Thanksgiving – Toddler Storytime

Today, I am very thankful I get to do infant/toddler storytimes at my library.  It is one of the most rewarding parts of my job — getting to see early literacy skills develop, seeing the children grow from the beginning of the session to the end.  Today I had one toddler run up and give me a leg hug, and her dad said that when he told her it was storytime day, she got excited.  I overheard another little toddler say, “storytime!”and then “Miss Jennifer” when she saw me.  Interactions like this warm my heart, and remind me to be thankful that I get to do work that can inspire a loving of reading and the library, and hopefully make a difference in these young lives.

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT:“Clap Everybody and Say Hello” from Sally Go Round the Sun by Kathy Reid-Naiman.

MOVEMENT: Open Shut Them*


The Thankful Book by Todd Parr

MOVEMENT: “Reach for the Ceiling” from Toddlers on Parade by Carol Hammett and Elaine Bueffel

MOVEMENT: Itsy Bitsy Spider*



Turkey Wore His Rainbow Feathers
(filed under Turkey Feathers in my flannelboard files)

Pattern from Felt Board Fingerplays by Liz and Dick Wilmes
Song from Everything Preschool

Here’s a turkey. (Place the turkey on the flannelboard.)
But he’s missing something!  What is he missing? (wait for audience to answer)
What color is this feather? (Bring out the red feather)
Red!  That’s right!  Let’s put it on the turkey.  (Place the feather on the turkey.)
(now sing, to tune of Mary Wore Her Red Dress)
Turkey wore his red feather, red feather, red feather.
Turkey wore his red feather all day long.

(Continue adding color feathers and singing)

Last Verse:
Turkey wore his rainbow feathers, rainbow feathers, rainbow feathers.
Turkey wore his rainbow feathers all day long.

You can use as many feathers of different colors as you would like.  Since I was doing this with toddlers, I just did the generic rainbow colors as seen in the first photo.  It might also be fun to give out the feathers to the children in the audiences, but I thought that would take too much time with my group.

MOVEMENT: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” from Songs for Wiggleworms by the Old Town School of Folk Music

10 AM: Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr
11 AM: Over the River and Through the Wood: A Song for Thanksgiving by Lydia Maria Child.  Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

MOVEMENT: “Two Little Blackbirds” from Fingerplays and Footplays by Rosemary Hallum and Henry “Buzz” Glass


“Max’s Thanksgiving” from Max and Ruby’s Halloween

MOVEMENT:  Storytime’s Over*

All for Pie Pie for All by David Martin
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes
Gobble Gobble by Cathryn Falwell
I’m a Turkey! by Jim Arnosky
Flannelboard: We Eat Turkey

Over all this was a good storytime, though I still feel like there has to be some better Thanksgiving stories out there for young ones.  The Thankful Book is a new one I used this time, and it was pretty good, especially once I started inviting the children to participate in the story (“I’m thankful for my ears..  Where are your ears?).  I find that technique can help take a book that might just be ok to a lot better.  Turkey Wore His Rainbow Feathers went really well too.  Originally I thought I would just use this at the infant storytime, and use another flannelboard I have (We Eat Turkey) for the toddlers.  But it worked so well with the infants that I wanted to do it again.  At the 10am storytime I tried using Run, Turkey, Run! which is probably my favorite Thanksgiving book.  I had used this in a storytime a few years ago, and thought it might work again.  However, I think it is better with a slightly older audience, which led to me singing Over the River and Through the Wood for my second story in the 11am storytime.  “Max’s Thanksgiving” also probably isn’t the best video to use with this group, since it is a bit long, but it is so hard finding a good toddler thanksgiving story.  Anyone have any suggestions?

ATTENDANCE:  10 am:  32 people      11 am: 34 people

* For these songs, please see my Storytime Movements & Music page

7 thoughts on “Thanksgiving – Toddler Storytime

  1. Wow those are great turnouts, and I can’t believe how many different activities you do in one session! One question – are you counting both parents and kids in the attendance? I don’t know why I’m fixated on this count but I am 🙂 I wish you were my librarian!

    • Ayelet – I do count both parents and kids in my attendance numbers. We actually do registration for our toddler storytimes at my library, to make sure that we keep the numbers managable and so it can be a good time for all. We register 25 families (which is usually 1 adult and 1 child), so our max attendance would be around 50. Of course, not everyone comes, so we have a waitlist as well that we use to add up to 10 additional families if there is space.

      I’m always amazed at how much you can fit into half an hour as well!

      And I am your librarian — I just don’t work at a branch near you! 🙂

      Thanks for reading my blog!

  2. Pingback: Preschool Storytime – Thanksgiving – 11/18/15 | Children's Services @ Allentown Public Library

  3. Pingback: A Thanksgiving Storytime – The Tinkering Librarian

  4. Pingback: Thanksgiving – Toddler Storytime | Jen in the Library

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