Tag Archives: babies

Storytime: Movement Rhymes

Rhymes designed to get kids up and moving are a staple of any storytime. These aren’t quite Fingerplays (but there may be a lot of overlap). Sometimes they can include Flannel or Magnet pieces. Rhymes are often (but not always) shorter than a song, as they are often used as short breaks to get some wiggles out between longer material. They often develop fine and gross motor skills, practice following directions, and can also connect to any number of other concepts like counting, letter sounds, animal sounds, and more.

I separated Baby Bounce Rhymes, designed for babies in arms or in laps, into a different post. Find those here.

Rhymes with Problematic and Racist Origins

You won’t find many nursery rhymes on this list. The problems with Five Little Monkeys (which derives from Shortin Bread) and Ten Little Indians are talked about fairly frequently. I don’t regularly see Eeny Meeny Miny Moe used in storytimes but, just in case you do use that tune, know that some of the original words were racial slurs. Do You Ears Hang Low has a dark history. You may think differently of Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me when you read Urban Dictionary’s definition of “fly in the buttermilk.”

Beyond the songs that had racial slurs in their origins–stop and think for a minute about the words in Baa Baa Black Sheep or I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. Goosey Goosey Gander made me pause when I first heard it in a Mother Goose on the Loose storytime–and the suggested origins of that rhyme don’t make me want to teach it to babies and toddlers.

Before I get further into this conversation, check out this wonderful document with many sources cited regarding the history of some of the songs and rhymes mentioned above and more. I’m sure there are more popular tunes I have missed too. Please comment below, and I’m happy to add and adjust.

I understand that there can be value in the rhythm of Mother Goose and other “traditional” nursery rhymes–but frankly, I grew up only learning a handful of these, and I don’t think I lost much of my childhood from not growing up with the Mother Goose canon. There are plenty of other songs that can teach kids how to count or practice identifying body parts–and once you become aware of the origins of certain songs, they are easy enough to avoid.

But what about the familiar tunes (changing those words)? For me, this comes down to the grandmother in one of my in-person Baby Storytimes who proudly sang “Indian” instead of “finger” when we sang “Ten Little Fingers” to the tune of “Ten Little Indians.” She told her little one that she was so excited to sing a song she grew up with–so she sang the words she knew instead of the words on the screen behind me. The short answer is–let these rhymes–and their tunes–go.

I struggle with this just as I am sure some of you do. Put Your Hands Up High is my hardest rhyme to let go of because I love the motions so much, and it is part of my default, go-to storytime routine. But, it is to the tune of Do Your Ears Hang Low. I’m sure that other problematic tunes have slipped through too in my work–on this post and others on this blog. But there are plenty of other rhymes out there–on this blog and many others–that none of us have an excuse for continuing to use these problematic works.

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

Movement Rhymes

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


Bananas Unite

Bananas unite!

Peel bananas.
Peel, peel bananas.
Peel bananas.
Peel, peel bananas.

Continue with: Chop, Mash, Eat

GOOOOOO BANANAS!


Bubble Bubble Pop

One little red fish
Swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water.

One little red fish
Swimming in the water,
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble (roll arms)
POP! (clap)


Bubble, Bubble, Pop: Baby Shark

One yellow baby shark, Swimming in the water,
Swimming in the water, Swimming in the water.

One yellow baby shark, swimming in the water,
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble pop!

Continue with:
One blue daddy shark
One pink momma shark


Clap, Clap, Clap Your Hands

Clap, clap, clap your hands,
Clap them now with me.
Clap your hands, let me see!
Clap them now with me.

Continue with:
Tap your knees
Shake your feet
Tickle your tummy


Clap Them

Clap them, clap them, clap them so.
Clap them high!
Clap them low.
Clap them left.
Clap them right.
Clap them, clap them, out of sight!

Continue with: roll them, shake them


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.

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


Cool Cat Boogie

Slide right, shake your tail!
Slide left, shake your tail!
Now clap, clap, clap.
Jump front!
Rock and roll!
Jump back!
Rock and roll!
AIR GUITAR!


Dino Ditty

A hungry dino walking down the street
Singing dino ditty ditty dum ditty do
He’s looking for something good to eat
Singing dino ditty ditty dum ditty do
He’s big! (He’s big!)
He’s strong! (He’s strong!)
Won’t be hungry very long…


Do You Like to Jump Around

Do you like to jump around?
Jump around,
Jump around?
Do you like to jump around?
Jump and now let’s FREEZE!

