SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

Sleepy Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Moo, Moo, Brown Cow, Have You Any Milk? – Phillis Gershator

 moo moo brown cow

(This was a fun way to show where things come from (pillows, blankets, milk, bread and honey). Pretty well received too.)

Activity: Sleepy Bear (from Storytime Katie)

“Sleepy Bear” (Tune: “Thumbkin”)
Where is bear? Where is bear?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you this winter?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep. Go to sleep.


(Super fun, the kids love it!)

Book: My Dad is Big and Strong, But… – Coralie Saudo


(Such an adorable story, and the parents love it as much as the kids.)

Activity: Owl Freeze Game (modified from the song ‘Silly Dance Contest’ by Jim Gill)

 Fly any way you want to, fly any way you please

fly any way you want to, but stop when I say Sleep!

(continue with fly as high as you want to, fly as fast as you want to,

then fly any way you want to again to end.)


(I made a two-sided moon/sun visual and explained to the kids that we were going to be owls. That means that if the sun is out we have to be asleep! Then I’d flip it around to the moon for us to be owls flapping our wings. I used a freeze game format, shouting out Sleep! after they’d been flying for a bit and everyone lay down. Loads of fun!)

Book: Sleep Like a Tiger – Mary Logue

 sleep like a tiger cover

(Perhaps a bit ambley, I felt like the group was wandering a bit during this one. Might swap it out with Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime for my Thu group.)

Activity: Princess and the Mattresses


On top of all these mattresses I get to spend the night,

I toss and turn and cannot sleep, for something is not right.

Something (tickley, squishy, buzzy, scary, lumpy)  keeps me up. These mattresses I’ll spread…

A (feather, banana peel, bee, monster, pea)! That’s no good, get out of my bed!

(The princess then throws the item and climbs up for the next verse)

Finally everything is soft, and I can rest my head. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


(This was loads of fun! I saw another princess flannel board, and used that as inspiration to make this. We counted all the mattresses as we set them up, and the kids loved guessing what the item was, and watching the princess throw them away. …though she was too scared to pick up the monster, and just karate chopped it out of my hand.)

Book: Who Said Coo? – Deborah Ruddell

who said coo

(A very cute, simple story, and a great end to the program.)

Activity: Parachute

(The final activity was our parachute with monkey beach balls, for the five little monkeys jumping on the bed. The group was too big to try the song, so we just had fun bouncing!)


Hugs and Kisses Storytime

Opening : Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Waking Beauty – Leah Wilcox


(Just a bit wordy, but it still had a good response. I might see if I can clip some pages for next time. Very fun!)

Puppets: Stop Kissing Me – from the book by Eric Long


Puppy just won’t stop kissing kitty! Finally kitty finds out why, and doesn’t mind as much.

(The kids love this!)


Book: Kitty’s Cuddles – Jane Cabrera

kitty's cuddles

(Since kitty prefers hugs, this was a nice transition. Nice big illustrations, simple story.)

Activity: In the Valentine Forest


In the Valentine Forest there was a valentine house,

In the Valentine house, there was a valentine room,

In the Valentine room, there were some valentine drawers,

In the valentine drawers, there was a valentine box,

In the valentine box, there was…

…some candy!/a frog!/a kiss!/


(The kids really get into this, and the surprised different endings were fun! …I did it once more at the end of the storytime with the Valentine stickers ending, and then gave each child a sticker. It was made by printing images onto paper, then putting them in sheet protectors which I tied together with ribbon. Easy flipping to reveal the next page.)

Book: Hugless Douglas – David Melling

(This was a nice story, but you do have to explain some of the action [a bush turning into a bunch of sheep, for example] but still jolly good!)

Activity: Mother, Mother, I Want Another – from the book by Maria Robbins


(This had sort of lukewarm reception as a puppet story. I had fun with it though!)


Book: How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? – Jane Yolen

how do dinosaurs

(It’s always nice when I can add a book from this series to a program. They’re super duper!)

