Suggested Age: Preschool-Grade 1
Submitted by Vicky Dworkin, State Librarian, Hawaii State Library
Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
For Pete’s Sake by Ellen Stoll Walsh
Sylvie by Jennifer Sattler
Also use: Ten Go Tango by Arthur Dorros, and find some flamenco, merengue or salsa music, about 2-2.5 minutes, either instrumental or in Spanish (not English)
This can be a good movement storytime. For Pete’s Sake and Sylvie are humorous stories featuring flamingos; good for preschool. Sylvie is a color story. For Pete’s Sake is about fitting in and feeling comfortable with who you are. Flora and the Flamingo is a delightful wordless picture book about an awkward child who learns to feel graceful by emulating a flamingo. Ten Go Tango is a counting book about animals dancing, including flamingo flamenco dancers. After reading it, read a short rhyme:
Dance the Flamingo
Stretch your neck high, then bring it back down low.
Bob your head back and forth as you go.
Stand on one leg – you are doing the flamingo.
Flap your left wing, flap your right.
Flap together with both like you’re flying out of sight.
Now you want to shake, shake, shake,
Shake your tail feathers like an earthquake.
Demonstrate the movements described, doing them together with the keiki, then put on a cut of flamenco or salsa music (no more than 2.5 minutes, perhaps less) and lead everyone in a line dance, stretching, bobbing, flapping, and shaking.
Activity: Flamingo Craft
- Paper in shades of red, pink, orange, salmon, etc. (Can include less realistic colors if using Sylvie story, where Sylvie changes colors according to what she eats).
- Pipe cleaners, cut in half, in assorted colors to coordinate with colored paper.
Each flamingo requires two mirror-image body pieces, two mirror-image head pieces (See Flamingo Template #1 below), and 3 half-length pipe cleaners (all the same color). Alternative: can substitute two cut-out hearts for body pieces.
- Shape pipe cleaners to represent legs and neck.
- Put glue on inside (blank side) of body piece.
- Put two bent pipe cleaners into leg positions, one into neck position of body.
- Put glue on inside of second body piece. Put on top, pipe cleaners sandwiched in between the two body pieces.
- Put glue on both head pieces. Attach to other end of “neck” pipe cleaner. Let glue dry.
Alternative: can use felt instead of paper, use lots of glue, allow to dry overnight at least. Use assorted colors. Can use these felt flamingos with felt board to do short reprise of Sylvie story. What color is this flamingo? What do you think she has been eating now? Or use with “Five Little Flamingos” rhyme below.
Five Little Flamingos
Five little flamingos, standing on their toes,
One stretched its neck up, one bowed its head low,
One flapped its left wing, the next flapped its right,
The fifth shook its tail, then they danced out of sight.
Note: paper works better than felt for preschool craft because it dries more quickly. Felt is more durable, can use for repeated storytimes.
See template below.
Flamingo Template #1