Toddler Storytime: Jungle Theme

Last week's theme at storytime was Jungle! This was one of my more successful storytimes lately, and I think everyone had a great time.

Seals on the Bus (Hort)
Head to Toe (Carle)
Yikes (Florczak)
We've All Got Bellybuttons (Martin) Basically the same kind of book as Carle's, but no one seemed to mind.

Chant Rhymes
I actually had this rhyme written down to do another week during the mice theme, and forgot to do it, so I figured I would change the animals to fit the jungle theme. It actually made it even sillier (original rhyme "I Have a Dog"  I learned from Artsy Toddler Storytimes and had a dog, cat, mouse, etc.) It's a call and response song (audience repeats after you), and we alternated clapping with keeping the beat on our laps. Well, I tried, but this is a lot for my brain to process so I goofed up a few times. Oh well!  I also thought you could do it with the motions I wrote below.

I Have a Giraffe
I have a giraffe.  Nod, like this a legit thing that you have a drummer giraffe at home.
He plays the drums.  Pretend to play the drums
He keeps me up.    Lift arms up. 
When bedtime comes. Fold your hands like you're pretending to sleep. 
With a rat-a-tat tat  Play the drums. 
Rat-a-tat-tat.  Play the drums. 

Then we did it again with elephant, tiger, zebra, whatever. You could change the instruments out, to better fit the animals too. Like an elephant that trumpets with a toot-a-toot, etc.

Scarf Rhymes
I've been experimenting with using the same scarf rhymes each week because it can be so hard to get good participation if the audience doesn't know what to expect. And truthfully I don't always have as much time to practice and learn theme-related rhymes as I would like. Here's two that I have been having a lot of success with though:

Shake the Mango Tree --I learned this from Sesame Street while home one day with my sick toddler. It's very catchy! We do it with a scarf in each hand, egg shakers work too. It's a call and response song, so have the audience repeat after you. Here's the words (each line is said twice before moving on to the next one):

Shake, shake the mango tree.  Shake your arms like a tree.
Mango yellow, mango green.  Hold one arm up and then the other. 
One for you, and one for me.  Point out and then in. 
Shake, shake the mango tree.  Shake your arms like a tree. 

Popcorn Kernels
(Tune: Frere Jacques)
Popcorn kernels, popcorn kernels. Wave the scarves in the air. 
In the pot, in the pot. Ball the scarves up in your fists. 
Shake them, shake them, shake them; shake them, shake them, shake them. Shake the scarves in your fists.
'Til they pop! 'Til they pop! Throw them in the air.