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"Going to the Circus" Cut and Tell Rhyme

I was inspired by (re)noticing Grandma's Magic Scissors in our collection to try and pair cuttings of some of the patterns in the book with some favorite fingerplays and rhymes. The first one I'm going to share with you is called "Going to the Circus" and I found it in Creative Resources for the Early Childhood Classroom (5th Edition).

Going to the Circus
Start with a closed fist and raise one finger as in the rhyme. 
Going to the circus to have a lot of fun. 
The animals parading one by one. 
Now they are walking 2 by 2,
A great big lion and a caribou.
Now they are walking 3 by 3, 
The elephants and the chimpanzee. 
Now they are walking 4 by 4,
A striped tiger and a big old bear.
Now they are walking 5 by 5,
It makes us laugh when they arrive. 

I used the elephant pattern from page 55 in Grandma's Magic Scissors. There is also a seal one on page 78. This probably isn't a "true" cut and tell because the cutting doesn't necessarily correlate with the action in the story, but I thought it was a cute pairing that adds a little oomph to a simple fingerplay. 

These are pretty simple to make. I photocopied the pattern, then cut that out and traced it onto black cardstock (which I had folded in half). Then I cut the image out following my light pencil tracing. I used a hole punch for the eyes.

Today Sarah's hosting a Valentine's Day themed Flannel Friday Round-Up! I don't have any mushy gushy activities that I haven't posted before, but here are some links to them if you haven't seen the old ones yet:

The Big-Hearted Elephant 
A Blanket for the Princess
Moose in Love (my personal favorite)

If you're feeling anti-Valentine's Day, maybe "Nobody Likes Me" is your jam?

I'm always on the lookout for circus books that aren't too long for preschoolers, so if you have a favorite, please leave it in the comments! I like to bring some props to storytime and have the kids jump through a ring of fire (hula hoop with red and orange crepe paper streamers), walk a tightrope (jump rope or, in a pinch, masking tape line on the floor), and then I have them pretend to be strongmen and show me their "muscles." 


  1. Love the idea of cutting a shape while doing a rhyme. Thanks for sharing this week!

    There are several circus books that come to my mind but one in particular fits your cutting activity. It is Circus by Lois Ehlert. It is different but it uses cut paper illustrations. :)

    Oh! I just remembered an even better one that also uses the cut paper technique for the illustrations ~ Circus Opposites: An Interactive Extravaganza! by Suse MacDonald. It even has an elephant on the cover. LOL!

  2. It's been a couple years since I've read it, but I seem to remember that "Tree Ring Circus" by Adam Rex was a fun, silly read. Thanks for the fun cut & tell post!

  3. Love the elephant! I can not do rhymes and cut-outs at the same time. I am in awe oh clever circus girl! And, just so happens when I grew up we did those circus stunts....(hula)hoops of flame and tight(jump) ropes...(masking tape was not yet invented!!) And sad to say only the boys had muscles in my neighborhood!!! I really want to do a circus theme now. Thanks ~ jane

  4. Ohhh, I haven't seen this book before. It's definitely on the interloan list now!


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