Zoo Story Time

This week, I went with a zoo theme. As usual, I started with my opening song — “If You Want to Hear a Story.” Then, we jumped right into our first book.

First, we read Animal Strike At the Zoo by Karma Wilson.

Some groups liked this book more than others. It went over better with the older groups than the younger, but I wasn’t really impressed with any group’s reaction to it. I found myself wishing that I’d gone with my second choice (Two at the Zoo by Danna Smith).

Next, it was time to sing a song!

The Animals At the Zoo
(Sung to the tune of “The Wheels On the Bus”)
The lions at the zoo go, “Roar, roar, roar,
Roar, roar, roar, roar, roar, roar.”
The lions at the zoo go, “Roar, roar, roar.”
All day long.

The snakes at the zoo go, “Hiss, hiss, hiss,
Hiss, hiss, hiss, hiss, hiss, hiss.”
The snakes at the zoo go, “Hiss, hiss, hiss.”
All day long.

The monkeys at the zoo go, “Eee, eee, eee,
Eee, eee, eee, eee, eee, eee.”
The monkeys at the zoo go, “Eee, eee, eee.”
All day long.

The birds at the zoo go, “Tweet, tweet, tweet,
Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet.”
The birds at the zoo go, “Tweet, tweet, tweet.”
All day long.

Found at KCLS.

After that, I brought out the flannel board I had made from My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall.

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I didn’t make every animal in this book because it was the first flannel I ever sat down to make, and I doubted my artistic abilities, to be honest. I made the lion, heron, yak, fox, frog, caterpillar, jay, and bear (if you guessed that I made the easiest animals, you would be correct). I couldn’t find a full pattern for this flannel (though I know many other librarians have made their own), so I used a heart pattern for a lion puppet craft inspired by this book (found at Storytime ABC’s) and simply used the appropriate size hearts for each animal I made. It worked out well; I only had to resize a few of them for the smaller animals.

I have to say that I was insanely proud of how my first flannel turned out!

Then, we stood up to read From Head to Toe by Eric Carle.

Even my older kids seemed to like this book, even though I think its target audience is toddlers. They got really into the elephant movements and the gorilla movements. I’d recommend this action book.

If the kids were getting antsy, I would finish with The Underpants Zoo by Brian Sendelbach.

Every group loved this book! I knew it would be a hit because kids love animals and kids absolutely love underpants. Just the word had them cracking up when I read the title. Some groups screamed with delight when I showed the pictures, others giggled uncontrollably, but they all loved it.

If they seemed like they could hold out (or if I was reading to one of my older groups), I read one final story: Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.

I didn’t know if they would like this book, so I kept it as an extra in case story time ended up being too short, as it sometimes does. They did enjoy showing off the fact that they knew their animals when I folded down each flap, so I’d recommend this short and sweet book.

Then, I ended with my usual closing song — “Goodbye, Goodbye.”

Our craft this week was a bendable monkey (originally found at Busy Bee).
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This was an easy craft to prep and for the kids to do. I’d recommend it, except they didn’t seem to want to wait for the glue to dry before playing with the pipe cleaner arms and legs, so there weren’t many whole monkeys that walked out today. They kept falling apart because they weren’t allowed to dry first.

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