Toddler Storytime Spotlight: Hoppin’ Boppin’ Bodies

Back in August, my library returned to indoor, in-person storytimes. For more about that, check out this post.

I walked into this toddler storytime with the most trepidation. It had been some years since I led a toddler storytime even before the pandemic, and I worried about being out of practice. I also had no idea how this new large group storytime experience would impact these young 2’s and 3’s. I paid very close attention to my transitions and planned for lots of movement!


Sing: Now It’s Time to Say Hello*

We repeat this song a few times through with home languages in the audience.


Hello and welcome back to Toddler Storytime for 2’s and 3’s! My name is Jessica. I am so excited to see you today! Storytime is the most important and absolutely favorite part of my day. I’m so glad you made it a part of your day, too! Storytime is a special time where we read stories and sing songs, and we do it all together – because we know their grown-ups are a child’s first and best teacher. No pressure, right? 🙂

Sing: Hello, Hello by Nancy Kopman

Set Expectations

There are TWO things I need your help with today. Can everyone show me one finger? Can you point to the ceiling? Can you point to the floor? Can you point to your mat? What color is it? PURPLE! The purple mat is YOUR special storytime spot. This blue mat is MY special storytime spot. Staying in our spots helps everyone see the books when we’re reading.

Can you show me two fingers? Can you hide them behind your back? The second thing I need help with is saving snacks and cell phones for after storytime. This way we’re not distracted and no one gets exposed to any food allergens.

Can you show me all your fingers? How many do you have? TEN! Can you open, shut them…

Rhyme: Open, Shut Them*

Sing: What’s Inside the Story Bag?*

My storytime puppet of the day helps pull our books out of the bag. Singing this song and using the puppet really builds audience anticipation for the first book!

Read: Who Has Wiggle Waggle Toes? by Vicky Shiefman

BK Wiggle Waggle 2

Lit Tip: Choosing Just Right Books for Two’s and Three’s

Grown-ups, I love this book because of all the opportunities for movement. Toddlers love interactive books they can make noises with or move and groove to!

Sing: My Toes Are Starting to Wiggle…

Tune: The Bear Went Over the Mountain

My toes are starting to wiggle,
My toes are starting to wiggle.
My toes are starting to wiggle,
And now so are my feet!

Repeat: other body parts

Sing: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes by Mr. Jon & Friends

Rhyme: My Two Hands

My two hands can clap, clap, clap.
My two feet can tap, tap, tap.
My two legs can jump, jump, jump!
My two feet can thump, thump, thump.
My whole body turns around
Then it sits down on the ground.

Sing: Put Your Bottom on the Rug*

Read: Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson

I really wasn’t expecting these fresh storytime toddlers to have enough stamina for a second book,  but they sat right down and stared at me in expectation, so I obliged!

Sing: Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye*

Stay and Play

*Please visit this page to learn more about my regular storytime songs and routines.

My worries were for naught! This storytime went over so well. The toddlers were definitely a bit shy, but the grown-ups were great about participating with us and encouraging their kiddos. My goal for these first few sessions was to build the audience’s familiarity with the rhythms and routines of storytime. I added a lot of narration about what we do, how we do it, why we do it. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

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