We concluded our 2-week rotation of "Jungle"-themed storytimes with the Storytime-To-Go program this week. Like most animal themes, this one was well-received and had some great books and fun activities. I saw an average of 4-5 groups each day for a 20-30 minute storytime per group. Each storytime started with an introduction, the letter-of-the-day (Jj), and our "story song", followed by 2-3 book and 1-3 activities.
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Tall by Jez Alborough, very little text, shows how "small" and "tall" are relative terms
Hide And Seek in the Jungle by Sean Callery, lift-a-flap with clues, mothers & babies
Tiny Little Fly by Michael Rosen & Kevin Waldrow, interactive, repetition
Do Crocs Kiss? by Salina Yoon, lift-a-flap, animal sounds, rhyming text
Count The Monkeys by Mac Barnett & Kevin Cornell, highly interactive, silly, very fun!
Splash! by Flora McDonnell, very short and simple, good for the younger kids
Five Little Monkey Reading In Bed by Eileen Christelow, little longer, but fun
Wild Child by Steven Salerno, adults will appreciate most, lots of sounds & actions
Just The Thing by Damian Harvey & Lynne Chapman, cute and funny, little long
What To Do If an Elephant Stands On Your Foot by Michelle Robinson & Peter Reynolds
Giant Pop-Out Safari! by Chronicle Books, short & simple, good for younger kids
If You're Happy And You Know It - Jungle Edition by James Warhola, to be sung
And I completely forgot to include my favorite book in the photo above because it wasn't with the others, It's A Tiger! by David LaRochelle & Jeremy Tankard. This is a great storytime book because it can be very interactive and include lots of movement in acting out the story: running, stooping down, climbing, swinging, jumping, and swimming.
I always tell the kids, "You know how when we have stories I ask you to sit criss-cross applesauce and put your hands in your lap? Well, guess what! Our next story is NOT a sit-down-and-be-still story, it's a stand-up-and-move story!"
There were a couple of other songs and rhymes I tried, but didn't really seem to go over that well, so I'm just going to include the ones the kids really liked and I used repeatedly, which were the two different "Five Little Monkeys" rhymes, and a song that allowed them to make animal sounds.
Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed
Five little monkeys, jumping on the bed.
(hold up 5 fingers, move hand up & down)
One fell off and bumped his head.
(Put hand to head)
Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said,
(hold hand to mouth & ear like phone)
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!"
(point and wag finger at audience)
Four little monkeys....[continue down to zero]
Five Little Monkeys Swinging In A Tree
Five little monkeys, swinging in a tree;
(Hold up 5 fingers, swing hand from side to side)
Teasing Mr. Crocodile, "Can't catch me!"
(Waggle hands, use sing-song voice)
Along came Mr. Crocodile, as quiet as can be,
(move hands together slowly)
And SNAPPED! that monkey right out of the tree!
(clap hand loudly)
Four little monkeys....[continue down to zero]
No little monkeys sitting in the tree,
(shake head, make zero with hand)
Just Mr. Crocodile, as happy as can be!
(big smile, rub belly)
I had a storytelling glove and velcro monkeys and crocodile I used sometimes, but sometimes I just did the hand motions so I could do the big clap at the end.
I Went To The Jungle One Day
I went to the jungle one day,
Jungle one day, jungle one day.
Saw a lion on the way,
And this is what he said: "Roar, Roar!"
Fill in the blanks with appropriate animals and sounds (or say "did" instead of "said" to incorporate actions). Suggestions are: monkey - "Ooo, ooo; eee eee", elephant - trumpet, crocodile - snap, snap, gorilla - beat chest, tiger - "Growl, growl", etc. I used the photos above to hold up so they would know what animal to say for each verse.
How It Went
The kids really enjoyed this theme. The books *I* enjoyed doing the most were Count The Monkeys and It's A Tiger!. They seemed to work well with all ages, and we all had a lot of fun with them. When I was giving my spiel about It's A Tiger! being a stand-up-and-move-around kind of a book, not a sit-criss-cross-applesauce-and-be-still kind of a book, this one boy started smiling. I asked him if that sounded good to him, and he smiled even bigger and nodded enthusiastically. This is a must-have book for any storytime collection, in my opinion.
What To Do If An Elephant Stands On Your Foot worked well with the groups that were a little older or more sophisticated who could follow the humor. The other kids still seemed to like it, but they didn't really get it or fully appreciate it. I further demonstrated the relativity of small and tall after reading Tall by first having two kids stand, and asking the group if the taller child was tall or small. Of course they all said "tall". Then I stood up and asked, "What about now?" and they all giggled. Wild Child is probably most appreciated by adults, or older kids with a colicky younger sibling at home.
They all loved doing both "Five Little Monkey" rhymes and already knew them, so I had great participation, and of course they never get tired of making animal sounds, especially roaring! I have learned to leave the roaring to the kids; after multiple storytimes roaring will destroy your voice! Same for the hard clapping, after a while, it starts to hurt.