Zoos are magical places for kids, where they can see animals they would only have seen in books or on TV. They’re also great places to explore through Storytime, with a lot of great stories and rhymes about the animals in the zoo!


The Way To the Zoo

John Burningham.

A small girl finds a door in her bedroom… and that door leads to the zoo! She has a lot of fun bringing a different animal home with her each night, until one day she forgets to lock the door! This is a sweet story that really captures the magic of childhood, where absolutely anything is possible.

Book Cover of The Way to the Zoo
Book cover for 1 2 3 to the Zoo

123 Zoo

Eric Carle

This is an Eric Carle book with his unique illustrations… and no words! The storytelling is completely up to the reader, which allows for a lot of fun and flexibility. There is a train pulling carriages to the zoo, and in each carriage is a different amount of animals. This book let us have some great Story Time interaction, where the kids had to recognise the animals and then we counted them together.

ABC Zoo 

Rod Campbell

This is a really good book for kids learning their ABC’s, as the bright illustrations of Rod Campbell make each animal vivid and easy to recognise. There are even a few lift the flaps to keep up interest. Definitely one to share together with someone beginning their ABC journey.


Supermarket Zoopermarket 

Nick Sharratt.

I went to the supermarket and I got some… Ape-ricot yoghurt! Each animal is illustrated with a real photo of the food they’re representing, which leads to some bold and unusual creatures! They’re also hiding behind lift-the-flaps, so kids can have fun guessing what the animal might be from their puntastic food names.

Songs and Rhymes

You Can Hear the Lions Roaring

(to the tune of “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain”)

You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo(roar roar)

You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo (roar roar)

You can hear the lions roaring, You can hear the lions roaring

You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo (roar roar)

You can hear monkeys eeking at the zoo…

You can hear the snakes hissing at the zoo…

Five Cheeky Monkeys

Five cheeky monkeys swinging in the tree

teasing Mr. Crocodile can’t catch me

along came Mr. Crocodile quiet as can be

and snap! Went he.

(Continue down until one monkey and then…)

No more monkeys swinging in the tree!

Monkey See, Monkey Do.

Monkey see, monkey do

Little monkey at the zoo.

Monkey, monkey in the tree

Can you ________ like me?

(jump around, swing your arms, scratch an itch, eat a banana, screech)

Old McDonald (Zoo edition)

Old Mcdonald had a Zoo, ei ei o.

And in that zoo he had a tiger, ei ei o.

With a roar roar here and a roar roar there,

Here a roar, there a roar, everywhere a roar roar!

Old Macdonald had a zoo, ei ei o.

We sung this song with puppets (Tiger, Crocodile, Owl and Shark) but you can of course sing it about many zoo animals. Use actions for some animals that don’t make sounds (like a snapping crocodile) and avoid animals with difficult sounds… unless you’ve been waiting to use your pygmy marmoset impression!


Zoo Popstick Puppets


Drawings of animal faces






Print out some animal face drawings, or draw your own.

Colour them in with crayons, and the cut them out.

Sticky tape a popstick to the back of the faces.

Voila! Easy popstick puppets!