Toddler Programs Chapter

By Heather Coleson

Reading through the Rainforest

Books to Share

Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree by Eileen Christelow.

Hug by Jez Alborough.

If You’re Happy and You Know It: Jungle Edition by James Warhola.

A Monkey Among Us by Dave Horowitz.

Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree by Jan Peck.

Books to Show or Booktalk

Animals in the Jungle by Elisabeth de Lambilly-Bresson.

Monkey See, Monkey Do by Marc Gave.

One Monkey Too Many by Jackie Koller.

“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” Said the Sloth by Eric Carle.

Bulletin Board

Reading Through the Rainforest

Decorate the bulletin board with rain forest animals and flora, using the photograph at Bulletin Board Pro,, as a model. Add letters to create the title “Reading Through the Rainforest.”



Use the tree pattern provided in this program to create tree nametags.

Rhymes and Poetry

Five Little Monkeys Swinging From the Tree


Five little monkeys, (hold up five fingers)

Swinging from the tree. (wave hand back and forth)

Teasing Mr. Alligator, (shake finger at children)

“Can’t catch me. Can’t catch me!”

Along comes Mr. Alligator,

Quietly as can be.

AND SNAP! (open hands like an alligator mouth and then slam hands shut)

Repeat with:

Four little monkeys…(hold up 4 fingers)

Three little monkeys…(hold up 3 fingers)

Two little monkeys…(hold up 2 fingers)

Continue until there are no more monkeys swinging from the tree.

Recite “Walking Through the Jungle” from the Harris County Public Library’s Storytime Database at

Recite “Monkey See, Monkey Do” on page 138 of Storytimes for Two-Year-Olds by Judy Nichols.

Audio Recordings

“The Monkey Dance” on Yummy Yummy by The Wiggles.

“Jungle Adventure” on Barney’s Favorites Featuring Songs from Imagination Island by Barney.

Puppet Plays

Perform “Elephant’s Sneeze” on pages 167-172 from One-Person Puppet Plays by Denise Wright.

Stories to Tell

Tell the fable “The Lion and the Mouse.” The story and patterns to create flannel board pieces can be found on pages 119-120 of Toddler Storytime Programs by Diane Briggs.


Jungle Tree

  • Brown construction paper
  • Blue construction paper
  • Green tissue paper
  • White craft glue

In advance, cut tree trunks using the jungle tree pattern provided in this program. Give each toddler a tree trunk, a blue piece of construction paper, and a small sheet of green tissue paper. Glue the tree trunk to the blue piece of paper. Tear up pieces of green tissue paper to make leaves and glue the leaves onto the trunk to make a jungle tree.

Jungle tree pattern, leaves of color lime and green tissue paper for and brown trunk

Tiger Paper Bag Puppet

Make a “Tiger Paper Bag Puppet” using the patterns and instructions from Sunday School Fun Zone at lessons/noahsark.html - freetigerpuppetpatterns.

Silly Monkey Face

Make a “Silly Monkey Face” mask using the pattern on page 231 in The Big Book of Stories, Songs, and Sing-Alongs by Beth Maddigan. Add a party blower that can be held up to the precut slit for the mouth to make silly noises.

Games and Activities

Use the “I’m a Lion Activity” on page 111 in 2’s Experience Fingerplays by Liz and Dick Wilmes to encourage children to guess the animal and its sound. The patterns for these stick puppets are on pages 136-137. Make the puppets and hold them up as the children make animal sounds or make an animal sound and ask the children to identify which animal just spoke.

Guest Speakers

Invite a local gymnastics group to show the toddlers how to tumble.

Program Materials

Reading Through the Rainforest – Tree Nametag Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (21 KB)

Tree Nametag Pattern - Six Simple Trees on sheet, cloud top for branches and leaves, the trunk is a simple rectangle

Reading Through the Rainforest – Jungle Tree Pattern

Printer Friendly PDF Version (17 KB)

Tree Pattern - Tree with six branches and trunk without leaves on sheet

Texas Reading Club 2010 Programming Manual / Catch the Reading Express!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011