Do you work with toddlers? If so, there’s a very high chance that you’ve done the Little Mouse, Little Mouse, Are You in the (Colour) House? rhyme. Because it’s toddler gold. But maybe you’re a little tired of Little Mouse or maybe you’d like to model to caregivers how to adapt and evolve rhymes. Either way, I’m here for you.
I looked through all 5,000+ of Flannel Friday’s pins and found some excellent renditions of Little Mouse. And I’m excited to try some of these versions with my storytime toddlers!
Before I begin, if you’ve never heard of Little Mouse (which was me a year ago) or have always wondered how to actually do it with kids, this video by KCLS is a must watch.
And if you want to give Little Mouse a makeover to be more inclusive, Storytime in the Stacks has you covered. Check out this version which features a diverse array of homes.
You can also try using this rhyme instead:
“Little mouse, little mouse, come out and play
What colour house are you in today?”
If you want to go beyond Little Mouse, try one of these adaptations!
I’m starting it off with my Flannel Friday submission. I got the idea from With Kiddos @ the Library who shared a bear version that goes “Little bear, little bear, are you hiding under there?” I used the shapes from an already existing Flannel set (Red circle, red circle, what do you see?), so all I had to make was the little teddy bear. I used the felt template found here because it looked easy enough to make. Can’t wait to try this out next week!
From erinisinire, try “Little fox, little fox, are you in the (colour) box?” Gah, that fox is the cutest thing ever! Erin is the one inspired this post and I think toddlers would love her fox friend. Go read her post because she also incorporates counting into the game and a wonderful early literacy tip for caregivers.
From Thrive After Three, try “Dinosaur, dinosaur, are you behind the (colour) door?” I like how this one changes the preposition. Plus toddlers are all about dinosaurs! As a flannel novice, I am always looking for pieces that aren’t intimidating to make and these doors are right up my alley.
From Falling Flannelboards, try “Baby kangaroo, baby kangaroo, where are you? Are you behind the _________?” Erin made this for an Australian Animals themed storytime, but I think it’s great to expose kids to more than the usual farmyard standbys. And you can add in an early literacy tip about how learning shapes is the first step to learning letters.
From Miss Kelly at the Library, try “Little frog, little frog, are you under the (colour) log?” Another nice change of prepositions and as Kelly points out it’s perfect for April, National Frog Month in the U.S. Or pair with “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” for a Frog themed storytime.
From itsybitsymom, try “Wiggleworm, wiggleworm hiding in a book. Wiggleworm, wiggleworm where should we look?” Perfect for sharing during a library themed storytime, and great way to introduce the term “bookworm.” Can you say print motivation?! Lady Librarian’s Literacy, Lifestyle, and Lookbook Log shared a similar rhyme that goes, “Bookworm, bookworm, where should we look? Are you in the (colour) book?” She also added numbers for an additional early literacy element.
The Little Cat, Little Cat rendition is probably the second most popular form of this game. It goes, “Little cat, little cat, are you under the (colour/type) hat?” Starting from the left, Storytime Katie shows you how to transform Microsoft clip art into an eclectic array of hats. In the middle is Miss Mary Liberry with her hand drawn hats which she uses to talk about the people who may wear them. On the right is Piper Loves the Library with her party hat version that stars a Hello Kitty look-alike and would be perfect for a birthday storytime.
On Notes from the Story Room you can find a similar version to the cat one that uses a bat instead. The hats are perfect witch adornments, making this version great for Halloween. The rhyme goes, “Little bat, little bat, are you behind the (colour) hat?”
Over on Literary Hoots you can find two versions! The first is another book-inspired rendition featuring Gerald and Piggie! Emily says that Piggie hides behind a book and the kids help Gerald find Piggie by saying, “Piggie, Piggie, where do you hide? Are you behind the (colour) book? Let’s peek inside!” It’s just so….. meta! The second one is perfect for a sports or Superbowl storytime. It goes, “Football, football, where do you hide? Under the (colour) helmet? Let’s peek inside!”
From LibrErin, try this dog version based on a popular children’s literature character. It goes “Clifford, Clifford where is your bone? Did someone put it in your (colour) home?” I like how there is something else under the other houses because it could lead to lots of good discussion with the kids.
From Miss Meg’s Storytime comes the Knock Knock Baby Duck game. It goes “Knock, knock, knock, baby duck, baby duck. Are you behind the (colour) egg?” I love how the eggs are cracked in two because you could really build the suspense. BONUS FLANNEL: She also has an adorable butterfly and caterpillar version.
