Kathy Haug of the Richmond Public Library offers this popular “Farm”-themed storytime for toddlers and preschoolers:
Finger Play: “The Mice Are Creeping,” based on “The Indians Are Creeping” from Let’s Do Fingerplays by Marion Grayson, 1962, 1998:
The mice are creeping [creep fingers of one hand down the opposite arm to wrist] Shh! Shh! [bring index finger to lips] The little mice are creeping [creep fingers of one hand down the opposite arm to wrist] Shh! Shh! [bring index finger to lips] They do not make a sound as their feet touch the ground [stop all movement] The little mice are creeping [creep fingers of one hand down the opposite arm to wrist] Shh! Shh! [bring index finger to lips]
Book: Lynn, Sarah, 1-2-3. (or substitute any book that involves identifying farm animals)
Finger Play: “Here is the Beehive” based on the finger play from Hand Rhymes by Marc Brown, 1985:
Here is the beehive [make a fist and point to it with index finger of opposite hand] Where are the bees? [open hands and shrug] Hiding inside where nobody sees [make a fist and point to it with index finger of opposite hand] Here they come now, out of their hive! One, Two, Three, Four, Five [open each finger as you count to five] BZZZZ! [move fingers around like bees, or parent may tickle child]
Book: Lillie, Patricia. WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWED, 1991.
Song: “Old MacDonald Had A Farm.” This song is available in picture book editions or in many song books. There is also a set of velcro figures that can be used with a storytelling glove or flannelboard.
Book: Van Laan, Nancy. THE BIG FAT WORM, 1987.
Song: “Bingo,” an American Folk Song found in many song books, including Singing Bee! A Collection of Favorite Children’s Songs, 1982.
“There was a farmer had a dog, and Bingo was his name, O! B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, and Bingo was his name, O!” Sing the song through one time. Sing five more times, each time dropping a letter and substituting a clap – that is, clap once instead of singing “B,” clap twice instead of singing “B-I,” ending with all claps on the name for the final verse.
Closing Song: “If You’re Happy And You Know It,” found in Juba This and Juba That: Story Hour Stretches for Large and Small Groups, 1969, and other books.
Additional Books with a farm theme:
Greene, Rhonda Gowler. BARNYARD SONG, 1997.
Kightly, Rosalinda. THE FARMER, 1987.
Nodset, Joan. WHO TOOK THE FARMER’S HAT, 1963.
Shone, Venice. COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO! A DAY ON THE FARM, 1991.