Baby Storytime

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 22

Bye again babies! I’m back to toddlers next week, and I am pulling out some of my favorite content in April. We aren’t sure what summer storytimes will bring yet–fewer virtual storytimes? Outdoor storytimes? No more mask requirements from the state? My question of the week: can you require social distancing in a program if your library no longer requires it overall? Or does social distancing in a program just turn into a suggestion that is encouraged by limiting attendance? What is your library doing as you consider returning to in-person programs and events?

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme – Wake Up Toes & We Clap and Sing Hello

Early Literacy Tip: Check out our new 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program!

Book Recommendation: Leo Loves Daddy by Anna McQuinn

Leo Loves Daddy: McQuinn, Anna, Hearson, Ruth: 9781623542412:  Books

Song: Clap Your Hands by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: These Little Fingers

These little fingers go
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
These little fingers go
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
And now they’re on my…HEAD!

Continue with: tummy, feet

Bounce: A Bouncing We Will Go

A bouncing we will go,
A bouncing we will go,
Hi ho the derry o,
A bouncing we will go.

Continue with: rocking, tickling

— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Bounce/Movement: Rocking Horse

Rocking horse, rocking horse, to and fro,
Side to side and away we go,
Rocking horse, rocking horse, front and back,
Don’t fall off just like that.


— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Song: Tickle Time by Moey’s Music Party

Puppets/Animal Sounds: Do Crocs Kiss? by Salina Yoon

— Find more Book Retellings in this post. —

Manipulative: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Super Simple Songs

Closing Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 21

Babies, babies, babies! Continuing the storytime routine with lots of repeated favorites this week (but a new book!). I just wrapped up Brooke Newbery‘s Babies in the Library UW-Madison course, giving me some new ideas to help refresh programming for this age (and so many great play ideas…for whenever play can return!). Everything around programming is a question right now, but I’m looking forward to thinking about ways to increase services for babies in the next few years.

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme – Wake Up Toes & We Clap and Sing Hello

Early Literacy Tip: Sing during everyday activities, like changing a diaper. Singing slows down words.

Book Recommendation: Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You! by Ellen Mayer

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Old Town School of Folk Music

Action Rhyme: Do you Like? (adapted for babies)

Do you like to bounce around?
Bounce around, bounce around?
Do you like to bounce around?
Bounce, and now let’s FREEZE!

Bounce: Giddy Up

Giddy up, giddy up, ride to town.
Giddy up, giddy up, UP and DOWN.
Giddy up fast!
Giddy up slow.
Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, WHOA! (lift)

— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Bounce/Movement: I’m Toast in the Toaster

I’m toast in the toaster,
I’m getting very hot!
Tick tock, tick tock,
Up I pop!

— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Song: The Tickle Song by Rainbow Songs

Puppets/Animal Sounds: Jump by Scott M. Fischer

— Find more Book Retellings in this post. —

Manipulative: Shakey Shaky by the Wiggles (Shakers)

Closing Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 20

Hello babies! A new book and one new-to-me rhyme this week. Looking ahead at Toddler Storytime next month–have you found any great new toddler books lately? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme – Wake Up Toes & We Clap and Sing Hello

Early Literacy Tip: Babies focus on word spoken immediately after their name.

Book Recommendation: I Love You, Baby Burrito by Angela Dominguez

Song: Baby 1, 2, 3 by Peter & Ellen Allard

Action Rhyme: Clap Your Feet

Clap, clap, clap your feet,
Clap your feet together.
Clap, clap, clap your feet,
Clap your feet together.

Clap them high!
Clap them low!
Clap them fast!
Clap them slow!

Bounce: Dump Truck

Dump truck, dump truck bumpin’ down the road.
Spillin’ out gravel as you travel with your load.
Bumpety, bumpety, bump, bump, bump.
Dump truck, dump truck, dump truck,

— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Bounce/Movement: Two Little Boats

(Tilt forward and backward)
Two little boats went out to sea
All is calm as calm can be.

(Tilt side to side)
Gently the wind begins to blow
Two little boats rock to and fro.

(Bounce up and down)
Loudly the wind begins to shout
Two little boats they bounce about.

STOP! Goes the storm, the wind, and rain (freeze)
Two little boats sail on again (rock forward and backward)..

— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Song: Grand Old Duke of York by Rainbow Songs

Puppets/Animal Sounds: Brown Bear Brown Bear

Manipulative: Wheels on the Bus by Jay Laga’aia (with scarves)

Closing Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 19

More babies! I’m close to a full year of virtual storytimes now–not quite there yet, but more on that soon. There are more than 50 virtual storytime outlines on this blog already! We are now officially one year since my last in-person baby storytime. (And playtime! I miss playtime.) I’m proud of the virtual work I’ve done over the last year, but I am starting to get itchy for some kind of change. I don’t necessarily know if I want things to be what they were, entirely, but I want…something? Hmmmm. Not entirely sure, but for now, more baby content.

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme – Wake Up Toes & We Clap and Sing Hello

Early Literacy Tip: Grasping objects helps build finger muscles that help with writing.

Book Recommendation: Welcome to the Party by Gabrielle Union

Welcome to the Party: Union, Gabrielle, Evans, Ashley: 9780062978615: Books

Song: What Shall We Do with the Sleeping Baby by Rainbow Songs

Action Rhyme: Zoom Down the Freeway

Zoom down the freeway,
Zoom down the freeway,
Zoom down the freeway,

Continue with:
Up goes the drawbridge…a ship is going past.
Down goes the drawbridge…ship has passed at last.
Zoom down the freeway!

