Birds – Toddler Storytime

Books about birds are fly!

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

MOVEMENT: “Clap Your Hands, Clap Your Hands” from Tickles and Tunes by Kathy Reid-Naiman

MOVEMENT: Open Shut Them*


Baby Bird by Joyce Dunbar, illustrated by Russell Ayto

MOVEMENT: “Roll Your Hands” from Toddlers on Parade by Carol Hammett and Elaine Bueffel

MOVEMENT: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

10 Birds Flannelboard cropped with logo
10 Birds
These birds were actually from an Easter garland I found at Michael’s.  I pulled of the ribbon that was hot glued to the back, and — voila! — insta-adorable-flannelboard!

Here Comes the Little Bird
Here Comes Little Bird Flannelboard1 Cropped with logoHere Comes Little Bird Flannelboard2 cropped with logoHere Comes Little Bird Flannelboard3 cropped with logo
(Flannelboard pattern & rhyme from Felt Board Fingerplays by Liz & Dick Wilmes. Art by Janet McDonnell)

Rhyme from the Book:
Here comes little bird. (Your fist is the bird.)
He’s landing on my HEAD. (Land where you want.)
Bye, bye little bird. (Fly bird away.)
Bye! Bye! Bye! (Wave to bird.)

Way I do the Rhyme:
Here is a little girl
and here is a curious little bird.
Here comes the little bird.
He’s landing on her HEAD.
Where’s your head?  Can you show me?
(Have bird land on various other body parts.)
Here comes the little bird.
He’s landing on her tummy.
And when he’s there he likes to give a tickle, tickle, tickle (give tummy a tickle.)
And then he flies away.
Fly, fly little bird. (remove bird from flannelboard.)
Bye! Bye! Bye!

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

MOVEMENT: Itsy Bitsy Spider


Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert

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

Baby's First Word Stories Outside DVD
“Let’s Look for Birds” from Baby’s First-Word Stories Outside

MOVEMENT:  Storytime’s Over*

The 10am storytime was really hard.   Harder than last week.  I have three children who just enjoy running around..  The parents do not try to curb this behavior, and often are just chatting among themselves.  It causes a distraction for those who want to participate in storytime — I even had one parent tell me that she was thinking about dropping storytime because she didn’t like it so much.  Also, English is not their native language, so even though I talked to them after storytime today, it made it difficult to know if my point was getting across.  I usually try to go with the flow in my storytimes and am fairly lenient when it comes to discipline, and only interject when safety is an issue — after all, I am not the parent.  But I may need to get a little more rigorous about rules in that storytime.  How do you handle this in your storytimes?  Any advice would be welcome.

As usual, the 11am storytime was a lot better though.  And there were even more people in that group.  It’s nice to finish on an up note, because 10 am was really hard you guys.

ATTENDANCE:  10 am:  41 people      11 am: 48 people

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

6 thoughts on “Birds – Toddler Storytime

  1. When I first started doing story times I was more lenient than what I am now. Things just got a little too chaotic, and it went smoother when I started keeping things more regimented. Usually I’ll say something like, “Find mom’s lap!” or “Mom can you help?” in a very light tone. If the mom’s are chatting, I usually call their attention and just say “Moms” and smile. They get it awfully quick and usually apologize. It’s hard enough to keep baby’s/toddler’s/preschooler’s attention with having chatty moms! I feel your pain. Good luck.

    • Thanks for the tips Denise!

      I love the wording that you suggest. “Find mom’s lap” and “Mom can you help?” get the point across without being off-putting. I don’t want to be rude or make the parents feel like they are unwelcome in storytime, yet I need to find a way to address the behavior. I know I will be trying out these phrases next week!

      • Hi Jen…this is 5 years after you posted this…but I do something similar to Denise, but I say “I need a Super Mommy!” I also tell my baby caregivers that I love to see them dance and move around, but if they get close to the flannel board I need a super mommy to rush to the rescue.

        Your ideas are so inspirational..thank you for all your help for new children’s librarians!

      • Thanks, Deanna! It may be a long time since I posted this one, but I’m always looking for kind, supportive phrasing to use. I love the idea of a “Super-Hero” caregiver that can swoop to the rescue when needed. Caregivers really are superheroes, too, so it’s nice how that fits.

        I’m so glad you find this blog helpful! I love the community around children’s librarianship where we all share ideas, so it feels really good to put something out there that encourages and assists others.

        – Jen

  2. In our community, it’s often babysitters/nannies/grandparents, so I say “Grown Ups” instead of just “moms”. Remember, sometimes daddies like to bring their little ones too! Try to model inclusive language.

    • You’re so right, Jan! Thank you for the important reminder – storytime (and all library programs) should be inclusive and welcoming for all. I appreciate you pointing this out.

      I try to use the phrasing caregivers in printed materials, but when I speak, sometimes I slip up. “Grown Ups” is much more inclusive, friendly way of saying that.

      Always trying to be better…

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