In a posting on the PUBYAC listserv, there was a discussion of books and activities appropriate for a storytime about boats. There were many suggestions, but here is a summary of the most popular responses:
Folded (origami) boats; Boat paper collages; Sailor (newspaper) hats
Songs: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” “Five Little Sailboats” (fingerplay) “A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea” (jump rope rhyme) “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” “Rub a Dub Dub, Three Men in a Tub”
Burningham, John. MR. GUMPY’S OUTING. This one is essential! Kids can join in with the various animal sounds, or they can act out the story, where each animal gets into Mr. Gumpy’s boat.
Shaw, Nancy. SHEEP IN A SHIP. A storm causes havoc with the sheep’s ship voyage in this hilarious, tongue-twisting story.
Rockwell, Anne. BOATS. A simple nonfiction presentation of the various types of boats and ships and their uses.
Crews, Donald. SAIL AWAY and HARBOR. Two of Crews’ signature transportation books – very simple with strikingly saturated colors.
Samton, Sheila. JENNY’S JOURNEY. Jenny imagines sailing to her friend Maria who lives across the ocean.
Litowinsky, Olga. BOATS FOR BEDTIME. While falling asleep, a child dreams of all types of boats.
Sis, Peter. SHIP AHOY! A simple, toddler-friendly story of a boy who play-acts that the sofa is a boat.
Lear, Edward. THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT. The classic story, available with either Paul Galdone’s or James Marshall’s illustrations.
Holabird, Katharine. ALEXANDER AND THE MAGIC BOAT. Alexander uses his imagination to go on a boat ride.
Ginsburg, Mirra. FOUR BRAVE SAILORS. These sailors are mice, and their journey is down the drain!
McPhail, David. PIGS AHOY! McPhail’s exuberant pigs take over the ship.
Lindgren, Astrid. THE WILD BABY GOES TO SEA. This baby needs no help when he takes over the sailing duties.