Episode 5: Music MAYhem Part 1

May 7, 2018

Summer is almost here, so let’s turn up the volume because libraries rock! In this episode, we drop a beat and demonstrate how to incorporate rap into storytime, share some of our favorite recorded songs for storytime, discuss note-worthy books, and present music-themed rhymes and games, instrument flannels, dancing rhymes, and more! So tune in, and get ready to rock out and rock on!   

You can listen to this episode on iTunes or SoundCloud – or listen to it below! This page also has the rhymes, songs, links, and books we discussed. Party! 

We start off the episode with this ohsocatchy Llama Llama Red Pajama remix by Ludacris: 

Storytime Selections –

Our music-themed rhymes, songs, and activity ideas discussed in Ep. 5 are below. Check out Ep. 5 for more details! 


All Through This Song: 

Sing this to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus,” and get ready to make lots of instrument sounds! 

music storytime ideas

Music Notes: 

There are lots of actions to use with this movement rhyme. The tune is “My Darling Clementine.” 

music storytime ideas

Jane MacDonald Had a Band:  

This is our version of “Old MacDonald Had a Band.” Jane is his rock and roll granddaughter, and we discovered this big band version from a Walt Disney record – Tubby the Tuba! You can use your storytime instruments or just pretend and make your own music. 

music storytime ideas 

I Am a Fine Musician: 

We first learned about this fun song from The Dick Van Dyke Show. It’s also in the book 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children by Abigal Flesch Connors. This song allows you to bring out all of your instruments or make your own instrument sounds. 


Plate Dance: 

Try out the Plate Dance (found on childhood101.com) to incorporate classical music during storytime. Pass out two paper or plastic plates for each child to use as cymbal-like percussion instruments and play along to the Can Can music!


Take a Sound: 

We read about this interactive guess-the-song game on letsplaykidsmusic.com, and adapted it for storytime. Put flannels or pictures on the board that represent songs, for example: a star for “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” a spider for the “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” a smiley face for “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” and a boat for “Row Your Boat.” Next, place a bear on the board and put all the flannels right near the bear. Tell the children ahead of time which song each flannel is representing. Then repeat this chant before playing a short clip of one of the songs, or you can sing or hum it yourself. The kids have to guess which song it is. If they get it right, move the flannel to the other side of the board. 

Dedos Can Dance: 

This is from the book Shake, Rattle, and Roll: Rhythm Instruments and More for Active Learning by Abigail Flesch Connors. Her version is “Dedos Can Wiggle Up,” but we changed ours for a dancing-themed storytime. Teach the kids beforehand that “dedos” is Spanish for “fingers,” and have fun dancing those dedos! The tune is “Here We Go Looby Loo.” 

 dedos can dance storytime

Marching to the Drum: 

This is a freeze game and movement game in one, to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell.” The presenter can use a drum or tambourine while the kids march, jump, clap, and tip toe to the beat! We found this at storytimethemes.blogspot.com. 

music storytime ideas

One Little Instrument: 
This counting rhyme can be done with flannels or even with real instruments!  

music storytime ideas

Be Quiet, Mike! 

Unleash your inner Will Smith! Pay tribute to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air by rapping this story to the Fresh Prince theme song! 

Little Red Hen Rap: 

When you think Little Red Hen, do you think rap? The Little Red Hen and rap go together like peanut butter and jelly! This is an outstanding hip hop version of the traditional story, which we found in the book Three Singing Pigs: Making Music with Traditional Stories by Kaye Umansky. Use the whole rap from this book, or tell the story however you want and use the rap refrain. It’s so fun, and the kids will love joining in! 

 music storytime ideas little red hen rap   

Book Buzz –

These new books are uh-mazing! Picture books discussed in this episode: 
The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez 

Crash! Boom! A Math Tale by Robie H. Harris, illustrated by Chris Chatterton  





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