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Wild West Storytime


Storytime and other Library programs.

Let the wild rumpus start!

Wild West Storytime

Scott Bahlmann

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi


Book: Tex – Dorie McCullough Lawson

Today our storytime is all about the Wild West, do you know who works there? Cowboys! Our first book is called Tex, does this look like a good cowboy? He's got a hat and a rope, and what standing behind him? A cow!


(I like to include photobooks when possible. The story was pretty dry, but it was a nice opportunity to talk about the images.)

Activity: Trot Ol’ Joe - traditional folk song

Do you remember what Tex rode around on? His horse! Let's all pretend to ride our own horse, we'll name him Old Joe. What is it called when a horse is moving slowly? It's a trot!


Trot old Joe, trot old Joe
you ride better than any horse I know.
Trot old Joe, trot old Joe
you're the best horse in the country, oh.

(then we added additional verses with cantor, gallop, and run. At the end on 'Whooooaaa!' throw up your hands and fall off the horse!)

Book:How I Spent My Summer Vacation – Mark Teague


(I originally used 'Cowboy Ned and Andy' in this spot, but it felt a little labored on the Tuesday. Thursdays group appreciated this better!)

Activity: Go and Get the Cows

What did the cowboys round up? Their cows! Now we have a bunch of cows to round up too. Let's count them together. We've got all the cows! Now we can take a rest. Everyone fall asleep.


(This was so much fun! One little boy came to both programs and started to giggle every time the slower 'cows are lost' part of the song began.)

(SNORE) (remove all the cows from the flannel board)

Wake up you sleepyheads
Go and get the cattle,
Wake up you sleepyheads
Go and get the cows.

All the cows have run away, Oh no!

The cows are lost. The sun is warm. I think I'll rest, Til they come home.

(replace cows incrementally, ours were all different colors so we identified them as they 'came back home')


Book: Coyote – Gerald McDermott

It isn't just cows that live on the wild west, there are some wild animals too! Like Coyote. 


(I think McDermott's books are fantastic! I liked including a non-cowboy book too.)

Song: Old McDonald Had a Ranch

Coyote lived out on the wild west, can you think of some other animals that do? How about Old McDonald, do you think he would? Let sing about Old McDonald's ranch!


Old McDonald had a ranch E-I-E-I-O
and on that ranch he had _____ E-I-E-I-O
with a (animal noise) here and an (animal noise) there
here an (animal noise) there an (animal noise)
everywhere an (animal noise).
Old McDonald had a ranch E-I-E-I-O

(This was a hit, and a fun excuse to use my guitar [with the theme I felt obligated to make use of it!]. The parents got all gung ho on this one too. We did coyote, horse, cow, snake, rabbit, depending on what the kids suggested, and ended with cowboys saying Ye-haw!)

Book: Are You a Horse? – Andy Rash


(Such a fun book! All through the story the kids were engaged, and the reveal at the end was a fantastic conclusion.)

Activity: Instruments