Happy 2019, Everyone! To kick off the new year we are featuring some of our favorite storytime rhymes and songs of the moment. You can find the words and lyrics below, as well as audio clips for each of the rhymes. We’re hoping to record a new episode soon, but our schedules are making that quite difficult at the moment! Visit us on Instagram (@storytimeoutloud) for lots of rhymes, book buzz, and flannels. We can’t wait to see what you’re doing in storytime in the new year!
This is one of my favorite opening songs that I used for preschool storytime for many years. The tune is “Camptown Races.” The kids love jumping up and yelling, “Hooray!” I added additional verses each week that would get the kids up and moving, like stomp our feet, spin around, and hop on one foot. It’s an energizing way to start storytime, although quite the workout! I used to play ukulele with this song, and it’s only three chords, C, G7, and F, which happen to be the only chords I know how to play, so it worked out great!
Our colleague, Kim, shared this snowmen (or snow people!) countdown rhyme to use with flannels. The actions are: Hat – pat your head, Bow – make a bow at your neck with both hands, Sun – lift your arms and make a circle, Melting – lift arms and bring them down while wiggling your fingers. She told us that she doesn’t know the source, but that it’s been around a long time. Super cute!
We did this rhyme every week in Toddler Storytime last session. I like that it teaches up and down directions while rolling our arms like the wheels on the bus. There are a few variations of this, but we do it as a spoken rhyme, roll our arms up and down, clap three times and then finish by patting our lap three times. We used a dog flannel to represent that it was time to do Roly Poly, and we called it our Roly Poly Pup.
My colleague and storytime pro Jenny taught me this rhyme that features lots of clapping, stomping, and more! It also requires the kids to listen closely and repeat the rhythm, so it’s great for holding their attention, plus it ends with a shhhhhh and calms them before the next element. We use this one a lot at our library as a constant that we’ll do for weeks at a time. Keep this one in your back pocket in case you need to calm a rowdy group – just bust out Eeny Meeny Miney Mo!
What a fun rhyme for a food-themed storytime! I used this last session and I can’t get enough of it, so much so that I sing it at home and it’s become one of my daughter’s favorites! I got it from King County Library System – click here to see it in action:
Everyone loves to zoom around in storytime, and this rhyme is no exception. The tune is “Bumping Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon.” In addition to the driving around fun, you can use different colored flannels to teach/reinforce colors – WIN!
It’s time to pretend to have sticky bubblegum hands! This is another favorite that we used every week in storytime that I learned about from Jbrary. I had the kids pretend to take pretend bubblegum out of their pocket, chew it up, and then stick it to their hands. Now we’re ready with our sticky bubblegum hands that get stuck to everything! During the song we clap our hands, and then I would change it each week so they were getting stuck to different things, such as their hands to their head, elbow to their leg, foot to the floor, etc. Then when we’re stuck, we puuulll and puuullll and unstick!
This is one of Christy’s favorite closing rhymes. It’s a spoken rhyme and it seems to really grab the kids’ attention when you’re trying to wrap up storytime. My favorite part is pretending to have a loud sneeze – ACHOO!!!!
Leslie Wilson, a Washington state children’s librarian, shared with us an aspiring musician she discovered named Sarah Johnson. Her album Dear, Little One is joyful and upbeat, and her song “I’m Gonna Tap My Sticks” is perfect for using with rhythm sticks! Take a listen here.
Our colleague, Erin, introduced us to Pancake Manor a few years ago, and their songs have become some of our absolute favorites! Especially “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” “Shake Break,” and “Lulu’s Shake Break.” Their songs are energizing, fun, and modern takes on classics.
Christy’s favorite recorded song for storytime is Drivin’ in My Car by Ralph’s World. It features driving, honking, making muffler sounds, waving to friends, and more!
We can’t forget to include Caspar Babypants! We love so many of their songs, but “All the Fish” is a current fave.
What are a few of your favorite things? Share in the comments!