Toddler Storytime: Desert

Our first Toddler Storytime of Winter session was all about the desert. First we learned about shapes and put together a desert scene:

desert flannel

We sang a song about a rattlesnake, to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle:

Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake,

Why do you rattle?

Do you wish I’d go away

Or do you want a battle?

“Look out, I’m here!”

You’re ready for a fight

And if I stay

You just might bite!

Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake,

I think I know:

If you rattle, I think I’ll go!

We read a book called The Seed and the Giant Saguaro by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Mike K. Rangner. It was a bit long for toddlers. It had rich vocabulary and beautiful illustrations, but might have been better abridged. Lesson learned!

The Seed and the Giant Saguaro

Then we sang Open Shut Them, opening and closing our hands:

Open, shut them

Open, shut them

Give a little clap, clap, clap

Open, shut them

Open, shut them

Place them on your lap, lap, lap

Creep them, crawl them

Creep them, crawl them

Right up to your chin, chin, chin

Open wide your little mouth, but…


We sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” and read a book about camels called Camel Caravan, by Bethany Roberts and Patricia Hull, illustrated by Cheryl Munro Taylor.

Camel Caravan

We sang “Alice the Camel,” and counted all her humps:

alice the camel 1

Alice the Camel has five humps

Alice the Camel has five humps

Alice the Camel has five humps

So go, Alice, go!

(take one hump away)

Alice the Camel has four humps…

Alice the Camel has three humps…

Alice the Camel has two humps…

Alice the Camel has one hump…

Alice the Camel has no humps… because Alice is a horse!

alice the camel 2

I made a song cube for us to toss to pick a traditional movement song. I’ll try to give different kids a chance to toss it each week!



We watched a video from the Between The Lions: Animal Stories! DVD. It was a story called “The Coyote and the Rabbit,” based on an old folktale.

We have a goodbye song called “Goodbye Friends”–it’s to the tune of “Goodnight Ladies”:

Goodbye friends

Goodbye friends

Goodbye friends

It’s time to say goodbye.

This is probably the most thorough I’ll get with these weekly posts, but I just want to make sure everybody who’s new to storytime has the lyrics I use. Can’t wait to sing, talk, read and play with you all again next week!

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian currently working at the Lamanda Park Branch Library while Central Library is closed for seismic repairs. I purchase juvenile fiction for grades 2-8, and some foreign languages. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including 3 regular book clubs (Windows and Mirrors, Read Around the World, and Lucha Libros), as well as writing workshops and STEAM/science programs. I also Infant/Toddler Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes, and outreach to local area preschools. 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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