Friday, February 10, 2012

Zoo and Animals

Zoo storytimes are a dime-a-dozen, but since I was just at the zoo today, Goodnight Gorilla, is on my mind.  And yes, it was a very cold, gray, slightly snowy day to be at the zoo.  I am envisioning a story time for a cold, snowy day when little people are stuck indoors.   I'm thinking about a story time that let's everyone wiggle a little bit more than usual.


Intro Song:

If you're happy and you know it flap your wings..
If you're happy and you know it swing your trunk...
If you're happy and you know it roar out loud...
(Whatever animal antics you can think of!)


A Mouse in My House by Nancy Van Laan and Illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

This is the story of a little boy and the (imaginary) animal friends in his house.  He has a whole zoo!  Read it once through, than invite children to act out the animals just like the little boy.

Group Activity:

Okay...definitely best for small groups where the kids are mostly the same age!  Show children a place on the carpet.  This is the "spiderweb."  Start with one child, and repeat until all of the children are bouncing and dancing in the spiderweb. 

One elephant went out to play,
upon a spiders web one day,
he found it such enormous fun that he called for another elephant to come.
Elephant!! Elephant!! (all call together)
2 elephants went out to play
upon a spiders web one day
It's short, fast, and fun. Kids will pick up on the repeating verse and the rhyming. And shucks, it's just that kind of day, so why not let the kids act out the animal jumps, arm shaking, and roaring while you read.     
Closing Activity:
Instead of sitting still for Goodnight Gorilla, assign each child an animal and let them pick a "cage" in the room. Ssshhhh....As you visit each "cage" tell the children to follow you. Of course, start with the gorilla, then zig and zag around to everyone. When everyone is out of the cages you can take a lap or two around the programming or children's area before heading back to the story time carpet for "bed." Good night everyone!

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