Toddler Storytime: Bedtime

This week’s session was all about bedtime. We had a quick discussion about the things we do before getting ready for bed — changing into pajamas, taking a bath, brushing our teeth, etc. — and whether or not we sleep with anyone else in the bed (pets, of the live and stuffed variety). This was my biggest group yet, with a few new faces and lots of repeats. I’m feeling more and more comfortable with the kids who attend every week, and I think they’re getting comfortable with me. In my humble opinion? This week’s session was a hit.


Books Read:

Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld
No Sleep for the Sheep! by Karen Beaumont
Time For Bed, Fred by Yasmeen Ismail

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 Bed. My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Opening Song: “We Wave and Say Hello” We scrapped our introduction song today (“Let’s All Clap”) because the children’s librarian wanted to try out a quick puppet show, which the kids loved. After she’d finished, we launched into our traditional welcome song.

Book 1: Steam Train, Dream Train. I love this book. It was something for everyone (I heard a nice, collective gasp when I revealed the cover, featuring a large red train). But aside from trains, it includes race cars, elephants, dinosaurs, circus monkeys, ice cream, and lots more. This was the first book to be requested by one of the moms after storytime was over — partly for one son, who loved trains, and partly for the other, who loved dinosaurs.

Action Song: The Handwashing Song
A quick action song courtesy of JBrary, sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques.” A repeat from last week, to help us prepare for…

Fingerplay: “Open, Shut Them”
This is one item I plan to repeat each week, to give our sessions some consistency. The kids are getting very familiar with this one, and have their hands up and ready before I even ask. The moms seem to love it, too.

Book 2: No Sleep for the Sheep!  Another great book. This is a repetitive rhyming book with a classic structure, easy for the kids to recognize. And it features tons of farm animals, so we got to make a lot of noise. The kids mooed, oinked and neighed valiantly. This book was also scoffed up after storytime was over.

Song: “Hands are Clapping”
At this point, I had to go off-script. More and more people had poured into the room, and the kids were getting restless. I had everyone jump up for a quick round of “Hands are Clapping,” which is the first action song that came to mind. It’s very simple, and sung to the tune of “Skip to my Lou.”

Hands are clapping, clap clap clap!
Hands are clapping, clap clap clap!
Hands are clapping, clap clap clap!
Clap your hands, my darling.

Then we stomped our feet, flapped our arms, and bounced our legs. At this point, some of the energy had been drained so I took the opportunity to pass around some colored scarves for our next two activities.

Scarf Song: This Is The Way We Wash Our Face
This was adapted from JBrary’s “This is the Way We Wash Our Hands.” We changed “so early in the morning” to “before we go to bed,” and used our scarves to wash our face, toes, arms, tummy and hair.

Scarf Song: The Blanket Song”
I cannot, for the life of me, find the source of this song. It’s an action song done to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and goes like this:

Let’s all put a blanket on, blanket on, blanket on,
Let’s all put a blanket on, just like this! (Flap blanket over legs)

Then we kicked our blanket off, shook our blanket out, and folded our blanket up. The kids were having fun shaking their scarves around, so I let them play while I launched into our last story.

Book 3: Time For Bed, Fred! We needed something quick and easy to wind down with. This is a fast, simple story about a rambunctious dog avoiding his bedtime.

Action Song: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”
I had brought out flannel pieces for this one, but the room was so crowded I didn’t have room to drag out the board. We used our fingers instead, and it worked perfectly. Everyone was familiar with this song, and the kids loved shaking their fingers like the doctor. A great way to wrap things up!

Wrapping Up: At this point, we were ready to play. We brought out the toys and the kids went to town. This was a great storytime — I felt comfortable, the kids seemed more comfortable, and we listened to each other well. The numbers are getting bigger and bigger, which hopefully indicates that I’m doing something right. We’ll see what next week brings!


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