Boy studying zoo map

What follows is one of my favourite preschool animal songs. I sing it often with my class.

I will share my favourite few verses, as well as a long list of other ideas.

Pick and choose which verses are your favourite, or fit best with your theme.

 

If You Want To Be A…

(tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)

 

If you want to be a giraffe, stretch up tall,

If you want to be a giraffe, stretch up tall,

If you want to be a giraffe, if you want to be a giraffe,

If you want to be a giraffe, stretch up tall.

 

Actions: Reach for the ceiling everytime you sing “stretch up tall”

Some other favourite verses are:

  • If you want to be a lion, roar like me
  • If you want to be a turtle, hide in your shell
  • If you want to be a kangaroo, jump up and down
  • If you want to be a flamingo, stand on one foot
  • If you want to be a butterfly, flap your wings

Strategies:

  • I don’t follow the same order of verses every time and I vary which animals I use. This keeps the children’s interest longer as it feels new each time. 
  • I switch between loud, medium and quiet verses depending on the children’s energy level. If they have lots of energy I do two or three loud ones, but if they start going crazy I regain their attention by using medium volume verses. Finally, I calm them down at the end, and sometimes in the middle too, by using a quiet verse. Your tone, volume and choice of actions will determine how exciting or calming each verse is.
  • Pay attention to your children’s interest levels. Some days they may be happy to do a large number of verses, while other days they may only stay engaged for three or four. Once you start losing their attention move on to the next song/activity.
    • If I am transitioning into story time next, I sing the song through again but with these words:

                   “If you want to hear a story, sit right down.”

  • As you read the different verses below notice how they use a wide range of motions and sounds. I would encourage you to use a variety so as to give the children developmental benefits in many areas.

Possible Verses (by theme)

 

Zoo Animals:

Lion – “roar like me”

Elephant – “swing your trunk”

Giraffe – “stretch up tall”

Flamingo – “Stand on one foot”

Gorilla – “thump your chest”

Kangaroo – “jump up and down”

 

Jungle Animals:

Gorilla – “thump your chest”

Tiger – “roar like this”

Elephant – “swing your trunk”

Snake – “slither like me”

Monkey – “swing your arms”

Sloth – “move real slow”

 

Safari Animals:

Lion – “roar like me”

Elephant – “swing your trunk”

Giraffe – “stretch up tall”

Cheetah – “run real fast”

Hippo – “stomp your feet”

 

Farm Animals:

Horse – “shake your mane”

Bunny – “hop up and down”

Pig – “oink like me”

Mouse – “get real small”

Frog – “jump up and down”

 

Insects:

Grasshopper – “jump up and down”

Bumblebee – “buzz like me”

Butterfly – “flap your wings”

 

North American Animals:

Bear – “roar real loud”

Eagle – “flap your wings”

Jack Rabbit – “hop up and down”

Skunk – “pinch your nose”

Wolf – “look at the moon” (howl)

Squirrel – “eat an acorn”