Continue with:
Roll
Clap
Shake
Jump


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.


Galoomp Went the Little Green Frog

Galoomp (hop) went the little green frog one day
Galoomp (hop) went the little green frog
Galoomp (hop) went the little green frog one day
And his eyes went blink blink blink

Repeat with new line added on each time:
Arms went flop, flop, flop
Feet went splash, splash, splash


Head and Shoulders

Head and shoulders baby 1, 2, 3
Head and shoulders baby 1, 2, 3
Head and shoulders,
Head and shoulders,
Head and shoulders baby 1, 2, 3

Continue with:
Knees and ankles
Tummy and back
Fingers and toes
Shake them all


Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (audiation)

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes!
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes!
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose!
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes!


Horns and Fangs

Horns and fangs, knees and claws,
Knees and claws, knees and claws,
Horns and fangs, knees and claws,
Eyes, ears, tail, and paws!


I Wake Up My Hands

I wake up my hands with a clap, clap, clap,
Clap, clap, clap,
Clap, clap, clap,
I wake up my hands with a clap, clap, clap,
And I wiggle my wiggles away!

Continue with:
Feet…stomp, stomp, stomp
Belly…beep, beep, beep
Body…wiggle, wiggle, wiggle


If You’re a Pigeon

If you’re a pigeon and you know it, flap your wings!
If you’re a pigeon and you know it, flap your wings!
If you’re a pigeon and you know it,
And you really want to show it!
If you’re a pigeon and you know it, flap your wings!

Shake your tail (shake, shake)
Eat your cookies (nom, nom)
Drive the bus (zoom, zoom)


If You’re Fancy and You Know It

If you’re fancy and you know it give a curtsey!
If you’re fancy and you know it give a curtsey!
If you’re fancy and you know it and you really want to show it,
If you’re fancy and you know it give a curtsey!

Continue with:
Take a Bow
Wave to All Your Fans
Shout Ooh La La!


If You’re Ready for the New Year

If you’re ready for the new year, clap your hands!
If you’re ready for the new year, clap your hands
If you’re ready for the new year,
If you’re ready for the new year,
If you’re ready for the new year, clap your hands!

Continue with:
Stomp Your Feet (Stomp, Stomp)
Wave Bye-Bye (Bye Bye 2020)
Give a Shout (Happy New Year!)


I’m a Little Dump Truck

I’m great big dump truck
Full of rocks.
Here is my engine.
Here is my box.
When the crew is ready,
Here me shout,
“Pull the lever and dump me out!”
Shhhhhhhhh!


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!


Mix a Cake

Mix the batter, stir the batter
Shake some flour in
Mix the batter, stir the batter
Pour it in a tin

Sprinkle in some chocolate chips
Put it in to bake
Then open wide the oven door
And out comes the cake!


Mix a Pancake

Mix a pancake.
Stir a pancake.
Pop it in a pan.
Fry a pancake.
Toss a pancake.
Catch it if you can!


Move Your Arms

Move your arms up and down,
Up and down. Up and down.
Move your arms up and down,
Just like me!

Move your hands and clap, clap, clap.
Clap, clap, clap. Clap, clap, clap.
Move your hands and clap, clap, clap,
Just like me!

Continue with: feet…stomp, body…up and down


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.


One, Two, Peek-A-Boo!

One, two, peek-a-boo!
You see me, and I see you.
I see your nose; yes I do!
Time to play peek-a-boo!

Continue with: Hands, Feet, Belly


Open Shut Them

Open, shut them.
Open, shut them.
Let your hands go clap, clap, clap!

Open, shut them.
Opem, shut them.
Drop them in your lap, lap, lap!

Walk them, walk them,
Walk them, walk them,
Right up to your chin, chin, chin!

Open up your little mouth,
But do not let them in!


Pinkalicious Turn Around

Pinkalicious, Pinkalicious turn around.
Pinkalicious, Pinkalicious touch the ground.
Pinkalicious, Pinkalicious jump up high!
Pinkalicious, Pinkalicious touch the sky.

Pinkalicious, Pinkalicious bend down low.
Pinkalicious, Pinkalicious find your nose.
Pinkalicious, Pinkalicious dance to the beat.
Pinkalicious, Pinkalicious take a seat!


Put the Beat On

Put the beat on your toes, on your toes.
Put the beat on your toes, on your toes.
Put the beat on your toes,
Put the beat on your toes,
Put the beat on your toes,
Now we stop!

