wave your hair,
Wave your hips and your derriere.
Wave your fingers way up high,
Wave a hand and say goodbye!


Wrapping Up: Another great group, with 22 people and a few new faces. The hide-and-seek themed worked beautifully, and the kids had a great time scanning the pages for “missing” objects. I wish I’d been able to incorporate All Eyes, All Ears, but it just wasn’t right for this group. Shark in the Park worked much better.