Since I’ve been working as middle years focused librarian, I only get to do one storytime a week for kids under age 5. Boy, how I miss it! I’m just starting to get to know my group of preschoolers, and this storytime theme went over really well. Alligator and Crocodile books just kept popping up on my radar so I put them to good use. If you’re looking for even more alligator and crocodile storytime resources, be sure to check out our Pinterest board. Here’s how my storytime went down.
1. Hello, Friends
2. I Wake Up My Hands
I wanted to give them a chance to get their wiggles out before the first book. With preschoolers, I ask for suggestions for additional verses to challenge them a bit more than toddlers.
3. Book #1: Open Very Carefully: A Book With Bite by Nick Bromley; illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne
The kids think this book is so funny, especially when the duck draws a tutu on the crocodile. You do need to practice this book beforehand though as a few of the sentences are missing letters and can cause some momentary pauses as you figure out the words. But it’s a great chance to talk about letters with the kids – ask them which ones the crocodile is eating.
4. Row, Row, Row Your Boat
We sang this a couple of times the usual way and then we did the alligator verse:
Row, row, row, your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see an alligator don’t forget to scream
One of my go-to movement songs when I want the kids up and moving.
6. Song Cube
7. Book #2: The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino
I love how the front and back inside covers have pictures of a basket of eggs with one egg that doesn’t quite match. We spent a few minutes talking about what this might mean and I snuck in an early literacy tip for caregivers about making predictions and discussing covers before you start to read.
8. Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree (with Puppets)
I used puppets very similarly to the way Cullen does in this video. I have a really big alligator puppet that I let the kids take turns using to snap the monkeys off my fingers.
9. Alligator, Alligator Turn Around
I just made this one up based on the traditional Teddy Bear rhyme. It’s a great way to transition into another book because it ends with the kids sitting down.
Alligator, alligator turn around
Alligator, alligator touch the ground
Alligator, alligator dance on your toes
Alligator, alligator touch your nose
Alligator, alligator jump up now
Alligator, alligator take a bow
Alligator, alligator stomp your feet
Alligator, alligator take a seat
10. Song Cube
11. Book #3: Solomon Crocodile
So this book ends with two naughty crocodiles and the saying, “Double trouble!” I have twins in my storytime group and after I read this book their mom said, “These guys are double love!” And my heart completely melted.
12. Felt Story: Monkey Face
I usually don’t do a book and felt story back to back but these kids were really well behaved and said they would rather hear a felt story than sing another song, so I went with it. They thought this one was hilarious. Storytiming has a Flannel Friday post featuring the story. Once they figured out that each animal wants Monkey to change the painting to look like them, the kids started to predict what Monkey will add after talking to every animal.
13. Scarf Songs
I’ve got a bag of beautifully coloured scarves on loan from one of my colleagues and I really wanted to give the kids a chance to play with them. We ended storytime by doing the following songs with scarves:
- Zoom, Zoom, Zoom – throw scarf into the air on blast off
- Toast in the Toaster – they asked to sing this 5 times!
- If You’re Happy and You Know It, Shake Your Scarf
- Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Sheep
14. Goodbye, Friends (same as the Hello Song)
I really loved this theme, and the preschoolers responded really well to the books and songs. I think the better I get to know this storytime group, the more comfortable I’ll feel with the storytime activities I plan.