Bounce: A Hippopotamus on a City Bus

A hip, a hip, a hippopotamus
Got on, got on, got on a city bus
And all, and all, and all the people said,
“You’re squishing us!” (hug)

A cow, a cow
A cow got on the bus
And all, and all, and all the people said,
“Mooooove over!“ (tilt sideways

A sheep, a sheep,
A sheep got on the bus
And all, and all, and all the people said,
“Baaaack up!“ (lean back)

— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Bounce/Movement: Humpty Dumpty

Rock and rock and rock on the wall
Rock and rock; I hope we don’t fall!

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall (tilt backwards or sideways)

All the kings horses and all the kings men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again!

— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Song: Hands Together, Hands Apart by Rainbow Songs

Puppets/Animal Sounds: Dear Zoo

Manipulative: Stuffed Animals & Little Red Wagon by Old Town School of Folk Music

Closing Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 18

Hello? Babies? I’m back! It has been a few months since I’ve planned a Baby Storytime program (at our library, that means ages 0-23 months). I’m happy to get back into the groove. Much of this week is repeated content that I am very familiar with, as I have Pigeon Storytime on Saturday (well, today by the time this is posted!), so I wanted to make this storytime as easy as possible.

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme – Wake Up Toes & We Clap and Sing Hello

Early Literacy Tip: When playing, have fun making noises like animal sounds or truck sounds. Hearing different noises and experiencing different pitches and volumes helps baby’s language development.

Book Recommendation: The Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell

Song: Wheels on the Bus by Jay Laga’aia

Action Rhyme: Baby Hokey Pokey

You put your arms up,
You put your arms down,
You put your arms up,
And you wave them all around
You wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
And you tickle, tickle, tickle
That’s how the baby pokey goes (clap along)
Yeah! (arms in the air)

Continue with: legs, whole baby

Bounce: Tiny Little Babies

Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’,
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ so.
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ yeah.

Bounce to the left,
Bounce to the right,
Now hug that baby nice and tight.

— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Bounce/Movement: Tick-Tock

Tick-tock, tick-tock,
I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick-tock, tick-tock,
Now it’s almost one o’clock.

— Find more Baby Bounces in this post. —

Song: I Wake Up My Hands by Rainbow Songs

Puppets/Animal Sounds: Who’s in the Barnyard?

Manipulative: Shakers & Baby Loves Beignets by Jazzy Ash

Closing Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It by Old Town School of Folk Music

Diversify Your Storytime Music

Edit: A fantastic commenter pointed out the inaccuracy of the word “diverse” to describe these artists, and I’m working to correct that. You will see a mixture of terms used in this post as I take the time to better prepare for future posts in this series. The artists highlighted below are all from typically underrepresented backgrounds, including a mixture of Black, Latinx, Asian, and LGBTQIA+. I’ll better distinguish this on future updates to this post and blog series.

Are you using music from a diverse group of artists in storytime? I’ll ask another way: are the artists of all the songs you use in storytime white? There is a ton of conversation in the library world about the need to make sure your collections, displays, reader’s advisory, and programming books include underrepresented populations. Rudine Sims Bishop is often quoted, citing her wonderful Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors essay. That work is very important, and books are at the core of library services. But, we also highlight other forms of media in our programming, storytimes, and events. Think about your hired presenters and performers (virtual in 2020 and in-person in 2019). How many were white? Who are you supporting with your library’s limited funds? What about your storytime music playlist? How often do you share music by Black artists? Latinx artists? LGBTQIA+ artists?

Since my time on the ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings committee, I’ve been thinking a lot about children’s music, especially the music we use in storytime. Most of the artists I use are white. Jim Gill and Laurie Berkner are great, but there are some really fantastic Black, Latinx, and Asian artists that out there. There are artists from so many underrepresented groups–you just need to put in the time to look for them.

And it does take time. The music world is hard to break into at any level. Getting an agent isn’t easy or cheap, and the children’s music world is competitive. An artist might be able to self publish or perform locally, but that creates a very limited audience for a time consuming and costly pursuit. In some ways, the pandemic has opened up more opportunities for smaller presenters and performers to perform, virtually, on a national scale. But, the pandemic has also made it harder for those same smaller performers to survive. Money is tight everywhere, and many libraries who could never afford to bring a big name performer in person, might be able to afford them virtually. Libraries want to attract a large virtual audience, and that is easier with a name that caregivers will recognize. Caregivers recognize children’s musicians that they hear a lot–which they may mostly hear in storytime. So we are back to the beginning again: what musicians are you highlighting in storytime?

I am picky about my storytime music. I present for all ages now, but mostly babies and toddlers. I want music selections that are:

  • Short. Preferably 1-2 minutes, though I’m flexible with this (I can always stop the song myself where I need to).
  • Clear actions that are preferably repeated in a straightforward way. And actions that are appropriate for the age range. We can always adapt words and motions, but it is hard to spin a squirming one-year-old sitting on your lap.
  • Good pace. For me, I don’t want something too slow, but it also needs to be at a speed that is feasible for a toddler or preschooler to follow.

Your storytime music preferences might be very different. Some of my coworkers only use songs that have a rhythm that is way too slow for me, while others really want to theme their music to their storytime topic.

