Read Sing Play

Adventures in early literacy

Toddler Storytime: Transportation


Today’s groups were both small and that was very lucky as I’ve got a nasty cold, including some issue with my ear making it hard to hear anything with it. So, I asked the parents to help me out and sing louder than usual so I could hear them and because my voice wasn’t very strong. The first group did pretty good, but the second group really rocked it (of course, I challenged them to do better than the first group-nothing wrong with some healthy competition, right?). When I’m sick or feeling sluggish, props are my best friends. Today we used scarves, shakers, and the parachute. It was crazy fun!


After clean up and our welcome song I read Tap Tap Bang Bang by Emma Garcia. Her books are absolutely perfect for toddlers. The pictures are bright and bold, the text is simple and lends itself to movement most the time, and I love that she gives the kids an end result. This title in particular is great for vocabulary since we don’t really talk about tools in everyday conversation (unless your parent is a carpenter or something) and I always mention this to parents. Sometimes I get the feeling that parents think it’s weird to talk to kids about pliers and levels, but once I explain how it’s expanding their vocabulary to hear new words, especially when they are matched with a picture, they get pretty excited. So the whole room was zzzzzz-ing and twirling and whacking away!

After the book I went right to props. We sang “Rain is falling” with the scarves and then did my favorite popcorn rhyme: Put the oil in the pot/make it real hot/put the popcorn in/and begin to grin/sizzle, sizzle, sizzle… POP! We twirl our scarves, then wad it up in our hands for “put the popcorn in” and rub our hands together until I saw POP! and then throw the scarf in the air. They love the suspense and it’s a pretty easy activity for some of them to do on their own and all to do with help from caregivers.

We them traded scarves for the parachute. We started by singing “These are the Colors Over You” and then, thanks to So Tomorrow’s  post on parachutes I wanted to try Wheels on the Bus. Wasn’t sure how it was going to go with toddlers, but it was awesome! Some toddlers wanted to hold on to the chute and walk around with us and some of them just wanted to chill under the chute. It was great for everyone. We walked in a circle for round and round, rippled the chute for swish, swish, lifted the chute up and down for, you guessed it, up and down! I finished with open and shut and we stepped in and out, ending on in and I grabbed the chute then.

To get everyone settled again we did “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”. Then on to Machines At Work by Byron Barton. They loved this book with several toddlers shouting out “truck!” or “digger!”. It was great!


Now shakers! We did “We’re Tapping” by Kathy Reid-Naiman a couple times, which they love. Then returned the shakers for bubbles and play time with plastic nuts and bolts from Lakeshore (LOVE these!), stacking cups, and blocks.

Jumbo Nuts & Bolts

And then my husband picked me up (yes, I’m spoiled rotten) and took me home to sleep, sleep, sleep. Oh yeah.


Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

3 thoughts on “Toddler Storytime: Transportation

  1. Hi Kendra,
    I’m new to following your blog….You just posted about the song “Rain is Falling”. Could tell me the lyrics or CD you used as well as how you incorporate scarves?
    Great ideas!

    • Oops! Forgot to add the lyrics to my Rhymes page. Sorry bout that.
      Goes to the tune of Frere Jacques:
      Rain is falling, Rain is falling (slowly shimmy scarf down from above your head)
      From the sky, From the sky
      Put up your umbrella, Put up your umbrella (put scarf over your head)
      Nice and dry, Nice and dry (scarf on your head)

      I’ve done it with preK, special needs, and toddlers and it’s always a hit. Who doesn’t love a scarf on their head? I got this rhyme, and lots others from the King County Library Tell Me a Story site. Such a great resource!

      Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. Yay for parachutes at storytime! Always a good time.

    And my husband drops me off/picks me up at work too. I think he’s worried I’ll fall in the parking lot or something if he isn’t there to keep an eye on me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s