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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)

  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. Puppet – Alligator, Alligator

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

  13. Action Rhyme – There was a Crocodile…

  14. 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.


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. Action Rhyme – An Elephant goes like this and that

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

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

  5. 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!


#FamilyStorytime #librarylife #library #childrens #storytime #Zoo #Programming

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