A Toddler Dance Party Inspired by Fight Club!

Like so many librarians who hold Toddler (or Preschool) Dance Parties, I run into the problem of the adults not dancing!

Some kids will dance no matter what but others look to see what their grown-up is doing and are too timid to dance on their own (I’m totally one of those kids).  I found that Toddler Dance Party is so much more fun for everyone if the adults are really into and willing to look silly by dancing their butts off.  I always make an announcement before we start by saying “We all have more fun if the grown-ups are dancing too.  And I sure don’t want to be the only adult dancing!”  This works sometimes but usually I still have reluctant adults.

So I decided to get hardcore and start cracking skulls! (in my own sweet way).  I posted this sign on our large screen TV and left it up throughout the Dance Party:Toddler Dance 2

It seemed to inspire them.  I’d estimate about a 25% increase in adult dancers.  I’ll take whatever I can get!

Babies!

A lot of my little friends have new baby siblings so I thought it would be nice to do a storytime celebrating all things baby related!

Welcome song:  I played this song on my ukulele and used my iPad and Apple TV to project the lyrics.

Sign Language:  We learned the sign for “baby” and repeated it often.

First Book:  Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes lap board book

Fingerplay: Baby’s Nap

This is a baby ready for a nap.          (hold up index finger)
Lay him down in his mother’s lap.      (place finger on open palm of other hand)
Cover him up so he won’t peep.     (wrap fingers around finger)
Rock him till he’s fast asleep.         (rock hands back and forth)

(Source: Storytime Katie)

Felt Board:  Five Little Babies5 Babies

One little baby rocking in a tree      (hold up one finger/rock arms)
Two little babies splashing in the sea      (two fingers/pretend to splash)
Three little babies crawling on the floor      (three fingers/crawl fingers on knee)
Four little babies banging on the door     (four fingers/pretend to knock)
Five little babies playing hide and seek      (five fingers/cover your eyes)
Keep your eyes closed now…until I say…PEEK!      (uncover eyes)

(Source: Perry Public Library)

Second Book:  Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz

Activity:  Baby Faces

I created various baby faces based on ones I found at Mel’s Desk.  I made a bunch of smiling faces, a bunch of sleepy faces, and a bunch of cranky faces.  Next I laminated them and put a small piece of velcro on the back.  During storytime I handed each child a face and asked them to show their grown-up (this is my trick for 1. getting the grown-ups involved and 2. having the grown-ups help their little one wait for his/her turn).Baby Faces

Next we sang the following song and the kids who had the corresponding face could come up and put the baby face in the “crib” (i.e. stick it on the felt board).

“If your baby’s feeling happy come on up,
If your baby’s feeling happy come on up,
If your baby’s feeling happy then it’s time to take a nappy
If your baby’s feeling happy come on up!”   (repeat with “sleepy” and “cranky”)

Third Book:  Baby Parade by Rebecca O’Connell Baby Parade

Music Activity:  Rattles!

I handed out rattles (maracas) to each child and reminded them that babies love to shake rattles.  We shook our rattles along to the song “Run Baby Run” by Casper Babypants.  This song has a bunch of motions for the kids to do (run, jump, spin, clap,…) so it’s perfect for storytime!

Goodbye Song:  I played the “goodbye” version of our welcome song on the uke and projected the lyrics.  It’s a new song so my hope is that the kids will start to learn the words and join in.  Unitl then, I’m relying on the parents to drown out my voice!

Goodbye Rhyme:

Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around
Tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime is over
So wave goodbye!

Ninjas

Rhyme Cube: Click here for description.

Sign Language: We learned the sign for “quiet” and repeated it throughout storytime.

First Book:  Ninja! by Arree Chung Ninja!

Felt Board: Five Little Ninjas

Ninjas 5

5 little ninjas creeping through the door,
One said HIYAH, and then there were four.
4 little ninjas, climbing up a tree,
One said HIYAH, and then there were three.
3 little ninjas with nothing to do,
One said HIYAH, and then there were two.
2 little ninjas, having so much fun.
One said HIYAH, and then there was one.
1 little ninja, on the run.
He said HIYAH, and then there were none.

(Source: Falling Flannelboards)

Song:  Ninja, Ninja Sneak Around

Ninja, ninja – sneak around.
Ninja, ninja – roll on the ground.
Ninja, ninja – climb up high.
Ninja, ninja – touch the sky.
Ninja, ninja – jump down low.
Ninja, ninja – touch your toe.

(Source: Storytime With Miss Mollie)

Second Book:  Nightime Ninja by Barbara DeCosta Nighttime Ninja

Felt Board:  Ninja Made from Shapes

Do you see a ninja? I do.
To make a ninja, first we need a head.
This one is round and red.
The rectangle will make a space,
Just big enough for a peeking out face.
Next we’ll add two small circles for eyes
And two tiny rectangles, to make our ninja look surprised!ninja shape 1ninja shape 2ninja shape 3ninja shape 4

Song: If You’re a Ninja and You Know It!

