Opening Song: My Hands Say Hello (our standard opener, good for practicing body parts and warming up the kids)
Book: Away We Go by Rebecca Dotlich, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino (HarperFestival, 2000). This book has very simple, rhyming text that describes many different ways of transportation, from planes to cars to wheelchairs to hot air balloons to horses and more! We talked about the different kinds of planes we saw in the pictures - jumbo jets hold lots of people, while little planes might hold only one person.
Action Rhyme: This is a Choo-Choo Train
This is a choo choo train
Puffing down the track
Now it's going forward
Now it's going back
Now the bell is ringing
Now the whistle blowsWhat a lot of noise it makes
Everywhere it goes!
I had the kids stand up and chug their arms forward and back. They loved making the whistle noise (and WHAT a lot of noise it made!). This action rhyme helps children develop gross motor skills and it helps them practice following instructions as they do the actions with me. It is also good for getting some wiggles out! I did it twice with them and then we sat back down.
Flannel Activity: We have a flannel set (made with our die-cut machine, I am pretty sure) with different colored train cars. I passed out the cars and asked children to listen and then bring up their car to add to our train when I called their color. This activity helps children practice listening and following instructions and it also reinforces color knowledge.
Book: Toot Toot, Beep Beep by Emma Garcia (Boxer Books, 2008). I like this book for its large trim size and colorful pictures - it makes a great read-aloud. I also like it because it uses many different kinds of sounds for different types of cars. As I read, I encouraged kids to make the sounds with me. Playing with sounds and hearing many different kinds of sounds (vroom vroom, honk honk, whoosh whoosh, etc.) helps children begin to hear that words are made up of smaller sounds.
Song: Dump Truck (to the tune of Ten Little Indians)
Bumpity-bumpity goes the dump truckBumpity-bumpity goes the dump truck
Bumpity-bumpity goes the dump truck
Duuump out the load!
For this action song, kids hopped as our dump trucks bumped down the road and then bent sideways as we dumped out the load. This is another great activity for developing gross motor skills and getting wiggles out. We sang it several times. One time, I told them we had a really HEAVY load, so we had to go really slowly. And the last time, I told them we had a really light load, so we could go really fast!
Book: Red Light, Green Light by Anastasia Suen, illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2005). When I read this book, I sing it to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", which maybe works a little better for babies. When I read it with the preschoolers, I kept wanting to talk about something in the illustrations, which makes singing the book a little moot. Oh, well. This book has rhyming text and shows a child playing with toy cars and trucks, but the pictures are zoomed in on them so that they look like they could be real cars and trucks. I wanted a book to introduce red light and green light, and we talked about what each of those signals mean.
Stop & Go Game: I passed out the bells and we played a stop and go game with these homemade stop and go signs. Playing stop and go games is a great way to practice the concept of STOP and turning it into a game makes it more likely that children will actually STOP when you need them to!
Book: Good Night Engines by Denise Mortensen, illustrated by Melissa Iwai (Clarion Books, 2003). We had time for one last book and I wanted to try this one out. It shows many different kinds of vehicles as the sun is setting and they're turning in for the night. The truck goes to the truck stop, the fire engine goes back to the station, etc. This is another rhyming book and the text is sweet and gentle, so it was a good book to end with, to calm everyone down before I turn them back over to their teacher.
Closing Song: Do You Know What Time It Is?
There are tons, tons, tons more great transportation books and you can find many more transportation storytimes online. Check out more storytime plans at:
What are your favorite transportation books and activities to use in storytime?