Library Toddler Storytime

 Library (Parent Handout)

Bruss, Deborah Book! Book! Book!
Hill, Eric Spot Goes to the Library
Kimmel, Eric I Took My Frog to the Library
McQuinn, Anna Lola at the Library
Five Little Books


Five little books at the library,

Five little books as great as can be.

Along comes (name) with her/his library card

To take one home and read.


Hold up five fingers to start.

Continue down to zero.

Read, Read, Read a Book


Read, read, read a book,

Travel anywhere,

Worldwide, you decide,

A book will take you there.

Read, read, read a book,

Beginning to the end,

What a way to spend the day,

A book’s a special friend!

Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat



library bookmarkBookmark


Use image and print on card stock for kids to color. Hole punch a hole at top and tie a ribbon in.

Hopkins, Jackie Goldie Socks and the Three Librarians
Lies, Brian Bats at the Library
Shea, Bob Dinosaur Vs. The Library
Schoenherr, Ian Read It, Don’t Eat It



Dogs Toddler Storytime

 Dogs  (Parent Handout)

Ehlert, Lois RRRalph
Kirk, Katie Eli, No!
Raschka, Chris A Ball for Daisy
Shannon, David Good Boy, Fergus!

There was a farmer had a dog,

and Bingo was his name-o.

B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O

and Bingo was his name-o.


Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?

Where, oh where has my little dog gone?
Oh, where oh where can he be?
With his tail cut short and his hear cut long,
Oh, where oh where can he be?


Dog Biscuit


Cut 2 ear shapes out of felt. Glue them onto the dog biscuit. Glue on wiggle eyes. Place 2 small (1/4 to 1/2 inch) pom-poms side by side just below the eyes. Glue on a red seed bead for the nose. Glue 4 medium pom-poms on to be the feet of the dog (figure 3). Some optional finishing touches: add a collar and tag using scrap felt, ribbon, or beads and glue a magnet strip to the back. Note: by first painting the biscuit with shellac, a thin layer of glue, or other varnish may help keep the biscuit from crumbling and may help the completed magnet last longer.

Alborough, Jez Some dogs do
Bailey, Linda Stanley at sea
Gormley, Greg Dog in boots
Gravett, Emily Dogs
Ruelle, Karen Gray Bark park
Wahman, Wendy Don’t lick the dog : making friends


Boats Toddler Storytime

 Boats   (Handout for Parents)

Allen, Pamela Who Sank the Boat?
Crews, Donald Sail Away
Litowinsky, Olga Boats for Bedtime
Shaw, Nancy Sheep on a Ship
Sailor went to sea

A sailor went to sea sea sea

To see what he could see see see

But all that he could see see see

Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea


Clap hands to rhythm

Row Row Row Your Boat  (Rock Rock Rock your boat)


Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream


Life is but a dream.


Rock Rock Rock your boat

Rock it to and fro.

Watch out! Give a shout!

Into the water you go.


Row, row, row your boat

Down the jungle stream.

If you see a crocodile

Don’t forget to scream!


Row, row, row your boat

Underneath the stream

Ha-ha, fooled you!

You’re a submarine




Burningham, John Mr. Gumpy’s Outing
Kubler, Annie Row Row Row Your Boat
McMullan, Kate & Jim I’m Mighty
McPhail, David The Puddle
Segal, John Alistair and Kip’s Great Adventure


Bugs Toddler Storytime

Bugs  (Handout for Parent)

Barner, Bob Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!
Horacek, Peter Butterfly, Butterfly
Sturges, Philemon I love bugs!
Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy, bitsy spider, climbed up the water spout.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,

So the itsy, bitsy spider went up the spout again.



Do the hand motions…..

The Ants Came Marching

The ants came marching one by one, Hurrah! Hurrah!

The ants came marching one by one, Hurrah! Hurrah!

The ants came marching one by one

The little one stopped to suck his thumb.

They all go marching down around the town.

Boom, Boom, Boom.


The ants came marching two by two, Hurrah! Hurrah!

The ants came marching two by two, Hurrah! Hurrah!

The ants came marching two by two

The little one stopped to tie his shoe.

They all go marching down around the town.

Boom, Boom, Boom.



Other Verses:

The ants came marching three by three…

The little one stopped to climb a tree.


The ants came marching four by four….

The little one stopped to shut the door….


