Favorite with EL Tip: Have You Seen My Lunch Box? by Steve Light

This look-and-find board book has detailed filled illustrations that provide plenty of opportunity to introduce new vocabulary  to toddlers and preschoolers. Missing items are in color and are easy to spot. The fun comes in challenging listeners to find all sorts of different things in the crowded and otherwise black and white illustrations. (Early literacy tips: Identify objects in the pictures; ask older listeners to identify rooms of the house; point to the word for the missing object and then to the object.) Place hold.



With daylight saving upon us, and our sleep routine disrupted, I thought a bedtime theme would be the perfect fit for today.

A favorite finger play activity is Ten in the Bed, you can do this anytime, anywhere.  We read the book Ten in the Bed by David Ellwand, which has an added element of a surprise ending.  We have also done it as a flannel board story and as a finger play.  Children enjoy the rhythm, movement, counting, and the predictability of this rhyme.

Touch stimulates the brain to release important hormones that allow your child to grow, use this as a lap time song and feel that connection grow!


Toddler Storytime 10/5/16

my-dream-dogWe started storytime with My Dream Dog by Arthur Howard, the children were very interested in the likes and dislikes of the dog, and found the illustrations amusing.

Later in the storytime we read The Big Book of Happy by Natalie Marshall, this is a perfect book to use towards the end of storytime, it has large, bright illustrations, simple text, and entertaining as well.  There are two highlighted words on each page/pages, this creates the opportunity to practice Print Awareness with your child.  These words accurately describe what is happening in the illustrations, point to the words, and ask the child what do you think that word is?  See if you can figure it out based on the accompanying art.  Have fun imagining what other words would work as well.  This would also be a fun Vocabulary Building activity!big-book-of-happy



Toddler Storytime, Transportation! 7/13/16

mixed up truckTwo brand new books inspired this week’s theme.  We can never have enough books on transportation for this age group.  One of the new books is The Mixed-Up Truck by Stephen Savage.  Like Savage’s other books, the illustrations are engaging and perfect.  On three different pages the truck goes to a factory indicated by large letters on top of the building.  This is a great opportunity to expand vocabulary in a fun and creative way.

Busy Builders, Busy Week by Jean Reidy is the second book that caught my eye this week.  This book not only has excellent illustrations of animals and construction equipment, it also subtlety introduces the days of the week concept to the readers.

busy builders busy week





The puppet story this week was a retelling of Mr. Gumpy’s Outing.  All the puppets got into Mr. Gumpy’s boat (plastic container lid), and much to the distress of Mr. Gumpy, the animals started misbehaving, and ended up in the river.  This is fun, because I like to throw all the puppets up in the air, landing on those in the front, have them swim back to the “boat” and beg Mr. Gumpy to go again!

Silly Stories! Toddler Storytime 7-6-16

what a hootToday we shared silly stories, fingerplays, songs and puppet stories.  Two new books that were featured today were Why do Cats Have Tails? by David Ling and What a Hoot! by Rann Preston-Gannon.  The illustrations in What a Hoot! are beautiful, depicting owls in very simple situations, often dealing with age appropriate concepts for the toddler age.

Other fun activities were the Seals on the Bus puppet story, Aiken Drum flannel story and My Legs Are Made of Spaghetti song by Jim Gill.  A fun time was had by all!

Bears! Toddler Storytime 4/27/16

We did Bears this week because Emily Gravett’s most recent book, Bear & Hare, Where’s Bear?  just came in, and it is the perfect book for Toddler Storytime.  In the story Bear attempts to hide from Hare, his ability is limited by his size, much to the children’s amusement.  This provides a great opportunity to engage the listener in the story.  Another aspect of this book that makes it perfect for this age, is that Hare counts to 10 while Bear is hiding.  You can count with the children, while pointing to the numbers, this allows them to make the connection between the meaning of the number, and the actual number itself.

The last take away from this story, is that children love hide and seek.  The hiding part of the activity can be as obvious as Bear’s efforts, or even just a game of peek-a-boo will amuse your toddler, and you can do it anywhere.  Have fun with them, and don’t be afraid to look silly, the more fun you have, the more fun they will.where's bear

Pets! Storytime 4/13/16

Today our theme was Pets, something most children can easily relate to.  Asking them who has pets, and asking for more information is a great way to start storytime, it gives the children a chance to use their vocabulary in a storytime environment.

Another fun way to expand the narrative skills for children is to read lift-the-flap books.  Today we read, Peek-a-Pet, it gives the children a pretty simple image of a pet with its’ eyes covered.  You ask the children to guess what animal it is, and then share the big reveal, maybe with sound effects.  This helps develop their vocabulary and creates a conversational setting where they are learning and having fun.

peek a pet

Farms! Toddler Storytime 4/6/16

down on the farmToday we shared farm stories, and learned the sign for horse.  Hold your right hand out with your thumb touching above your ear, point the two closest fingers up and bend at the knuckles twice, easy and fun!

A favorite farm book for storytime is Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner.  The refrain, Down on the Farm is used often, allowing the group to help read the book by repeating it with you.  It is also a great book to use to highlight print awareness.  While the group is repeating the phrase, point to the text.  This shows the connection between the text and the words spoken.

Jungle Storytime!

Today’s storytime theme was jungle animals.  We learned the sign for elephant (hand starts on your forehead, then goes down like a trunk) and lion (hand faces your forehead, then moves back over hair like a mane).

A puppet rhyme that we did today was Willoughby Wallaby Woo, I used my elephant puppet, but you can adapt it using any animals or a pretend animal.

Willoughby wallaby wead, and elephant sat on my head.
Willoughby wallaby win, an elephant sat on my chin.
Willoughby wallaby welbow, an elephant sat on my elbow.
Willoughby wallaby wee, an elephant sat on my knee.
Willoughby wallaby woo, an elephant sat on my shoe!

This is a fun activity that could be used to amuse a small child at the doctors office, or even in a grocery cart, don’t be afraid to get creative!

One of todays books was Do Lion’s Live on Lily Pads? By Melanie Walsh.  It is an interactive book that allows the children to think about animals in a new way.
do lions live on lily pads

Bugs! Storytime 3/23/16

Today’s storytime theme was Bugs.  The sign for bug is a fun one, first extend your thumb, pointer and middle fingers.  Next place your thumb on your nose, then bend your two fingers, like antennae. 

One of my favorite books featuring bugs is Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek.  This book is an excellent example of print awareness.  While reading with your child you can point out the highlighted text while pointing out the colors the word represents.  This shows the connection between the word and the colors of the various bugs.  As a bonus, the last page features a beautiful pop-up butterfly.butterfly butterfly