Toddler Storytime: Poles

Today’s Toddler Storytime was about polar animals in the Arctic and Antarctic regions! We welcomed a few new families from the waitlist, hooray! We started storytime with another picture made out of shapes. They are a walrus, a penguin, an arctic fox and a polar bear:

arctic shapes

And we read an adorable book by Emma Todd called I Am Small. It’s a book about a penguin chick who sees how big, fast, and scary the world is but takes comfort in her parents.

I Am Small

We counted penguins from one to five with the story “One Little Penguin”:

one little penguin

One little penguin was chillin’ at his home.
He called his friend over so he wouldn’t be alone.

Two little penguins playing with their toys.
Another stopped by when she heard all the noise.

Three little penguins swimming in the sea.
They saw a friend and invited her for tea.

Four little penguins sliding in the snow.
They met with another to go to a show.

Five little penguins had such a great time.
And that’s all the penguins there are in this rhyme!
(adapted from http://sethers.us/2011/08/19/flannelfriday-five-little-penguins/.)

We played a game where we tried to guess what puppet was hiding and peeping through a hole I cut out of a cardboard box. I made this craft simple on purpose to illustrate how easy it is to do at home! You could take your toddler’s stuffed animals and play peek-a-boo with them. (This was inspired by a video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxjs5MJ2dPs.)

cardboard box i spy

Then we sang a new movement song called “I Wish I Were a Walrus”:

I wish I were a Walrus A basking in the sun.
I’d flap my flippers, oh so loud To show I’m number one!
I wish I were a Walrus A strutting all my stuff.
If anybody picked on me I’d show them my big tusks!
(from http://www.childcarelounge.com/season-theme/winter-animals.php)

To introduce the next book and help everybody get quiet and ready, I brought out our Folkmanis Snow Leopard puppet and said a little rhyme:

The snow leopard is creeping, shh shh shh
The snow leopard is creeping quiet and slow
The snow leopard is creeping, shh shh shh
The snow leopard is creeping, creeping through the snow

Then we read Hello, Arctic! by Theodore Taylor and illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. It’s a cute introduction to all the animals that live in the arctic, saying hello to each one and then saying good night.

Hello, Arctic!

We told a story about Five Little Polar Bears who each fall off the sled (just like the five little monkeys jumping on the bed):

five little polar bears

Five little polar bears riding on a sled (ZOOM! down with your arms)
One fell off and bumped his head! (hold head)
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said: (pretend to talk on phone)
“No more polar bears falling off the sled!” (shake finger)
(from http://www.literaryhoots.com/2015/01/flannel-friday-penguins-polar-bears.html)

We sang an old song I used to sing when I was a kid: “Percy the Pale-Faced Polar Bear”:

Way up in the land of the ice and snow (point up high)
where the temperature drops to forty below (point down low)
Who’s the friendliest one up there?
Percy the Pale-Faced Polar Bear! (draw a “P” for Percy, run a hand twice over your face for “pale-faced” and scratch your pretend thick “bear fur” for “polar bear.” These are sort of based on ASL symbols… but only sort of.)

He sleeps all day (pretend to sleep)
and then at night catches some fish by the pale moonlight (reach a paw to catch fish)
Has no worries, has no cares
Percy the Pale-Faced Polar Bear!

Then one day a hunter came (clap a hand to your forehead and “hunt”)
Caught poor Percy by the snout! (grab your child’s nose!)
Put him in a great big cage (make a square shape)
Percy howled and he growled (show those bear claws!)
But he couldn’t get out!

Now he’s living in a zoo
But the funny thing is he likes it too (I usually give my child a tickle here just to get them laughing)
‘Cause he met his girlfriend there (hugging gesture)
And she loves Percy the Pale-Faced Polar Bear!
Whoooooooo?
Percy the Pale-Faced Polar Bear!

We watched another video from Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures, this time the one called “Penguins.”

Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures

Everybody did a great job today. I really want to emphasize what a joy it is to see all of your children grow and learn! And I hope nobody felt discouraged by my talk at the beginning today. For those who weren’t there, basically I suggested we all try to set a broad goal for the next five weeks to sit still for the stories. I do mean it as a “goal” more than a hard-and-fast rule–just something to aim for. If it doesn’t always happen, that’s okay. They are toddlers, after all! Gentle encouragement and patient persistence is all that’s really required, and even then, sometimes toddlers won’t let go of whatever it is they would rather do! So if one day is too hard for them, just try again next time. I think they all did very well today and deserve a big pat on the back!

See you 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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