South America Story Time

Travel Series Story Time

My travel series of story times were developed as a seven week course spanning the June & July summer months. It kept our weekly story time routines interesting; the travel theme provided a more unique summer-programming experience for those of us who can’t travel around the world for vacation, while maintaining the consistency of our weekly story time hours. To prevent information overload, we kept these weekly programs simple. It breaks down to just a taste of another culture, rather than a whole feast.

I couldn’t have done this without the assistance of the amazing blog Kid World Citizen, supplying endless ideas and resources–doing all this, but a thousand times more in-depth.

Storytime Around The World: South America!

Take Home Brochure:

Books to Read:

Love and Roast Chicken; a Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains  

  • This book is a great opportunity to discuss universal trickster motifs. The example I drew from was the classic Ben and Jerry.
  • The content will skew older, but the woodblock prints are enough to keep even the youngest children occupied throughout the story.

The Parrot Tico Tango by Anna White

  • Also comes with a sing-along CD by Brian Amador. I decided to read instead of sing the book, because I had made a set of felt pieces to go along with each page (pretty proud of them, pictured below!)
  • The lyricism of the rhyme is so catchy the kids will start repeating lines with you by the end of the book, which is always a fantastic way to prove they are engaged.
  • The kids loved this one. I left the felt out after story time and the older children were retelling the story of Tico Tango from memory using the felt fruits as a guide.

Life in a Rainforest by Carol Lindeen

  • This non-fiction book is a part of a the “Life in a…” series which includes deserts, polar regions, wetlands, ponds, etc.
  • I find this series to be particularly engaging. The pictures are big, bright, and powerful. The non-fiction format is presented in simplistic facts for kids of all ages.
  • Picture walking with this book was quick, but provided a lot of segue into talking about the layers of the rainforest and the animals that live there.

Songs, Rhymes & Activities

Introducing South America:

  • South America is a continent with 12 countries: Columbia, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and Ecuador.
  • The weather is South America is very humid—the air feels steamy and wet. A lot of South America is covered in jungle and rain forest, especially Brazil, which is the largest country in South America.
  • Many rivers span across the whole continent. The longest and largest is the Amazon!
  • What is life like in South America? Visit to learn about the rainforest through interactive games, videos, music and more. I pulled this website up on my projector so that the parents and kids could see how amazing this resource was.

I use the projector to bring up photos alongside my talking points. All photo images come from the free photo site Pixabay.


I also add a brief introduction to the countries on a continent by presenting their flags and comparing it to our United States flag. This will be different with each continent, considering some continents have tons of countries. I just really want to get across my point that continents and countries are different things. If these kids leave this summer program with one bit of knowledge, I want it to be that!

I surround my Kids Room with hanging flags from major countries throughout the seven week travel series. You can get a flag banner here at Amazon for cheap: Hanging Flag Banner.

image from wikipedia


Song: Layers to the Forest (Found on Kindergarten Nana blog)

To the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it…” 

There are layers in the forest, yes indeed
Yes indeed (kids love to shout this part!)
There are layers in the forest, yes indeed
Yes indeed
Emergent, canopy and the under story
There are layers in the forest.
Yes indeed!

The emergent’s home to birds and butterflies
The emergent’s home to birds and butterflies
The trees are so high that they almost touch the sky
The emergent’s home to birds and butterflies.

The canopy is like a big umbrella
Big Umbrella
The canopy is like a big umbrella
Big Umbrella
Monkeys, sloth, orangutan
Eat all the fruit they can
The canopy is like a big umbrella
Big Umbrella!

The Understory’s home to many snakes
Many snakes!
The understory’s home to many snakes
Many snakes!
They eat cats and rats and bats
And they like the gnats for snacks
The understory’s home to many snakes!
Many Snakes!

The Forest Floor is dim and dark and wet
Dark and wet
The forest floor is dim and dark and wet
Dark and wet
The ants go marching by as they watch the birds up high,
The forest floor is dim and dark and wet.
Dark and wet!

Baby Frogs Rhyme

Ribbit Ribbit said mama frog
Sitting on a great big log
“Where are my babies, where can they be?
Then out of the pond jumped one, two and three.
(Hold up three fingers , one at a time)
She was happy as could be,
But where were the other? She couldn’t see.
So, “Ribbit, ribbit,” she called again.
Then out they jumped—4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10.
(hold up remaining fingers one at a time)

Song: Five green and speckled frogs with JBrary!

Taste of South America:

Image from

We can all get on board with some Brazilian cheese rolls. Cheese cheese cheese. For the lactose intolerant among us, please see for some awesome recipes from around the globe, and some great ones from South America.

This recipe comes to us from Easy and Delish!


2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
3.5 oz queso fresco, crumbled
2 tbs parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp fresh thyme
15 cheese cubes


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees!
  2. In small saucepan, mix milk, oil, and salt, bring to boil. Pour over bowl of tapioca flour, stirring well. Mix in egg, then queso fresco and parmesan. Sprinkle in thyme.
  3. Lightly grease hands with some veggie oil. Grab a bit of dough, roll it into a ball in your fingers, then push in a piece of cheese into the center.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until lightly browned! Voila, delicious cheese balls from Brazil!


Craft: Snakes from paper plates


This craft’s really simple and effective. Let the kids draw swirls and patterns on their paper plate, then have their parents/guardian assist them with cutting the paper plate into a spiral. Start from the outside and work your way in! Add a dash of fun with some googly eyes if you’re feeling up for it.

You can even give the kids a template in sharpie on the paper plate to make it easier. This is a pretty standard fine motor skills activity. Take the time to explain to parents/guardians that these activities help children practice hand strengthening techniques for future writing skills.






More and More Felt!

We have this amazing rain forest set that includes the rain forest setting and a bunch of animals, like birds, snakes, frogs, etc. I left the felt out for the story time kids to hang out with while we crafted. A few of the bigger kids had a blast rearranging the animals in the rain forest.



ECRR Reinforcement: Drawing what we learned in our Passports!

At the beginning of our seven week journey, the children made passports from this template from Satori Smiles. I downloaded the template, cut and stapled some blank pages together. I kept them in a bin and brought them out at the end of the story time so the children could find theirs or create one from scratch if this was their first week of the program.

Each week the kids got a sticker related to where we traveled (for South America we had parrot/frog/tree stickers leftover from another craft.) They could also draw something related to the continent. Parents and caregivers helped by writing some fun facts and helped their kids practice writing their names. Printable Template Here

Super Helpful Links:

Goodreads Storytime Around The World shelf

Virtual Treehouse by Rainforest Alliance 

The Educator’s Spin: Multi-Culti Book Day 


As always, have fun & keep kids curious.

Comment below with any additional travel series ideas.  

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