CROC WANTS TO PLAY: an easy story that younger children can help you to tell!
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CROC WANTS TO PLAY

This is different to most of the stories on this site. It is a story to tell to young children, which they can join in with. Ask them for suggestions at places in the story [that are in brackets, like this]. During the story, the [examples in brackets] are where you need to fill in their suggestions.

Read through the story first so you can see how it works.

Crocodile in the free kids' story Croc Wants to Play

Croc Wants to Play

This is a story about a crocodile. But we need some more animals in it too. What animals shall we have in this story? [Ask for suggestions, and pick at least 3 animals. In the story below they are just called Animal 1, 2 and 3, but you will need to remember what they really are so that you can name them in the right places.]

Can you think of an action for a crocodile? [eg. arms or hands clapping together like giant teeth snapping]

What about an action or a noise that the other animals might make?
[Ask for suggestions: elephant might swing its trunk (arm), a lion might roar, a kangaroo might jump, and so on.]

Let's practise those. We need to remember them so you can do them when that animal comes into the story!

Next we need a name for the crocodile. What shall we call it?
[e.g. Jock the Croc, Mr Munch, or Esmerelda - it might be female, although the example used below is male.]

And where does this crocodile live?
[e.g. in the jungle, at the zoo, in the back garden]

Now we are ready to start the story.

* * *

Once upon a time there was a croc called [Jock, Esmerelda or whatever.]

He [or she] was as long as this room and had knobbly skin the colour of mud. He had long sharp claws like daggers and very long yellow teeth. He loved to do this:
[do the crocodile snapping action and ask the child to join in.]

[Jock]the croc lived all on his own in [the jungle]. He caught fish from the nearby river when he was hungry.

But after a while [Jock] the croc got bored and bad-tempered. He wanted to play a game - so he went to look for somebody to play with.

He waddled through [the jungle] until he found
[Animal 1. Ask the child to do the action or noise for Animal 1.]

'Hello!' said [Animal 1.]

The croc didn't bother to say hello back. He just snarled, 'I want to play a game. So you've got to play with me! What games do you know?'
[Ask for suggestions : e.g. hopscotch, tag, grandmother's footsteps, running races. If they suggest hide and seek, don't use that yet - save it for last.]

[Animal 1] said, 'I like playing [hopscotch.]'

'All right,' growled the croc. '[Hopscotch] it is. But I warn you - I'm the cleverest animal of all, and I always win games. So I'd better win this one, or else I'll snap you up in one bite!'
[Do the crocodile action.]

'Oh dear,' thought [Animal 1], trembling. They began to play [hopscotch.]

[Animal 1] was very good at it. The croc was very bad at it, because crocodiles can't [hop, or chase, or throw, or whatever is involved in the game.] They can only waddle. But guess who won?

'You won, you won!' said [Animal 1.]

'Well, of course I did,' snapped the croc. 'I'm brilliant at games. Now I want to play another game - and I want to win. Come on! We'll find someone else to play with.'

[Animal 1] did not dare to say no. So they both set off through [the jungle] until they found
[Animal 2. Ask the child to do the action or noise for Animal 2.]

'I want to play a game,' snarled the croc. 'Think of a game quickly, or I'll eat you up!'

[Animal 2] thought quickly. 'What about [tag]?'

'All right,' growled the croc. '[Tag] it is. But I'm the cleverest animal of all. I expect to win, or else I'll snap you up in just one bite!'
[Do the crocodile action.]

'Oh dear,' thought [Animal 2], shivering. They began to play [tag.]

[Animal 2] was very good at it. The croc was very bad at it, because crocodiles can't [run fast.] They can only waddle. But guess who won?

'You won, you won!' cried [Animal 2.]

'Well, of course I did,' snapped the croc. 'I always win, because I'm so very clever. I want to play another game now. Come on! We'll go and find someone else to play with.'

[Animal 1 and Animal 2] did not dare to say no. So they set off through [the jungle] until they found
[Animal 3. Ask the child to do the action or noise for Animal 3.]

'I want to play a game,' snarled the croc. 'Think of a game right now, or I'll eat you up!'

[Animal 3] thought quickly. 'How about [swinging through the trees?]'

'All right,' growled the croc. '[Swinging] it is. But just remember - I'm the cleverest animal of all, and if I don't win, I'll snap you up in just one bite!'
[Do the crocodile action.]

'Oh dear,' thought [Animal 3], turning pale. They began to play at [swinging through the trees.]

[Animal 3] was very good at it. The croc was very bad at it, because crocodiles can't [swing through trees] - they can only waddle. But guess who won?

'You won, you won!' cried [Animal 3.]

'Naturally,' sneered the croc. 'I always win, because I'm so clever. And now I'm very hungry. We're too far from the river to catch any fish - but I want some LUNCH!

And he opened his huge mouth wide, ready to snap at the other animals. They all trembled and shivered and turned pale.

'Wait a minute!' said [Animal 1.] 'Let's play one more game before lunch!'

'What game?' snarled the croc. 'It had better be a good one!'

'It's the best game of all,' said [Animal 1.] 'It's hide and seek!' [Make sure you say hide and seek this time.]

'All right,' growled the croc. 'Hide and seek it is. But I'd better win - or you know what will happen!'
[Do the crocodile action.]

'You go and hide first,' [Animal 1] told the croc. 'We'll count to a hundred and then we'll come and look for you.'

The other animals closed their eyes and began to count, while the croc waddled away to hide.

When they opened their eyes they could see the croc quite easily, because crocodiles are very bad at playing hide and seek. The croc was hiding behind an old tree with his tail sticking out.

But the other animals did not run over to find him. Instead they looked at each other.

'We'll leave him there,' whispered [Animal 1.] The other animals nodded, and tiptoed quietly away. They hurried through [the jungle] until they were far away from the croc, and safe from his long yellow teeth.

Meanwhile the croc kept hiding, because he did not know how long it took to count to a hundred. Crocodiles are very bad at counting.

At last the croc got too hungry to stay still any longer. He peered out from behind his tree. He couldn't see any of the other animals.

'Nobody found me!' he said. 'So I won the game. I always win, because I'm the cleverest animal of all by far!'

And feeling very pleased with himself, he snapped his teeth [do the crocodile action] and waddled back to the river to catch some fish.

The croc did win every game, so he was right about that. But who was really the cleverest animal of all?

The End

You can make this story as long as you like, with more animals and more games. It is nice to link animals with suitable games - so a monkey might suggest swinging in the trees, a kangaroo might play hopscotch, a cheetah might run races, an antelope might suggest long jump, an elephant might play the trumpet, and so on - but hide and seek must be the last game they play.

Of course the crocodile always wins, although he is very bad at everything!

Copyright © 2017 Emma Laybourn

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