Activity: Bubbles (little kisses)

(Then we played in the bubbles and got their little bubble kisses, and everyone got a valentine sticker!)

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Snow Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: The Greatest Snowman in the World – Peter Hannan

 greatest snowman

(The kids loved seeing the snowman these friends built, though the ice cream snowman at the end took a little explaining, but the kids liked that idea too!)

Activity: Snowflakes Fell all Around (variation of ‘Green Grass Grew All Around’)

There was a man, the snowiest man that you ever did see! And the snowflakes fell all around, all around, and the snowflakes fell all around.

And for his buttons he had some stones, the shinest stones that you ever did see! …

‘…carrot for a nose, and buttons for it’s eyes, and berries for it’s mouth, and stones for it’s buttons, and branches for it’s arms, and a top hat for it’s head, and a scarf for it’s neck, and snowflakes fell all around all around…’


(This was fun, I asked the kids what the snowman needed next and then I’d introduce what we’d use for it. We also added snowflake ‘toes’, which I hadn’t thought a snowman needed! Silly me.)

Book: The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats


(A lovely classic, the kids were quite engaged, and knew just what was going to happen to the snowball Peter decided to keep for later!)

Activity: Boot Prints

How can we walk to make these prints in the snow? We did toes turned out, toes turned in, hopping, train tracks, and tightrope.

2012-12-27_11-34-48_238   2012-12-27_11-34-35_155

(I guess the crowd was a bit young, most of them ended stomping around the room with normal feet positions, except for when we made train tracks. They still had fun thought!)

Book: Bedtime for Bear – Brett Helquist

 Bedtime for Bear

(This was quite engaging. Cute pictures, nice characters, and a fun little adventure.).

Activity: Funny Little Snowman

 A funny little snowman
Had a carrot nose.
Along came a rabbit
And what do you suppose?

That hungry little rabbit
Looking for his lunch,
Ate that snowman’s nose
With a crunch, crunch, crunch!

(The snowman went back on the flannel board after our boot prints, and the rabbit came out to sneak bits of him away! He also ate the berry mouth, the branch arms, the scarf, and tried the button eyes, but decided that buttons are Not for eating!!)

Book: Snowmen at Night – Caralyn Buehner


(Perhaps a bit long for the last book, but it still worked well enough.)

Activity: Parachute with Cotton Balls

(Out came the parachute, which the kids always love! The cotton ball snow didn’t stay on it very well, but no one really minded.)

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Letter B Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: The B Book – Stan and Jan Berenstain


(The kids were quite interested in this, particularly later in the book, as things get more chaotic. I think they didn’t quite get the bursting balloon though.)

Flannel Board: The Hat (from Squid and Octopus by Tao Nyeu)

squid-and-octopus  Squid finds a fantastic hat, (but is it really a hat?) his friends all think it has different uses, from a flower vase, a soup bowl, and a doorstop, until Squid shows up with an idential hat, just like octopus knew it was.


(This was good, not stand out either way.)

Book: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons – Eric Litwin

pete the cat buttons

(A great addition to the Pete series. Really, the only one I like other than the original.)

Activity/Song: Beanbag Song (Totline Magazine)

(Sung to:  If you’re happy and you know it)

Put your beanbag on your hair, on your hair

Put your beanbag on your hair, on your hair

Put your beanbag on your hair and leave it right up there

Put your beanbag on your hair, on your hair.

…Put your beanbag on the ground, now step and step around…

…Put your beanbag on your toe, lift it high and and lift it low…

…Put your beanbag in your hand, toss it up and watch it land…

 (The kids got to play with beanbags, what’s not to like! We did it twice.)

Book: Big Smelly Bear – Britta Teckentrup

big smelly bear

(This was more popular than I expected. Nice big pictures!)

Activity: Sleepy Bear (from Storytime Katie)

“Sleepy Bear” (Tune: “Thumbkin”)
Where is bear? Where is bear?
Here I am. Here I am.
How are you this winter?
Very tired, thank you.
Go to sleep. Go to sleep.


