We started out today’s Infant and Toddler Storytimes with some real seashells for the kids to hold. We talked about how they felt and what colors they were. Then we sang “Clap Everybody and Say Hello” and met my friend Mr. Octopus who was hiding in our I Spy Box! Here’s the picture of the box I cut and decorated:

i spy

And here’s Mr. Octopus!

octopus and shells

I made up a little rhyme to introduce him:

He doesn’t have fingers, and he doesn’t have fins–
My friend has tentacles to help him swim.
He can’t give you five, but he CAN give you eight!
Would you like to meet him? He can hardly wait!

We read a cute book about a dog playing fetch at the beach, with simple and expressive illustrations similar to Margaret Chodos-Irvine’s style. It’s called Fetch by Jorey Hurley.

Infants did a tickle called “You Be the Ice Cream” and then a new bounce:

Little Blue Whale
Little blue whale
In a big blue sea
Splish, splash
Splish, splash
Swim with me
Dip a little
Dive a little
Dunk a little whale
Come back up (lift baby out of water)
And flip your tail!

(Source: Perry Public Library)

Toddlers did that bounce as a movement song, and both groups stood up and sat down to “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean!”

Then we counted seashells with a story about five little seashells:

five little seashells

5 little seashells lying on the shore,
Swish ! went the waves, and then there were 4.
4 little seashells, cozy as could be,
Swish ! went the waves, and then there were 3.
3 little seashells, all pearly new,
Swish! went the waves, and then there were 2.
2 little seashells, lying in the sun,
Swhish! went the waves, and then there was 1.
1 little seashell, left all alone,
I whispered “Shhh” as I took it home!

(Source: http://kcls.org/content/five-little-seashells/)

We put on a CD and played the song “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” then read our second book. The second book for infants was Beach Baby by Laurie Elmquist and illustrated by Elly McKay. I chose this for the infants because of its simple format and large, beautiful illustrations of wildlife you find at the beach.

For toddlers our second book was Llama Llama Sand and Sun by Anna Dewdney. True to the Llama Llama brand, it’s full of bright pictures, happy rhymes and a realistic exploration of a toddler’s world and experience.

After this book I shared a felt version (heavily abridged) of the story in the book A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.

house for hermit crab

Toddlers watched a few minutes of the episode “Sandcastle” from the DVD Wibbly Pig! Adventures With Wibbly. I find that for most films about 5 minutes is just right for storytime–more than that and I have to balance the importance of letting them finish out the story versus it being too long! This was one that I felt comfortable cutting in half.

There was one rhyme I didn’t get to with the group because we didn’t have time, and I wanted to share it here–it would make a good lapsit rhyme or even a movement rhyme to share with your little one!

Two Little Boats
Two little boats are on the sea (hold baby on lap)
All is calm as calm can be
Gently the wind begins to blow
Two little boats rock to and fro (rock gently)
Loudly the wind begins to shout
Two little boats are tossed about (bounce fast)
Gone is the wind, the storm, the rain (stop rocking)
Two little boats sail on again

(Source: Perry Public Library)

Thanks for coming to storytime, and don’t forget to sign up for Summer Reading! (Hint: Getting 50 activity points should be a piece of cake for all of you, not to mention you can count the books we read today!)