Toddler Storytimes – Spring Session – Let’s Guess!

We explored an “anticipatory” book and a “guessing” book today, which meant a much LOUDER storytime!!! The excited squeals were well worth the effort it took to calm everyone down for our video and closing songs. The children were particularly proud of their ability to correctly guess the names of the animals in Simms Taback’s City Animals and were fascinated by a flannelboard version of Charles J. Shaw’s It Looked Like Spilt Milk (but it wasn’t…).

It may seem like guessing games are all for fun, however, they do contribute to your child’s language development and burgeoning critical thinking skills.

I thought I’d share a basic literacy tip taken from the Illinois Early Learning Project website (see the link below). If you wonder why I sometimes use books that are repetitive and rhythmic, read below:

Helpful Literacy Tip for Today

  • Picture books with basic vocabulary and simple rhyme patterns let children anticipate what word comes next. Examples: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss; Rap A Tap Tap by Leo and Dianne Dillon.
  • Children often like to repeat simple phrases or refrains with a reader. (Example: Our first story – Monkey & Me by Emily Gravett)

monkey and mecity animals







For a printable list of songs, rhymes and finger plays we shared CLICK HERE:  TODDLER – Guess-rhymes for ITT


I’ll give you some clues…can you guess what is hiding behind each shape?  [We started by identifying each shape and it’s color…]

shapes hideaway hideaway animalsIt is red and sometimes has black spots…you may see it in the garden…it is a bug.  What is it?  (The children guess.)

Shall we see?  (lift off the red circle) – It’s a LADYBUG!

It is a type of bear, it is black and white, you’ve probably seen this bear in the zoo.  What is it?  (The children guess.)

Shall we see?  (lift off the blue square) – It’s a PANDA bear!

It is sometimes green, it likes to jump, it says “ribbit”.  What is it?  (The children guess.)

Shall we see?  (lift off the green rectangle) – It’s a FROG!

It has a bill, it paddles on the water, it says “quack”.  What is it?  (The children guess.)

It’s a DUCK!

I created a flannel board based on the classic, It Looked Like Spilt Milk. Because we have toddlers 18-36 months, I left out some of the shapes mentioned in the book. This is an excellent way to introduce imagination, visual acuity and critical thinking to your toddler; deceptively simple but quite powerful. The toddlers were mesmerized as we identified each shape – they were very quiet as I held on to the very last piece – the piece that would let us know what “it” really was!
spilt milk 2
Spilt Milk





white cloud
[Psssstttt…it’s a CLOUD!]





Our VIDEO:   Who’s Hiding in the House?










guess 3




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