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Kids' Games and Learning: Early Literacy

Early Literacy

Get Read to Read!

Read

Read together every day, even if it's only for a few minutes!  Repeating the same story over and over is fine, and lots of children love to revisit their favorites!  Reading with your child teaches helps them develop an early love of books and learning, in addition to teaching children how a book works (words on the page mean something, English words read left to right, how to turn pages, etc.)

 

Talk

Talk to your child throughout the day!  The more words your child hears the better!  Point out what you're seeing, talk about what you're doing together, and ask lots of questions.  Remember if you're asking questions give your child plenty of time to respond!

 

Sing

Sing songs and nursery rhymes!  Rhymes help your child learn new words and to develop their listening and memory skills.  Singing can also help your child remember routines like getting ready for bed or washing their hands.

 

Write

Encourage scribbles!  Keep paper and crayons somewhere for your child to practice.  Scribbling and drawing helps your child develop the fine motor skills they'll need to write letters in the future, in addition to teaching them that marks on pages have meaning.

 

Play

Have fun together!  Playtime helps children learn important language and social skills!

Find a Book

Babies            Toddlers Preschoolers

 

Search for books, movies, and more
using the Library's online catalog!

search library catalog

Download FREE ebooks, audiobooks, videos,
and more with your library card!

overdrive libby

Bedtime Bundles

Make bedtime reading a habit!  Check out a bundle of 7 picture books for some nightly bedtime reading for young children!
To take home a Bedtime Bundle:
Pick out a bundle in person when you visit the Children’s Room for your browsing appointment OR call the library in advance to check out a Bedtime Bundle using the Drive-Thru.
Have a special request?  Contact the Library at moffat@rcls.org, and we’ll make a bundle just for you!

Get a Library Card

Did you know?  All children living in the Washingtonville Central School District are eligible for a FREE library card at Moffat Library!  Children with a parent/guardian can sign up for a library card at any age.
 
With your library card, you can check out picture books, chapter books, easy readers, graphic novels, audiobooks, movies, video games, tablets, and more! 
 
To apply for a library card online, visit moffatlibrary.org/library-card-sign-up/ or call us at (845) 496-5483 x324 for more information!

Storytime Favorites

Use the tabs above to explore some of our favorite storytime activities!

Games: 

  • Little Mouse, Little Mouse
  • There's Something in my Garden

Movement:

  • This is Big Big Big
  • Here is the Beehive
  • Open Shut Them

Songs:

  • Good Morning to You
  • We Clap and Say Hello
  • Drivin' in my Car
  • Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
  • Goodbye Song

Bouncing Songs

  • Uncle John
  • Little Red Wagon
  • Little Green Frog
  • The Ponies are Walking
  • Giddy Up, Giddy Up
  • This is the way the Baby Rides

Shakers

  • Shake your Shaker
  • Shake it on your Shoe
  • Can you Shake Along with Me?
  • If you're Happy and you Know It (Shakers Edition)

Scarves

  • Wind
  • This the the Way we Wash our Face
  • We Wave our Scarves Together

little mouse gameLittle Mouse

Supplies to Recreate at Home:

  • Scissors
  • Houses of different colors (made from felt, paper, cardboard, or whatever else you can find at home!)
  • One Little Mouse
  • Assorted animals or other neighbors (if you want to make it more interesting or involved - you could also leave your other houses empty and only look for Little Mouse)

Directions:

  • Draw or print houses with assorted colors, however many you want to use.  Sometimes we use only four houses at storytime, sometimes we use up to seven.  
  • Draw or print out one Little Mouse.
  • Optional: Draw or print out additional animals or other neighbors to hide under the houses that don't contain Little Mouse.

To Play:

  • Hide Little Mouse under one of the houses.
  • Check under all the houses with your child for the mouse using this rhyme:
    • "Little Mouse, Little Mouse, are you in the [color] house?"
  • Why you find the mouse, you can also use this rhyme to check for any neighbors (if you decided to make extra characters):
    • "Little Mouse, Little Mouse, who is in the [color] house?"
  • While playing, ask questions about the colors, the neighbors, whatever you can think of to get your child involved.  
    • "What color should we try next?"
    • "There's a tail sticking out!  Who do you think lives in this house?"
    • "Do you know what a cat says?"
    • "Do you know where a fish lives?"
    • Relate familiar things in your life to the game like pets or favorite animals, etc.

There's Something in my Garden

Supplies to Recreate at Home:

  • Envelope
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Green paper (color some if you don't have any)
  • Small animals that can fit in the envelope (drawn, printed, or whatever else you come up with!)

