Storytelling to toddlers

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Toot, TootProviding a story time session to toddlers can be a challenge. I have hosted a weekly storytelling session for many years and I am still learning and looking for suggestions on what makes a successful and fun event. Currently, my plan for the 20 minute storytelling session consists of 4 rhymes, followed by 4 stories and ending with a song. The song usually is the Wheels on the Bus, I know this is old hat but children love it and do participate in the singing and actions.

Last week I had a “hen” theme. I found a sung version of Chuck-chuck-chuck-chuck-chuck, good morning Mrs. Hen on a CD and this got everyone in a happy clucky mood, followed by Hickety, Pickety, my black hen; then One, two, buckle my shoe (it does end with a big fat hen!); and I’m a little birdie (adapted from I’m a Little Teapot). The stories told were 'Handa’s Hen' (Walker Big Book size ensures everyone can see the pictures); 'Rosie’s Walk'; 'The Little Red Hen'; 'Old Mac Donald' and to end there was a hen on the bus in the Wheels on the Bus song! Old favourites such as Incy Wincy Spider; If you’re Happy and you know it always get a good reaction. Rhymes such as 5 Little Monkeys jumping on the bed or 5 Little Monkeys swinging on a tree are really popular.

Dublin City Public Libraries (DCPL) stock a wide range of picture books; rhymes so there’s no shortage of wonderfully illustrated books to share with the little ones. Some of my favourites are: 'Toot, Toot' by Brian Wildsmith, 'Where's My Teddy?' by Jez Alborough, 'Five Little Monkeys' by Zita Newcome and 'Old MacDonald had a Farm' by Jane Cabrera.


 Where's my teddy?   Five Little Monkeys   Old MacDonald had a farm

Anyone out there got any suggestions for books that work well with this age group? Any tips that would help in organising toddler story time sessions?


Staying with the farmyard theme I love 'Click, Clack Moo: cows that type' by Doreen Cronin - one that the storyteller will enjoy as much as the child. Chris Haughton's new book 'Oh No, George' is another funny one; it features a very cute dog with self-control issues - I think the repetition would appeal to toddlers. Giraffes Can't Dance is another great picture book with lively illustrations and rhyme and uplifting ending.

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