Tag Archives: hide and seek

Eeeek! A Mouse Storytime

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I like mice in storytime. I love mice in storytime. I have a mouse (Folkmanis) in storytime. I don’t want them in my cupboards.

I think mice
Are rather nice.
Their tails are long,
Their faces small,
They haven’t any
Chins at all.
Their ears are pink,
Their teeth are white.
They run about the house at night
They nibble things they shouldn’t touch,
And no one seems to like them much
But I think mice are nice.
— Rose Fyleman

Books:

Mice (Fyleman)

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This book is a combination of Fyleman’s poem (see above) and Lois Ehlert’s brilliant collage illustrations. I mean, take a look at those precious teeth and their little yarn appendages! The black page backgrounds really allow the mice to pop right off the page. This short book is suitable for Toddlers and Preschoolers and I usually present it right after reciting the poem so the kids get the repetition and the visual cues.

 

Mouse Count (Walsh)

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Another short text book good for both Toddlers and Preschoolers. The mice are out playing when a snake spies them. He captures them one by one and puts them in a jar. But the snake’s greed is his undoing and when he goes back for just one more mouse, the mice band together and make their escape. Although the snake has the potential to be scary, the fact that the mice outwit him saves the day. Walsh’s illustrations are charming, as always. The kids can practice counting as the mice go in and out of the jar.

 

Lunch (Fleming)

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I love this book. The pictures are great and the test is simple enough that you can make it fit any audience. You can read it straight through just noticing the illustrations or you can stretch it with lots dialogic interaction.

I have a beautiful flannel recreation of this book that I love to use. I mentioned it in more detail in Food Storytime. Giving the kids another avenue to enjoy the book makes new connections in the brain.

Denise Fleming's Lunch!

Denise Fleming’s Lunch!

 

Mouse Mess (Riley)

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This rhyming text takes you through a mouse’s nighttime adventure in one family’s kitchen. Once the family goes up the stairs, Mouse gets the run of the kitchen opening pickles and crackers and spilling milk and jam. The kids get the biggest laugh when the mouse soaks in a bubbly bath in a tea cup. Well, you would too if you had peanut butter and jam between your toes!

The illustrations are big and bright. I especially like the jar of olives. This title is good for Toddlers and Preschoolers and fits themes about mice, food, and making messes!

 

Whose Mouse are You? (Kraus)

This sweet little mouse is facing some hard truths – his mother is inside the cat, his father is caught in a trap, his sister is far from home, and he doesn’t even have a brother! But when the narrator asks, “What will you do?” the little mouse takes matters into his own hands. As he rescues his parents and brings his family back together, he wishes for a baby brother. Preschoolers will especially relate to the message of empowerment. That little mouse saved everyone!

Read this book for mice and family.

 

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear (Wood)

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Although you never actually see the bear in this story – most kids think you do. I go into more detail in my Can you bear it?  Bear Storytime post but basically this story is charming and funny and gives you the opportunity to say, “THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR” loudly because it is in caps.

 

The interstitials (the space fillers):

Standing

Boing! Boing! Squeak!
by Jack Prelutsky- New Kid on the Block

Boing! Boing! Squeak! Boing! Boing! Squeak!
A bouncing mouse is in my house,
It’s been there for a week.
It bounced from out of nowhere,
Then quickly settled in.
I’m grateful that it came alone,
I’ve heard it has a twin.
It bounces in the kitchen,
It bounces in the den,
It bounces through the living room —
Look! There it goes again.

Boing! Boing! Squeak! Boing! Boing! Squeak!
A bouncing mouse is in my house,
It’s been there for a week.
It bounces on the sofa,
On the table and the bed,
Up the stairs and on the chairs
And even on my head.
That mouse continues bouncing,
Every minute of the day,
It bounces, bounces, bounces,
But it doesn’t bounce away.

Boing! Boing! Squeak! Boing! Boing! Squeak!
A bouncing mouse is in my house,
it’s been there for a week.

Have the kids bounce with you on boing! boing! or recite the poem with a mouse puppet. If you are using this one at Baby Time, bounce the baby and give a little squeeze on “Squeak!”

Songs

10 Little Mice

1 little, 2 little, 3 little mice
4 little, 5 little, 6 little mice
7 little, 8 little, 9 little mice, 10 little mice go squeak squeak squeak!

Fingerplays

Pussycat Pussycat

Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under a chair.

Recite this one with a cat puppet and be sure to look under your chair like you are worried about that mouse!