Continue with:
Tummy
In your hands (clap)


Roll Roll Sugar Babies

Roll roll sugar babies,
Roll roll sugar babies,
Push and pull
And clap, clap, clap!

Roll roll sugar babies,
Roll roll sugar babies,
Push and pull
And clap, clap, clap!

Roll up high!
Roll down low.
Roll real fast!
Roll real slow.

Roll roll sugar babies,
Roll roll sugar babies,
Push and pull
And clap, clap, clap!


Roly, Poly

Roly Poly, Roly Poly,
Up, up, up!
Up, up, up!

Continue with: Down, Out, In, Fast, Slow


Row, Drive, Fly

Row, row, row your boat (sway)
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

Drive, drive, drive your car
So quickly down the street
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Driving can’t be beat!

Fly, fly, fly your plane
Fly your plane so high
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Way up in the sky!

Chug, chug, chug the train
Goes quickly down the track
Merrily, merrily, merrily
Hear it click click clack!


Slowly, Slowly

Slowly, slowly, very slowly,
Creeped the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly, very slowly
Up the wooden rail.

Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Ran the little mouse.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly,
Round about the house!


Show Me How You Move

Show me how your hands can move,
Your hands can move,
Your hands can move,
Show me how your hands can move,
Now show me how they STOP!

Continue with:
Feet…stomp
Elbows…bend
Body…jump


There Was a Crocodile

There was a crocodile,
An orangutan,
A flying eagle,
And a silvery fish.

A bunny,
A beaver,
A crazy elephant,
Da na na na na na
Da na na na na na


This is Big

This is big big big.
This is small small small.

This is short short short.
This is tall tall tall.

This is fast fast fast.
This is slow slow slow.

This is yes yes yes yes.
This is no no no no.


Tiny Tim

I have a friendly frog.
His name is Tiny Tim!
I put him in the bathtub,
To see if he could swim.

He drank up all the water!
He ate up all the soap!
And now he’s home sick in bed,
With bubbles in his throat!

Bubble bubble bubble
Bubble bubble POP!
Bubble bubble bubble
Bubble bubble POP!

Repeat with tiny frog and giant frog.


Up, Down, Turn Around

Up, down,
Turn around.
Touch the sky!
And touch the ground.

Wiggle fingers,
Wiggle toes,
Wiggle shoulders,
Wave hello!


We Clap and We Clap and We Stop

We clap and we clap and we stop
We clap and we clap and we stop
We clap and we clap and we clap
We clap and we clap and we clap and we STOP!

Continue with: Wave, Jump, Roll


Well Hello Little Baby

Well hello little baby, can you touch your nose,
Touch your nose,
Touch your nose?
Well hello little baby, can you touch your nose?
Touch your nose.

Continue with:
Clap your hands
Stomp your feet
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle


Where Is Big Toe

Where is big toe? Where is big toe?
Here I am! Here I am!
Wiggle waggle big toe.
Wiggle waggle big toe.
Here I am. Here I am.

Continue with:
bendy, bendy elbow
squishy, squishy tummy
happy, clappy two hands


Where Oh Where

Where oh where are baby’s fingers,
Where oh where are baby’s toes,
Where oh where is baby’s belly button,
Round and round it goes!
(tickle)

Additional verse, not shown:

Where oh where are baby’s eyes,
Where oh where is baby’s nose,
Where oh where is baby’s belly button,
Round and round it goes!
(tickle)


Zoom Zoom Zoom

Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’ll get there very soon.

If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’re going to the moon.

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
BLAST OFF!


Zoom, Zoom, Zoom A New Year’s Coming Soon

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
The year is changing soon.
Zoom zoom zoom
The year is changing soon.

If you want to make a wish,
Hold it tight inside your fist!

Zoom zoom zoom
The year is changing soon.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Happy New Year!

1000 Books Before Kindergarten, Part 2

After over a year of planning, I finally launched my library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program! These blog posts often focus more on day-to-day or week-to-week library activities, like reading, programs, and storytimes, but on any random day, I’m also working on a lot of large behind-the-scenes projects too. I’m thrilled to finally be able to share one of those projects with you.

Part 1 focused on the logistics of the program as well as our physical workbook. In this post, I’ll focus on our online component run through ReadSquared.

What is 1000 Books?

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a nationwide initiative, adapted by many libraries and educational institutions, to promote reading and encourage child/caregiver bonding through reading.

