For the first time in a LONG time, I found myself doing Toddler Storytime. My assistant went out of town and our substitute would only come if she could do Preschool Storytime. So I said bring it on! Well besides having groups ranging from 35-40 instead of 17-30, less interaction, and more running around it was only completely different. Ok, so it is a different skill set for toddler storytime, but I still enjoyed it. I think Preschool is preferred around her because it is easier to see the audience interacting and absorbing the theme, but Toddler Storytime is still super important. I do really believe that kids learn a lot from attending and participating with their caregivers.
So this week the theme was Boo-Hoo, which I actually thought might be sick stories, but was really stories about emotions. I think that is a really good theme with a bad/unclear name. Kids need to learn to describe what they are feeling, because only that way can they learn to communicate what they need. We’ve all seen the kid who is consumed with some emotion he can’t quite get out in words or even understand. So this is a good theme. I might have avoided focusing just on sadness, but still emotions are important.
Here are some books for preschoolers and toddlers on emotions:
What Shall We Do with The Boo-Hoo Baby Cressida Cowell, very cute, very simple story of a baby who cries and will not relent. Good for toddlers.
We did “If you’re happy and you know it!” along with sad, mad, excited. If it were preschool I’d do more emotions, but the toddlers liked the simple ones. In addition I used pictures of different kids showing different emotions to see if kids could identify them. We used the shakers to shake out different emotions–happy shakes, excited shakes, angry shakes, tired shakes. And we danced!
If I’d done the preschool storytime, I’d’ve done a creative dramatic of What Baby Wants, with a doll and different things to offer to calm baby down. All the kids in the audience make the crying noises, and some kids offer the gifts.
For a craft we drew pictures of our emotions on a bear face. I’ve also done in the past a many colored days craft, where children glue tissue paper on cut out shapes glued on Popsicle sticks, to show their emotions.