(I think we could have done this for the entire storytime and the kids would have had a blast. Eventually, bear decided to go somewhere more quiet to hibernate. …for my Thursday group, I had to let the kids know that screaming didn’t wake up bear, only saying ‘wake up bear!’ did.)

Book: Baby Bird – Joyce Dunbar

baby bird

(Fun and simple, with nice pics and interactive element having the kids help with the animal noises.)

Activity: Bubbles

(And Bubbles! Butterfly by Imagination Movers was our background music for bubble time.)

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Dancing Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Baby Danced the Polka – Karen Beaumont


(This was well received, better than I’d hoped actually!)

Puppets: Down by the Cool of the Pool – from the book by Tony Mitton

Frog is dancing by the pool ‘Wheee! Can you dance like me?’. ‘No’, said Duck, ‘But I can flap!’. So Duck went Flap and frog went  ‘Wheee! Can you dance like me?’ down by the cool of the pool.

(I just continued building on this format until I had Dog rolling over, Pig wiggling, sheep stamping, cat twirling, duck flapping and frog jumping. I used critters I had on hand and matched actions I could make them do, staying with the story where possible. It was pretty fun!)

Book: Dancing Feet – Lindsey Craig

(A fun simple guessing game book, with great illustrations)

Activity: Silly Dance Contest – from the CD The Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tune by Jim Gill

 (You know a song went over well when a parent asks where to find it afterwards!)

Book: Hilda Must Be Dancing – Karma Wilson

(So adorable and sweet and visually stunning. Everyone gets a happy ending!)

Activity: Five Ballet Dancers

 Five Ballet Dancers,

Balance on their toes.

Twist and twirl and leap,

then off the stage one goes!

(I’m not sure if the kids were disinterested, or enthralled by these paper dancers, but no one sang along! I’m going to pretend it was enthralled) =P

Book: Farmyard Beat – Lindsey Craig

(A fun book with great opportunity for interaction. My only complaint is that kids understand cows going Moo rather than Swish, clank.) -.o

Activity: Streamers with music

I played the awesome Miss Opotomus from the Purple Ladybug music album. Everyone had a super time. Even the girl who was shy at the beginning was flailing about with her streamers. =]

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Outer Space Storytime

This underwent considerable revision between the Tuesday and Thursday programs. I was surprised at how few good storytime books there are for the theme! Even looking for ‘alien’ etc. I think it’s because most of the stories were narrated, rather than having characters ‘interact’. See what I cut out at the end of the post.

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Austronaut Piggy Wiggy – Christyan and Diane Fox

(No one in the crowd seemed very interested in this story. I’ve used the pirate Piggy Wiggy before and it was much more popular. Not sure why this one flopped.)

Activity: Robot Zot (based on the story by John Scieszka)

(Zot with the ‘dangerous enemies’, and his Queen)

Bring Robot into view,

“Robot Zot—Wham Bot! Robot Zot—Bam Bot!

Robot Zot—never fall. Robot Zot—Conquer all!

 Robot Zot crashed his attack ship on earth, there he meets a dangerous enemy! “

 Bring appliance into view (follow pattern with each)…interact with kids…”does this look like a dangerous enemy? Robot Zot thinks so! Who will win? Robot Zot yells his battle cry,

 “Robot Zot—never fall. Robot Zot—Conquer all!”

 Mock battle with Robot Zot and the appliance, Robot Zot wins, hurrah! Then, another appliance (three in all, a blender, mixers, and hand vac)…until the last round, with the pink and blue toy.

“Does this look like an enemy?

This not enemy, is Queen of all Earth.

Robot Zot—rescue bot, Robot Zot—hero bot!

 Robot rescues toy and runs off behind flannel board.

 And off they go in the spaceship to explore another distant galaxy.

(I was glad to have a chance to use this again, it was so popular during my Robots theme. These crowds weren’t quite as excited about it, but it still had a good reception.)

Book: Moon Plane –  Peter McCarthy

(A simply story with very nice pictures. It’s fun to throw in some vehicle noises as well.)