The goal is simple and pretty self explanatory: read 1000 books together before your child starts kindergarten.

Why run a 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program?

A child is more successful in school when an adult actively read, spoke, and engaged with them during the 0-5 years. The more words children hear at young ages, the larger their vocabulary, and the more prepared they will be to learn to read. Setting a high goal with a concrete reward system—like reading 1000 books before starting kindergarten—encourages adults to actively and continuously engage with their children. Children who start out ahead typically end up ahead. Studies show that these early language needs are even higher in lower socioeconomic households.

Other benefits to a 1000 Books program:

  • Brings a sense of ownership and pride to reading. After completing this program, kids know they accomplished something big.
  • Builds caregiver knowledge and interest about their role in school readiness.
  • From a library statistics perspective, 1000 Books programs boost circulation numbers.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten: ReadSquared Program

ReadSquared is one of a handful of online reading program management tools your library can purchase. Using a system like ReadSquared for your online reading program management takes away some of the freedom you would have by creating your own in-house summer reading management website, but, in exchange for unlimited customizability, you get a website that is hosted offsite with a great tech team that is always available to help you fix glitches and change the design of your page.

There are a lot of pros and cons to various online reading program management tools. This isn’t a post about that, but my quick feelings about ReadSquared are that (on the positive side) you do have a lot of customization options compared to its top competitor, Beanstack, and (on the negative side) the core layout of the website isn’t really negotiable, it looks a bit dated overall, and the back side is a bit of an organizational mess. Make sure someone on your team is familiar with basic HTML and has the time and patience to dig through many menus to find the exact editing tool you are looking for.

My library uses ReadSquared for our set-your-own-goal summer reading program and our BINGO-style winter reading program. 1000 Books is our first attempt at a year-round program, and I’m really happy with where we ended up. All the programs are supposed to be able to run smoothly at the same time, though we haven’t tested that out in full quite yet.

See my library’s ReadSquared login page here.

Signing Up

Every 1000 Books reader needs a ReadSquared account. They don’t have to use it for recording, but they do need an account so that library staff can keep track of their prizes.

If a family already has an account from a previous summer or winter reading program, they can log in with that account to sign up for this program. Kids can all be linked to the same account, making for easy book logging for the caregiver.

I’m not going to screenshot every element of this process, but to make an online account, we require that participants provide their first and last name, their email address, and a username and password.

Once they login or register, they will be taken to the home page:

Home Page

Families can immediately record their reading on the home page or they can use the various navigation menus to access other features. The home page also includes:

  • Progress Bar
  • Sponsor Information
  • Most Popular Books (books recorded by other participants recently)
  • FAQs

One important note for libraries considering ReadSquared for a 1000 Books program: at the moment, ReadSquared does not allow for public users to log more than one book at a time. So if a family read 20 books in one day, they do need to add 20 individual books. However, library staff, using the admin side of ReadSquared, can add any number of books at once with one click. So, if a caregiver does not want to type in 100 book titles, they can just stop by or call the library and ask library staff to record the reading for them.

Logging a Book

Families can log a book from the Home Page or the Logging page. When they select “Log Reading” they will be asked to add some information about the book (title, author, review). All of this information is optional–they could just push “Submit” and the system will log one book read.

Logging History

The Logging History page lets families see how many books they have logged (and which titles, if they provided that information).

Badges

That is all the technical content, what about the fun stuff? For our program, readers earn virtual badges whenever they receive an equivalent in-person prize (one for getting started (when they get their workbook) and another badge for every 100 books read). These match the sticker images that they will earn for their workbooks.

Missions

Our physical workbook contains a bunch of early literacy tips for different age ranges, and we wanted to convert that information to our online format (while also promoting other library services and programs). These turned into Missions. Missions don’t earn participants physical prizes, but they do earn a virtual badge.

Our missions and activities include:

Read Together: From birth, your baby can start to learn about reading, like how to sound out words and what direction to hold a book.

