Toddler Storytime – Senses

Storytime this week was all about our five senses–sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. I wanted to make sure we got a chance to explore and talk about each of these senses, so I chose a variety of books, songs, and activities that focused on different aspects of the five senses.

Senses (7)

Welcome Song: “We clap and sing hello” (Tune: Farmer in the Dell)

We clap and sing hello, 
we clap and sing hello
With our friends at storytime, 
we clap and sing hello!
(We stomp and sing hello…
We wave and sing hello…)

ASL Sign: Touch,” “SmellSenses (9)

STEM Activity: Marshmallow exploration: Hand each child a marshmallow and use our five senses to explore and talk about it. What does it look like? What does it smell like? Does it make any sound when we squish it? What does it feel like? And last but not least… What does it taste like?

I was a little wary about doing this activity with a larger group (I had over 40 in the room that day!), but I was really excited about it and thought it would work really well as an introduction to the five senses since we would actually get a chance to use and talk about each of them in the context of one object. I was sure to let the grown-ups know that if they didn’t want their child to participate, they could just say “No thank you” as I passed the marshmallows out. A few of the parents chose to pass (especially those with younger kids), and that was okay. The activity was a little crazy and not super focused, but I think the sheer number of people in the room contributed to that. After we got a chance to use our tastebuds, I walked around with a trash can because many of the kids only took a bite of their marshmallow and I didn’t want half-eaten marshmallows to distract from the upcoming songs and stories. Overall, I would definitely do this activity again with a smaller group, but probably skip it with a group as large as this.

Rhyme: “Open, Shut Them”

Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap, clap, clap!
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Put them in your lap, lap, lap
Creep them, creep them
Creep them, creep them
Way up to your chin
Open up your little mouth,
But do not let them in!

Book 1: Cold, Crunchy, Colorful by Jane Brocket

I liked this book because it covered all five senses and contained photographs of real things associated with each sense. However, it is a little too long for storytime so I paperclipped a few pages together to create my own abridged version.

Song: “The Sensey Pokey”
You put your seeing eyes in, you put your seeing eyes out,
You put your seeing eyes in and you shake them all about
You do the Sensey Pokey and you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about
(Sniffing nose, Hearing ears, Touching hands, Tasting tongue)

I actually ended up skipping this one in the storytime I did due to time shortage, but a coworker who filled in for me for one of the earlier sessions said she did it and it was kind of awkward because most of the grown-ups had a hard time committing to saying “Sensey Pokey” instead of “Hokey Pokey” (Ahh, stubborn grown-ups… ;)).

Rhyme: “A Nose”

A nose breathes in 
A nose breathes out
A nose can smell and wiggle about.
A nose can blow
A nose can sneeze
Achoo! That’s what noses can do!

Book 2: I Spy Under the Sea by Edward Gibbs

We got to use our sense of sight with this book, as we guessed what kind of under sea animal was peeking through the peephole. The kiddos always seem to enjoy guessing-game type books (especially the older ones), so this one went over pretty well.

Song on iPod: “Shake Your Sillies Out” – The Wiggles, from the CD Yummy Yummy

OK, so this one wasn’t exactly related to senses, but I couldn’t find any senses songs that I thought they’d really get into. I thought they’d love dancing to this song–and they did!

Song: “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”

Head and shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes)
Head and shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes)
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head and shoulders, knees and toes (knees and toes)

This is always a nice, easy song to throw in–and hey, we used some of our senses body parts in this one too!

Book 3: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr.

I used a “big book” for this, as I love the bright, colorful illustrations and the large text allows for a group read-along. The kids had fun trying out some of the goofier noises (what might a “fluting flamingo” sound like?).

Closing Song: “Icky Sticky Bubblegum” – David Landau

Craft: Paper Mr. Potato Head

Our lovely practicum student and some willing teen volunteers helped cut out all the pieces for this craft. A few of the grown-ups marveled at the fact that there were even two different left and right ears and left and right arms. We free-cut our potatoes and got most of our body parts from this online template, as well as free-handing some too.

Here is this week’s handout for parents and caregivers.

This was my last storytime at this library, so it was quite bittersweet for me. I enjoyed seeing the same kids and families week to week–I will miss those familiar faces, but I know that I will make more storytime friends at my new job. 🙂

Speaking of which, KeenOnLibrarianship will be absent for a little while as I plan the next round of storytimes at my new library (wish me luck!). See you in a few weeks!


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