One more note: look at artists that you haven’t heard of. It’s great that you are highlighting Ella Jenkins and other artists that have been around for a few decades–but there are many new, modern artists creating amazing music right now that would appreciate your support.

I’ve been rambling on for months in other blog posts on how I have been working on a spreadsheet with artists from underrepresented populations and songs that particularly work for storytime. That full document isn’t ready yet, but I want to start to highlight diverse musicians regularly in preparation for that longer post. Many of these names may be familiar if you follow my weekly storytime outlines.

Children’s Musicians: A Starting List

All of these artists come from backgrounds that are typically underrepresented, particularly in storytime playlists: some are Black, some are Latinx, some are Asian, some identify as LGBTQIA+, and more. Some of these artists are my personal favorites while others are ones I plan to explore over the next few months. Who am I missing? Let me know in the comments!

Also, not a specific music group, but check out the Trans & Nonbinary Kids Mix by Ants on a Log and Friends.

Storytime Music: Favorite Songs

Again, I haven’t listened to every song by every artist listed above (yet–that is the plan by the end of the year), but if you are looking for some storytime music by artists from underrepresented populations to add to your storytime playlist *right now*, I’ve highlighted some of my current favorites below!

Jazzy Ash

Teddy Bear (preschool or school age)

Baby Loves Beignets (great with shakers)

Leap Frog (great with shakers – wish this didn’t gender with boys and girls)

Kymberly Stewart

I Am a Robot (toddlers, preschoolers)

Timmy the Turtle (Tiny Tim rhyme)

Down Down Up Up (all ages–could be a fun work out for caregivers with babies)


Animal Bop (toddlers, preschoolers)

Alina Celeste

Clap Hands (wish this wasn’t strictly mama and papa repeatedly, but the beat and actions are great)

Little Miss Ann

Shake & Sing (with shakers)

Aaron Nigel Smith

Everybody Loves to Dance (featuring Ziggy Marley) (all ages)

Itsy Bitsy Spider (featuring Zion Nigel Smith) (all ages)

Culture Queen

Super Shaker Song (with shakers! or scarves!) (all ages)

Blazer Fresh

Banana Banana Meatball (preschool or school age)

Jay Laga’aia

Wheels on the Bus (all ages)

Uncle Jumbo

Clap Clap Stomp Stomp (all ages)

2021 Storytime Goals

It’s a new calendar year! 2020 has been filled with new experiences for many of us (hello work from home, virtual programs, stay at home orders, and so much more!), and I’m pessimistic enough to anticipate that 2021 will be filled with more challenges. I’m expecting to be presenting virtual storytime through May and maybe summer. (Perhaps by summer with a hybrid model–some virtual and some in person?) I’m also anticipating taking a little break when we return to full in person storytimes (pending staffing levels of course) because (1) I have some lovely coworkers who haven’t been comfortable presenting virtually but are excited to return to in-person storytimes and (2) I need a real vacation. (And staycations simply don’t work with my life. I’d spend a whole staycation sneakily working on work projects, catching up on picture books, and working on this blog. Which isn’t a vacation at all, really.)

I’ve talked about this a bit in my weekly storytime outlines, but I’ve really appreciated being able to deep dive into a variety of storytimes for all ages. Storytimes were a part of my job before, but I’ve had the opportunity to make them a focus instead of one of just many things on my plate. I’ve had a chance to examine storytime books and blogs, figure out outlines that work for me and my audience, intentionally align everything I do to early literacy, practice a storytime before presenting it (something that really helps my intentionality in what I say and even how I hold each item), and build a collection of core storytime materials that will (hopefully) allow me to continue bringing variety to my storytimes long after in-person storytimes have returned.

But my storytimes are far from perfect, and I want to keep growing as a presenter. So what do I want to focus on in 2021?

1. Diverse Music. This is something I talked about this year, but it kept getting pushed aside. I’m happy that this project is built into my personal work goals next year, so I won’t be able to let other deadline-driven projects keep pushing this down the list.

There are a lot of great resources on the internet that keep up with diverse books, but I need to put in the work to really explore diverse musicians. I rely fairly heavily on recorded music in my storytime–I’m not the most comfortable singing, and I know many of the grown-ups watching aren’t either, no matter how much their librarian assures them its fine. I want to move beyond the regular Laurie Berkner, Jim Gill, and Caspar Babypants tunes. I started this project this year, and essentially it just turned into me including Jazzy Ash’s music in all of my storytimes (GO LISTEN TO HER), but there are many additional diverse artists out there that I want to be promoting. I want to go beyond just a list of artists but also take the time to listen to all of their music and pull out songs that are ideal in a storytime setting (clear motions, great with manipulatives, etc.). I expect to be sharing a lot of that work here too, so look out for music posts!

2. Diverse Books – especially for toddlers. I keep finding wonderful, own voices books I want to share with preschoolers–but I don’t often present preschool storytime. I’m reading to babies and those squirmy toddlers and to stay developmentally appropriate for both of these ages (and to hold their attention through a screen), I like to focus on books that include actions or animal sounds. I also try to separate books that I use with babies and toddlers–babies get those books that have photos of babies and smaller motions like bouncing or peek-a-boo, while toddler books are, based on their age, a little longer. The problem with this approach? Most of those interactive toddler books that I love feature critters, creatures, or monsters. I don’t want to keep recycling the same handful of diverse titles every few weeks, and I also don’t want to reuse a book I just used at baby storytime–I want new options that are new to me and to the grown-ups watching.