  • Ages 0-2 – Read together…even if just a few pages: Choose a time when your baby is relaxed and happy. Read for as long as your baby is interested. Just a page or two is fine! Try one of these
  • Ages 0-2 – Join us for baby storytime: For a schedule of live storytimes, visit the library’s events calendar. Or watch on demand whenever is convenient for you with pre-recorded storytimes on our YouTube channel.
  • Ages 0-3 – Read a board book: Show your baby a board book. (A board book is made of thick cardboard pages.) Let them explore on their own, even if that means books get chewed on or thrown.
  • Ages 0-3 – Show babies other babies: Babies love to see other babies! Check out books featuring large, bright photographs of other babies from this list.
  • Ages 0-5 – Take a picture walk: You don’t have to read the words on the page! Talk or sing about the pictures instead. Identify the animals or colors or make up your own story–time spent with a book helps your child learn how books work. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Sign up for free books: Fill your home library with books! Mailed to your child monthly until their 5th birthday, each book is a free gift for your child to keep. This service is made possible by the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library. Learn more.
  • Ages 0-5 – Watch a storytime video: Explore book retelling videos by your favorite librarians. Watch one of these videos.
  • Ages 0-5 – Take a book; leave a book: A wooden box filled with books, a Little Free Library is a mini collection you can browse any time of day. Take home whatever catches your fancy and if you want, bring back one of your own to share with others. No library card required. No fines. No need to return what you borrow. Learn more.
  • Ages 0-5 – Read a nonfiction book: Read a nonfiction book together. Nonfiction books help babies and toddlers attach words to everyday objects and help preschoolers realize that words represent other things. Try one of these.
  • Ages 0-5 – Point out the words: Run your fingers under the words on the page as you read them. Little ones will begin to understand that those shapes on the page mean something. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Make books part of your daily routine: Make books part of everyday experiences. Place a bag of books in the car or near the table for meals, or read a book each day for a week before naptime, bedtime, or bath time.
  • Ages 2-3 – Join us for toddler storytime: For a schedule of live storytimes, visit the library’s events calendar. Or watch on demand whenever is convenient for you with pre-recorded storytimes on our YouTube channel.
  • Ages 2-5 – Read…and repeat!: Read the same books over and over again. Pause before a predictable word and ask your toddler or preschooler to guess the next word. Or ask what happens next in their favorite story.
  • Ages 3-5 – Read…upside down!: When reading, hold a book upside down until your preschooler notices. Show them how to hold a book. Talk about the book’s parts, like the cover, pages, title, and author.
  • Ages 3-5 – Join us for preschool storytime: For a schedule of live storytimes, visit the library’s events calendar. Or watch on demand whenever is convenient for you with pre-recorded storytimes on our YouTube channel.

Sing Together: When you sing, you slow down words. This helps your child hear the smaller sounds, learn syllables, and develop vocabulary. Singing also helps develop listening and memory skills. Singing together is a fun bonding experience – whether you’re a good singer or not!

  • Ages 0-5 – Dance together: Dance to music that you and your little one enjoy. Try these dance party favorites, free to stream or download with your Westerville Library card. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Listen to your favorite (grown-up) music: Listen to your favorite music – your baby may recognize your grown-up tunes. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Sing together: Sing a tune or nursery rhyme together. For a new song every day, visit daybydayoh.org.
  • Ages 0-5 – Read a singing book!: Some books have a natural rhythm or rhyme that are great for singing. Read one of these.
  • Ages 0-5 – Watch a video: Bounce to the rhythm or try out one of these favorite storytimes songs. Watch one of these videos.
  • Ages 0-5 – Make up a song together: Create songs about everyday activities, such as changing a diaper or putting on clothes. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Adapt a tune: Adapt the tune “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” to “This Is the Way We…” (put on our pants, wash our hands, etc.).
  • Ages 0-5 – Clap your name: Clap or tap your child’s name. Focus on each syllable. Encourage your toddler or preschooler to try this too–you’ll be surprised how quickly they can find the syllables themselves.
  • Ages 1-5 – Shake!: Shake to the beat of a familiar rhyme or tune. Grab an item that your baby can grasp, or make a shaker out of an empty water bottle filled with baby-safe items.
  • Ages 1-5 – Clap to the beat: Clap the syllables of words as you sing. Breaking down words into smaller parts is a useful skill when your child starts reading. 
  • Ages 2-5 – Sing fast and slow: Sing the same song at different speeds to help your little one get used to rhythm and tempo. Try singing familiar tunes faster and faster, then slower and slower.
  • Ages 2-5 – Freeze dance: Freeze songs are a great way for your child to practice self-control, focus, and listening skills. Turn a favorite song into a freeze dance by starting and stopping the music at random.
  • Ages 2-5 – Pause: “The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water….spout!” Pause while singing to allow toddlers and preschoolers to fill in the missing words. 
  • Ages 3-5 – Create silly songs: Create silly songs by making up your own words for familiar tunes. Let your child choose unique animals for “Old McDonald Had a Farm” and unique actions for “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
  • Ages 3-5 – Print the lyrics: Help your little one recognize that songs are made up of words. Print out the lyrics to your favorite song, then run your fingers under the words on the page as you sing them together.