The ants came marching five by five…

The little one stopped to take a dive…


The ants came marching six by six….

The little one stopped to pick up sticks….


The ants came marching seven by seven….

The little one stopped to say ‘my heaven’…


The ants came marching eight by eight…

The little one stopped to shut the gate…


The ants came marching nine by nine…

The little one stopped to scratch his spine…


The ants came marching ten by ten

The little one stopped to say THE END!


Bug Picture Matching



Lady Bug tissue paper craft:

Brown, Margaret Wise I like bugs
Donaldson, Julia What the ladybug heard
Fleming, Denise Beetle bop
Thomas, Jan Can you make a scary face?
Wolkstein, Diane Step by step


Bees Toddler Storytime

Bees  (Handout for Parents) 

Brown, Margaret Wise Bumble bee
Barton, Byron Buzz, Buzz, Buzz
Coughlan, Cheryl Bumble bees
Wong, Janet S. Buzz
Here is the Beehive


Here is the beehive

But where are all the bees?

Hiding away where nobody sees.


Here they are creeping

Out of their hive,

One and two and three, four, five.

Bzzzzzzzz… all fly away!


hold up fist

move other hand around fist

bend head close to fist




hold fingers up one at a time

wave fingers

bumble bee

I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee,

Won’t my mommy be so proud of me,

 I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee,

Ouch! It stung me!

 I’m squishing up the baby bumblebee,

Won’t my mommy be so proud of me,

 I’m squishing up a baby bumblebee,

Ooh! It’s yucky!

 I’m wiping off the baby bumblebee,

Won’t my mommy be so proud of me,

 I’m wiping off the baby bumblebee,

Now my mommy won’t be mad at me!



Cup hands together as if holding bee


Shake hands as if just stung

  ‘Squish’ bee between palms of hands


Open up hands to look at ‘mess’


Wipe hands off on shirt



Hold hands up to show they are clean





Allen, Judy Are you a bee?
Brennan-Nelson, Denise Buzzy the bumblebee
Formento, Alison These bees count!
West, Colin “Buzz, buzz, buzz,” went Bumblebee


Activity to do at home:  Bubble Bee



A beginning word about Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR)

I have found that the most effective way to interject Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) principles (Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, Playing) into storytime without the parents eyes glazing over is to say at least one sentence per storytime.

 You could use your 3-ring binder to help create a “storytime commercial”.  When you turn to the page with a PowerPoint sheet below you would be clued in to add a ECRR tip. 

Letter Knowledge
Narrative Skills
Phono Awareness
Print Awareness
Print Motivation

I got some sample narratives from this site from Iowa’s Library Service Areas:

An example from this site (from the old ECRR but you could say what is in the bracket instead) would be:  “Rhymes and songs help teach “phonological awareness” – awareness of the sounds that make up words.  [Ever wondered why it is so important that you sing to your baby?]  You may have noticed that your child enjoys the way a nursery rhyme sounds even if it doesn’t make much sense to him.  When you introduce a new rhyme or song, repeat it at least twice.  Three times is even better.  And be sure to keep repeating the old, familiar rhymes.”

Saroj Ghoting – Early Childhood Literacy Consultant has several short sample narratives to share with parents that are ECRR 2 based (Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, Playing).  I mix it up and use the more simple terms and the jargon terms depending on my mood or audience.

Perry Public Library has several storytime themes in PDF that also have ECRR narratives that fit the theme.

DIY–Toddler Storytime

Ages 18 months and older have enough attention span for themes to be introduced.  Themes also lend themselves to teaching the basics of kindergarden readiness topics such as learning colors and shapes.  I usually have an easy craft that reinforces what we learned or something just fun for parents to put on the refrigerator.  Below is the handout I give to the caregivers before storytime starts so they can participate.  As with baby storytime, I have my 3-ring binder beside me on the floor with the rhymes enlarged in PowerPoint so caregivers can sing along.  The 3-ring binder actually guides the storytime and helps with my memory of what to do next. 

Ducks and Chickens and Birds
Toddler Food
So Big!