Also: I want to re-examine my go-to storytime books and authors too. I used to use Upsy Daisy Baby, until I read some reviews commenting on poor word selections that would not be remotely reflective of the cultures depicted. I’ve also been much more aware of how babies are illustrated, particularly in books that aren’t by own voices authors and illustrators. Asian slant eyes in illustrations is racist (and pretty common in popular storytime titles–take another look at some of those Helen Oxenbury books).

3. Fingerplays beyond Five Littles. I’ve been reading a lot on accessibility in storytimes and making all programs accessible (not just thinking about these things during a sensory storytime). Fingerplays are a big one. Not every kid has ten little fingers (or ten little toes). It’s easy to avoid books that focus on these things, but fingerplays are important to build those muscles needed for writing later on. I’ve stopped using fingerplays featuring 10 littles, and I want to stop using fingerplays featuring five littles too, particularly if there is not a visual component or alternative motions to go with it. There are a lot of other fingerplay options out there, and there are ways to immediately be more inclusive with fingerplays (such as counting to five using two hands instead of just one), but I need to take the time to find the ones that work really work for me. I talk about this a little more here, but I want to focus on making this happen in 2021.

4. Captioning and Accessibility. Thinking more about storytimes and accessibility, I want to pay more attention to captioning next year. For every storytime I present (on Facebook Live), I create short videos for our library’s YouTube channel of any non-copyrighted content. Those have many purposes, but they are really there to help increase accessibility. Facebook is not a great resource for captions, but I can control the captions on YouTube. These videos are also always available, allowing families to more easily stop and start and skip a video entirely, as it makes sense for them (and as their technology allows). I made an effort to caption all of my YouTube videos toward the middle of 2020, but to-do lists always grow, and this project also got pushed aside even as I continue to produce more videos. I want to make sure all of our YouTube content is captioned, and I want to review it all to make breaks as clean as possible (above isn’t a great example, with sentences being cut between captions).

I also want to create a visual storytime schedule that can be displayed on the wall behind me during storytime. This is such a small thing that I could easily include in my storytimes, but I haven’t taken the time to do so, which is entirely on me.

5. Build more early literacy asides and at-home activities. This may be more of a storytime extension, but, especially as we start to shift back into in-person storytimes later in 2021, I want to think about ways to encourage families to continue early literacy activities at home. I’ve been building on this idea as I prepare the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program that will debut next year, and I talk (a lot) in storytimes about early literacy activities, but I want to figure out a way to make this succinct and easy, especially since, I expect, when we restart storytimes, the oh-so-important playtime won’t be debuting, probably for the entirety of 2021. Can I offer take home kits at the end of a storytime? Will people actually take and use handouts? Is it time to re-examine a text messaging service? I don’t know. But I want to think of more concrete ways to take these concepts home with parents.

2020 Favorite Storytime Books

It’s book list season! I’ve read a lot this year, and I am excited to highlight my favorite releases of 2020. I’m thrilled to start this year’s lists with 2020 favorite storytime books.

These lists are personal. The storytime books that work for me may not work for you–and that is okay! We each have our own storytime preferences. Also, I very well may have missed some great titles that were released over the last year–so make sure to check out all of the great lists all over the internet.

I had so many favorites this year that I split picture books over two lists: storytime favorites and picture book favorites. Make sure to check both places for amazing 2020 titles!

Which titles were your favorites of the year? Please share in the comments!

2020 Favorite Storytime Books

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#Baby by Michael Joosten
Adorable baby photographs paired with humorous hashtags will make this a winner for both babies (who will love the close ups of other babies) and grown ups (who will appreciate the humor). Fun choice for virtual baby storytime.

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A is for Another Rabbit by Hannah Batsel
“A is for A Rabbit. B is for Bunny. C is for Can you believe how many rabbits are on this page?” A rabbit-obsessed narrator makes an owl angrier and angrier as this alphabet book fails to follow normal expectations. Try this out at an elementary school storytime.

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Animals Brag About their Bottoms by Maki Saito
Bottoms are cool. Animal bottoms are SUPER COOL. For toddlers, focus on identifying the animal by their bottom. For preschoolers, read through the story and talk about loving our bodies in all their unique shapes and sizes. Pair with a nonfiction book about animals, Whose Poop Is That?, or any Steve Jenkins title.

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The Babies and Kitties Book
by John Schindel and Molly Woodward Redd
A companion to the adorable The Babies and Doggies Book, this book features photographs of babies…and kitties! Wonderful photographs featuring diverse babies are paired with fun actions that work well in a storytime environment (climbing, hiding, jumping).

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Bedtime Bonnet
by Nancy Amanda Redd and illustrated by Nneka Myers
“In my family, when the sun goes down, our hair goes up!” A little girl shows us her Black family’s nighttime hair routines, but when it comes time for her to go to bed, she can’t find her bonnet! Where could it be? A fantastic own voices book that centers a diverse narrative in a bedtime storytime.

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Do Sharks Bark? by Salina Yoon
These lift-the-flap books are perfect for toddler or preschool storytime. Read them as they are written–opening each animal mouth for that sound–or try retelling them with puppets.

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Don’t Feed the Coos!
by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Heather Fox
Coos are so cute! And they are begging you for a snack…but don’t give in! If you feed one, they will all come! Lots of humor and giggles about what happens if you feed pigeons (or seagulls or ibis or ducks depending where you live).

