Toddler Storytime: Rabbits

In preparation for Easter, we learned all about rabbits. We had so many fantastic books about our long-eared friends, it was hard to choose only three! In the end, we read:

PicMonkey Collage

Books Read:

White Rabbit’s Color Book by Alan Baker
Peek-a-Book Bunny by Holly Suplice
If You’re Hoppy by April Pulley Sayre & Jackie Urbanovic

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: We chatted about the upcoming holiday briefly, and once we’d identified its “mascot” (the Easter bunny), we talked about bunnies themselves — how they move, how they sound, and how they look! I sported some Dollar Store rabbit ears during the discussion, and then  we practiced the ASL sign for Bunny. My go-to site for learning new signs is ASL University.

Book 1: White Rabbit’s Color Book.  A very simple book about a white rabbit who jumps into some precariously open paint jars, leaving her a different color on each page. I first read this book during a color-themed storytime in December, and I made a live rendering of the story using felt rabbits and colored tins, inspired by Sunflower Storytime.

It’s so much fun to act this one out, and the youngest kids will think you’re a magician. I’d been looking for an opportunity to use the felt set again, since it took some time to make. I’m happy to report that today’s performance went off without a hitch! I didn’t use the book at all, just made up a story to go along with the props. My storytime assistant liked the idea so much, he spent fifteen minutes trying to recreate the story himself during our play time.

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Some of the colored rabbits, made with felt and a die-cut.
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The “paint” tins the rabbit falls into.
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Rabbit’s bath, with a few extra white rabbits tucked inside.

Song & Flannel Board: “B-U-N-N-Y”
From Felt Board Magic. Set to the classic tune of “Bingo,” but with rabbits instead! I made my own set of rabbits that aren’t half as cute as the ones linked above, but I loved the surprise pom-pom on the back and had to try it for myself.

Fingerplay: “Open, Shut Them”

Book 2: Peek-a Boo Bunny.  A bright, colorful book about a rabbit playing hide-and-seek with his woodland friends, and looking in all the wrong places. This book provides a great opportunity for kids to scan and search the pages themselves.

Flannel Activity: Peek-a-Boo Bunny Game (Baby Bird, Baby Bird)
A great activity from Miss Mary Liberry. I tried this in my baby themed storytime a few weeks ago, and it was an instant hit. I made eight different colored eggs, and hid a picture of a bunny beneath one of them. We repeated the phrase: “Bunny, bunny, peek-a-boo! Bunny, bunny, where are you?” And then lifted each egg to check. I always include decoys with this activity, and the kids have come to expect it. I hid a skunk and a turtle beneath two of the eggs, since they appeared in our book. Today, the rabbit was under the last egg we checked, which always heightens the anticipation.

Book 3: If You’re Hoppy. By this point in our storytime we usually need to expend some energy, and this book did the trick. We stretched our toes, flapped our wings, and — of course — hopped about like rabbits. We followed up with a few rounds of the original song.

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

Activity: Egg Hunt!
I had placed about 30 eggs around the Children’s Room before today’s session, and now it was time to hunt! I handed each child a cellophane bag (a pack of 25, featuring rabbits, purchased at the Dollar Store) and let them go to town. I held back about 10 eggs for the babies, just in case they lost out to the older, more mobile participants, and I think this was wise. Inside the eggs I’d hidden stickers featuring flowers, butterflies, chicks and rabbits. Once the hunt was done, I handed each child a sticker book to take home and decorate! The sticker books were created in Publisher using images from Freepik.

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The inside of the sticker book, with a backdrop for the kids to decorate.

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 worked hard to make this storytime special, and it definitely paid off. White Rabbit’s Color Book worked wonderfully, even though I was slightly terrified about working without the book itself. The Peek-a-boo bunny game was a hit, as always, and everybody loved the egg hunt (although I think I need more eggs for next time!). Despite a last minute venue change, everyone was able to roll with the punches and we had a great time. Total attendance was 26, which is just about damn-near perfect.

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