Play Together: Playing encourages your child to put their thoughts into words, tell stories, problem-solve and imagine. All of these skills will help them become better readers and writers when they start school.

  • Ages 0-2 – Play peek-a-boo: Play peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo helps babies understand that just because they can’t see something, that object still exists.
  • Ages 0-5 – Visit the story trail: Enjoy the fresh air, a stroll…and a story. This literacy adventure builds reading skills and creates memories, from start to finish. For all ages. Visit again and again; you may find a different story waiting for you. Learn more.
  • Ages 0-5 – Watch a video: Looking for playtime ideas? Watch one of these videos.
  • Ages 0-5 – Play with mirrors: Play in front of a mirror and point to your little one’s body parts.
  • Ages 0-5 – Borrow a learning kit: Play, sing, write, read, talk and have fun with your favorite little ones while using tip cards to practice early literary skills. Learn more.
  • Ages 0-5 – Read a playing book!: Some books include games or other interactive elements that are great for encouraging play. Read one of these.
  • Ages 0-5 – Visit the imagination station: Located in the kids department at the library, this interactive display is regularly transformed into a themed exhibit intended to actively engage, entertain and educate young visitors of all ages.
  • Ages 0-5 – Play and learn around the house: Running out of ideas? Try these easy activities you can do together with common household objects. Watch now.
  • Ages 0-5 – Play…and repeat!: Repeat the same game or activity over and over again. You might feel bored, but your little one feels reassurance and builds important connections through repetition. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Play with music: Dance to an action song like “The Hokey Pokey.” Songs that name body parts build physical awareness. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Play with words: When playing, use big words and small words. Use as many words as you can! The more words your child hears, the easier it will be to identify those words when they start reading. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Moo, honk, beep!: Make noises for different toys, like trucks, baby dolls, or animals. Hearing different sounds and experiencing pitches, tones, and volumes helps your little one develop the basics of language.
  • Ages 2-5 – Play on the go: Play wherever you are! Play “I Spy” on a long car ride or in the grocery store. Introduce new vocabulary each time you play.
  • Ages 3-5 – Make open-ended art: Explore open-ended activities. Encourage imagination and problem-solving with art supplies for the sake of play, not to make a specific craft.
  • Ages 3-5 – Go on a letter hunt: Pick a letter and find five items around the house that start with that letter. Try a new letter each day!

Talk Together: When you talk to your child about different events and ideas, it helps them learn new vocabulary and to use words they know.

  • Ages 0-3 – Say my name: Babies focus on the word spoken immediately after their name. Instead of saying, “Julia, would you like to read a book?” Try saying: “Julia, book! Would you like to read a book?”
  • Ages 0-3 – Talk with sign language: Babies understand more than they can say. Using gestures, including American Sign Language, is a great way to communicate with your child. Practice words like more, stop, and no. Learn more with these books.
  • Ages 0-5 – Narrate your day: Talk to your baby all the time, even if they can’t respond quite yet. The more words your baby hears, the larger their vocabulary will grow. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Read a talking book!: Some books encourage talking. Read one of these.
  • Ages 0-5 – Watch a video: Try some of these games and activities to encourage asking questions. Watch one of these videos.
  • Ages 0-5 – Pause for 10 seconds.: Pause. Toddlers and preschoolers need 7-10 seconds to process what you asked and create a response. Give them plenty of time to think before moving on to another question. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Ask open-ended questions: When playing, ask your child open-ended questions, such as: 
    • What do you think will happen if…
    • Can you think of another way to…
    • What else can you build…
      Give them plenty of time to respond. Some responses might not be verbal. 
  • Ages 0-5 – Notice excitement: Your child will let you know what interests them by using actions, facial expressions, and speech. When they point out a window or give you a questioning look, put their action into words: “Yes! That’s a squirrel. Look at him running along the fence.”
  • Ages 0-5 – Talk with your eyes: When talking to your little one, actively make eye contact. Babies and toddlers learn to recognize emotions from facial expressions. 
  • Ages 2-5 – Dial a story: Hear a story read aloud by your Westerville librarians. A great way to entertain kids at bedtime, in waiting rooms, or on rainy days. Available via phone 24/7. Call 614-665-9696. Learn more.
  • Ages 2-5 – Oops!: Make mistakes on purpose when singing familiar songs or completing familiar activities. Let your toddler or preschooler correct you. Make sure your little one is very familiar with your activity before trying this – you don’t want to confuse them. 
  • Ages 3-5 – Talk about books: Look at a book together. What direction do you hold a book? Identify the parts of a book like the cover, title, author, and illustrator. 
  • Ages 3-5 – Tell a story: Work together to tell a story. Put a series of events in order, tell a familiar story from the pictures, or make up a story using just your imagination. 
  • Ages 3-5 – Talk about new words: Preschoolers learn new words best in context. When you discover some new vocabulary, discuss it at that moment. Try relating the word to a word they already know. 
  • Ages 3-5 – Follow directions: Encourage listening with games that include clear directions, like Simon Says. 