Craft

Hickory Dickory Dock

This craft is a little more ambitious. You start with  paper plates, minute hands, hour hands, fasteners, triangles, circles, and yarn cut to size. If you are working with littles, someone will probably need to help write the numbers on the clock. The kids will be able to glue the ears and the tiny nose on the mouse triangle themselves. They will also enjoy putting the thread through the holes in the plate and gluing the mouse’s tail. But the real fun comes after it is all pieced together. Place the clock around the neck and have it hang down on the chest (much like Flavor Flav) then use the mouse to climb up and run down the clock as each hour strikes.

hickory dickory dock

If you are feeling it is too much, just make the little triangle mice with long yarn tails. The kids can keep them in their pockets and have a friend along for the ride all day.

These are the bits of fabulous that I picked for the theme this time

 

Toddler lineup:

Poem
Mice (Fyleman)
stretch
ABCs song
Mouse Mess (Riley)
10 Little Mice
The Little Mouse, the Red, Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear (Wood)
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Preschool lineup:
Poem
The Little Mouse, the Red, Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear (Wood)
stretch
ABCs
Lunch (Fleming)
Lunch flannel
Whose Mouse are You? (Kraus)
10 Little Mice
Mouse Mess (Riley)
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

 

The mascot visit is a part of every storytime I do.

chick

This is Chick and he has been with me since 1998. He makes every storytime special. Kids love him – and so do I.

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Can you bear it? Bear Storytime

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The idea of bears is everywhere: Smokey the Bear, Yogi Bear, the Chicago Bears, and most people have a Teddy Bear connection from their youth (whether a beloved toy or the bitterness of being deprived of having one) but how many of us have seen a bear in the wild? Bears in zoos, yes. Bear in your backyard – much less frequent. I did cross paths (a very very wide path) with a bear at Old Faithful Lodge when I worked in Yellowstone in the late 80s and I was quick enough to get my camera out but he ended up being a speck in the landscape in my photo.

I certainly don’t want to come face to face with a real bear but I have a special place in my storytime heart for Bear Storytime. It was the first formal topic I presented and performed. It is a wonderful time to have kids bring their bears (or other special friends) to visit storytime and as long as they are the stuffed kind – we can all play together.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear
Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair.
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy, was he?

Books:

It’s the Bear (Alborough)
Where’s My Teddy? (Alborough)
My Friend Bear (Alborough)

   

This is such a great set of stories. All three feature Eddie, his teddy, an enormous bear, and his enormous teddy. The stories progress through Eddie and the Bear meeting by accident and scaring the bejeebers out of each other, Eddie and the Bear having a near miss of each other at a picnic, and Eddie and the Bear finally really connecting. My favorite is It’s the Bear (the second in the series) because the humor and slapstick are unbeatable but they are all charming. I read this to Preschoolers for the funny stuff and use the title for programs on Bears, Friends, Rhyming, and Favorites. The text is rhyming and the pictures are cute but your delivery will really sell these stories. Go for it!

The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR (Wood)

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Whenever I introduce this book, my voice always gets louder when I say, “THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR” because it is in caps on the cover. I tell the kids that I have to say it that way BECAUSE it is in all capitals. It’s the rule. I think they might believe me. I might just believe me.

This story is slight on text but it is all important as you warn the precious mouse about THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR (ok, I’ll stop), and dissuade him from attempting to hide the strawberry.  That bear will find it no matter where it is hidden, who is guarding it, or – my favorite – how it is disguised. The pictures are rich and entertaining – very Don Wood – and this book comes across really well in big book form, if you have it. I use this title for Mice, Bears, and Food.

As a fun addition, although you never actually see the bear in this story – the kids will probably tell you otherwise.

Old Bear (Henkes)

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While he is hibernating, Old Bear dreams of being a cub again and exploring the world during Spring, Summer, and Fall. He dreams of giant flowers, a daisy sun, blueberry rainstorms, and butterfly leaves. When he wakes up, he discovers that Spring has come for real. Less of a story and more of a piece of art – this is a lovely esoteric offering for an attentive audience. This title is good for Bears, Seasons, and Colors.

Bear Has a Story to Tell (Stead)

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Before settling down to hibernate, Bear wants to tell a story to his friends. Sadly, they are all busy with their winter prep to be able to listen. After the seasons turn and his hibernation ends, Bear tries to start his story again, but has forgotten it. His friends try to jog his memory and the story ends with Bear sitting on the log, beginning his story once more. A gentle circular story good for the Preschool crowd who can appreciate the changing season and Bear’s acts of kindness toward his smaller friends. This title is good for Bears, Friends, Animals, and Stories.

Bear Snores On (Wilson)

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A modern classic! While the wind blusters about outside and smaller animals creep into the cave, Bear Snores On. The story builds quickly as each animal adds more snacks to an impromptu picnic with Bear sleeping nearby but crescendos as a pepper seed gets caught in his snore and the bear. wakes. up! At first he seems angry, he stomps and snarls but then his grousing turns into blubbering and he complains that he wasn’t in on the fun. His friends are quick to remedy that by making more snacks and brewing more tea. It is a party to beat all. But as the storm dies down and the sun comes up, Bear finds himself, once again, in a surprising situation.

