So far I’ve covered how I plan, what I read, what I sing, and what I do to get the wiggles out for a toddler storytime. Here’s a quick re-cap in case you missed any of the previous posts:
- How I Plan
- Favourite Read Alouds
- Favourite Read Alouds, Part 2
- Favourite Songs and Rhymes
- Favourite Songs and Rhymes, Part 2
- Songs To Get the Wiggles Out
- Songs to Get the Wiggles Out, Part 2
- Favourite Felt Stories
- Favourite Felt Stories, Part 2
This week I’ll be talking about using puppets. Now if you are like me, puppets are not your natural inclination. In fact, before I started performing regular storytimes the thought of using puppets every week terrified me. But, the toddlers at my storytimes absolutely love puppets! Like there is an audible gasp when I pull one out of my storytime bag.
I was lucky enough in my MLIS program to have one teacher who was AMAZING with puppets, and I learned a lot from her, but I realized that I would also have to create a style that works for me. So that’s why I wanted to share some really easy ways to incorporate puppets into your storytime that are low prep and low pressure. You won’t need an impressive vocal range or a degree in theater arts to try these out. And if you’re toddlers are anything like mine, they will still go nuts when you bring them out at storytime.
1. Slippery Fish
Puppets Needed: Small Fish, Octopus, Large Fish (Tuna), Shark, and a Whale
I do this song with felts and with just my hands, so I thought why not try it with puppets? And it works – brilliantly! You can even act out the “eating” part to the kids’ delight. And honestly, if you don’t have those exact sea creature puppets, go with what you’ve got! I’m sure you can fit a crab or a turtle on the food chain somewhere.
2. When Cows Wake Up in the Morning
Puppets Needed: Any animal. Seriously.
My co-worker taught me this song and I’ve been using it ever since. It makes a nice welcome or hello song, and it goes great with a farm themed storytime. Honestly you can use whatever animals you want, but sometimes I’ll throw in a dragon or a bunny and see what sounds we can think of together.
3. Little Bunny in a Hat
Puppets Needed: Any type of jack-in-box puppet
I do this rhyme with three different jack-in-box type puppets – a bunny in a hat, a creature in a can, and a bear in a tent. We say the rhyme two times for each puppet and by the last time, all the toddlers are yelling, “Yes, he will!” It’s a great chance to point out the importance of repetition to caregivers, and I like that it’s a rhyme instead of a song. And check out this super cute monkey in a barrel!