Write Together: Giving children opportunities to write, even if it is just scribbles, helps children understand that print can represent spoken words. It can also help children develop eye-hand coordination and the fine motor control they need to hold a pencil.

  • Ages 0-3 – Pick up sticks: Practice activities that build finger muscles, such as picking up Cheerios and grasping toys.
  • Ages 0-5 – Read a book about shapes: Learning shapes helps children more easily recognize letters when the time comes. Read a book about shapes.
  • Ages 0-5 – Watch a video: Practice a fingerplay to build the muscles needed to hold a pencil. Watch one of these videos.
  • Ages 0-5 – Read a writing book!: Some books encourage writing. Read one of these.
  • Ages 1-3 – Crumple paper: Practice activities that build finger muscles, such as crumpling paper and grasping small objects like shakers, straws, spoons, and more.
  • Ages 1-5 – Explore shapes: Explore shapes. Letters are made of shapes, so identifying shapes is a first step towards recognizing letters. Go on a shape scavenger hunt, finding three squares, three circles, and three triangles around your house. 
  • Ages 1-5 – Color and scribble: Encourage your little one to color and scribble. You don’t need a coloring page–coloring outside the lines is just as beneficial as coloring inside them. Grasping a crayon helps build the muscles needed to hold a pencil in school.
  • Ages 1-5 – Play with letters: Build finger muscles and learn to recognize letters by playing with them! Make letters out of playdough or explore letter magnets. 
  • Ages 2-5 – Complete a puzzle: Challenge your toddler or preschooler with a simple puzzle with shape cutouts. Looking for something homemade? Create a DIY puzzle out of baby-safe around-the-house objects.
  • Ages 2-5 – Write while playing: Incorporate writing into play activities. Write a pretend grocery list. Help your child pretend to take your order at a restaurant. Sign pretend receipts when you play store. 
  • Ages 2-5 – Play with tweezers: Make pick-up games more challenging with a pair of toddler or preschool sized tweezers (plastic child-safe kitchen tongs might work too). Use the tweezers to sort pom poms, cereal, dice, or other small items. 
  • Ages 3-5 – Write about your art: Ask your preschooler to write about their drawing. Even if they aren’t writing letters, this helps them recognize that written words stand for spoken words.
  • Ages 3-5 – Use scissors: Build writing muscles by practicing an important kindergarten skill: using scissors. Consider one of these activities or make up your own:
    • Cut lines in the top of a paper towel tube to create silly hair (don’t forget to draw a face too).
    • Cut along the lines separating paint chips.
    • Cut through rolled strips of playdough.
  • Ages 3-5 – Make dots with glue: Create a sheet of paper filled with evenly spaced tiny dots, about the size of the tip of a pencil. Give your child a bottle of liquid glue with a squeeze-top, and challenge them to limit the amount of glue they use–just enough to cover a single dot. 
  • Ages 3-5 – Write together: Keep a journal for you and your child. Encourage them to draw a picture of something they did that day or something they are excited about. Ask them to tell you about their drawing, and write down what they say underneath. Read their words back to them, drawing your finger underneath the words as you say them.

