Storytime Theme: Dogs

Class: Toddler Time, summer 2014 – 9:30 and 11:00

Books: Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, Digger Dog by William Bee

The plan:

  1. Welcome songs
  2. Story #1: Digger Dog
  3. Silly song: B-I-N-G-O
  4. Rhyme: 5 Fat Sausages
  5. Shaker Songs
  6. Story #2: Harry the Dirty Dog (pretty heavily abridged – I paperclipped some pages together and mostly told the story along with the pictures, rather than reading the words, as it’s quite long and complicated for toddlers)
  7. Weekly wiggle: Where is doggie hiding?
  8. Song cube
  9. Goodbye songs
  10. Craft and playtime

How it went: Both books were truly spectacular hits. Digger Dog’s large fold-out pages got oohs, aahs, and laughs. Both books inspired spontaneous applause from toddlers and caregivers. I thought Harry would be too complex and long for this group, but it has clearly has the kind of charm that explains its place as a kid lit classic. As always, I made sure the song cube landed on Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!

I took craft inspiration from the cover of Harry the Dirty Dog:

harry the dirty dog


I created the canvas by hand-cutting black and white Harrys and gluing them to oversize construction paper in a rainbow of colors. Then I set out white and black paint and q-tips as brushes. This craft went over very well with parents, who liked the connection to a famous storybook.

To make the Harry silhouette, I drew Harry freehand on cardstock and used that as a stencil on black and white construction paper. It could also be done by tracing the image on the front cover (with or without increasing its size on a copy machine first). This craft takes a lot of cutting and gluing, which means it’s great for a time (like summer reading) when you have volunteers to help you prep.


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