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The Elephants’ Guide to Hide and Seek
by Kjersten Hayes and illustrated by Gladys Jose
Elephants love playing hide and seek–but they aren’t very good at it. Consult this handy guide for tips and tricks to improving your hide and seek game. Ask storytime attendees to think of new places or ways for an elephant to try to hide–maybe even places in your library!


Federico and the Wolf
by Rebecca J. Gomez and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri
A clever retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.” Frederico tries to take food to his grandfather’s store, but a hungry wolf has other ideas. A bouncy rhythm makes this fun to read aloud. Spanish words are scattered throughout, with a glossary and pronunciation guide in the back.

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Fussy Flamingo
by Shelly Vaughan James and illustrated by Matthew Rivera
Lola is one fussy bird–she doesn’t want to eat shrimp like her fellow flamingos. She is determined to try any other food, and each of those foods changes the color of her feathers. Lots of repetitive text and humor make this a fun family read aloud.

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The Ghosts Went Floating
by Kim Norman and illustrated by Jay Fleck
A spooky Halloween story sung to the tune of The Ants Went Marching. Perfect for counting practice, with a catchy tune that will soon have everyone singing. The last few pages include a Halloween tie in with the spooky friends all attending a Halloween party, though those could be skipped.

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Going Up
by Sherry J. Lee and illustrated by Charlene Chua
Sophie and her dad are excited for Olive’s birthday party! Sophie pushes the elevator button, and they start the long journey up their building–but at each floor, the elevator stops, and more neighbors crowd in. Repetitive text helps keeps readers engaged as they meet the diverse residents of this apartment building.

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Hey Baby!: A Baby’s Day in Doodles
by Andrea Pippins
Lovely photographs follow a 1-year-old through everyday activities. The black and white contrast is great for young eyes (if a little busy for a virtual storytime setting). Great actions and motions to compare the baby’s day to your family’s day.

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I Love Me!
by Laronda Gardner Middlemiss and illustrated by Beth Hughes
Celebrate diversity, identity, community, and everything that makes you special. Rhyming text, vibrant illustrations, and the repeated “I Love Me!” makes this a great fit for toddler and preschool storytimes

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I Love My Fangs! by Kelly Leigh Miller
Little Dracula loves his two, pointy, beautiful fangs! But then–oh dear–one falls out. How can Dracula be a vampire with just one tooth? Why won’t it pop back in? Lots of humor and drama surround our adorable young vampire, including a hilarious battle with the tooth fairy. Bright, colorful illustrations will keep the youngest readers engaged. 

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Jules vs. the Ocean by Jessie Sima
Jules wants to build the best sandcastle ever! But the ocean has other plans, washing away all of Jules’ attempts–and eventually it takes her bucket too. A fun summer beach story filled with dry humor in both the words and illustrations.

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Lia & Luís: Who Has More?
by Ana Crespo and illustrated by Giovana Medeiros
Lia and Luís argue over who has more of their favorite snacks. A great way to include math concepts in storytime including measuring, counting, estimating, and weighing. Perfect for STEM programs!

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Llama Unleashes the Alpacalypse
by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Heather Fox
I am a fan of everything Llama! While this sequel isn’t quite as amazing as the original, Llama gets into even more hilarious shenanigans in an effort to never have to clean his house again.

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Lift by Minh Lê and illustrated by Dan Santat
Wow! This book is visually gorgeous, but also contains serious storytime potential. Iris tapes a broken elevator button to the wall of her room. When she pushes the button, a new world opens up. A great book for older readers paired with an activity where kids create their own imaginary worlds that they would like to find behind magical elevator doors.

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On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex
A poor kid wakes up with gum in their hair, and their grown up is determined to get the gum out. Instead, they make things much, much, much worse along the way. Lots of laughs.

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One of These Is Not Like the Others by Barney Saltzberg
Three cows and one elephant–one of these is not like the other! A great read-aloud for toddlers practicing similarities and differences (and celebrating both). Easy to skip spreads to shrink the length of the book.


Our Favorite Day of the Year
by A.E. Ali and illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell
Musa’s kindergarten teacher, Ms. Gupta, proposes a yearlong show and tell, where each child shares with their classmates about their favorite day of the year. As a class, they celebrate Eid Mubarak, Rush Hashanah, Christmas (with some Lantinx cultural elements), and Pi Day. A great way to have a conversation about holidays without focusing on one religion (or, in the case of Pi Day, any religion at all).

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Sloth Went
by Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrated by Bensom Shum
Is there ever an audience where poop books don’t get a good laugh? Encourage young sloth to climb down a tree for his weekly poop. Pair with fascinating facts about how sloths poop in the wild, or a conversation about bathrooms and potty training.

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Smug Seagull by Maddie Frost
Smug Seagull can snatch more snacks than you! But…who is this new crab? How is crab so good at swiping? Is there enough room at the beach for two snack snatchers? A perfect read aloud to pair with Mo Willems’ Pigeon.

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Speak Up
by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Ebony Glenn
When you see something that doesn’t feel right, when you make a mistake, when you can help someone in need, use your voice and speak up! While this book’s message is simple, it approaches kindness, activism, and using your voice in a tone perfect for preschoolers, kindergarteners, and first graders. 

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Turtle Walk by Matt Phelan
“Turtle walk! Nice and slow. Here we go. Are we there yet? No.” This repetitive story is delightful. Adorable turtles make their plodding walk, exploring the wonders of the world, slowly making their way through the seasons to the cave where they will nap for the winter. Lots of fun to read aloud with a great refrain to repeat as a group.