Activity: If you’re going to the moon

sung to  ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It,’

If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp, stomp)
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp, stomp)
If you’re going to the moon, and you want to get there soon
If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp, stomp)

…wear your suit (ziiiiiiip)

…wear your gloves (clap, clap)

…wear your helmet (pat, pat)

(then we blasted off!)


I am a rocket crouched on the ground,

(put arms over headfor rocket’s nose)

Waiting quietly without a sound (put finger to lips)

Light this fuse on my little toe, (wiggle toe)

Ready for blast-off? Here I go!

5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1


(jump into the air)

Book: There was a bold lady

(This is a nice variation of swallowing the fly. I got some good guesses about what she wanted the star for!)

Activity: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (with sign language)

(I’ve used this before, I  don’t remember what the theme was, so it was easy to stick in as a last minute replacement. It was so popular we did it three times!) 

Book: Star Climbing – Lou Fancher

(Really nice illustrations, but I’m not sure the kids understood the concept of constellations. Still, we had fun identifying the animals and making their noises.)

Activity: Bubbles

(The we pretended the bubbles were stars and caught them! Played Zoom Zoom from the CD Purple Collection by Ladybug Music. Such a fun song!)

What got kicked out–

I had Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy as part of the storytime, with some pages clipped together, but it was too similar to Astronaut Piggy Wiggy. I also cut Green Wilma Frog in Space by Ted Arnold. I think it could work, but it switched it for the less wordy Moon Plane. I also replaced There Was A Bold Lady Who Wanted a Star (which I had prepped as a flannel board) with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star so I could tell it in the original book form.


Daddies Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Today’s storytime is all about Daddies, because this Sunday is Father’s day. It’s a day to show our daddies just how much we love them. 

Book: Knuffle Bunny – Mo Willems

(It was a pretty vocal group today, which worked great with this story. Some kids were already familiar with the book so I didn’t even have to prompt for responses about the bunny getting left behind! Very well received.)

Activity: D-A-D-D-Y (B-I-N-G-O)

(I taped the letters around a paper towel roll, and slid them around for the letters to disappear. When the first D was gone one child wanted to know what the new word was, so we sounded it out each time a letter disappeared. Very fun.)

Book: Oh Daddy – Bob Shea

(Silly daddy keeps doing things wrong! Even the older elementary kids that sat in were having a good time with this one.)

Activity: If You’re Happy and you Know It from the CD Get Ready, Get Set, Sing! by Sarah Barchas

(Introduced this by asking if the kids daddies loved them when they were happy ‘Yes!’ and when they were angry ‘No!’ [oops!] We reiterated that daddies love us all the time, whether we are hungry or sleepy or sad. Then sang the great version with a bunch of different emotions.)

Book: A Wild Fathers Day – Sean Callahan

(The kids were excited by the cover of this book ‘They’re turning into monkeys!’ and had fun throughout. One proclaimed after the story, ‘That was a book about imagination.’)

Flannel Board: Matching Families

(I was going to do a flannel version of ‘The Fathers are Coming Home’ but ended up using the images for a matching game instead. We put all the daddies on our flannel board and talked a little about the animals, then I held up the baby animals and the kids told me what they matched with. This one seemed to fizzle out a little bit, maybe 8 was too many pairs?)

Book: My Dad is Big and Strong, but… – Coraline Saudo

(Such a fun new book! I worried that it might feel a little long, but the kids were engaged throughout. )

Craft/Activity: Shirt cards

(I had a bunch of ‘shirt’ cards ready for the kids to color, with a poem printed inside.)

With my fingers I dance a beat,

that tickles through my daddy’s shirt.

He helps me eat a tasty treat,

that drips drops down my daddy’s shirt.

When I get scared, he’s where I look,

hold tight onto my daddies shirt.

Then nod off after one last book,

snuggled against my daddies shirt.

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Sendak Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Today is a special storytime, we’re going to do stories that were all by one author, Maurice Sendak. He died just a little while ago, so this is to say thank you for all the great books he wrote for us.  He also drew pictures for books, and our first story is one where he just drew the pictures. 

