Storytime Ideas: Mo Willems’ Books

This is our last summer storytime ideas series post.  Each week we have gathered in our local park to read great books for kids together with our neighbors. This week we featured There Is A Bird On Your Head! (Elephant & Piggie Series) and The Pigeon Needs a Bath!

Storytime Ideas for Mo Willems' books The Pigeon Needs a Bath and There Is a Bird On Your Head from

Full Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links. Your support of Growing Book by Book is greatly appreciated.

Storytime Ideas: Mo Willems’ Books

The Books

There Is A Bird On Your Head! is a silly beginning reader about two birds that build a nest on an elephant’s head!

The Pigeon Needs a Bath! is another silly story in which the pigeon really doesn’t think he needs a bath.  However, in the end he discovers that he loves the tub.

The Group Activities

Create a nest (empty kiddie swimming pool) for the kids to sit in during storytime.

Letter Sound Bird Bingo

After reading, we played a bingo game to practice beginning sounds.  I made these Bird Bingo Cards of things that were related to birds (beak, nest, eggs,  feather, bird, tree, etc.).  Each family was given a bingo sheet that I had placed in a plastic sleeve protector so they wouldn’t blow away as easily.  They were also given a bag of recycled caps to use as markers.

Practice beginning sounds with this bird themed bingo game from

To play, I said a sound such as /n/ and they had to find a picture that began with that sound.  In this case the picture was nest.  The first family to cover the four corners won.  Winners got to select a book from a box of gently used and new books I brought.  We played a few rounds!

Skill building:  beginning sounds

Singing and Action Rhymes

Little Bird (Action Rhyme)

I saw a little bird go hop, hop, hop (hop three times)
I told the little bird to stop, stop, stop (hold out hand for stop)
I went to the window to say “How do you do?”(handshake)
He wagged his little tail and far away he flew! (shake tail and fly away)

If You’re A Bird (to the tune of If “You’re Happy and You Know It”)

If you’re a bird and you know it flap your wings
If you’re a bird and you know it flap your wings
If you’re a bird and you know it, then you really ought to show it,
If you’re a bird and you know it flap your wings

Two more verses:
Shake your tail feathers
Say tweet – tweet

Skill building: fluency 

Follow-Up Activities

Here are some more activities to try at home after storytime.

Bird Identification Journals

Here is a free printable bird book from Buggy & Buddy.  Little ones could just draw pictures and older children can add some writing.

Eat Like a Bird

Here is a fun snack and an opportunity to work on fine motor skills in the process from My Nearest and Dearest.

Painting With Feathers

Use a feather as a paintbrush to create some wonderful paintings.  I love using unconventional items as painting tools!

Bird Feeder Mobile

These bird feeder mobiles from Babble Babble Doo are awesome!  A fun way to recycle materials and turn them into something useful for the birds.

Books about Birds

birds,books about birds,kids and birds

Check out these books about birds!

For more storytime ideas to go along with Mo Willems’ books and other great stories, follow our Storytime Ideas Pinterest board.

Follow Jodie Rodriguez @ Growing Book by Book’s board Storytime Ideas on Pinterest.

A huge thank you to Disney Hyperion for donating the books for storytime this week!

There was so much interest in our summer storytime series we are thinking of doing a fall series.  Stay tuned!

About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. Suzan Baback says:

    Looking forward to a fall series. It was so special this week…. today my 5 year old read us there is a bird on your head. He was so proud and did great. Wonderful followup ideas.

  2. Love Mo Willems’ books! So nice that you all get together with your neighbors and do something like this! Pinned!

  3. Awesome! We love Mo Willems’ books. My 4 year old thinks the pigeon books are hysterical. I didn’t realize there was a new one out. Thanks!


  1. […] Storytime Ideas:  Mo Willems’ Books at Growing Book by Book […]