Monday, September 9, 2013

Toddler Story Time - I See Shapes!

This week’s story time theme was shapes!  Because you could do a million things with this theme and they are toddlers, I stuck to the basics: squares, circles, triangles, and rectangles.  I tweaked my plan a few times to make sure it wasn’t too hard.  The final story time included a lot of repetition which is great for teaching a new concept.    

Books I read…

Lots of Dots By Craig Frazier

The little ones really enjoyed this book!  It has bright illustrations that were super fun to talk about.  This story helps to show that shapes are all around us. 

Bear in a Square By Stella Blackstone

I really liked this book when I discovered it on the shelves at the library.  But, I wasn’t sure how well it would work in story time because it is about finding different shapes within the illustrations.  I was happily surprised when the little ones became excited to come up and point at the shapes.  I will probably use books like this again because it is a great opportunity to work on taking turns! 

Mouse Shapes By Ellen Stoll Walsh 

A great story, but it didn’t hold my little audience’s attention.  I managed to get through it, but paraphrased a good chunk of the story. 


Skippyjon Jones Shape Up By Judy Schachner

I like to occasionally gather up enough copies of a board book so that every little one can hold their own copy and follow along with me.  Putting books directly into the hands of children is definitely important for promoting early literacy skills.  I couldn’t find enough copies of any one shape book so I gathered up a couple copies of several shape books!  Skippyjon Jones Shape Up was great because it had simple sentences and introduced many different shapes.  Even though we weren’t all looking at the same book, it was great to see the parents interacting with their little one with which ever book they had.

How it went…

I started story time with my very own super cool shape people!  They helped us with the fingerplay, Where Is…?.  This fingerplay was a great way to introduce the shapes we would be talking about. Thanks Storytime Katie for the rhyme! 
Where is triangle?  Where is triangle?
Here I am.  Here I am.
How are you today, sir?  Very well, I thank you.
Run away.  Run away.
(I repeated this rhyme with rectangle, circle, and square) 

After reading Lots of Dots, we continued our love of things round with the action rhyme, Little, Bigger, Biggest.  It was originally about balls, but I changed it to circles.  Thanks again to Storytime Katie, this is an awesome rhyme for toddlers!
A little circle (make circle with finger and thumb)
A bigger circle, (make circle with two hands)
And a great big circle I see. (make a circle with arms)
Now help me count them,
One, two, three!  (repeat gestures for each size)

My shape people made another appearance during the song, Do You Know What Shape This Is?  It is to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb.  I changed the wording a bit, but it is from the Harris County Public Library.  I passed out shapes on craft sticks for everyone to wave around.  (They were the same as my shape people, only minus the face, arms, and legs.)  They were easy to make using shapes from Microsoft Word printed on cardstock and taped to craft sticks.
Do you know what shape this is?
Shape this is?  Shape this is?
Do you know what shape this is and do you have one too?
If you do, give it a shake, shake shake shake, shake shake shake.
If you do, give it a shake and shout “hooray for squares!”
(I repeated with the triangle, circle, and rectangle)
Now we know all our shapes, all our shapes, all our shapes
Now we know all our shapes, shake them and say “hooray!”  

This song didn't go exactly as planned.  Most didn't understand to only hold up their shape when it matched my shape.  They pretty much waved their shapes through the entire song.  But, I made it work by simply pointing to the little ones with the correct shape.

I played the song, Shapes! off the cd 150 Preschool Songs so we could continue using our shapes on a stick.  This is a really catchy tune about basic shapes!

Skipping quickly through the last book, I used the flannel board to tell The Shape Story.  You can watch the YouTube video from here.  It is very similar to the adventures the mice have in Mouse Shapes, so I didn't feel too bad about shortening the book. 

We finished storytime with the shape boxes.  What could be inside?  The little ones took turns pulling items out of the circle, triangle, square, and rectangle boxes.  When we were finished, I kept the boxes out for them to play with.  

I hope everyone had as much fun as I did learning all about shapes!  

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