With just a little imagination, almost any book could fit right into this storytime. There are a few, though, that lend themselves especially well to this theme.
Books and songs/activities:
- book: Cows in the Kitchen by June Crebbin and activity: There’s a Cow in the House–This is a adaptation of the Little Mouse game. Place several houses in different colors on the flannelboard. Hide a cow under one of the houses then say together Silly cow, silly cow/Quiet as a mouse/where are you hiding/in what color house? Keep looking until you find the cow, then repeat as many times as you like.
- book: If You’re Happy and You Know It (Jungle Edition) by James Warhola and activity: Sing the song of this book, using puppets if you have them.
- book: Silly Sally by Audrey Wood (this book can be sung with some modifications to the melody of ‘London Bridge’ if you like to sing) and activity: Thumbs up, thumbs (upside) down–Prepare several simple statements ahead of time (or just do this on the fly for even more fun), such as ‘I like the color red’ or ‘Pizza is delicious’ or ‘I would like to have an elephant sleep in my room’. Ask the kids to give a thumbs up if they agree, and a thumbs down if they disagree.
- sing Tommy Thumb (lyrics and tune)-I usually just do the thumb verse.
- dress Teddy-You probably have a version of a bear who has clothes that you can put on/take off. This is my version, complete with a homemade suitcase. He is a very useful bear, indeed. For this storytime, dress him to go outside. (I sprayed my bear with a spray adhesive to make his clothes stick on him.) Put on a shoe upside down, and say “is this how bear should wear his shoe?” Most will say no, one or two will say yes. Continue with the rest of Bear’s clothes in the same vein until he is properly dressed to go outside.
- Action!–Have several different paper shapes in a box, with different actions written on one side of the shape (jump up and down, stretch up high, flap your arms, stomp your feet, touch your toes, etc). Reach inside the box (have the kids say “inside”), hold the shape outside the box (have the kids say “outside’), then read the action and act it out. Have one of the activities be an upside down one if you dare!
- Little Duck’s Bicycle Ride (covers both outside and upside down) by Dorothy Stott
- So You Think It’s Fun To Be a Clown by David Adler (an oldie but goodie, covers inside, outside and even upside down)
Be prepared to say “downside” and “inside out” by accident at least once, and have fun!