Perhaps because of the oppressive heat and humidity in the New York tri-state area this week, I was inspired to pull out this program plan that I usually use in either early fall or late spring (my favorite times of the year.) Maybe imagining those lovely, breezy days will help us all cool off a bit.
Theme: A Beautiful Day for a Walk
Recommended age group: Toddlers
Opening Song: Hello Bubble (shout out to Susie at the Mulberry Street Branch of the NYPL who taught me this song.)
Start by blowing bubbles and explain to the parents that you will sing the first line and they will repeat after you (thus giving you enough time to blow the bubbles to their kids.)
Hello, Bubble! (Hello, Bubble!)
Come and land. (Come and Land.)
Right in the middle (Right in the middle)
Of my hand (of my hand.)
Encourage the children to hold out their hands and try to catch the bubbles as you sing it again.
Repeat a few times, making sure you blow bubbles at/near each child.
Fingerplay: Open, Shut Them
Open, shut them. Open, shut them (open and close hands)
Give a little clap, clap, clap.
Open, shut them. Open, shut them,
Put them in your lap, lap, lap.
Creep them, creep them.
Slowly creep them,
right up to your chin, chin, chin.
Open up your mouth so wiiiiiiiiiide…..
But, do not put them in!
Fingerplay: Round the Garden
Round and round the garden, (walk fingers around your toddler’s belly in a small circle)
walked the little bear.
One step, two steps, (jump fingers up towards chin)
tickle you under there. (sneaky little tickle)
Book: I Went Walking by Sue Williams, illustrated by Julie Vivas
Stand-up Song: Walking, Walking
Movement Activity: The Grand Old Duke of York
For older toddlers, have them copy your body movements as you raise and lower your arms and jump. For younger toddlers, instruct the parents to stand up with them and lift them up high in the air for the last line or bounce them on their knees.
Sit-down Activity: Bumpin’ Up and Down in Little Red Wagon (btw, how cute and helpful are those videos from Kings County Library? Nice work!)
Book: Walking Through the Jungle by Debbie Harter
Movement Activity: When the Saints Go Marching In (I like to play the Louis Armstrong version and hand out bells and other instruments. Then, we all march around in a circle all cool and jazzy-like.)
Book Sharing Time (This is an awesome way to encourage the grownups in the room to spend a few minutes one-on-one with their child. At my library, we keep a basket full of storytime books just for this purpose. The length of Book-Sharing Time depends on the size of your crowd and how rowdy they are at this point. Three to five minutes is usually more than enough time for most toddlers.)
Ending Song: Turnaround Song by Hap Palmer (Like Valium for toddlers, this song is a surefire way to calm down a crowd and induce them to sway, clap, and spin in lazy circles like pint-sized zombies. Pure magic.)