In the spirit of learning about and exploring our natural world, we had a nature-themed toddler storytime this week. Here's how it went:
We opened storytime by "shaking our sillies out," which is our weekly routine. I had never heard this song before I began working at this library, but it's definitely one of the favorites with our youngest patrons. Both Raffi and Bob McGrath (from Sesame Street fame) have great renditions of the song on their albums. There is even a sing-along book by Raffi.
|Into the Wild by Lerryn Korda (Candlewick, 2010)|
We walked, jumped, danced, and sang together to "I Like to Walk" by Grenadilla. This is a very sunny, danceable album for children.
With the aid of owl puppets, I shared the story of owl siblings Sarah, Percy, and little Bill who are missing their mother in this classic book on dealing with separation anxiety:
|Owl Babies by Martin Waddell (Candlewick, 1992)|
Once I Saw a Little Bird
Once I saw a little bird
Come hop, hop, hop:
So I cried, "Little bird,
Won't you stop, stop, stop?"
I was going to the window
To say, "How do you do?"
But he shook his little tail,
And away he flew!
We sang "Clap Everybody and Say Hello" by Kathy Reid-Naiman from her album Sally Go Round the Sun:
|Sally Go Round the Sun (Kathy Reid-Naiman)|
|Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. (Henry Holt, 2007)|
There is so much you can see just in your backyard or at a park around town! I shared with the group that I had seen several of nature's treasures in my garden over the weekend: a garden snake, earthworm, hummingbird, dragonfly, and even a roly poly. Toddlers are so naturally curious, this is a great age to start exploring the outdoors together.
One of my favorite songs to use with toddlers and preschoolers is "Stand Up, Sit Down" that I was introduced to years ago when I worked at another library in Washington state. This song is simple, but requires listening to directions and exercising a bit of self-regulation. The song is from this album by William Janiak, a music therapist:
|Songs About Me by Bill Janiak|
|Mama's Little Bears by Nancy Tafuri (Scholastic, 2002)|
We explored the difference between big and small with our next rhyme and song. I love the "This is Big" rhyme from Mel's Desk (thank you, Melissa!). Of course, we had to sing Itsy-Bitsy Spider, too.
The last book I shared was:
|In My Tree by Sara Gillingham & Lorena Siminovich (Chronicle Books)|
I try to end with the same rhyme every week:
Tickle the Clouds
Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around and
Tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime is over
Happy Natural Areas Celebration Week!