If you’re a ninja and you know it,
Be really quiet.  (Shhh!)
If you’re a ninja and you know it,
Be really quiet.  (Shhh!)
If you’re a ninja and you know it,
then your face will surely show it.
If you’re a ninja and you know it,
Be really quiet.  (Shhh!)

Contine with:
If you’re a ninja and you know it…walk on tip toe (Tip Toe)
If you’re a ninja and you know it…say HIYAH (HIYAH!)

Third Book:  Ninja, Ninja, Never Stop! by Todd TuellNinja, Ninja, Never Stop!

Activity:  Ninja Memory Game

You can’t do a ninja themed storytime without at least mentioning the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!  I decided to incorporate them into a fun matching activity.  I made cards then laminated them and put velcro on each side.  One side of each card had and image of a turtle shell (a different color for each card) and the other side had an image of one of the ninja turtles.  I made sure that I made two Michelangelo’s, two Donatello’s, etc…. so that we could play a matching game.  Here’s some pictures:

ninja memoryninja memory 2

I asked the kids which color card I should turn over and we played the memory game until we found all the matches.  I wish I had written the names of each ninja turtle under their faces but didn’t think of that until after I laminated them.  Oh well.

For fun: Ninja Head Bands

Another idea I thought of after the fact:  I created simple ninja head bands out of paper towels.  Next time I do a ninja themed storytime I’ll give one to each kid at the start so we can pretend to be ninjas!

ninja head band 2Ninja Head band

Let’s Dance!

Rhyme Cube:  Click here for description

Sign Language: We learned the sign for “Dance” and repeated throughout the storytime.

First Book: Hilda Must be Dancing by Karma WilsonHilda Must Be Dancing

Activity:  Jim Gill’s List of Dances

I printed out the List of Dances on brightly colored cardstock.  Next, I cut out and laminated each type of dance and put a piece of velcro on the back.  During the activity, I stuck each laminated card on the felt board and showed the kids how to do that dance.  When I played the song, I pointed to each dance as we did the motions.List of Dances

Fingerplay:  Dance Your Fingers Up

“Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down
Dance your fingers to the side, dance them all around
Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on you head
Dance them on your tummy, and put them all to bed”

Second Book:  Cha-Cha Chimps by Julia DurangoCha-Cha Chimps

Felt Board:  Five Little BallerinasBallerinas

5 little ballerinas dancing across the floor,
One twirled away and then there were 4.
4 little ballerinas stretched tall like a tree,
One leaped away and then there were 3.
3 little ballerinas dressed in tutus of bright blue,
One danced away and then there were 2.
2 little ballerinas having lots of fun,
One twirled away and then there was 1.
1 little ballerina dancing all alone,
She danced away and then there were none.

(source: Storytimes with Moxie)

Third Book:  Dancing Feet! by Lindsey CraigDancing Feet!

Fingerplay: Thelma Thumb

Thelma Thumb is up! (thumbs up!)
Thelma Thumb is down! (thumbs down)
Thelma Thumb is dancing all around the town! (thumbs wiggle all around)
Dance her on your shoulders, (thumb on shoulders)
Dance her on your head, (thumb on head)
Dance her on your knees (thumb on knees)
And tuck her into bed. (fold thumb in and cover with other fingers)

(Source: Mentor Public Library)

Activity: Jim Gill’s Silly Dance Contest

I gave the kids shakers and we danced along to the Silly Dance Contest.  This is one of my favorite songs to use in storytime because it has moments when the kids have to freeze until the music starts again.  And then they can dance like crazy again!

Goodbye Song:

Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around
Tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime is over
So wave goodbye!

Hello and Goodbye Storytime Song

I love the music CD’s by The Learning Groove (Mr. Eric is Eric Litwin. Yes, THE Eric Litwin of Pete the Cat fame).  I use them frequently in my storytimes and Music and Movement programs.

Learning Groove

Each of their six CD’s include a great welcome/hello song to the tune of Skip to My Lou (and a goodbye version to the same tune).  I wanted to incorporate the song into my storytimes using my ukuele but had to change the words a little to make it more library-themed.

Here’s what I came up with (to the tune of Skip to My Lou)-
Welcome Song:
Hey hey how do you do?
Hey hey how do you do?
Hey hey how do you do?
It’s time to read a book or two!

Hello children, how are you?
Hello grown-ups, how are you?
I’m fine, hope you are too!
Now let’s read a book or two!