Directions:

  • Cut off the flap at the top of the envelope (the part you use to seal the envelope).
  • Trim your green paper to be as wide as your envelope and about two inches taller.
  • Glue your green paper to the front of the envelope.  Be sure to leave about two inches of green paper taller than the envelope. 
  • Cut the two inches above the envelope into strips to make the grass.  You can also add more layers of paper if you want it to be shaggier, but just one works.  
  • On the back of the envelope, you can use the blank space to write the rhyme for the game (it's not cheating, it's using your resources!)
  • Put your animals into the envelope to be "hiding" in the garden.

To Play: 

There's something in my garden, (point to the garden)

Now what could it be? 

There's something in my garden, (point to the garden)

That I cannot see! (Wag your finger or cover your eyes)

If you listen carefully, you will hear a sound... (hold your hand to your ear as if listening)

(Pull out an animal)

Wow! A [animal] is what I found!

This is Big Big Big

*Use your hands, arms, and head to demonstrate the opposites in this rhyme*

This is big big big

This is small small small

This is short short short

This is tall tall tall

This is fast fast fast

This is slow slow slow

This is yes yes yes

This is no no no

 

Here is the Beehive

Here is the beehive (with fist closed)

But where are the bees?

Hiding inside where nobody sees (shake fist)

Will they come out of their hive?

1, 2, 3, 4, 5…They’re alive! (reveal fingers counting up to five)

Buzz buzzz (finish with a tickle)

 

Open Shut Them

Open, shut them,

Open, shut them,

Give a little clap clap clap!

Open, shut them, 

Open, shut them, 

Put them in your lap lap lap!

Creep them, crawl them, 

Creep them, crawl them, 

Right up to your chin chin chin!

Open up your little mouth...

But do not let them in!

Good Morning to You

Our usual opening song in Books and Babies & Toddler Time!

 

*While Waving*

Good morning to you, 

Good morning to you, 

We're all in our places, 

With sunshiny faces, 

Oh this is the way, 

To start a new day!

 

We Clap and Say Hello!

Our usual opening song in Preschool Storytime!

 

To the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell"

*Act out the motions in this song while you sing it!*

We clap and say hello,

We clap and say hello,

With our friends at storytime, 

We clap and say hello!

(We wave and say hello; We stomp and say hello...)

 

Drivin' in my Car

To see this song performed by Raffi, click here!  This is originally where Miss Emily got the song from to start using it in Preschool Storytime.

 

Lyrics: 

Drivin’ in my car, drivin’ in my car,

Drivin’ all the way to Minneapolis in my car!

What sound does a car horn make? - “Beep!” - Let's sing like our car horns!

Beep beep beep beep... (continue beeps to tune of the chorus)

Drivin’ in my car, drivin’ in my car,

Drivin’ all the way to Minneapolis in my car!

It’s starting to rain!  What sound do windshield wipers make? - “Swish!” - Let's sing like our windshield wipers!

Swish swish swish swish... (continue shwishes to tune of the chorus)

Drivin’ in my car, drivin’ in my car,

Drivin’ all the way to Minneapolis in my car!

I see our friend on the sidewalk!  What do we say to our friends? - “Hi!” - Let's sing like we're saying 'hi' to our friends!

Hi hi hi hi...(continue to tune of the chorus)

Drivin’ in my car, drivin’ in my car,

Drivin’ all the way to Minneapolis in my car!

Our car's muffler is pretty loud!  What sounds does a muffler make? -blow raspberry "pffftt" - Let's sing like we're our car's muffler!

Pffft pfffft pfffft pffffft (continue to tune of the chorus)

Drivin’ in my car, drivin’ in my car,

Drivin’ all the way to Minneapolis in my car!

 

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Our usual ending song for Toddler Time and Preschool Storytime!

*Substitute "goodbye" with "goodnight" for a bedtime song instead!*

 

*Act out the motions as you go through the rhyme!*

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, 

Turn around!

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, 

Touch the ground!

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, 

Reach up high!

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, 

Wave goodbye!

 

Goodbye Song

Our usual ending song for Books and Babies!

You can substitute "goodbye" with "goodnight" for a bedtime song as well!

 

*While waving*

Goodbye, goodbye, 

We'll see you soon, 

See you soon, 

See you soon, 

Goodbye, goodbye, 

We'll see you soon,

On another day!

Uncle John

(Bounce baby slowly on lap)

Mother and Father and Uncle John

Went to town one by one

Mother fell off (tip baby one way)

And Father fell off (tip baby the other way)

But Uncle John went on and on and on and on and on!  (Bounce baby quicker when you say on and on…)

 

Little Red Wagon

(while bouncing)

Bouncin’ up and down on my little red wagon

Bouncin’ up and down on my little red wagon

Bouncin’ up and down on my little red wagon

Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce!

