Here is the outline I used to teach our 45-minute class for 3-4 year olds. In addition to our preschoolers, we usually have a couple younger and older brothers and sisters join in too. 😉
1- Gathering time: play with musical instruments bin.
2- Welcome Song. We usually do this with puppets–it makes a pretty smooth transition to clean up the gathering instruments and go and get a puppet.
This time, I introduced my special friend, Cami ( a 3-foot long crocodile puppet)!
3- When I Sing LaLaLa by Janeen Brady. We do this and the welcome song with puppets:
4- I introduced the theme and we talked about crocodiles and what the kids know about crocodiles already.
Then I pulled out the crocodile’s friends: an orangutan (we had to use a stuffed gorilla), an eagle, a fish, a bunny, a beaver (I don’t actually have any beaver toys, so we used a stick to represent the beaver), and an elephant. We made the sounds that each animal made, and then sang along with this song:
5- Shaker Eggs: Before I passed out the shaker eggs we talked about how crocodiles lay eggs and a mother crocodile usually carries her babies in her mouth to a river before she leaves them to grow up on their own:
6- Rhythm Sticks: We used the rhythm sticks to play “Copy Crocodile:” each child had a turn making a short rhythm that everyone else copied.
7- 5 Little Monkeys Teasing Mr. Crocodile. How could we have a crocodile week without this famous counting finger play song?!
We chanted it without accompaniment in a sing-song rhythm:
5 little monkeys swinging in the tree,
teasing Mr. Crocodile, “You can’t catch me!
“You can’t catch me!”
But along came Mr. Crocodile as silent as can be,
He ate one!
4 little monkeys swinging in the tree…
3 little monkeys swinging in the tree…
2 little monkeys swinging in the tree…
1 little monkey swinging in the tree…
No little monkeys swinging in the tree
teasing Mr Crocodile, “You can’t catch me!
“You can’t catch me!”
And Mr. Crocodile is happy as can be!
8- Let’s go swimming. We didn’t actually sing this one, but I wanted to have it ready if we had time for it! Crocodiles eat fish, so it ties in nicely!
9- Parachute Game:10 Little Crocodiles: All the kids started out on the parachute while the adults made “waves.” We “sang” a counting rhyme. Each time we counted down, one or two kids hopped off. You could use 5 Little Monkeys above or this rhyme:
10 little crocodiles sitting in the sea.
1 climbed out to sit quietly!
9 little crocodiles…
10- Parachute Game: Crocodiles: Every week we usually play some version of this game. 1 or 2 children start out as a “crocodile” and everyone else sits with their feet under the parachute. Everyone makes waves with the parachute while the crocodile crawls around under the parachute gently tickling people’s toes. If your toes get tickled, you turn into a crocodile and climb under the parachute too!
11- Parachute Song: Walk Around by Nancy Kopman. We walk around holding onto the parachute and doing the suggested actions in this song:
12- Goodbye Song.