For our first storytime of summer reading (theme: Libraries Rock!), we learned about farm animals while singing and dancing along. Since our preschoolers are out for Summer, storytime will be a bit unpredictable. We had some big kids join this time around!
Opener: Who is on the Farm?
Begin the storytime by asking the children, "Which animals live on a farm?" You can keep track of their suggestions by writing them on a dry-erase board or you can use flashcards or felt pieces of each animal and stick them to the board.
Game Suggestion: One of These Things Is Not Like the Other
Remember that old game from Sesame Street? You can open the storytime by putting up five or so flashcard or felt pieces and having the kids guess which of the animals doesn't belong. For example, you may have a pig, cow, chicken, crocodile, and a horse. The crocodile doesn't belong because he is not a farm animal!
Fun Farm Themed Books!
Clip-Clop (Nicola Smee)
In this cute book, a cat, dog, pig, and duck ask Mr. Horse for a ride. They beg him to go faster and faster until they fly off. The horse is worried that they are hurt, but then they ask if they can go again!
Read-Along Activity: As you read the "clip-clop" parts, have the kids stand and trot like horses. As you read faster and faster (creating tension), they can speed up too!
Punk Farm (Jarrett J. Krosoczka)
I may be using this book for our Rock N' Roll storytime too, unless I can get my hands on the sequel, Punk Farm on Tour. In this book, the farm animals have formed a band and are trying to rehearse without disturbing the farmer. They play a punk version of Old MacDonald.
Read-Along Activity: Show the kids how to play the air guitar, bass, keyboard, and drums so that they can "play" along at those parts! The kids, Marquez, and I all sung along together while playing our "instruments."
Barnyard Dance! (Sandra Boynton)
This book shows various farm animals dancing to the Barnyard Dance! There are a few different versions of the song on YouTube to choose from.
After Activity: My coworker, Marquez, and I choreographed a little dance to go along with it and danced together with the kids! Beware that depending on which version you use, it can be very fast but it is FUN and a good workout! I recommend showing them each dance move as you read and having them repeat it. This will prepare them for the actual dance. They did a really good job of keeping up! :D
More Fun Farm Activities:
Old MacDonald Sing Along with Finger Puppets
I gave Mr. Marquez and myself and each of the kids a finger puppet with a different farm animal. We went around in a circle and sang about each animal. The kids really liked this, especially the horse part because of the "with a neigh-neigh here" part.
Do The Chicken Dance
The Chicken Dance is well-known, easy to learn, and a lot of fun! I used the first version that I found on YouTube.
Animal Rhyme Guessing Game
I used "Moo" and "Goat," but you can use any animals or animal sounds that have plenty of rhymes. I showed the kids the "Moo" and "Goat" cards then told them that there were more cards with rhymes for these words. They had to see if they could guess all the cards that were facedown (and they did). :D
Craft: Farm Animal Masks
I made five farm animal masks (horse, pig, sheep, cow, and chicken) coloring pages, which can be found at my TPT store. The kids had a blast making these and posing with them (and my straw hat!) Marquez also got VERY creative with his horse.
Some of our kids (we had big kids join this time), posing with their masks.
To make your masks, simply print on cardstock and have kids color. Cut them out. To make them wearable, you can either glue a craft stick to the bottom or poke holes in the sides and lace a string through so they can tie around the head.