Have you met Little Excavator? He’s darling and perfect for all construction truck fans….aka pretty much every toddler in existence.
Little E is the inspiration for our storytime, but this is also perfect for anyone working on Big and Little. This is one of the many simple opposites that toddlers are working on mastering. The books, songs, and gross motor activity below are all fun ways to practice.
Little Excavator Story Time
Note: Our story times always have the same parts; We start with a hello song. Next, I read 2-3 books about a topic with a rhyme/song and group activity that works on a developmental goal in between each book. We end with a goodbye song and then head to the table. At the table there is an invitation of some sort that works on another one of the developmental skills they are building. These elements are all listed below so you can move them around into whatever order works for you!
Read Also: Construction Site Storytime For Toddlers
affiliate links are included below. thank you for your support!
Hi, Hello and How Are You (Watch on YouTube)
Let’s All Clap (Watch on YouTube)
Little E + More Books about Big + Little
Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney
This sweet book was written by the author of the Llama Llama books. You will recognize the gentle illustrations and rhyming pace of the story. You will also find Dewdney’s shrewd understand of young kids. Little E, as he is affectionately called, wants to help but he is too small and keeps getting in the way of the big construction trucks. Sound familiar? Eventually, there is a special job that only Little E can do. A cheerful addition to any construction book collection. 2+
Big Little by Leslie Patricelli
Patricelli’s board books are always a hit with toddlers. Bright, bold illustrations and simple opposites. Perfect big and little read aloud for little ones who love big stuff.
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don & Audrey Wood
This is one of my favorite read alouds of all time. A mouse finds a strawberry but the narrator is worried about big, hungry bear. I love how the narrator talks to the mouse and I love the perfect build up. Read this one with extra expression and it is So. Much. Fun.
Songs for Storytime
This is Big, Big, Big from Mel’s Desk (Watch on YouTube)
Wonderful You from Nancy Kopman (Watch on YouTube)
Little Excavator Big & Little Group Activity
This is a great story time activity to get little bodies moving while building understanding about Big and Little, a key idea from The Little Excavator.
Take a break in between stories to get out some wiggles.
Have everyone stand up and then ask; “Can you move your body like a BIG crane?” Make sure to do it with them modeling big movements with your body.
Then ask, “Can you move your body like a LITTLE excavator?” Again imitate an excavator with your body.
Continue with more BIG and LITTLE objects, animals, etc.
To help, I created a simple printable with our favorite ways to move BIG and LITTLE. Use the printable to prompt/remind you of ideas or invent your own.
The Goodbye Train is Leaving. (Watch on YouTube) from Jbrary