The cadence of this book is spot on and the pictures are warm and cozy despite the howling winds just outside the cave. I read this to Toddlers and Preschoolers for Bears, Animals, Winter, and Food. There are several more in the series: Bear’s New Friend, Bear Feels Scared, Bear Says Thanks…they go on. 🙂

The Bear Who Shared (Rayner)

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Norris, Tulip and Violet are all waiting for the last plorringe to fall from the tree. The raccoon and the mouse impatiently inspect that fruit by sniffing, listening to, and hugging it but when at last it falls, Norris the bear catches it. Because he is a wise bear, he shares it with Violet and Tulip and they all become friends.

A lovely story with beautiful watercolor illustrations that bring a sweetness to the characters. The kids will ask if plorringes really exist – and I almost believe that they do. Use this with Preschoolers for Bears, Food, Friends, and the Senses.

The interstitials (the space fillers):

Fingerplays

Teddies in the Bed

There were 5 in the bed and the little one said, “I’m crowded, roll over.” (show 5 fingers, nudge elbows to each side)
So they all rolled over and 1 fell out.  (roll hands, show 1 finger)

There were 4 in the bed…
3,2
There was 1 in the bed and the little one said, “I’m lonely.” (make sad face) So they all climbed back into bed! 

(update: 2/8/15) You can also do this as a flannel. Knocking the bears onto the floor always elicits giggles.

Teddys in the bed   teddys out of bed

Flannel Play

Hide and Seek: Bear and the chair

Little Bear, Little Bear
Are you behind the _____ chair?

I have the kids cover their eyes and count to 7 with me. Some of them will cheat and you can gently remind them to cover up. While they are counting, move the bear around the flannel board, in and out of behind chairs. I always have my hand at the end of touching one of the chairs (not the correct one) as they are finishing counting and opening their eyes. Invariably, they all think the bear is behind that one.

We go through the motions of guessing the chairs – I never start with the right one. Sometimes I have them raise their hands to vote on which chair it is – gently chiding them if they vote more than once.

We go through all of this at least 3 times. The second time, I usually hide him in the same place as the first. They definitely don’t think I would pick the same place twice – to which I usually respond, “Have you NOT met me? Don’t you know I’m sneaky?”

This game can be a laugh riot with Preschoolers. To use it with Toddlers, I would have much less banter and also let part of the bear be seen from behind the chair.

Other variations include Duck/Truck, Snake/Rake, Mouse/House, Snail/Pail, and Frog/Log.

bear and chair

Songs

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

The bear went over the mountain(x3)
to see what he could see (x3)
The bear went over the mountain (x3)
to see what he could see

and what did he see?
The other side of the mountain (x3)
was all that he could see!

I slap my thighs alternately while singing this song. Then I stop and ask the kids, “and what did he see?” I start slapping again to finish up the song.

Put Your Teddy Bear….
(tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)

Put your teddy bear on your head, on your head (x2)
Swing your bear around and jump up and down
Put your teddy bear on your head, on your head

Put your teddy bear on your tummy, on your tummy (x2)
Swing your bear around and jump up and down
Put your teddy bear on your tummy, on your tummy

on your knee…
on your toe…
on your bum…

We stand up to do this song and dance and the kids usually think the tummy is the funniest…UNTIL we do the bum. Then it turns into a giggle-fest. And of course, have everyone dance with the teddies (or other friends) they brought along.

Craft

Teddy Bear Ears

I cut headbands for the kids – usually out of old book covers. But eventually, we will run out of those, so you can use long strips of construction paper. Prepare circles in brown, black, and white. Cut them in half (to look like bear ears!) and then each kid gets a headband and two ears. I let them color them and glue them on to the headbands – which can be colored, too!

Have the caregivers fit the headbands to the kids’ heads and staple or tape them. Be sure to staple them so the prongs are facing out. Save those precious skulls from scrapes.

Making any sort of costume or mask really promotes creative play with the kiddos. Have them growl and lumber around the room. Have them pretend to reach into a tree for honey or strip some bamboo to eat.

Jennwa had a nice picture of how these usually turn out.

These are the bits of fabulous that I picked for the theme this time

Toddler lineup:

Poem
Bear Snores On (Wilson)
stretch
ABCs song
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR (Wood)
The Bear Went Over the Mountain
Teddies in the Bed
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Preschool lineup:

Poem
The Bear Who Shared (Rayner)
stretch
ABCs
Teddies in the Bed
It’s the Bear (Alborough)
Hide and Seek: Bear and the chair
Bear Snores On (Wilson)
Put Your Teddy Bear….
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR (Wood)
Ran Sam Sam
Mascot visit
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear