Preschool Storytime: Tigers in the Jungle


Everybody has their go-to lay-out for a Big Kid storytime. Here’s an example of mine!

Tigers in the Jungle Storytime

Advertised age range: 2-5

Age range of actual attendees: 9 mo. – 6 years (plus grown-ups, of course!)

Attendance: 120

Length: 30 minutes, give or take

A word on themes:

This particular storytime, I did use a theme, but more often than not, I don’t. I find that at this age, kids aren’t developmentally ready to follow the concept of a “theme,” so theming is mostly for the grown-ups. I usually dislike theming, because I find myself struggling to pull together enough books I actually like (and sometimes include books just to suit the theme, which isn’t ideal). I never theme my songs, because I like to repeat most of the songs every storytime and theming gets in the way of that healthy repetition.

It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle

Storytime outline:

* indicates I use this in every preschool storytime.

* Hello song: Bread and Butter (thank you to Jbrary for this and other videos!)

Book 1: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, by Peter Brown

Ukulele song: If You’re Happy and You Know It

* Movement song: Bananas Unite!

Book 2: It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle

* Movement song: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

* Transition rhyme: I Touch My Eyes (cannot find a video of this rhyme, but the words are: I touch my eyes / I touch my nose / I touch my ears / I touch my toes / I reach waaaaay up high / and waaaaay down low / I turn around / and down I go.)

Books 3: Once Upon a Jungle, by Laura Knowles

Shaker song: Shake Your Shakers Way Up High

Shaker song: Where Is Shaker?

Shaker song: Shake My Sillies Out

* Good-bye songs: The More We Get Together and ABCs

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

What repeats and what does not

I repeat most of my songs from week to week. I always do the same hello and good-bye songs, and I always include the same movement songs. These songs have become beloved moments that families look forward to, and at this point I would not dream of changing them because they get everyone participating (and with 100-200 attendees at a storytime, you need moments that bring everyone together!)

I rotate the props we use at preschool storytime. One week we use egg shakers, one week scarves, and one week wrist bells, and then we start over again. I never do a storytime without props, because they are such great hands-on opportunities for kids to play and explore.

I do different books each week, though I admit to repeating my favorites (It’s a Tiger! is one of my faves. So much you can act out!).

Once Upon a Jungle, by Laura Knowles

You mean you don’t do… (crafts, snacks, puppets, etc)?

Nope! My library definitely doesn’t have the budget to give healthy snacks to 100-200 people every week, I’m not a fan of crafts (process art all the way!), and I’ve broken up too many shoving matches over puppets to bring them out with the preschoolers. I’ve never had any complaints about these “classic” storytime elements, so my families are cool with it.

Coming soon… the attack of the 250-patron Baby Storytime!

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