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.

PicMonkey Collage

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.


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!


One thought on “Toddler Storytime: Finale of Favorites (and a Birthday Surprise!)

  1. Jane the Raincity Librarian says:

    Two of my favourite books here! I used to do toddler and preschool story times, but I’ve recently transitioned into baby storytimes. I’ve been finding new ways to use some of my favourite books in my new programs – I love using Jump! in baby storytimes – the caregivers lift their babies up into the air every time we say “jump!”, it’s lots of fun. 🙂


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