Saturday, January 24, 2015

Preschool Story Time - Alligators and Crocodiles!

Yet another theme with a heaping helping of books and materials to choose from, Alligators and Crocodiles as a story time theme is just as much fun as a land alternative to the Shark story time.  There's a whole-lotta chomping going on!

My story times are divided in two Wednesday story times were heavily laden with very busy boys, and my Thursdays were chock full of delightfully attentive girls.  That happened naturally over the course of time but always left me wondering how my story times would go over on the different days.  This one seemed to please both camps!

Here was the plan:

The Fantastic Mr Wani - by Kanako Usui
What a sweet book!  Mr Wani is late for a party.  He runs as fast as he can, but needs a little help from his friends to make it.  Just a fun and silly book that the kids enjoyed.

Song/ Felt - Lady With the Alligator Purse 
I am a contributor to the Flannel Friday blog but never blogged this one.  Quite frankly, it isn't my idea so I didn't feel like I should make a blog post.  I found these images on a site selling felts and thought that I could make a set just like that for myself.  In the interest of crediting the seller, you can find that link HERE. The site hasn't been updated since 2006 so I am not sure they are still selling it.  I just did a search for felt sets and spotted this one and thought it to be the cutest of the bunch!  My set is made with black puffy paint on white felt and shaded with marker.

This was surprising to me that not many of the moms knew it.  I have seen this concern addressed on Facebook - what to do when you start a song or finger play that no one has heard before?  Well, I always supply the words to any song/fingerplay to each of my parents via my newsletter.  I also preface these by asking the parents for help with the song if they know it.  Finally, I just go and have fun - these songs and fingerplays have repetitive tunes and lines which most people can catch onto.  Who knows, you might even get a parent asking where they can find the song on tape to take home! (** Hint: Have copies of The Lady With the Alligator Purse on display and see if you can also find it on CD for the display area as well!)

Alternate Felt - Big Wide Mouth Frog
This is one of my most favorite felt sets and stories out there.  I blogged about it in our early days of our blog (as you can tell by the not-so-great photo). Click HERE to read more about the Big Wide Mouth Frog felt set.  This one was a big hit with the kids.

Open Very Carefully by Nick Bromley
This was a book that left the kids full of anticipation.  Whatever will happen next?  The kids couldn't take their eyes off this one.

Finger Play - 5 Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree 
This is a classic which everyone knows.  The best part is, most of the children will play right along with you!

5 little monkeys sitting in a tree - teasing Mr. Crocodile "Can't catch me!"
Along comes Mr. Crocodile - SNAP!!  Oh NO Where is he??
4 little monkeys.....
(and so on)

For the movements, I use my fingers as tails which hang from my opposite arm (as tree branch).  When I make the crocodile, I use my hand to make a puppet-like mouth...moving through the grass until SNAP!

Alternate activity/story - AlphaGator!
This is another one of my early story time ideas, although I just blogged about him recently.  Click HERE to learn more about AlphaGator.

Snip, Snap - What was THAT? By Mara Bergman 
Oh boy - the suspense was killing us all!  What WAS that??  I had to tone down how I read this one to my shier group because I could see them becoming nervous.  Overall, a good pick for the story time, however!

Craft - A is for Alligator
I used this one in my Letter A story time, but that is OK.  It was new to all of the kids in my story time that day so no harm, no foul.  It is simply three strips of green paper, and some teeth and an eye.

And there you have it!  So many options!  Alligators are fascinating creatures so you can even throw some fun facts or a good non-fiction book into your story times.  Like the shark story times, you might want to be careful about how you use your actions and voices because some little ones may be frightened, but overall I suspect your story timers will simply love an alligator story time at your library or school.

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Sue,
    Your felts are just beautiful! I love the story of the Wide Mouthed Frog and I have read this version to the kiddos. I would love to make a felt copy. How did you make the pictures...Do you draw them on paper, cut out the pictures and tape them to the felt?

    Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Hi Lois! For this one, I made photocopies of the pages of the book - enlarging and reducing as needed. Then I traced the images on felt with marker and went over with puffy paint. If I remember, The Kangaroo had to be reduced some. The tree is in two pieces so the koala could sit on one branch, then removed so I could add the possum branch. Check out the page for the WMF post to get a little more about it.