Toddler Storytime: All Around Town

A storytime celebrating sites around town. This was harder to cobble together than I’d imagined, and I had to rely more on songs than I did books. This theme included anything you might find in the city, including police and fire stations, libraries, schools, stores, buses and more.


Books Read:

All Through My Town by Jean Reidy
City Lullaby by Marilyn Singer
Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

Sign of the Week: Each week, I plan to teach 1 or 2 signs that correlate with our theme. Today, we learned the sign for Town/City. My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Introductions: “Let’s All Clap”
We usually start this song while people are trickling in, to learn each others’ names. I demonstrate the song with my own name, then move around in a circle. It is sung to the tune of “Ten Little Indians.”

Let’s all clap ’cause ____ is here, ____ is here, _____ is here!
Let’s all clap ’cause ____ is here, _____ is here today.

Opening Song: “We Wave and Say Hello”

Discussion: We talked about things we might see around town, like fire trucks, police cars, stores, schools, the library, etc.  Nobody was really in the mood for talking today, and this group was even more restless than last week’s!

Book 1: All Through My Town. A perfect book to suite the theme, with excellent illustrations from Leo Timmers. I had them identify the cars they saw throughout the book, the biggest of which was a fire truck. That led to…

Action Song: Hurry, Hurry, Drive the Fire Truck
Sung to the tune of “Ten Little Indians.” We strapped on our seat belts, revved our engines, and set out to battle the flames. I thought the boys in particular would like this a lot, but most kids had to be prompted by their parents.

Fingerplay: “Open, Shut Them”
This is one item I plan to repeat each week, to give our sessions some consistency. Today we added additional verses, courtesy of JBrary.

Book 2: City Lullaby.  Another introduction to sites around the city, with the nice addition of counting. We counted on our fingers while leafing through the story.

Song: The Elevator Song
Courtesy of Jbrary! One of the highlights of our library is the elevator up to the Children’s floor. We had fun moving up and down with this one, and parents lifted their smaller children up into the air and down again. I thought this would be a good way to burn off some steam, but it sort of back-fired — the kids’ attention was gone after this.

Song: “The Wheels on the Bus”
A classic that should have gone over better, but again, the kids were just done at this point. We ran through the song once and practiced all of our hand motions, then performed it all the way through. We never made it to our last story, Nana in the City, but I’d still recommend it if you ever tackle this theme.

Wrapping Up: A quick wave goodbye and the kids were off. I’m not sure why today’s group was so frantic; I actually had about 5 fewer people than I usually do. Even the parents were exhausted by the time we wrapped things up. I put out the toys, turned on Raffi and let the kids go wild — most stayed for only about 15 minutes.


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