Book: Bears –  Ruth Krauss

(I sort of talked the kids through this one, we followed the kidnapping and recovery of the boys teddy bear. It was well received.)

Flannel Board: One Was Johnny


(This story translated magnificently to magnet board telling. The base of the room was drawn on with markers. The kids had quite the fun as the room filled up, and then emptied out again!)

Book: Where the Wild Things Are

(The kids were very excited to see this book, almost all of them knew it. Everyone helped the wild things roar the roars, and gnash their teeth, etc. )

Activity: Be wild things

Then we got to be wild things! I modified the classic ‘Teddy Bear’ chant. First, thought, we practiced our wild thing roars, and got our wild claws ready.)

Wild thing, wild thing turn around,

  Wild thing, wild thing scratch the ground.

Wild thing, wild thing Roar out loud,

Wild thing, wild thing, touch a cloud.

Wild thing, wild thing, win a race.

Wild thing, wild thing, jump in place.

Wild thing, wild thing, stop and pause,

Wild thing, wild thing, touch your claws.

Wild thing, wild thing, sit right down.

Wild thing, wild thing, make no sound.

Book: In the Night Kitchen

(This was a fun book, went over without any hubaloo either way.)

Puppets: Pierre

(Used our boy and lion puppet for this. I cut out the father character, using just the mother, lion, and doctor sections. It was very popular, and everyone was happy to see Pierre ride away on the lion at the end.)

Book: Bumble-ardy

(This was tricky, the audience lost interest about a third of the way through. I felt like just reading through it left confusion about what was happening in the pictures, and stopping to talk about the pictures made it too long and interest was lost.)

Activity: Instruments

(after reading about Bumble-Ardy’s party, we had one of our own with instruments and music. All-in-all it was a really good storytime!)

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Parts of Me Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Pigs Picnic – Keiko Kasza

We find out in this story that some parts don’t belong on everyone!

Flannel Board: Head, Body, Legs (a story from Liberia)

But how did our parts get to be the way they are? This story from Liberia gives an explanation.

Long ago, Head was all by himself. He had no legs, no arms and no body. He rolled everywhere. All he could eat were things on the ground that he could reach with his tongue.
At day, he rolled to a cherry tree.  “I’m tired of grass and mushrooms. I wish I could reach those cherries.” He rolled himself up a little hill. “Maybe if I could get a good head start I can hit the trunk hard enough to knock some cherries off,” he thought. He shoved with his ears and began to roll down the hill. “Here I go!” he shouted. Faster and faster he rolled. CRASH! “OWWWWWW” he cried.
“Who’s there?” someone asked.
Head looked up. Above him swung two Arms he had never seen before.
“Look down here,” Head said, “and you’ll see.”
“How can we look?” asked Arms. “We don’t have eyes.”
“I have an idea, “ said Head. “Let’s get together. I have eyes to see, and you have hands for picking things to eat.” “Okay,” said Arms. They dropped to the ground and attached themselves to Head above the ears.
“This,” said Head, “is perfect.”
Hands picked cherries, and Head ate every single one.
“It’s time for a nap,” said Head, yawning. Soon he was fast asleep.
While Head slept, Body bounced along and landed on top of him. “Help!” gasped Head. “I can’t breathe!” Arms pushed Body off. “Hey,” said Body. “Stop pushing me. Who are you?” “It’s us, Head and Arms,” said Head. “You almost squashed us. Watch where you’re going!” “How can I?” asked Body. “I can’t see.”
“Why don’t you join us?” said Head. “I see some ripe mangoes across the river. If you help us swim over there, I’ll help you see where you’re going.” “Okay,” said Body. So Head attached himself to Body at the belly button.
“This,” said Head, “is perfect.”
Soon they reached the far bank and bounced up against the mango tree. “Pick some,” Head ordered. Arms stretched as high as they could, but they couldn’t quite reach. Head looked around for a stick. Standing near the tree were two crossed Legs with feet on the ends. “Get those,” Head said to Arms.
“Join us,” said Head. “I have eyes. I can show you where to go, and you can help us reach those mangoes.” “Okay,” said Legs. So Legs attached themselves to the hands.
“No there,” said Arms. “The hands need to be free to pick mangoes.”
“I should be in the middle,” said Body, “because I’m the biggest.”
“That’s right,” said Head. “You should be at the bottom, Legs. I’ll swing around on top of Body so I can see everything. And Arms, you move to the shoulders.”
Everyone slid into place. Legs stood on tiptoe. Body straightened out. Arms stretched up, and the hands picked a mango. Head took a bite, and smiled.
“Mmm, delicious,” Head said. “Now THIS is perfect!”

