Toddler Storytime: Numbers & Counting

Welp, I officially fell off the wagon. Another session of storytimes has come and gone, with not a single post to show for it. I plan to spend the next couple of days posting the templates I used in December  (at least the ones I can remember).

In December, I tried out a new unit with my toddlers that included more reading concepts, including colors, shapes, opposites, and numbers. I was probably most nervous about numbers, because most of my regulars are a bit young to be counting. But, surprisingly, this storytime went off without a hitch and ended up being my favorite of the bunch.


Books Read:

What in the World? Numbers in Nature by Nancy Raines Day
Ten Hungry Pigs by Derek Anderson
20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street by Mark Lee

Introductions: “Let’s All Do A Little Tapping” (To the tune of We Wish You a Merry Christmas). A cheery little song that allows the kiddos to introduce themselves, and get out some energy using our bamboo drum sticks.

Opening Song: “We Wave and Say Hello”

Discussion: We began by talking about what numbers were, finding them in our room (we have numbers scattered around our storytime rug), and figuring out what numbers we already knew, for example: how old we were, our birthdays, and our address.

Book 1: What in the World? This was a great introduction to our theme. Each page introduces a number, in order from 1 to 10, and an animal or object that corresponds to that number in nature. Each page asks what we might found in groups of two, three or four:

Image result for what in the world numbers in nature

It has colorful, eye-catching illustrations, and was a simple way to introduce both the concept of counting and the idea that numbers are all around us.

Flannel Board: “Pigs in the Bathtub”
A version of “Elephants in the Bathtub” adapted to fit our next story. I learned this over at Sunflower Storytime, one of my favorite storytime blogs.

One pig in the bathtub
Going for a swim.
Knock, Knock (Clap twice)
Splash, Splash,  (Slap knees twice)
Come on in! (Motion with both hands to come in)

Repeat up to ‘Five’

Five pigs in the bathtub
Going for a swim.
Knock, Knock,
Splash, Splash,
They all fell in! (Knock everything off the flannel board!)

The kids had a lot of fun with this one, and loved when I knocked the whole set down. Between each verse, we had fun trying to guess if the tub would hold just one more pig!

Book 2: Ten Hungry Pigs. A fun, bright book with a twist ending. This allowed us to practice our counting once more, and to talk about food (a topic we covered in our first session).

Song: “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom”
Now that we’d practiced counting forwards, I wanted to try counting backwards. “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom” is one of my favorite storytime songs, and the kids love it, too. It’s a great way to get some energy out, and features a “countdown” that allowed me to slip it into this number storytime guilt-free.

Book 3: 20 Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street. The kids had already demonstrated that they could count to ten (well, kinda). With this book, we practiced counting all the way up to twenty. This is a fun book about a traffic jam that includes twenty different kinds of trucks (a topic that’s always a hit for boys).

Song: “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”
Perhaps the most famous “counting” song there is. Everyone knew the words to this one, and loved wagging their fingers at foolish Mama Monkey.

Wrapping Up: This theme went over a lot better than I’d expected. I think the popularity of songs like “Five Little Monkeys” and “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom” definitely helped, but all three books were well-received, too. I also had the right number of people in this storytime, 21 total. Having between 20 and 30 people is officially my sweet spot.

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