Sunday, December 2, 2012

Owls: Flying High with Fingerplays, Songs and More

Owls and Faeries
by Richard Doyle 1824-1883
Last week we celebrated “Owls” during our lapsit program. We had lots of fun with the fingerplays, songs, games and flying around the room hooting “Woo Woo Woo…” Below are some of the items I shared with the children, along with an easy, inexpensive game I created, Feed the Owl, that was a huge hit!

I found the songs and fingerplays all around the web so feel free to use them in during your storytime. I have added some folktales and legends from around the world at the end of the post for the storytellers among us.


Five little Owls

Five little owls on a moonlit night five little owls are quite a sight.
Five little owls Are you keeping score?
One flew away! And then there were four.
Four little owls Happy as can be,
One flew away! Then there were three.
Three little owls Calling "Whoo! Whoo!"
One flew away! And that left two.
Two little owls having lots of fun.
One flew away! And that left one.
One little owl we’re  almost done.
He flew away! And that leaves none.

For the above fingerplay I had five little flannel board owls and we counted down each time one flew away.
The Owl

There's a wide-eyed owl (thumbs and forefingers around eyes)
With a pointed nose, (thumbs and forefingers to make a point)
He has pointed ears(clenched hands, forefingers up for ears)
And claws for toes:(make hands into claws)
He sits in a tree and looks at you; (fingers circles around eyes)
Then flaps his wings and says, (hands to chest and flap elbows)
"tu-whit, tu-whoo " (hands cup mouth to hoot)


Owl Song (Tune: "I'm a little Teapot")

I'm a great big owl, as you can see.
I live high up in a tree. |
All the other birds wake me up when they play,
Because I like to sleep in the day!

Owl in the Tree  (Tune: Skip to my Lou)
Owl in the tree says, "Who, who, who."
Owl in the tree says, "Who, who, who."
Owl in the tree says, "Who, who, who.
Who, who, are you?"
We sang this song a few times and after the last line I encouraged the children to yell out their name. Normally, I would have gone from child to child but there were so many in the session I decided to do them all at once. The loved it!

If You Want To Be An Owl (Tune: If You’re Happy And You Know It)

If you want to be an owl, shout – Who! Who!
If you want to be an owl, shout – Who! Who!
Then you get to sleep all day
And at night you get to play.
If you want to be an owl, shout – Who! Who!

I added the additional stanzas below. Perhaps you can add more! The children had a lot of fun singing and doing all of the gestures with me.

If you want to be an owl flap your wings…
If you want to be an owl look around…
If you want to be an owl shake your feathers…


I read the book The Littlest Owl by Caroline Pitcher and the children were delighted by the illustrations.

Here are a few more suggestions:

I'm Not Cute! - Jonathan Allen
Hoot Hoot! - Richard Powell
Little Owl - Piers Harper
Mrs. Owl and Mr. Pig - Jan Wahl
Owl Babies - Martin Waddell
The Sleepy Owl - Marcus Pfister
Whoo-oo Is It - Megan McDonald


Look What Mom Found – This is the craft the children made during the program. Kara printed out the masks on cardstock. The children colored them and attached the popsicle stick  with the help of their moms and dads. Voila! Easy and oh so cute. – Owl animal crafts and activities to add to the fun!

Ato Z Kid Stuff – O is for Owls coloring Page


Feed the Owl

I wanted an easy game for the children that would be interactive and also help them with counting and colors. I purchased some white, plastic buckets on clearance, the type the children use for Halloween candy when they are trick or treating.

Initially, I tried to find bean bags but instead purchased two packages of plastic, round scrub brushes at the dollar stores, five to a package: green, red, yellow, orange, blue.  (see picture here: . They were perfect, soft, light and would do no harm if a child accidentally threw one at another child.

I printed out two clip art pictures of an owl, 8 x 11, in color, and placed one in each bucket. The children took turns “feeding the owl” as we counted the number of throws and called out the colors.  We played before the program and afterwards; so much fun for a total of $4.00.


Owl Themed Lesson Plan for Preschoolers – Lots of great information, including craft ideas.


Battle of the Owls - Hawaii
Concerning the Hawk and the Owl - Nigeria
The Fire Owl – Inuit (site also includes a lesson plan)

The Hunter and the Owl - Native American/Lenape
The Owl – Germany/Brothers Grimm
The Owl Husband – Native American/Passamaquoddy
Why the Owl Flies at Night - Portugal

Why the Owls Have Big Eyes – Native American
Why There is Day and Night – Native American

Karen Chace 2012 ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.


WorldofStories said...

great post, as always plenty to learn! Thanks for the tales!

Karen Chace said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment Simon. Great to know you found the post useful.