Wednesday, March 1

Underwater Storytime

This storytime is targeted at preschool-aged kids at the library (but works for school and at-home activities, too!)

Here's the perfect opportunity for a storytime about sea creatures, ocean, and all things underwater!

Read Aloud Books

Barnacle is Bored Written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske

Barnacle is SO BORED watching the tide come in and out, the sun go up and down, and all the other fish having so much more fun...right? This book is absolutely hilarious and one of my favorite favorites. It's short, sweet, and so to the point. And it'll teach a good lesson about complaining of boredom!

Poor Little Guy Written and illustrated by Elanna Allen

What do you do when you're so tiny that the bigger ocean creatures think you might even taste adorable? This one has a touch of humor, too, but can also give some opportunity to talk about bullying and considering others' feelings. Plus the soft illustrations are just so...underwater-y!

The Rainbow Fish Written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister

The prettiest fish in the sea may soon need to learn what really matters. It's a classic, right? Right. I love it. It is a bit long, so you could easily substitute another (see below for more book ideas) but I really love the message it shares. And it goes perfectly with the craft idea...

Songs & Rhymes

SONG: All the Fish

All the fish are swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water, swimming in the water.
All the fish are swimming in the water,
Bubble, bubble, bubble, POP!

All the ducks paddle in the water...
All the frogs are jumping in the water...
All the pigs are muddy in the water...
All the kids are splashing in the water...
All the hippos are napping in the water...

*Fun actions can go with this upbeat song! 
the kids loved to swim, paddle, jump, 
and especially clap loud with each "POP!"

ACTION RHYME: I’m a Little Octopus
Arm #1 goes swish, swish, swish (swing arms back and forth)
Arm #2 helps me catch fish (wiggle hand back and forth)
Arm #3 pats my head (pat hand on head)
Arm #4 makes sure I’m fed (put hand to mouth)
Arm #5 swims me to shore (move arms in swimming motion)
Arm #6 touches the ocean floor (touch hand to floor)
Arm #7 can grab and tug (open and close hands)
But all eight arms give me a hug! (cross arms and hug yourself)
(credit: Storytime Katie)

SONG: The Waves in the Ocean
(tune: The Wheels on the Bus)
The waves in the ocean go up and down, up and down, up and down
The waves in the ocean go up and down, all day long!

The crabs go pinch, pinch, pinch,
The clams go open and shut
The lobsters go click, click, click
The sharks go snap, snap, snap
The fish go swim, swim, swim
The eels go slither, slither, slither

Games & Activities

FLANNEL: Where's the Little Crab?

The kids always always always love some variation of "Little Mouse," so I do bring the flannel game in a lot. In this case, we're looking for a little crab hiding behind some seashells.

I put the flannels (okay, in this case, they're pictures) up on the board with the crab hidden behind one of the shells. Then I let the kids guess which color shell we should look under (red, yellow, green, white, or orange) and then we say this rhyme:

Little crab, little crab, where do you hide?
Are you in the red* seashell? Let's peek inside!

*Or whichever color. This is also a fun rhyme to practice sign language! You can do signs for the colors, "crab," and "seashell." The kids get ridiculously excited about finding the little guy.

CRAFT: Rainbow Fish

photo cred: Squarehead Teachers

With a paper plate, a variety of cut out tissue paper, and one special foil scale, it's pretty easy to make your own rainbow fish. The notch cut out for the mouth is glued onto the back to make the tail, and just add a googly eye for a finishing touch.

ACTIVITY: Water Sensory Bin

photo cred: We Made That

While some kids are doing the craft, I would have a water table set up for kids to play with some sea creatures. In the past, my old library had a lot of success with water tables, what with the librarian and plenty of parents supervising, but do take this suggestion with some caution!

Don't forget that this is the perfect opportunity for some dance music on in the background! Particularly Under the Sea and the Octopus's Garden, which are my favorites.

Other Book Ideas

I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean! by Kevin Sherry

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton (okay, so this isn't really a picture book, but I so love it and if anything, you could have this comic from his website up for kids to laugh at!)

The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen & Dan Hanna

Flotsam by David Wiesner

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