By Awnali Mills
It came around again. My boss had to be off on Thursday for a class, so I stepped in to do toddlers. Even though I wasn’t feeling well, the storytime went off without a hitch. Yay! The books I chose were Hooray for Hat by Brian Won and This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen.
When we opened the doors for storytime, I had on a shark hat. Remember, it’s shark month at the library, and I thought it would be a fun beginning. I started by singing If You’re Happy and You Know It and then introduced myself as Mr. Chris.
WHAT??? How silly! Then, I talked about the terrible headache I had. They agreed that the shark eating my head was probably the cause, and I took it off. We’re a silly bunch, we are! Then we did a stretch to loosen us up.
Then, I pulled out my top hat, and talked about my friend, Mr. Bunny, who lived in the hat. He was sleeping, so we woke him up by yelling, “Wake up, Mr. Bunny Rabbit!” When he finally woke up, he brought us our letter of the day, H, and pulled 5 pictures of things that start with letter H out of his hat. Different children put the pictures on the board for me.
Then, I popped the hat on my head and the bunny into a box behind me and we sang the alphabet song together. Then, I started Raffi’s Shake Your Sillies Out, and we wiggled our waggles away. I read Hooray for Hat, and the kids shouted the “Go away! I’m grumpy!” refrain with me each time I said it. As a new hat is given to each character, I took off a hat, turned my back, and popped a new hat on. Each new hat brought gasps of delight. The children also shouted “Hooray for hat!” with me.
After the book ended, I flipped the flannel board around and displayed the Little Cat, Little Cat flannel I had set up before storytime. As you probably know, there are several hats, and little cat is hiding under one of them. The children chanted with me, “Little Cat, Little Cat, are you hiding under the ______ hat?” They shouted out which one they wanted to look under, and I flipped that one over. About half-way into the hats, they found the right one (I only had six on the board). We just played one round of this, since it was hard for them not to grab the flannels. They never did grab any, but I could see their little bodies just quivering with the effort of refraining.
Next, I slapped a farmer’s hat on my head and we did Old MacDonald with flannels. About four verses were enough.
Then I did the book This Is Not My Hat with a bowler hat on my head, and used a crab that I made as a prop. It’s a fast book, and kids were already familiar with it, so it went well.
Our last song involved a penguin hat that we have that has ear flaps that hang down to my shoulders. We sang Do Your Ears Hang Low? I wobbled my ear flaps all around, and it was hilarious watching the kids imitate me. We finished up with bubbles and then my usual goodbye song.