Mammoths and Ice Age – Preschool Storytime

I noticed that there seemed to be quite a few new books about mammoths out, which inspired today’s Ice Age theme.  Also, it may have something to do with the fact that today’s high is 102° and I am longing for cooler weather.   While this may seem like a strange theme for preschool storytime, it was actually really successful!

MOVEMENT: Welcome Song*


How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth
by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Kate Hindley

MOVEMENT:  The Mastodon
(With a quick name changes this Elephant fingerplay is now about an ice age mammal.)

The mastodon goes like this and that (walk heavily from side to side).
He’s terribly big (hold hands out to side)
And he’s terrible fat (bring hands around to make circle around tummy).
He had no fingers (wiggle fingers).
He had no toes (wiggle toes).
But goodness gracious — what a nose! (Make a trunk with arm).

The Mammoths in the Ice Age
Mammoths in the Ice Age Flannelboard2 blog labeled Mammoths in the Ice Age Flannelboard2-Labeled
(Templates from coloring pages from the Denver Museum of Nature & Science)

(to tune of: “The Wheels on the Bus”)
The mammoths in the Ice Age went
trumpet, trumpet, trumpet,
trumpet, trumpet, trumpet,
trumpet, trumpet, trumpet.
The mammoths in the ice age went
trumpet, trumpet, trumpet,
All around the land.

Other verses:
The saber tooth tiger in the Ice Age went growl, growl, growl…
The ground sloth in the Ice Age moved slow, slow, slow…
The camel in the Ice Age went spit, spit, spit…
The dire wolf in the Ice Age went howl, howl, howl…
The man in the Ice Age said big, big, big…


Me Hungry! by Jeremy Tankard

MOVEMENT: “Jump Up, Turn Around” from Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem by Jim Gill


A Mammoth in the Fridge by Michaël Escoffier and illustrated by Matthieu Maudet.


“Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct” from Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late … and more stories by Mo Willems based on the book by Mo Willems

MOVEMENT: Storytime’s Over*


Book: Me Want Pet! by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Bob Shea
Book: Mammoth and Me by Algy Craig Hall
Book: Mammoths on the Move by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus
Book: Hot Hot Hot by Neal Layton

Rhyme: Mammoth Walk
(another adaptation of an elephant movement)
Right foot, left food, see me go (stomp on right foot first, then on left).
I am shaggy and big and slow.
I go walking down the ice.
With my trunk and tusks so nice. (make a trunk, then tusks with arms.)

My fiancé was teasing me about how this seemed to be a really specific storytime theme, and that he thought it was pretty weird.  I said if you had been doing storytime for almost 8 years you wanted some variety.  And it turned out to be a great storytime!  All listeners really seemed to enjoy How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth, as well as the rest of the books.  The flannelboard went better than I thought it would, considering this is one of the first ones I’ve developed from scratch.  And thanks to information from the La Brea Tar Pits Page Museum I found out that all these animals were found in those tar pits — which means they lived around here at one point!  Next time I do this storytime I think I will bring along some nonfiction to show pictures of what the animals looked like – I overheard a child ask what a mastodon was and it would have been nice to have something to show the kids.  I know the movie was a bit of a stretch for this theme, but we didn’t have any good preschool-aged movies to show.  So before showing the film I asked if any of the kids knew what extinct meant (DIED!), and explained how all the ice age animals we were talking about were extinct, and how the dinosaurs were extinct before these animals existed.  And then I played the movie, and no one really cared if it tied in with the theme because it’s a great story and they all enjoyed it anyway.

ATTENDANCE: 53 (adults and children – it was a mammoth-sized storytime)

*To see the words to these movements and activities I use frequently, please visit my A-capella Movements Section on my Storytime Movements and Music Page

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