(tip to the sides with each line)

One wheel’s off and the axle’s broken

One wheel’s off and the axle’s broken

One wheel’s off and the axle’s broken

Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce!

 

Little Green Frog

(bounce on “glump”)

Glump glump went the little green frog one day

Glump glump went the little green frog

Glump glump went the little green frog one day

and the frog went glub, glub, glub!

 

This is the Way the Baby Rides

(bouncing slowly)

This is the way the baby rides,

Baby rides, baby rides, 

This is the way the baby rides, 

Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy!

(swing or lean side to side)

This is the way the baby swings, 

Baby swings, baby swings,

This is the way the baby swings,

Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy!

 

Giddy Up, Giddy Up

(bouncing steadily)

Giddy up giddy up,

Ride to town!

Giddy up, giddy up, 

Up and down!

Giddy up fast! (bounce quickly)

Giddy up slow! (bounce slowly)

Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, whooooaaaa! (lean back)

 

The Ponies are Walking

(bouncing slowly)

The ponies are walking,

They’re walking along,

Walking along, 

Walking along!

The ponies are walking,

They’re walking along,

Whoa, whoa, whoooaaa! (lean back on “whoa”)

(bouncing quickly)

The ponies are trotting, 

They’re trotting along, 

Trotting along,

Trotting along!

The ponies are trotting, 

They’re trotting along, 

Whoa, whoa, whoooaaa! (lean back on “whoa”)

Other than being a fun way to engage your baby, shakers are also great for breaking words down into smaller, more comprehensible parts as we sing to them.  When we use musical instruments, it helps babies and toddlers to hear how words fit together.

 

To make a shaker at home, find a container that your child can easily hold (but not small enough to try and swallow!) such as an empty plastic food container, plastic egg, etc.  Fill the container with something like dry rice or beans and seal securely.

 

Shake Your Shaker

Shake, shake, shake your shaker

Shake, shake, shake your shaker

Shake, shake, shake your shaker

 

And now we stop!

Roll, roll, roll your shaker

Roll, roll, roll your shaker

Roll, roll, roll your shaker

And now we stop!

 

Tap, tap, tap your shaker

Tap, tap, tap your shaker

Tap, tap, tap your shaker

And now we stop!

 

Shake It on Your Shoe

1, 2  Shake it on your shoe

3, 4 Shake it on the floor

5, 6 Stir and mix

7, 8 Stand up straight

9, 10 Wave to all your friends!

 

Can You Shake Along with Me?

Can you shake along with me?

Along with me?

Along with me?

Can you shake along with me?

It’s easy as can be!

 

Put the shaker on your knee,

On your knee!

On your knee!

Put the shaker on your knee, 

It’s easy as can be!

 

(Continue with nose, toes, ect.)


If You’re Happy and You Know It (shakers edition)

If you’re happy and you know it, give a shake!

If you’re happy and you know it, give a shake!

If you’re happy and you know it, 

And you really want to show it,

If you’re happy and you know it, give a shake!

 

(Continue with clapping and tapping)

Playing with scarves is a great way to help babies develop their fine motor skills (using little muscles vs big muscles, such as using your fingers compared to your arms).  They can also be used as a way to introduce directional concepts (up and down) or shapes (wave your scarf in a circular motion).

 

Scarves are, of course, easy to replicate at home!  Just grab a dishtowel, wash cloth, or similar!
 

Wind

(While waving your scarf)

Wind, oh wind, oh wind, I say,

What are you blowing away today?

Scarves, oh scarves, oh scarves, I say, 

I am blowing the scarves away!

 

(If your scarf or scarf substitute is light enough, try tossing it up in the air and watching it fall with your baby, blowing on it to make “wind,” or even blowing it away while it’s tossed up in the air.)

 

This is the Way we Wash Our Face

(Act out the movements as you sing this song)

This is the way we wash our face, 

Wash our face, 

Wash our face, 

This is the way we wash our face, 

So early in the morning!

 

(Continue with knees, toes, etc.)

 

We Wave Our Scarves Together

We wave our scarves together,

We wave our scarves together,

We wave our scarves together,

Because it’s fun to do!

 

Wave ‘em up high!

Wave ‘em down low!

Wave ‘em in the middle!

Because it’s fun to do! 

 

(Could also add “Wave ‘em real fast!” and “Wave ‘em real slow!”)

Launchpad Tablets

Learning Resources

Visit guides.rcls.org/was-homework/prek for more resources to learn at home!