Alpacas with Maracas Fun Activity Ideas | National Simultaneous Storytime

Holly (Teach Starter)

Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

The day has arrived… the day where 1 million children listen to the same story being read at the exact same time (#1millionkidsreading) for the National Simultaneous Story Time. What a brilliant celebration of Australian children’s storybooks. Being held on Wednesday the 22 May 2019, there’s still time to register your school!

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This year, the whole Teach Starter office is jumping for joy and shaking their maracas at the selection of this year’s book.

Alpacas with Maracas by Matt Cosgrove.

Alpacas with Maracas Classroom Activity Ideas

This bright and vibrant children’s storybook lends itself to many fun and purposeful classroom activities that your students will adore! We have put together some fun and creative ways that you can celebrate National Simultaneous Storytime after reading this fantastic children’s book.

Don’t let this exciting occasion lose momentum when the book is finished – it’s only the beginning!

Ok, so you might not be able to bring in real alpacas to your school library…

Alpacas reading a book

Fantastic image from North Sydney Council Library (

If you are looking for activities for upper years students, read Emma’s blog National Simultaneous Storytime (Activities for Upper Years Students!)

How to Make a Maraca

How can you not make a maraca when you read this fun story?

We’ve searched high and low for the best and easiest way for young children to make their very own maraca (with a little help from an adult). No need to go searching for fillable plastic eggs and plastic spoons – that aren’t great for the environment. This maraca uses paper plates and the rest can be created using supplies from your classroom art cupboard.

How to make a maraca

Fun, vibrant handmade maracas for kids. For the maraca colouring pages featured in this photo – visit Scholastic.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 paper plates per student
  • 1 large pop stick per student
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft glue
  • Rocks or other material for the inside the maraca
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Feathers
  • Sequins
How to Make a Maraca

Materials needed for a paper plate maraca.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Provide your students with two paper plates each.
  2. Students can use art supplies to decorate their two paper plates on the bottom sides of each plate.
  3. Place one paper plate face-up and put a handful of rocks on the plate.
  4. Stick the large pop stick on the bottom edge of the plate with a hot glue gun so that three-quarters of the stick is sticking down outside the plate (this becomes the handle).
  5. Students may like to colour in the pop stick, we used washi tape and sequins to decorate.
  6. Finally, use plenty of hot glue around the whole outside edge of the bottom plate and stick the other paper plate (upside down) on top of the first plate to finish off the maraca.

After all is said and done – why not encourage your students to write their very own procedure on making their maraca?

Here are some helpful procedure writing resources:

Introducing the Funky Alpaca

We know you all love a funky animal template… so, we couldn’t help ourselves, introducing our very own Funky Alpaca template.

Let your students experiment with line by decorating their cute Funky Alpaca.

Funky Alpaca Template

Meet our Funky Alpaca

Take this resource further and have your students create their very own character profile for their Funky Alpaca.

‘If I Was an Alpaca…’ Writing Task

Get your students writing after listening to the story with this [FREE] to download writing template – ‘If I was an alpaca…’

Students can let their imaginations run wild with this cute writing activity.

If i was an alpaca writing template

Download our writing template for free.

Narrative Story Writing Task Cards

Use our Literature study task cards and encourage your students to analyse the story. This set of task cards contains 12 colour-coded categories, including:

  • setting
  • character
  • plot
  • language devices and
  • illustrations.

Literature Study Task Cards for Story Books

Explore Characters

After listening to the story, encourage your students to complete our Character Profile Flip Book to analyse one of the characters.

Alternatively, print this flip book on a larger copy on A3 paper to complete as a class together as a modelled example.

Compare and Contrast – Alpacas and Llamas

So, what’s the difference between an alpaca and a llama?

What a fantastic way for students to learn about comparing and contrasting using a Venn diagram. We love using hula hoops to create a larger Venn diagram for younger students to use for a fantastic hands-on activity. You may like to have some of the characteristics of each animal printed ready to go and get students to try and work out what the differences and similarities are between the two animals.

And, no, it’s not that alpacas have maracas…

Just Because… Alpaca Cupcakes are Cute!

We just couldn’t resist including these gorgeous cupcakes in this blog! Check out the amazing treats over at @fork_yeah_cupcakes

How cute are mini Macca and mini Al?

Alpacas cupcakes

How amazing are these cupcakes by @fork_yeah_cupcakes?

We hope some of these activities have inspired you to get on board and get your class or school involved in this fantastic occasion. Until next time….

Have an alpaca of a time!

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Comments & feedback

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Lisa Krings

where did you get the cards from that are used in the compare and contrast activity?

Lisa Krings · Aug 8th, 2021


Hi, Lisa! We just quickly whipped these up using our Llama and Cactus Name Labels, which you’ll find here:

Bronwyn · Aug 9th, 2021

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