Big and Little – Infant/Toddler Storytime

This was another storytime that was driven by wanting to share a specific book.  When I saw Big Bear, Little Bear by Marine Schneider, it was so sweet and lovely, and I wanted to share it.  I’ve been trying to use a few more board books in my infant/toddler storytime.  I know that they are smaller, so may not share so well, but this one had very sparse images so I thought I would take a chance on it.

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*

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

The Grand Old Duke of York
Oh the Grand Old Duke of York (bounce baby on lap)
He had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill (lift baby up)
And he marched them down again. (bring baby back down to lap)
And when they’re up, they’re up. (lift baby up)
And when they’re down, they’re down. (bring baby down)
And when they’re only halfway up (lift baby up halfway)
Their neither up  (lift baby up all the way)
nor down. (bring baby back down to lap.)

MOVEMENT: Open, Shut Them

Big Bear, Small Mouse
by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
A cute story about opposites, with a delightful big and small friendship.

This is Big
This is big, big, big (stretch your arms out to the side)
This is small, small, small (cup hands together)
This is short, short, short (hold hand, palm facing down, close to the ground)
This is tall, tall, tall (lift hand, palm facing down, above head)
This is fast, fast, fast (circle fists quickly)
This is slow, slow, slow (circle fists slowly)
This is yes, yes, yes (nod head yes)
This is no, no, no (shake head no)

Taken from: Mel’s Desk

Roly Poly
to the tune of: “Frere Jacques”)
Roly poly, roly poly
Up, up, up
up, up, up
Roly roly poly
roly roly poly
down, down, down
down, down, down

Roly poly, roly poly
out, out, out
out, out, out
Roly roly poly
roly roly poly
in, in, in
in, in, in

Roly poly, roly poly
fast, fast, fast
fast, fast, fast
Roly roly poly
roly roly poly
slow, slow, slow
slow, slow, slow

I learned this rhyme from my colleague, but you can also see it done by the fabulous jbrary:

For this time around, I changed the rhyme and instead of out and in, I used big and small as adjectives, to fit in with the theme.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes


Little Ball, Big Ball

A little ball, a bigger ball, a great big ball I see.
Can you count the yellow balls? One, two, three.

Repeat for red and blue…

Add the the green ball (or any other color ball) and say:

Little balls, big balls, another ball I see.
Can you count all the balls? 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10!

The Great Big Cat, and the Teeny Little Mouse
There was a GREAT BIG CAT  (say “great big cat” in a big voice)
and a Teeny Little Mouse   (say “teeny little mouse” in a small squeaky voice)
Who ran around and around  (Roll hands with cat and mouse around each other)
In a tall, tall house!   (Stretch arms above head)
Until that teeny tiny mouse  (say “teeny little mouse” in a small squeaky voice)
got caught at last   (have cat catch mouse)
Because that GREAT BIG CAT  (say “great big cat” in a big voice)
ran around so fast!   (Roll hands with cat and mouse around each other)

Puppets purchased and rhyme taken from: Artfelt


“Shake My Sillies Out” from More Singable Songs by Raffi

MOVEMENT: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Big Bear, Little Bear by Marine Schneider

Very Very Tall
I’m very very tall (reach up high)
I’ve very very small (reach down low)
Tall (reach up high)
Small (reach down low)
Now I’m a little ball (curl up)

Taken from: Old Town School of Folk Music
I did this one acapella this time around

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*


Book: Panda Big and Panda Small by Jane Cabrera
Book: Big and Little by Margaret Miller
Book: Big Bug by Henry Cole
Book: Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake by Thomas Taylor, illustrated by Jill Barton (maybe better for preschool?)


ATTENDANCE: 26 people (adults and children)

DATE PRESENTED: Tuesday, January 25  @ Lamanda

Thoughts on Storytime:  This was a fun one.  For this theme, I did want to use books that highlighted both big and small, rather than one, then the other.  I was really surprised by how great the flannel board worked.  It was so simple, but really seemed to hold the audience’s attention well.

*To see the words to these movements and activities I use frequently, please visit my
A-capella Movements Section on my Storytime Movements and Music Page