Storytime: Two Year Old Alphabet Outline

When I first started doing story times for two year olds I was lost! I had done programs for 3 to 5 year olds for 3 years and I felt like I was being thrown to the wolves. Don’t get me wrong, I love two year olds, they are adorable and fun and energetic but I had no clue how to provide them with a structured story time. I scoured the internet, sat in on some co-workers and tried to come up with a game plan. The first month was a learning experience, I was doing the story time 3 times a week and quickly realized what was and wasn’t working. Since I relied so heavily upon my fellow librarian bloggers I figured I’d post the format I developed for my two year olds. They seem to respond to it very well and after just a few weeks they have the majority of the hand motions and words down. Every week we go over a different letter of the alphabet, the kids are very neutral to this but the adults love it.

 

At the beginning of story time I like to inform the parents that they are encouraged to join in!! It’s no fun for me and the kids when I’m the only one singing and that adult participation will encourage their child to participate as well. I also tell them that I don’t expect the twos to sit perfectly still, there will be some wandering but I do ask that if their child is disruptive to others that they take the child outside of the room until they calm down and then bring them back in.

 

Without any further ado, here is the format that I use for two year olds! Please be aware that I don’t always follow this format verbatim (they are two after all). I do like to have some back up songs, books, dances and rhymes just in case.

 

1. Opening Song: My Hands Wave Hello

(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)

My hands wave hello (wave both hands)

My hands wave hello

Every time I see my friends

My hands wave hello

(repeat with…)

My feet wave hello (wiggle feet)

My elbows wave hello (wave elbows)

My tongue waves hello (stick tongue out while singing)

2. ABC Magnets

photo 3

I like to start and end the Alphabet program by singing our ABCs. To start I put out all of the letter magnets and have the children tell me what letter is missing, that becomes our letter of the day. After we go through the letter and some words that start with it I invite each child up to take two letters off the board and put it into my bag. At first all the children like to swarm up and will grab as many letters as they possibly can, but after a few weeks they begin to understand that they must wait until they hear their name called. To help them stick with two letters only I count out loud (this program maxes out at 12 children so I know I will have enough letters). The children get very excited when it is their turn, plus this helps them learn patience and how to take turns!

3. Open Shut Them

Open shut them (open and close hands)

Open shut them

Give a little clap, clap, clap (clap x3)

Open shut them

Open shut them

Put them in your lap, lap, lap (tap lap x3)

4. Longest Book

5. A finger play, action rhyme or song related to the first book

6. Body recognition song

This is a song or rhyme that encourages the children to participate and teaches them parts of their body, opposites, colors, etc.

7. Action song

My action song consists of playing a song that encourages movement.

8. I Wiggle My Fingers

I wiggle my fingers (wiggle fingers)

I wiggle my toes (wiggle feet)

I wiggle my arms (hold arms out and shake them)

I wiggle my nose (hold nose and wiggle it)

I think that the wiggles

Are all out of me

Now I can sit down

And hear a story

9. Book

10.A finger play, action rhyme or song related to the book

11. Body recognition song

This is a song or rhyme that encourages the children to participate and teaches them parts of their body, opposites, colors, etc.

12. Action song

My action song consists of playing a song that encourages movements. For the second one I like to incorporate bean bags, egg shakers or scarves.

13. Bean Bag, Egg Shaker, Scarves

If I am using one of these for the previous action song I will have a little song or rhyme ready to do. Once we are done with them we say goodnight and put them in their box.

14. If You’re Happy and You Know It

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands (clap)

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands (clap)

If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands (clap)

(repeat with…)

Stomp your feet (stomp)

Shout hooray (HOORAY)

Sit down quietly (shh)

15. Book or Flannel board

By this time the kids attention spans have shrunk, I like to read a book or do a flannel board that is interactive. I love using books that ask the children to guess what comes next or has them make animal noises and for flannel boards I try to use ones that are bright and colorful. We don’t always make it this far but I have something prepared just in case.

Parachute

This is a crowd pleasure! The children all grab on and we make some waves (fast, slow, big, small) then I ask the parents to hold on to the parachute. The adults lower the parachute and then pop it into the air, the children then go under (lots of happy squeals) and we gently shake the parachute over their heads. We do this 3 or 4 times, there is always one child that doesn’t want to come out but the parents are pretty good about it. Next I have the children hold on again and place foam letters on the parachute. We shake the parachute and watch the letters fly (again lots of happy squeals)! At the end there is usually a mad dash to grab the letters and bring them to me. I have tried saying “Just one letter,” I have tried spreading the letters out but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.  Sometimes I take this portion out and we add beach balls or something else fun to the parachute.

ABCs

Craft

For the craft I use the letter of the day and we turn it into something else! I always tell the parents to not do the craft for their child, feel free to help them use the glue stick but if they want to put an eye where the foot should be well then that’s just artistic license!

 

 

For more information on my two year old alphabet program, the crafts made and the songs used please check out my Storytime Themes page.

 

 

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