Thursday, March 23, 2017

Storytime: Chickens


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Five Little Chicks by Nancy Tafuri
~Count with maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep!  by Lucy Cousins
Chicken Story Time by Sandy Asher
~Where, Oh Where, is Rosie’s Chick? by Pat Hutchins
*The Red Hen by Rebecca Emberly and Ed Emberly
~*Here a Chick, Where a Chick? by Suse MacDonald

Books marked with a ~ were used for my toddler storytime and books marked with * were used for my all ages storytime. Chickens are a fun theme. There are so many picture book options about them! Both Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep and Here a Chick, Where a Chick? have flaps to lift up and look behind. The kids defintiely wanted to help lift the flaps, which doesn't work well with large groups, but regardless, lifting flaps is fun! Where, Oh Where, is Rosie's Chick? went over really well. The kids were all laughing at silly Rosie not seeing the chick right behind her. I think I probably should have used this one in my all ages storytime too. They weren't as engaged with the two titles I chose. I thought Here a Chick, Where a Chick? would be a winner with the animal noises, but they weren't as into it today as they usually are.

Click read more for extension activities.

Songs and Rhymes

~*Action Song: “Shake your Egg”

(Tune: Do your Ears Hang Low)

Can you shake your egg up high?
Can you shake your egg down low?
Can you shake it side to side?
Can you shake it by your toe?
Can you shake it really fast?
Can you shake it really slow?
Can you shake your egg?

Source: Storytimes and More

A chicken theme is the perfect excuse to break out the shaky eggs. I don't use them nearly as often as I should, but I had to do it for this storytime!

~*Action Song: “I Know a Chicken”

Oh, I know a chicken (I know a chicken)
And she laid an egg (and she laid an egg)
Yeah, I know a chicken (I know a chicken)
And she laid an egg (and she laid an egg)
Oh my goodness (oh my goodness)
It’s a shaky egg! (It’s a shaky egg!)
Now shake them fast! Shake ‘em fast!

Shake them fast! Shake ‘em fast!

Shake your eggs! Shake ‘em fast, shake it fast!
Now shake them slow, you know how it goes
Shake them slow, because you know how it goes
And shake them fast! Oh, shake those eggs!
Shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it!
Now shake them in a circle, round and round
Don’t you let them touch the ground

When you shake ‘em round and round

Now shake them up and down
Shake ‘em up and down, you got to
Shake it up and down

Source: Laurie Berkner Band

I played this one from my phone over a speaker rather than just singing it myself. It was a fun change to have someone else doing most of the music.

Action Song: “The Chickens in the Coop”

(Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)

The hens in the coop go cluck, cluck, cluck
Cluck, cluck, cluck
Cluck, cluck, cluck
The hens in the coop go cluck, cluck, cluck
All around the farm .

Verses: The chicks in the yard go cheep, cheep, cheep, The rooster on the fence goes cock-a-doodle-dooo

~*Action/Transition Rhyme: “Here’s a Little Egg”

(Tune: I’m a Little Teapot)

Here's a little egg, so smooth and white
(Sit cross-legged, head down, arms in lap)
Peck, peck, peck, there's something inside!
(Move head slightly at each peck)
Peck, peck, peck, here comes a little beak
(Move head on each peck, raising it a little higher each time)
Peck, peck, peck, here come two little feet
(Extend feet a little farther on each peck)
Peck, peck, peck, and peck, peck, peck.
(straighten body and move arms on each word, spreading wider)
and crack, crack, CRACK!
(move to squatting position)
Out pops the baby chicken!
(Stand up, arms above head)

Source: Johnson County Library

I ended up not actually using this rhyme, but still doing a similar activity/stretch where we transitioned a few times between being eggs and chickens.

Flannelboards and Fingerplays

*Flannelboard: “Ten Fluffy Chickens”
Five eggs and five eggs
(Add a clutch of eggs each time you say “five eggs”)
And that makes ten
Sitting on top
(Add the hen)
Is Mother Hen
Cackle cackle cackle
(Clap hands as you say Cackle!)
What do I see?
Ten fluffy chicks
(Flip over each clutch of eggs.)
Yellow as can be.

Source: Mel's Desk

I also had the kids help me count the eggs after I put each clutch on the board. One of the boys knew that five and five makes ten before we even counted them all! I also made sure to count the chicks at the end of the rhyme since you don't want to count your chickens before they hatch!


I printed out a cute chick coloring sheet for the kids to color. After that we cut out the chick and and glued it to a paper plate and then cut a second paper plate in half and attached it at one side with a brad to make a hatching egg. It's a pretty easy craft and very cute!

How it Went

Chickens are a fun theme and it gave me a good excuse to break out the shaky eggs, which I really should utilize more! A lot of families in my area also keep chickens so a few of the kids have chickens at home, which made this an especially fun theme for them. The all ages group was really high energy again this week, so we did a lot of moving and egg shaking! I played music over a speaker for the first time this week and I liked how it went, though my speaker doesn't seem to get quite loud enough. I'll have to see if I can troubleshoot that if I want to use music other than my own singing in the future.

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