(This was a little long, but kept everyone’s interest very well. It was fun having the kids help to get the body finally in the correct order.)

Book: I ain’t gonna paint no more – David Catrow

(Not the first time I’ve done this book, but it seemed to fall a little flat this time. Fun illustrations, and interactive potential.)

Activity/Song: Put your Finger On from the CD Feel the Music by Parachute Express

(This got the kids excited, a great simple interactive activity.)

Book: We’ve all got bellybuttons – David Martin

(and we continued the interacting to this story! Awesome all around.)

Puppets: A Beautiful Girl – Amy Schwarts

(Jenna meets lots of different animals who wonder why she’s different. Here she explains to little elephant the she hasn’t got a trunk, but her nose is very useful. Good interaction with the kids on this too.)

Book: Goodnight, Me – Andrew Daddo

(Sweet, simple, and the perfect ending to our storytime. Little orangutan puts all the different parts of himself to sleep.)

Activity: Looby Loo from the CD Wiggleworms Love You by Wiggleworms

(Then we got out the parachute and used it during this song! When the song finished we just played for a while.)

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Teeth Storytime

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: Snip Snap! What’s that! – jp Bergman

Activity: Time to be Happy

Is it time to be serious?

No, no no! (shake head side to side)

Is it time to be happy?

Yes, let’s go! (Smile big and laugh!)

(We repeated this a couple of times, talking more quietly and laughing more loudly.)

(I was trying desperately to find something to fit here, and the night before storytime I went to bed all a flustered that my attempts at ‘the old lady who swallowed a fly’ were failing [I really wanted to do something with The Bears Toothache by  Mcphail, but couldn’t get a copy of it]. So I woke up and this came to me. It was simple and fun and a perfect transition to the next story!)

Book: Augustus and his Smile – Catherine Rayner

(Augustus never really shows his teeth, but we talked about smiling right before, so it worked all right…and I love the pictures!)

Flannel Board: Tooth Fairy 

Look and see, look and see, can you find the tooth for me?

Is it under the Red pillow?

(repeat with different colors, ending on the pillow with the tooth under it!)

(I asked the kids if they knew what happened when their tooth falls out, someone in each group was able to introduce the tooth fairy that way. I really had no idea what I was doing during the creation of the tooth fairy puppet, but it worked out! I think the parents were more tickled by her voice than the kids were.)

Book: I’m a Shark – Bob Shea

(I was determined to not make this a dentist storytime, so even one reference to a sharks teeth in this book was enough for me! Bob Shea is always great)

Activity: Brush Your Teeth – from the CD Singable Songs for the Very Young by Raffi

(I guided the kids through different brushing [using our fingers] during the song, up and down, back and forth, in circles, all the way in the back! And we showed our pretty smiles at the end.)

Book: Pony Brushes His Teeth – Michael Dahl

(A good introduction to tooth care while keeping it fun. Dad’s expression at the end is great!)

Activity: Five Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree – traditional

Five little monkeys swinging in a tree
teasing Mr. Alligator can’t catch me….you can’t catch me
along came Mr. Alligator quiet as can be
and snapped that monkey out that tree

(repeat with decreasing numbers. )

(end with)

No more monkeys swinging in a tree!

(inspired by these monkeys, I made a visual to go along with the song. Used the crocodile puppet I’ve got on hand.)



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