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Family Storytime – Zoo

Hi Guys,

This morning I did my first family storytime of the season. Family stortime can be a little daunting with such a variety of age groups. You have to over prepare so you can change things up if your audience leans younger or older. I like to do as many movement and action exercises as I can. Tire those kiddies out for a bit!

For today’s storytime theme we went to the Zoo! (I’ll try to add links where I can)

I like to start and end my storytime the same way every week. The repetition becomes familiar to the kids and it helps them know when we are getting near the end. I always start with:

  1. Song – Top of the Morning

  2. This is a good song to warm up with because we stretch all the parts we will be using in storytime. Eyes, arms, legs, mouth, nose.

  3. Rhyme – Say Hello

  4. love this rhyme. Everyone claps along and at the end we say hello how ever I tell them to. Loud, soft, quick, slow.

  5. Movement Exercise – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

  6. Song – Skidamarink

I love to get my kids and grownups warmed up with lots of movement and everyone loves saying hello in lots of different ways.

Today, I had to have my storytime in a smaller room then usual so I planned a variety of activities that I could tweak if we were too squished. 

  1. Action Rhyme – Monkey See, Monkey Do

  2. This is a great one because you get everyone involved by doing different monkey movements.

  3. Story – A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead

  4. This book was a bit long for my audience. I had to shorten it and sort of spin the tale myself to keep the younger ones interested.

  5. Song – We’re Going to the Zoo by Raffi

  6. A quick easy song — gives you time to get a drink while the grownups clap along.

  7. Flannel Board – Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

  8. If you make the flannels the way I did, there is a big reveal for each of the animals.

  9. Game – All the Children Were Sleeping

  10. This is a game my mom taught me (she’s a nanny). You go “sleeping, sleeping all the children were sleeping. And when they woke up, they were ____.” Lions, tigers, bears. You get the kids to act out different movements and sounds. It’s a big hit for my kids. Remember to turn them back to boys and girls at the end!

  11. Typical puppet prop. I had the kids use their arms to be alligators along with my puppet.

  12. Action Rhyme – There was a Crocodile…

  13. This was a new one for me thanks to Jbrary. It was a bit long for my crew BUT they loved it and we were all laughing by the end.

Story Props –

My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall

  1. We didn’t actually get to this one today. But I’ve done it in the past and it is such a quick easy one. I have print outs of the pages on popsicle sticks.

  2. We didn’t get to this one today either.

  3. Story – Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera

  4. This was a great last story. My grown ups kept saying the normal row your boat rhyme and I just threw in the sound effects here or there until they realized that wasn’t how the story went.

Finally, I always end with the same three things:

  1. Movement Exercise – If You’re Happy and You Know It

  2. I tell the kids that I want to know how happy they are. We do this three times, faster and FASTER each time.

  3. Rhyme – Say Goodbye

  4. This is the same rhyme we started with, so the new guys are familiar with it by the end of storytime.

  5. Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell my Friends by Music Together

  6. I always put this one on as I go to open the door. Its a nice, slow, peaceful song to wind down on.

How’d it all go? We had a much smaller crowd today then we normally do for family storytime. I think word needs to spread that it’s back after the summer hiatus. But that wasn’t really a bad thing since we were in a smaller room. I don’t know if I was being super slow today but we did not get through all of the things I had planned. We started out great but we got a little fussy toward the end. Made it to the last song before I lost my voice! All in all a win!

That’s all for now! Lapsit on Monday!


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