Piper Loves the Library just posted this duck version that has lots of cool construction vehicles. It goes, “Little duck, little duck, are you in the (colour) truck?” I bet there are lots of little ones who can tell you all the specific names of the trucks too. Like me, she reused some flannel pieces from a different set making this one easy to pull together.
On RovingFiddlehead KidLit you can find this construction themed version based on Bruno the Carpenter by Lars Klinting that goes, “Bruno needs his hammer lots and lots. Is it hiding in the (colour) toolbox?” I could imagine making different tools and using this one again and again.
Over on So Tomorrow, you can find not one, not two, but THREE versions of this game. Perfect for a bedtime or pyjama storytime, try the Little moon rendition which goes, “Little moon, little moon, are you behind the cloud of (colour)?” During the winter months (now!), the Snowball, Snowball version is a perfect game to play: “Snowball, snowball, cold and round! Behind which mitten can you be found?” Lastly, try this Little Worm one that goes, “Little worm playing hide and seek, are you under the (name of fruit)? Let’s take a peek!” I love how all of these look easy enough to whip up in one afternoon.
This summer version comes from Fun with Friends at Storytime. Staring the happiest little whale you’ve ever seen it goes, “Little whale, little whale, are you hiding in the (colour) pail?” Anyone who can make 3D felt pieces is one of my heroes.
The Librarian is on the Loose has shared multiple versions on her wonderful blog. First she shared a tooth fairy version. I love it because people actually hide teeth under pillows so it will make sense for those literal-minded toddlers. Also, that tooth fairy is really cute! The rhyme goes, “Look and see! Look and see! Can you find the tooth for me? Is it under the (colour) pillow?” You can find similar versions on Adventures in Storytime (and Beyond) and SLC Book Boy. She has also shared an adorable fall-themed version featuring a squirrel and a summer-themed version featuring a beach ball. Perfect for seasonal storytimes!
My wonderful co-worker Miranda emailed these pictures after reading this blog post. She made this dragon version for a Lunar New Year themed storytime, and I’m in love with them. The rhyme goes, “Little dragon, little dragon, are you behind the (colour) wagon?” Thank you, Miranda!
Here’s another holiday version that comes from Fun with Friends at Storytime. The rhyme is an original and goes like this, “Do you feel lucky? Let’s be bold! Let’s see if we can find the leprechaun’s pot of gold.” You could work in lots of good vocabulary with this depending on the items you make.
Our friend Emily made this FABULOUS hiding game similar to Little Mouse that is all about letter recognition. Behind each door is a different animal. They say this rhyme, “We’re looking for an animal that starts with [“P”] and we won’t stop ’til we find it! Now, let’s give the [RED] door three sharp knocks and see who hides behind it! KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK!” Then they practice saying the sound of the first letter of the animal. This is genius!
Wendy shared a few more versions I’ve never seen before. The first is a peacock version which goes, “Little peacock, little peacock, are you behind the (colour) clock?” The second is a pig version that goes, “Pink piggy, pink piggy, let me see. Do you have some yummy pancakes for me?”
Need a holiday version? Shawn at Read, Rhyme and Sing shared this super cute jingle bells idea that goes, “Jingle bells I hear you play. Are you under the (colour) sleigh?” Great for the winter!
Amy at One Little Librarian has an adorable baby raccoon version that includes multi-coloured balloons and a mama raccoon puppet. Her rhyme goes, “Baby Raccoon, Baby Raccoon, Are you hiding under the red balloon?” It ends with a sweet racoon hug.
Shawn at Read, Rhyme and Sing shared this adorable (and easy to make!) robot and dot version to celebrate International Dot Day. It goes, “Robot, robot, are you under the (colour) dot?” I love it!
Emily at Literary Hoots made this underwater themed version which would be perfect for the summer. Her rhyme goes, “Little crab, little crab, where do you hide? Are you in the red* seashell? Let’s peek inside!”
Storytime in the Stacks shared this birthday cake version featuring a fanged snake. It goes, “Mr. Snake, Mr. Snake, are you behind the (colour) cake?” I think it would be so fun to ask kids what flavour each cake could be.
Need an outer space themed version? Check out this adorable set of moons from Lady Librarian’s Literacy, Lifetstyle, and Lookbook Log. Her rhyme goes, “Spaceship, spaceship, we’ll find you soon! Are you behind the (colour) Moon?”
Do you have a version I missed? Let me know in the comments and I’d be glad to add it in!