Home Sweet Home: Toddler Storytime


Books We Shared

Do Lions Live on Lily Pads? by Melanie Walsh is a fun exploration of animal houses, while suggesting all kinds of ridiculous habitats like a burrow for a giraffe or a shell for a crocodile! Kids and parents say “No” to each question and then we turn the page and we see who really lives there.

Mary Murphy’s beautifully-illustrated bedtime book Good Night Like This also depicts a variety of animals in their homes, going to sleep in nests, caves, and other dwellings.


Puppets

I started out the storytime with a tortoise puppet and we talked about how he carries his house with him everywhere.

We told the story of the Three Little Pigs using pig hand puppets. Children were given scarves to blow. As I blow each piggie’s house down, the pig puppets run into the arms of the children.


Flannel Boards


I used the flannelboard and recited a few stanzas from the verse book A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Betty Fraser. The illustration style of the book is older and doesn’t hold up as well with a large group. But it’s a great book for sharing at home. For our group, I made felt pieces for visuals.

A hill is a house for an ant. (flip over hill to reveal ant)
A hive is a house for a bee. (flip over hive to reveal bee)
A hole is a house for a mole or a mouse (flip over hole to reveal mouse)
And a house is a house for me!

A web is a house for a spider. (flip over web to reveal spider)
A bird builds its nest in a tree. (hide bird, prompting audience to say “tree”)
There is nothing so snug as a bug in a rug (hide bug, prompting audience to say “rug”)
And a house is a house for me!

First, I performed the whole verse for them. Then we started it again, and I prompted the kids and parents on what the next word was by flipping over the felt pictures to reveal the animal hiding there, or hide the animal to get everyone to say the type of home it was.

Then we added some other homes to the flannelboard, and tried to guess who lives there:

(Credit: Sunflower Storytime. Text by Mary Ann Hoberman.)


Songs and Rhymes We Shared Without Music

Open Shut Them

Open, shut them (open and close fingers)
Open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap (clap hands)
Open, shut them (open and close fingers)
Open, shut them
Place them on your lap, lap, lap (pat knees)
Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them (“crawl” your fingers very slowly from your knees up to your face)
Right up to your chin, chin, chin (touch chin)
Open up your little mouth BUT…(open wide!)
Do not let them in! (quickly and abruptly move hands behind your back and smack lips shut)

Fleas

On my toe there is a flea
Now he’s climbing on my knee
Past my tummy, past my nose
On my head where my hair grows
On my head there is a flea
Now he’s climbing down on me
Past my tummy, past my knee
On my toe… Take that, you flea!

(Source: https://kcls.org/content/on-my-toe-there-is-a-flea/)

Peekaboo

Peekaboo, where are you
hiding in your… PLACE! PEEKABOO!
Peekaboo, I see you
and your smiling… FACE! PEEKABOO!

One Bright Scarf

One bright scarf waiting for the wind to blow
Toss it up high, and wave it down low
Wiggle it fast, and wiggle it slow
(put scarf over your face) Hey! Where did you go?
(uncover and say:) There you are!

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!

More Fingerplays

Where is Thumbkin?

Itsy-Bitsy Spider


Music from CDs We Shared

“Clap Everybody and Say Hello” from Sally Go Round the Sun by Kathy Reid-Naiman

“Dancing Scarf Blues” from Dancing Feet by Carole Peterson

“Goodbye in the Bayou” from Bon Voyage by Jazzy Ash

“Goodbye Song” from Shining Like a Star by Laura Doherty


Video We Shared

We watched “The Tree House” from our “Around the World” Peppa Pig DVD. In this story, Peppa’s Grandma and Grandpa have made a tree house for her and George, and Peppa delights in telling everyone they have to remove their boots before entering, and they have to say “the secret words.” This got a lot of laughs, as the Peppa Pig videos usually do!


Continue the Fun

Want more stories about homes? Check these out at your Pasadena Public Library branch:

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian working in the Children's Room at the Pasadena Central Library. I purchase juvenile nonfiction books for all sites, juvenile Spanish books for all sites, and juvenile DVDs for the Central Library. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including Lucha Libros, writing workshops, and STEAM/science programs. I also do 16 weeks of Infant/Toddler Storytimes each year. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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