Toddler Storytime: Swamp

Yesterday we read books, sang songs and did fingerplays about animals that live in the swamp! First, we made a picture with shapes–circles, half-circles, triangles, rectangles, and a trapezoid and a pentagon–showing some of the animals that live in a swamp or wetland. I lost my picture of all the animals together but here’s the flamingo:

flamingo shapes

We did a little rhyme about the flamingo:

One flamingo
One pink flamingo the finest in the zoo,
People come from miles around to see what he can do.
He flaps his wings
He turns around
He stands with 1 leg off the ground

Then we sang a song about a “Little Baby Gator”:

alligator puppet

Little baby gator swimming through the swamp (hands together, swim gator-like)
Eating lots of fish with a CHOMP, CHOMP, CHOMP! (chomp hands open and closed)
Along came a hunter with a great big net, (pretend to raise net)
Gator went SPLASH! (mist children with water bottle)(splash loudly)
And the hunter got wet! (shake hands and self)

We read a book about a little baby gator, a classic called For Pete’s Sake by Ellen Stoll Walsh. It’s about a baby gator who wants to be a flamingo and notices how different he is from other flamingos:

For Petes Sake

Then we sang a song called “Alligator, alligator”:

alligator puppet

Alligator, alligator, long and green (hold out arm: 4 fingers, thumb below)
Alligator, alligator, teeth so mean (open and close fingers and thumb)
Snapping at a fly, snapping at a bee, (snap with fingers and thumb)
Snapping at a frog, and snapping at me!
He caught the fly, he caught the bee, (snap with fingers and thumb)
He caught the frog, but he didn’t catch me!

(adapted from a rhyme at the King County Library System Website: http://wiki.kcls.org/index.php/Alligator,_Alligator)

We sang the song “Five Little Speckled Frogs,” and used our felt pieces and our CD:

five green and speckled frogs

We read the book The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli, about a young crocodile who loves watermelons!

Watermelon Seed

We sang about Five Little Monkeys Teasing Mr. Crocodile:

five little monkeys and crocodile

We sang a song to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”:

If you want to be a frog, hop up high,
If you want to be a frog, hop up high,
If you want to be a frog, be a happy, hoppy frog,
If you want to be a frog, hop up high!

If you want to be a gator, snap your jaws,
If you want to be a gator, snap your jaws,
If you want to be a gator, be a scary hungry gator,
If you want to be a gator, snap your jaws!

If you want to be a flamingo, flap your wings,
If you want to be a flamingo, flap your wings,
If you want to be a flamingo, be a beautiful flamingo,
If you want to be a flamingo, flap your wings!

We showed the film “Deep in the Swamp,” from the DVD Out on the Prairie and Deep in the Swamp. This video introduces all the animals that live in a swamp with a counting song.

Deep in the Swamp

We finished storytime with song cube songs and “Goodbye, Friends.” Next week will be our last meeting together as a group. I will miss you guys and your beautiful, smiling toddlers!

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian currently working at the Lamanda Park Branch Library while Central Library is closed for seismic repairs. I purchase juvenile fiction for grades 2-8, and some foreign languages. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including 3 regular book clubs (Windows and Mirrors, Read Around the World, and Lucha Libros), as well as writing workshops and STEAM/science programs. I also Infant/Toddler Storytimes and Preschool Storytimes, and outreach to local area preschools. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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