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Twinkle, Twinkle, Diaper You
by Ellen Mayer and illustrated by Ying-Hwa Hu
Mama changes baby’s diaper in this simple board book. While the action is straightforward, the book excels in modeling ways a caregiver can turn a small exchange, like changing a diaper, into an early literacy experience by singing a modified version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, practicing animal sounds, identifying body parts, and more. A great board book to highlight in a virtual storytime.

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Unicorns Are the Worst! by Alex Willan
Unicorns are the worst! Goblin is not happy when unicorns move in next door with their glitter and tea parties. Why are unicorns so well loved while goblins are so underappreciated? Funny story perfect for fans of unicorns, magic, humor, and new friendships. Bright illustrations will draw in young readers and also make this a good book to share virtually.

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We Will Rock Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates is one of my favorite storytime books–and I am so glad Penelope is back for more fun! She is excited to play her guitar at the school talent show until she hears a classmate say that dinosaurs can’t rock and roll. Her classmates have a lot of opinions about what dinosaurs can be…does Penelope have the courage to show off everything she is capable of? A great elementary read, especially to start a conversation about bullying and microaggressions with kindergarteners and first graders.

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Welcome to the Party
by Gabrielle Union and illustrated by Ashley Evans
This is a baby storytime win! Beautiful illustrations, wonderful rhymes, and perfect actions for a group of babies or toddlers.

What Color Is My Hijab?: Hudda Ibrahim, Meenal Patel, Meenal Patel:  9781643439204: Books

What Color Is My Hijab?
by Hudda Ibrahim and illustrated by Meenal Patel
A simple book that highlights both colors and diversity as a little girl chooses what color hijab she will wear today. Great choice for toddlers or preschoolers.

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What Will Fit? by Grace Lin
Grace Lin’s new series of math board books are perfect for introducing simple math concepts for toddlers. Make sure to check out the whole series!

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When We Are Kind
by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt
Celebrate kindness with this beautiful book by a Native author and illustrator. Perfect for talking to preschoolers and kindergarteners about being kind and helping others.

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Your Name Is a Song
by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrated by Luisa Uribe
A girl tells her mother how frustrated she was after her teacher and classmates couldn’t pronounce her name. Her mother teaches her that her name is a song as well as how to embrace your name and identity. A beautiful book perfect for elementary school conversations about the importance of pronouncing names correctly.

Storytime: Flannel and Magnet Activities

Flannel and magnet activities are a staple of storytimes–especially my virtual storytimes! While I’ve always enjoyed these activities, we typically had very large in-person storytime audiences. I’ve never had the best vision, and I was always the kid (and adult) who was stuck in the back of a crowded room and who couldn’t see the tiny shapes on a flannel board or magnet board. I have some tricks to still make flannel and magnet activities work in a large crowd–mostly giant magnet and flannel pieces on a board I’m holding up high–but I like the intimacy of a virtual storytime where everyone can see everything I am doing.

While I love the cuteness of a high quality flannel set (Mister Keith is the flannel making king), I personally lean more towards magnet sets. I can stumble my way through making a nice flannel set I am happy with, but more often I try to find high quality images to create my own magnet sets. These can be printed over and over and laminated for reuse. Magnets stick a bit better for me (on a cookie sheet I hold up) are are generally less likely to fall off than flannel board pieces.

Looking for more flannel and magnet activities for your storytimes? Your one stop shop is Flannel Friday. Their Pinterest boards are regularly updated and filled with a world of cuteness.

Looking for more storytime tools? Check out our Storytime Resources page for links to more content.

Flannel and Magnet Activities

Animal Guessing Game (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood)


There was a farmer who had a dog
And BINGO was his name-o
And BINGO was his name-o

The Bridge Is Up

A book retelling of The Bridge Is Up by Babs Bell.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Retelling of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

Brown Owl, Brown Owl, What Do You See?

Retelling of Brown Owl, Brown Owl, What Do You See?, a spooky book adaptation of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Retelling of the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

Count the Balloons (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood)

Red Balloons, red balloons, how many do we see?
Red balloons, red balloons, count them now with me!

Dear Zoo

Retelling of the book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.

Dinosaur Behind a Door

Dinosaur, dinosaur playing hide and seek!
Are you behind the yellow door?
Let’s take a peak!

Dog’s Colorful Day

Retelling of the book Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd.

Down Around the Corner

Down around the corner at the bakery shop
Were five yummy/fancy cupcakes with sprinkles on top.
Along comes a….
With a dollar to pay.
She picks out a cupcake and takes it away.

Continue with: 4, 3, 2, 1
Pink Animals: pig, flamingo, blobfish, axolotl, dragon
Fancy Animals: poodle, unicorn, dragon, ballerina hippo, peacock

Fancy Nancy Playing Hide and Seek

Fancy Nancy, Fancy Nancy
Playing hide and seek.
Are you behind the __ teacup?
Let’s take a peek!

Fancy Words (Fancy Nancy)

Paired Words:

  • Hello – Bonjour
  • Great – Fantastique
  • Sad – Crestfallen
  • Pretty – Glamorous
  • Thank You – Merci
  • Goodbye – Au Revoir

Five Fancy Peacocks

One fancy peacock feeling mighty fine
Spreading his tail in the bright sunshine.
Another peacock has come to play.
Now two fancy peacocks have a great day.

