Elephants: Preschool Storytime

Today we had an “elefun” time reading about elephants! We also did lots of counting practice in both English and Spanish, and played with scarves.


Books We Shared

In When Your Elephant Comes To Play by Ale Barba, a child shares why his elephant friend can sometimes be a dangerous and troublesome, though fun, playmate. He dispenses advice on how to handle your playdates with elephants.

Super Jumbo by Fred Koehler is about an elephant eager to be a superhero. But not everyone appreciates his crimefighting techniques!

Little Elliot Big City by Mike Curato explores a theme that small children are familiar with: feeling too small and unnoticed and feeling unable to get what they want. Little Elliot can’t get the attention of the baker owner to buy a cupcake. But Little Elliot finds someone even smaller than he, and learns that helping someone–and making a friend–is even better than cupcakes!

When I asked the kids if they have ever felt unnoticed or ignored by grownups, a little baby in the way back of the room shouted, “YES!” He couldn’t have been more than a year and a half old. He was so darling. I repeated my question and he repeated his answer, loudly and unmistakably! I thought to myself, “Well, he certainly has no lack of ability to make himself heard! Good for him!”

Flannel Boards We Shared

One Elephant in the Tub

One elephant in the tub,
Going for a swim,
Knock-knock (clap twice), splash-splash (slap knees twice),
Come on in!

Two elephants in the tub,
Going for a swim,
Knock-knock (clap twice), splash-splash (slap knees twice),
Come on in!

Three elephants in the tub,
Going for a swim,
Knock-knock (clap twice), splash-splash (slap knees twice),
Come on in!

Four elephants in the tub,
Going for a swim,
Knock-knock (clap twice), splash-splash (slap knees twice),
Come on in!

Five elephants in the tub,
Going for a swim,
Knock-knock (clap twice), splash-splash (slap knees twice),
And they all FELL IN!

(Source: King County Library System)

Nursery Rhyme We Shared

Five Elephants on a Spider’s Web

This is based on a Spanish nursery rhyme:

One elephant went out to play
Upon a spider’s web one day.
He had such enormous fun,
He called for another elephant to come… “Oh, ELEPHANT!”

Two elephants…

Three elephants…

Four elephants…

Five elephants went out to play
Upon a spider’s web one day.
The web went creak, the web went crack.
And all of the elephants went KERSPLAT!

(Source: The Measured Mom)

Puppet Story

I acted this out with puppets, and one of the older kids in our storytime helped me by wearing the elephant mask and playing the well-behaved but BIG elephant. I brought out different animal puppets one by one, describing how they each caused chaos whenever I brought them to the library. (My frog scared the librarian, my giraffe kept reading over people’s shoulders, my hen laid an egg in the book drop…) Then my volunteer elephant demonstrated how a well-behaved animal sits during storytime, despite being large enough to wreck the library!

Action Songs & Bounces We Shared

We share a lot of songs, bounces & rhymes during storytime!
You’ll find lyrics/words to those songs & rhymes we shared without CD accompaniment here.

An Elephant Has

An elephant has a great big trunk (swing arm)
That goes swinging to and fro.
And he has tiny, tiny eyes, (make binoculars with hands)
That show him where to go.
His great big ears go flopping, (put hands by ears to be elephant ears)
Flopping all around
While his great big feet go stomping, (stamp feet)
STOMPING on the ground!

(adapted from https://www.kidsparkz.com/preschool-sings-zoo.html)

Do Your Ears Hang Low?

Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie ’em in a knot?
Can you tie ’em in a bow?
Can you throw ’em over your shoulder
Like a continental (regimental) soldier
Do your ears hang low?

Goodbye Friends (song in sign)

Click here for video:  Goodbye Babies (Friends) 

Goodbye friends, goodbye friends
Goodbye friends, it’s time to say goodbye.

Music from CDs We Shared

Children love to sing and dance to music.  Here are some of the songs/bounces on CD that we used in storytime.

“Song In My Tummy” from The Best of the Laurie Berkner Band

“[If] I Was a Bird” by Old Town School of Folk Music on their Wiggleworms Love You CD.

“Dancing Scarf Blues” from Dancing Feet by Carole Peterson

Video We Shared

We watched “Seven Blind Mice” from the Boy Who Cried Wolf DVD, in which blind mice struggle to identify the new visitor at their watering hole, each one thinking it is a pillar, or a spear, or a rope, etc. What do you think the visitor could be?

Continue the Fun

Here are some more books about elephants to check out at your Pasadena Public Library Branch:

AnnMarie Hurtado

I'm a youth services librarian working in the Children's Room at the Pasadena Central Library. I purchase juvenile nonfiction books for all sites, juvenile Spanish books for all sites, and juvenile DVDs for the Central Library. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including Lucha Libros, writing workshops, STEAM Careers in Pasadena, and other STEAM/science programs. I teach 1-2 sessions of Infant/Toddler Storytime each year. 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, 36 Workshops to Get Kids Writing: From Aliens to Zebras.

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