The rhymes in PowerPoint to put on display or in a 3 -ring binder beside you:
10 Fingers on My Hand
A farmer went trotting
Animals in the Jungle
Apples and Bananas
Boing Boing Squeak
Barnyard Dance
bumble bee
Bubble Bee
Caught a fish alive
Chubby Little Snowman
Eeny, meeny, miney, mo
Down by the Station
Farmer in the Dell
Farmer went trotting
Five Little Pumpkins
I can stand way up tall
Head and Shoulders
I take care of me
Itsy Bitsy Monkey
I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
Kiddle Collage
Peas Porridge
Sing a Song of Snowflakes
This is a Square
Tiger Pokey
Warm Days
Trash pictures

DIY– Baby Storytime

In my opinion, themes are not appropriate for ages 18 months and under.  The most important thing is that the books and rhymes are developmentally appropriate.  If you use a theme, you expend too much energy trying to find books that fit into the theme.  I have a list of my go-to books that I rotate. Luckily, Memphis Public received a grant from International Paper that has allowed me to have my own small collection of books to read for our Babies & Books storytime. Repeating rhymes and books is a good thing because it helps the babies feel secure because they know what is happening next.

Below is an extensive list of books many with pictures that are good for babies and good to share in storytime.  I do not recommend giving this list to parents, since it is all inclusive; give them a modified one with about ten books.

Books for Baby- With pictures

Next we need some age appropriate bounces, songs and rhymes in addition to the four that we repeat each storytime.  Based on Mother Goose on the Loose, I have added one Mother Goose rhyme to each session.  I pick the easier Mother Goose rhymes and ones that aren’t as morbid (Three Blind Mice is scary!).  Again, I rotate these often, so it can get a little boring for the adults (but hey, it isn’t for us!).  I LOVE when the regular babies are able to sing the song with me.

Rhymes for Baby

photo 2

Again, I place each of these rhymes individually in PowerPoint and place in a sheet protector so I can mix and match them in my 3-ring binder.  A “bounce” is the key to baby storytime.  Always have a least one bounce per storytime.  Usually, the caregiver bounces the child on their knee preferably looking at the mother (caregiver) creating a bond, however, in my experience all my moms have the baby look at me.  I suggest to them sometimes to hold their baby towards them, but for some reason it seems more natural for them to all face me.  I go with whatever they choose.  Action rhymes like Did you Ever See a Lassie lends the baby and caregiver to sway with the song.  Kissy Kissy Baby type rhymes has the caregiver performing the actions in the rhyme and Shoe the Old Horse has the caregiver stomping baby’s sock feet to the “bare, bare, bare” lyric.

Below is the PowerPoint’s for all these rhymes individually, the rhymes that have both elements of Traditional rhyme and bounce are in the middle:

Bounces or Action Rhymes       Both               Mother Goose or Traditional Rhymes
                                                                               Baa Baa Black Sheep
Bounce Me
                                          Diddle Diddle Dumpling
                                                                                Hickory Dickory
                                                                               Jack and Jill
                                                                               Jack be nimble
Kissy Kissy Baby
                                                                                 Muffin Man
                                      Noble duke of york
old macdonald
Patty cake
                                                                              Sing a song of sixpense
                                  Shoe the old horse
                                  Trot Trot to Boston
                                                                              Two little bluebirds

How to perform storytime for the very young

I am a children’s librarian in the Memphis Public Library system and have been hosting a Baby Storytime for about 3 years. I also do Toddler Storytime. I also have a 3 year old daughter. I created this site to help my collegues both at Memphis Public and others who perform Baby and Toddler Storytimes.

In Memphis, there is little opportunity for children under age 3 to experience storytime, unless you attend a storytime from the city’s or municipality’s libraries. Preschoolers, ages 4 and 5, can hear storytime at bookstores and other kid friendly venues in the city. I concentrate on a storytime for the very young, because I feel that the earlier you start listening to literature the better.
photo 1
I do both my baby and toddler storytime sitting on the floor.  I place receiving blankets (or carpet squares) on the floor for the caregiver and child to sit on.  In order for the parents to participate, I have a 3 ring binder that I have put the rhymes for the day.  I have the paper in a sheet protector so I can just change out the paper before each storytime.  However, I start and end every storytime the same way, in this order:

Opening: Hello song
               Open, shut them

Closing:  More we get together
               Goodbye song

These are the handouts that I give the parents:

Baby_Repeating Songs and Rhymes

Beyond the opening and closing, not much about baby and toddler storytime is the same. Click on the links below (or above) to read how I perform each:
Baby Storytime                 Toddler Storytime