Continue with: 2, 3, 4

Five Ferocious Lions

Deep in the jungle, what did I hear?
Five ferocious lions roaring loud and clear.
ROAR! said the lions.
SCAT! said I.
And one ferocious lion ran away…

4, 3, 2, 1…

Five in the Bed

There were five in the bed,
And the little llama said
“Roll over! Roll over!”
And they all rolled over
And one fell out.

Five Little Bats

Five little bats sleeping in a tree
Hanging upside down
Where no one else can see.
The sun sets and the moon shines bright,
And one little bat flies out of sight.

Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks went out one day.
Over the hill and far away.
Mother duck said
But only four little ducks came back.

Continue with: 4, 3, 2, 1

Five Little Eggs

Give it a whack, (clap)
Hear it crack, (hand behind ear)
Drop it in the middle, (pat hands on your lap)
One egg frying on the griddle.

Five Little Fishies

Five little fishies, swimming in the sea
Teasing Baby Shark – “You Can’t Catch Me!”
Along comes Baby Shark, as quiet as can be…
And SNAPS that fishy right out of the sea!

Continue with: 4, 3, 2, 1

Five Little Owls

Five little owls sitting in a tree
Shouting “hoo, hoo, hoo”
As loud as can be!

One flew away,
And then there were…
1, 2, 3, 4!

Five Little Penguins

Five little penguins playing in the snow,
Slipping and sliding to and fro.

One looked up and yelled “Oh no!”
“I see a great big ball of snow!”

Rolling down the hill it stopped with a splat,
All that’s left is a fuzzy hat.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

Five big snowballs wearing fuzzy hats,
Rolled back home dressed just like that!

Five Little Pigeons

Five little pigeons jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head!
The driver called the doctor, and the doctor said
No more pigeons jumping on the bed!

Continue with: 4, 3, 2, 1

Five Little Pigeons Sitting in a Tree

Five little pigeons sitting in a tree
One flew away! How many do you see?

One, two, three four!

Five Pigs So Squeaky Clean

Five pigs so squeaky clean
Cleanest pigs you’ve ever seen.
Wanted to go outside and play.
Oink! Oink!
One jumped into the mud.
Landed with a great big THUD
Now there are four pigs so squeaky clean.

Five Sharks in the Bathtub

Five sharks in the bathtub,
Going for a swim.
Knock, knock.
Splash, splash.
Come on in!

Froggy Gets Dressed

Retelling of the book Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London.

Get Dressed Fancy (Fancy Nancy)

It’s time to put our dress on,
Dress on,
Dress on,
It’s time to put our dress on 1, 2, 3!

Continue with: shoes, gloves, glasses, crown

Now that we’re all dressed!
Now that we’re all dressed!
Now that we’re all dressed!
Let’s be FANCY!

Go Away Big Green Monster

Retelling of book Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberly.

Goodnight Moon

Retelling of the book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.

The Great Big Enormous Turnip

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Retelling of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff.

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean

Retelling of the book I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry.

Is Your Mama a Llama?

Retelling of the book Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino.

The Little Old Lady Who Was NOT Afraid of Anything

Retelling of the book The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams.


There was a llama who wore pajamas,
And Llama was his name-o!
And Llama was his name-o!

Llama Llama Playing Hide and Seek

Little Llama, Little Llama
Playing hide and seek.
Are you behind the __ bed?
Let’s take a peek!

Letter Matching (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood)

Oh, have you seen the letter W
The letter W, the letter W
Oh, have you seen the letter W?
It makes the sound wuh-wuh-wuh

Little Blue Truck

A retelling of the book Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.

Little Crab, Little Crab

Little crab, little crab,
Where do you hide?
Are you in the…shell?
Let’s look inside!

Little Fox, Little Fox

Little fox, little fox
Are you in the YELLOW box?

Little Monster, Little Monster

Little monster, little monster
Playing hide and seek!

Are you behind the __ door?
Let’s take a peak!

Little Mouse, Little Mouse

Little mouse, little mouse,
Are you in the….
RED house?

Little Snail, Little Snail

Little snail, little snail,
Are you in the _ pail?

Little Spider, Little Spider

Little spider, little spider,
Playing hide and seek!

Is spider behind the __ leaf?
Let’s take a peak!

Magic Butterflies

Five fuzzy caterpillars spinning cocoons
Hoping spring will come real soon!
With a little bit of magic
And the warm sunshine–
Clap, clap, clap, there’s a butterfly!

Make a Pig

Marco the Polar Bear

Marco the polar bear
As white as the snow
Sat on the ice
Where the cold waters flow

“Lunch! I need lunch!” he said.
“I’ll make a wish!”
He stuck out his paw
And came up with a fish!

What color is it?

Move Over, Rover

Retelling of the book Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont.

My Heart Is a Zoo

Sometimes my heart wants to clap like a seal.
Sometimes my heart wants to hop like a bunny.
Sometimes my heart wants to jump like a frog.
Sometimes my heart wants to roar like a lion.
Sometimes my heart wants to fly like a blue jay.


I know a girl who is so fancy,
Nancy is her name-o!
And Nancy is her name-o!

Old Brass Wagon

Circle to the side, old brass wagon.
Circle to the side, old brass wagon.
Circle to the side, old brass wagon.
Now there’s one my darling!