Goodbye Song:
Bye bye we’ll miss you
Bye bye we’ll miss you
Bye bye we’ll miss you
Hope you take a book or two!

Good bye children, we’ll miss you
Good bye grown-ups, we’ll miss you
We’re all friends now, we’ll miss you
Hope you take a book or two!

For the ukulele, you can find various chord combos for Skip to My Lou on the web but I like this one. (because C’s and G7’s are easy!)

My next session of storytime starts in a week and a half and I plan on trying out my new hello/goodbye songs….guess I better start practicing!

Boats

Rhyme Cube:  Click here for description.

Sign Language:  Word of the day was “Boat

Opening Rhyme:

“Open them, shut them,
Give a little clap!
Open them, shut them,
Now put them in your lap!”

First Book:  App – Boats by Byron Barton (Oceanhouse Media)

So I finally have the equipment to do digital storytelling!  Thanks to a generous donation from our Friends group we were able to purchase a 70 inch flat screen TV and an Apple TV.  The Apple TV lets me wirelessly mirror whatever is on my iPad to the TV.  I had a few issues getting everything set up.  Even though we have a staff-only wifi network, it was too congested and apps ran slowly/stuttered when I mirrored them.  I decided to use my iphone as a hotspot and connected both the Apple TV and the iPad to that.  It was an easy fix!

Boat ST1

Byron Barton’s book apps developed by Oceanhouse Media are awesome so I used this as an opportunity to recommend them to the grown-ups in the room.  Today was a great day to use the Apple TV because I had about 60 people at storytime.  Mirroring it to the TV made what would have been a 10 inch by 8 inch book into a 4 foot by 3 foot book!

Felt Board:  “This Little Boat Went…”

I got the idea for this felt board (and the clip art!) from Sunflower Storytime.

“The first little boat went chug, chug, chug.
The second little boat went tug, tug, tug.
The third little boat went row, row, row.
The fourth little boat went oh sooo slooooow.
Here comes the sailboat, watch it go!”

Boat ST clipart

Song:  “I’m Sitting in a Boat”

I learned this song from Jbrary‘s Youtube channel.  Since it isn’t a well known song, I put the lyrics up on the screen (using the iPad and a presentation app called Keynote) and asked the grown-ups to sing along with me.  Here’s what it looked like on the screen:Boat ST song

“I’m sitting in a boat and the boat is rocking, rocking, rocking.
I’m sitting in a boat and the boat is rocking, rocking, rocking.
I’m sitting in a boat and the waves are oh so high, oh so high
In the morning, oh oh oh!”

Credit:  This song was written and recorded by Debbie Carroll for her album “Up and Over the Moon:  Giggle, Dance and Cuddle Songs for the Very Young”.  You can purchase the CD from her website DebbieCarroll.com

Second Book:  Little Tug by Stephen Savage

Digital Pictures:  Anchors and Oil Tankers

Next I planned on doing a felt board activity with the kids involving an anchor and some oil tankers.  Those are pretty big words so I thought I’d use the iPad to show some images and expand their vocabularies and background knowledge!  I used the Keynote app for this too.  First I showed a picture of an anchor and briefly explained how they work.Boat ST anchor

Next I showed the kids a picture of an oil tanker and explained that they are huge ships!  Since they are so big they need really big anchors – around 10 feet tall, and they usually have more than one anchor for a ship that big! [this fact is courtesy of my dad who used to be a captain on cargo ships – thanks dad🙂 ]

Boat ST oil

For the felt activity I cut out the outline of an oil tanker in four different colors.  I also cut out a cute little anchor.  I told the kids to close their eyes as I hid the anchor behind one of the oil tankers.  I asked them to guess where it was hidden and we recited this rhyme:

“Little anchor, little anchor
Are you underneath the blue oil tanker?”

I then lifted up the blue oil tanker to reveal if the anchor was there or not.  We played this a few times. Here’s the felt board:

Boat ST anchor felt

Third Book:  Sheep on a Ship by Nancy Shaw

Felt Board:  Sailboat Colors

I got this idea from Storytime Katie.

“Riding around in my little red boat,
Riding around in my little red boat,
Riding around in my little red boat,
Zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom, Splash!”  (tune of 10 Little Indians)

I put up a different color sailboat for each verse.  We have a sailboat shaped die-cut so making the sailboats was super easy.

.Boat ST sailboats

Ukulele Song:

We sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” as I played the melody on the ukulele.  I included some silly verses too:

“Row row row your boat, gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream.
Row row row your boat gently down the stream,
If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream! AHH!!!!
Row row row your boat, gently to the shore,
If you see a lion there, don’t forget to ROAR!!!”

(credit: Sunflower Storytime)

Goodbye Song:

Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around
Tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime is over
So wave goodbye!