Polar Bears – Toddler Storytime

Polar bears seemed a fitting theme for a Winter storytime.  Plus, there are a lot of good books about them!

SONG: Welcome Song

MOVEMENT: “Wake Up Toes” from Morning Magic by Joanie Bartels

Open Shut Them*

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE: sign for “Bear” and “White”
asl - bearasl-white
taken from Costello, Elaine Ph.D.  Random House Webster’s American Sign Language Dictionary.  1994.

Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson, pictures by Stephen Savage

MOVEMENT: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” from It’s Toddler Time by Carol Hammett and Elaine Bueffel

10 Snowflakes flannelboard logo cropped
10 Snowflakes (since Polar Bears live where it snows)

Counting time, it’s counting time
So let’s all sing a simple rhyme

Ten little snowflakes here we go
Let’s all count them as I put them in rows.

Ten little snowflakes, again we go
Now let’s count them nice and slow

Ten little snowflakes, in neat rows
Let’s count them as away they go


Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?
Flannelboard from Little Folk Visuals, based on the book by Bill Martin Jr., and illustrated by Eric Carle

Polar bear, polar bear
what do you hear?
I hear a lion
roaring in my ear

Repeat with :
hippopotamus – snorting
flamingo – fluting
zebra – braying
boa constrictor – hissing
elephant – trumpeting
zookeeper – all the animals talking in my ear!

The set (and story) have more animals, but this is the number that I used for the toddler audience.  Before starting the story, I put the polar bear up and asked what sound he made (growl) so that at the end of the story we could talk about the different sounds all the animals made.

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

MOVEMENT: The Itsy Bitsy Spider

Polar Bear’s Underwear  by tupera tupera

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

“Little Polar Bear” from Little Bear: Winter Games

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over

cubsbigworldbythomson hushlittlepolarbearbymack followtheleaderbyford
PolarBearMorningbyThompson polarbearpolarbearwhatdoyouhearbymartin treasurebybloom snowbabiesbyanderson

Book: Cub’s Big World by Sarah L. Thomson, illustrated by Joe Cepeda (this one might be better for preschool)
Book: Hush Little Polar Bear by Jeff Mack
Book: Follow the Leader pictures and words by Miela Ford
Book: Polar Bear Morning by Lauren Thompson, pictures by Stephen Savage
Book: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr, illustrated by Eric Carle
Book: Treasure by Suzanne Bloom
Book: Snow Babies by Laura Ellen Anderson


Polar bears are a fun theme!  For the video portion of the storytime, I wanted to share a clip that had real polar bears playing — you know, the ones where it’s just set to music or something and the animals frolic? But the videos I found were either too long, or not good film quality.  I’ll keep looking, because I want to incorporate more nonfiction in my storytimes, either through books or films.

ATTENDANCE:  10 am:  33 people      11 am: 37 people

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

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