Tag Archives: movement

¡El Pollo!; aka, the most fun movement activity en español EVER.

10 Sep

Some of the best storytime activities are the simplest. This is one of them. It basically names the parts of the chicken, rhythmically. I tried it out with my new class of Spanish-only kiddos and they LOVED it. LOVED.

I learned it from my colleague Alberto, and here’s a video of him performing it:

This is the text:

El pollo! (clap hands together)

El pollo con una pata (step one foot forward)

El pollo con la otra pata (step other foot forward)

El pollo con su piquito (hand in front of mouth like beak)

El pollo con sus alitas (move arms like wings)

El pollo con su colita (turn around and shake tail)

The rhyme doesn’t work as well in English, but it can be done. Here’s Alberto again:

And the words:

The chicken! (clap hands together)

The chicken with one leg (step one foot forward)

The chicken with the other leg (step other foot forward)

The chicken with his beak (hand in front of mouth like beak)

The chicken with his wings (move arms like wings)

The chicken shakes his tail (turn around and shake tail)

You can do it again faster, slower, and without words. It’s a good time! ¡Que disfruten!

Flannel Friday: B-U-N-N-Y

7 Feb

Like most of the country, it’s been really freakin’ cold here in Colorado this week. What that means for me, the preschool outreach librarian, is that the kids I see in storytime have not been able to play outside. THIS IS A BAD THING. Kids need recess. They need to run around. Young children, especially, get super squirrelly when they have to be inside too long.

So, when I was planning my rabbit-themed storytime (centered primarily around Bob Shea’s Don’t Play With Your Food, because he sent me a copy!), I knew I had to include some movement. Now, I know, I’m a big fan of the Sleeping Bunnies song that involves some wild and crazy hopping. But we did that last month. So.

This is a very long way of saying I stole Mollie Kay’s B-U-N-N-Y song and added hopping.


We talk about each letter and its sound, and then we sound out the word. BUNNY!

(Sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O)

There was a rabbit I once knew

And Bunny was his name-o




And bunny was his name-o

Next, we turn over the first letter. What’s on the back? A bunny! And the word HOP.


So, we sing again, this time substituting a hop for the letter B.

Continue turning each letter and singing, until you’re left with nothing but hops. HOP! HOP! HOPHOPHOP!

bunny3This was a great movement activity that incorporated letter knowledge, letter sounds, phonological awareness, and just plain FUN.  It’s also very similar to the version of B-I-N-G-O that I use!

Thanks, Mollie, for the idea!

The Roundup today will be hosted by Christine. Go check out all the awesomeness later! To see all past flannels, click the “flannel friday” icon to the right.

Happy flanneling!

Ukulele in Storytime: Sleeping Bunnies

10 Mar

Hi! Welcome to another installment of watch Mary make a fool of herself ukulele in storytime! Today we’re learning “Sleeping Bunnies,” a song I first heard on Kathy Reid-Naiman’s cd “Tickles and Tunes.”  It’s super easy to play on uke, and SUPER fun for the kids! When they start hopping, the storytime rug becomes a preschool mosh pit!

Happy playing!

Do Re Read Mi a story! Music and Movement Storytime

26 Jul

I have been terribly remiss about posting lately.  I have many storytime plans that I used over the past few months to share.  One of my favorites every year is always this one; I love to sing, and accompanying our singing with a little dancing and movement is super fun.  Plus, singing songs reinforces phonological awareness in young children – they become better able to hear and manipulate the smaller sounds that make up each word.  I have a ukulele but have yet to learn to play it, but I look forward to bringing that into the mix!  As one of my fellow librarian twitter pals said, I only have to learn 3 chords and I’ll probably be good to go for most kids’ songs.

We start the storytime with my pink-haired friend Zoe, sister of Zeke, who talks about her favorite things to do with her brother. She loves to read (of course), play outside, and most of all, make music.  She pretends to play the drums (bam! bam!), the guitar (plink, plink!) and asks the kids to help her sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”  Zoe settles down to listen and we begin our stories!

  • Krosozcka, Jarrett J.  Punk Farm.  This, for me, is a storytime
    Rock On!

    highlight.  Don’t read it aloud unless you’re fully prepared to give the band’s version of “Old MacDonald” it’s full punk treatment. That means growly voice, head-banging, exaggerated singing. And a possible sore throat and an accusation of reading “a lot of shouting books”. But the giggles you’ll get, from both kids and teachers/parents, is worth it!  If they’ve really enjoyed the story, treat them to Punk Farm on Tour.

  • Waddell, Martin.  Happy Hedgehog Band.  An oldie (and out of print now, I think), but a goodie, as everyone can help make the different drum sounds.  And when the other animals join in with their noises, I ask everyone to choose a noise and make it. We sound like quite the symphony! Who needs instruments to make music?
  • Flannelboard/Song: “Mary Wore Her Red Dress”.  I’ve made little felt versions of clothing: yellow hat, red dress (of course), green shoes, blue pants, pink socks, etc. and we sing the verse with each item (in the song link, everything is red. But why can’t we practice our colors too?). If the group is small enough (so that it won’t take the rest of storytime to do this), have each child choose one item of clothing they are wearing and tell you what color it is. Then everyone sings the verse, inserting that child’s name and the item they’re wearing.
  • Cronin, Doreen.  Wiggle.  Wiggles are fun!
  • More wiggling, this time with everyone participating: “It’s A Simple Dance to Do”  This came from The Bilingual Book of Rhymes, Songs, and Fingerplays by Pam Schiller, et. al.  Have everyone stand up, and do the actions as indicated:

Come on and do a dance with me, it’s just a little step or two.

I’ll teach you how. We’ll start right now.

It’s a simple dance to do.

First you clap your hands, then you stomp your feet

It’s a simple dance to do.

Wait! I forgot to tell you! There’s another little step or two.

Turn around, And touch your toes.

Put it together! 

Clap your hands, stomp your feet

Turn around, and touch your toes

It’s a simple dance to do!

Wait! I forgot to tell you! There’s another little step or two.

Pull your ears, and flap your arms

It’s a simple dance to do!

Clap your hands, and stomp your feet.

Turn around, and touch your toes.

Pull your ears, and flap your arms

It’s a simple dance to do!

Wait! I forgot to tell you

There’s another step and then we’re through.

Stretch up high, all fall down.


Clap your hands, stomp your feet

Turn around, and touch your toes

Pull your ears, and flap your arms

Now stretch up high, and all fall down.

It’s a simple dance to do!

  • Phew! Let’s take a break and sing a story! Hort, Lenny. Seals on the Bus. Every kid knows the tune, and every kid will get into the silliness of having this random combination of animals on the bus. At the end, if you’d like, you can ask the kids to suggest other animals that might be on the bus, and make their noises!
  • Calmenson, Stephanie.  Jazzmatazz! I like this one for the beat. The kids pat their legs and help out on the “Doo dat, diddy dat, diddy dat doo!” refrains.  It’s baby’s first scat singing!

Other book options I sometimes use:

  • Anderson, Peggy Perry.  Chuck’s Band. A rhyming story that’s not really a rhyming story.
  • Diaz, David.  De Colores. I work with a large number of Spanish-speaking kids who may know the song already. If you know the tune, it’s a lovely song to sing.  I sing the Spanish and speak the English.

Other new books that I haven’t yet tried with the kids, but think would fit in nicely:

Go forth and make some music!


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