I have wanted to do an elephant themed storytime for ages! I was going to save this for warmer months, but then I thought that a safari during winter is just what we need to warm up during this cold month.
Opening Song: Open, Shut Them
Book #1: Elmer by David McKee
Elmer is a very colorful, patchwork elephant who feels out of place among his herd of gray elephants. One day he sneaks away and rolls around in gray berry juice to turn himself gray. When he returns to his heard, however, they all think that he’s playing a joke. In the end, Elmer learns to accept himself.
Activity #1: One Elephant Went Out to Play
One elephant, went out to play.
Out on a spider’s web one day.
He had such, enormous fun.
He called for another elephant to come.
OH ELEPHANT! (slap thighs/stomp feet)
Two elephants, went out to play…
Book #2: Tweak, Tweak by Eve Bunting
A mama elephant and a baby elephant go for a walk and learn about what other animals do and what elephants do. This book is filled with charming, pastel-colored illustrations, and it presents opportunities for movement (stomp, jump, pretend to swim, etc.) as well as opportunities for discussion (what else do monkeys do?).
Book #3: Hide & Seek by Il Sung Na
In this picture book, the elephant counts as all the other jungle animals go hide. I’m a big Il Sung Na fan! I read his books in all of my storytimes (Babygarten, Toddler Time and Preschool Storytime). They’re short, lovely, and visually stunning! This one is no exception.
Activity #2: Two Little Elephants
Two little elephants, standing in a row.
Two little trunks, waving hello.
“Oh,” said an elephant.
“It’s time to go.”
One little elephant, standing in a row.
One little trunk, waving hello.
“Hey,” said the elephant.
“Where did he go?”
Finger Puppet Credit: Storytime Katie
Rhyme Credit: Danielle at A Bad Case of Books
Book #4: I Am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems
I read this book for a Kindergarten class when they came to the library for a tour. They loved it, so I thought I’d try it out at my preschool storytime, Normally I try to avoid easy readers in storytime, but this one works pretty well. The kids especially loved shouting out, “PARTY!” with me, and there were great moments for asking questions: “What kind of clothes do you wear to a pool party?”
Puppet Show: It’s an Elephant
Closing Song: Children, Children, Turn Around
How It Went:
This was a great storytime! The children seemed really into the books, and they loved our extension activities. One little boy came up to me at the end of storytime and told me that he thought the puppet show was really funny. I love getting feedback from the kids!