Continue with:
Oval to the side
Square in the middle
Triangle up high
Rectangle down low
Heart to the back
We’ll stop at six my darling!

One Dinosaur Went Out to Play

One dinosaur went out to play,
On a giant fern one day.
She had such enormous fun,
That she called for a friend to come…

One Elephant in the Bathtub

One elephant in the bathtub,
Going for a swim,
Knock, knock (clap)
Splash, splash (slap knees)
Come on in! (wave)

Continue with: 2, 3 – all fell in!

One Elephant in the Bathtub (Elephant & Piggie)

One elephant in the bathtub,
Going for a swim!
Knock, knock! (clap, clap)
Splash, splash! (slap legs)
Come on in! (wave)

Continue with: 2, 3, 4

One Red Sock

Retelling of the book One Red Sock by Jennifer Sattler.

Our Friend Rocky Has Some Tools

Our friend Rocky has some tools, E-I-E-I-O.
And with those tools he had a hammer, E-I-E-I-O.
With a bang, bang here and a bang, bang there.
Here a bang, there a bang, everywhere a bang, bang.
Our friend Rocky has some tools, E-I-E-I-O!

Continue with:

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Retelling of the book Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes

Retelling of the book Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean.

Pete the Cat Playing Hide and Seek

Pete the Cat, Pete the Cat,
Playing hide and seek.
Is Pete behind the __ shoe?
Let’s take a peek!

Pigeon Playing Hide and Seek

Pigeon, Pigeon playing hide and seek
Are you behind the yummy cookie?
Let’s take a peek!

Piggie, Are You in a Book?

Piggie, piggie, where so you hide?
Are you in the __ book?
Let’s look inside!

Pinkalicious, Where Do You Hide?

Pinkalicious, Pinkalicious,
Where do you hide?
Are you in the pink __?
Let’s look inside!


There was a treat that’s good to eat
And pizza is its name-o!
And pizza is its name-o!

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?

A retelling of Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle.

Polar Bear’s Underwear (book)

Retelling of the book Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera.

Polar Bear’s Underwear (rhyme)

Oh where oh where have my underwear gone,
Oh where or where can they be?
I’ve looked up high, and I’ve looked down low.
Did someone hide them from me?

Red Truck, Red Truck

A transportation adaptation of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

Six Little Valentines

Six little Valentines were sent to my house,
The first one said, “I love you, From Mouse.”

Five little Valentines in my mailbox,
The second one said, “Be mine, Love Fox.”

Four little Valentines full of love,
The third one said, “You are sweet, From Dove.”

Three little Valentines just for me.
The fourth one said, “Bee my honey, Love Bee.”

Two little Valentines mailed with care.
The fifth one said, “Here’s a hug, From Bear.”

The last little Valentine, from my friend Jay.
This one said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Snowball Hide and Seek

Snowball, snowball
Cold and round!
Behind which mitten,
Can you be found?

Tickle Monster

Retelling of the book Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau.

Tip Tip Dig Dig

Retelling of the book Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia.

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Retelling of the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

Walking Through The Jungle

Walking through the jungle,
What do I see?
I think it was a….elephant!
Trumpeting at me!

We’re Going on a Bug Hunt

We’re going on a bug hunt!
We’re gonna catch a bug one!
What a sunny day.
Are you ready?

Oh my! A ladybug!
A red and black ladybug.
Crawling on a leaf.
Crawl, crawl, crawl, crawl.

Continue with:
Bumblebee…buzzing through the air
Grasshopper…hopping through the grass
Dragonfly…darting across the sky
Butterfly…fluttering through the air
Spider…spinning its web
Time to go home…Goodbye!

Who Stole the Cookies

Cat stole the cookies from the cookie jar.
Who me?
Let’s see!

Couldn’t be!
Then who?

Zuma, Are You in a Boat?

Zuma, Zuma, where so you hide?
Are you in the __ boat?
Let’s look inside!

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 17

My last Baby Storytime for 2020! (Well, maybe, you never really know until the year is done.) Storytimes are a bright spot in my weeks as everything pandemic picks up here in Ohio (and around the United States and much of the world). This is a hard week. My library just reclosed to the public for browsing and computers, which takes a bit of the pressure off. Good luck to everyone out there–we all need it.

More Baby Storytime Content:

Find additional storytime content at the links below:

Storytime Resources (includes all storytime outlines)
Virtual Baby Storytimes
Virtual Toddler Storytimes
Virtual Preschool Storytimes
Virtual Family Storytimes (including themed special events)
All Virtual Storytime Outlines

Baby Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme
(Wake Up Toes and We Clap and Sing Hello)

Early Literacy Tip: Looking for ways to keep your little one engaged? No need to purchase fancy toys—make great DIY activities from around the house objects. Check out our YouTube channel for ideas.

Book: What Is Baby Going to Do? by Laura Knowles What is Baby Going to Do? (Flap Flap) (9780711250598): Knowles,  Laura, Perdomo, Juliana: Books

Song: Hands Together, Hands Apart by Rainbow Songs

Action Rhyme: Well Hello Little Baby

Bounce Rhyme: Hippity Hop

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Bounce: Bouncing, Bouncing

Find more Baby Bounce Rhymes. —

Song: Shake Your Sillies Out by Rainbow Songs

Puppets: Do Sharks Bark? by Salina Yoon

Find more Book Retelling activities. —

Manipulative: What Shall We Do With The Sleeping Baby? by Rainbow Songs

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

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