Reading Lists

Our last bonus feature on our ReadSquared page is our 1000 Books Reading Lists. Approximately 40 Reading Lists are filled with book suggestions to help families keep reading. Topics include:

  • Animals & Pets
  • Baby Faces
  • Baby Favorites
  • Bedtime & Bathtime
  • Beginning to Read
  • Being Kind
  • Change the World
  • Dinosaurs
  • Early Literacy: Play Together
  • Early Literacy: Read Together
  • Early Literacy: Sing Together
  • Early Literacy: Talk Togeter
  • Early Literacy: Write Together
  • Explore Outdoors
  • Family Love
  • Family Read Alouds
  • Favorite Characters
  • Getting Dressed
  • Growing Up
  • Holidays & Celebrations
  • Kids Like Me
  • Laugh Out Loud
  • Learn Colors
  • Learn Shapes
  • Learn the ABCs
  • Learn to Count
  • Lift-the-Flap & Pop-Up
  • Nonfiction Fun
  • Potty Training
  • Preschool Favorites
  • Real Stories: Biographies
  • Seasons
  • Siblings
  • Starting School
  • Talk About Race
  • Things That Go
  • Time to Eat
  • Toddler Favorites
  • Unicorns, Fairies, and Everything Magic

Access those lists and more here (without logging in).

…and that is it! All of the different parts of our ReadSquared 1000 Books website. What kind of recording do you use for your library’s 1000 Books program? Share in the comments!

Learn more about our program on our website and via the first post in this series that focuses on the physical workbook.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten, Part 1

After over a year of planning, I finally launched my library’s 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program last week. These blog posts often focus more on day-to-day or week-to-week library activities, like reading, programs, and storytimes, but on any random day, I’m also working on a lot of large behind-the-scenes projects too. I’m thrilled to finally be able to share one of those projects with you.

This post will focus on the logistics of the program as well as our physical workbook. Check back for Part 2, focusing on our online component run through ReadSquared.

And before this gets buried in all the upcoming text, a big shout out to my library’s marketing department who designed the physical book and put up with all of my edit requests.

What is 1000 Books?

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a nationwide initiative, adapted by many libraries and educational institutions, to promote reading and encourage child/caregiver bonding through reading.

The goal is simple and pretty self explanatory: read 1000 books together before your child starts kindergarten.

Why run a 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program?

A child is more successful in school when an adult actively read, spoke, and engaged with them during the 0-5 years. The more words children hear at young ages, the larger their vocabulary, and the more prepared they will be to learn to read. Setting a high goal with a concrete reward system—like reading 1000 books before starting kindergarten—encourages adults to actively and continuously engage with their children. Children who start out ahead typically end up ahead. Studies show that these early language needs are even higher in lower socioeconomic households.

Other benefits to a 1000 Books program:

  • Brings a sense of ownership and pride to reading. After completing this program, kids know they accomplished something big.
  • Builds parent knowledge and interest about their role in school readiness.
  • From a library statistics perspective, 1000 Books programs boost circulation numbers.

How long will this take?

Parents may be daunted by the large number, but, by just reading one book a day, a child should finish the program in less than three years. Some possible program lengths:

  • 1 book a day = 1,000 books in 3 years
  • 2 books a day = 1,000 books in 1.5 years
  • 3 books a day = 1,000 books in 1 year
  • 5 books a day = 1,000 books in 6 months

1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program Specifics

Before starting your program, there are some specifics you need to figure out. These include:

  • How will participants log their reading?
  • What are the incentives?
  • How will you fund the program?
  • Answers to Participant FAQs

How will participants log their reading?

We give participants two options: a physical, spiral-bound workbook (more info below) and an online system managed through ReadSquared (more on that in a future post).

What are the incentives?

Our incentives include:

  • Sign up = workbook & pencil
  • 100 books read = 1 sticker for every 100 books read (10 total)
  • 500 books read = free book
  • 1,000 books read = free book, backpack, graduation certificate & invitation to annual graduation ceremony  

I’ll share pictures of some of these below, but the timeline for purchasing some of these items depends on reaching certain program milestones (such as registering our first 50 kids). So, while I know what I would like to order, specific prize books have not been officially selected yet. For each prize book earned, families will have a choice between three prize book options.

How will you fund the program?

Our program is sponsored by our library’s Foundation. (Those incentives aren’t cheap!) I wanted to make this a program that would really engage our community and keep them participating over the years it will take them to finish, so we chose incentives that will hopefully encourage people to keep participating.

Answers to Participant FAQs

Your library’s answers to these questions might differ, but some of our FAQ include:

What if someone else reads to my child?
Count all reading! Books read by caregivers, siblings, grandparents, friends, teachers, librarians, and more all count. Watch a storytime and count those books, too.

What if we read the same book more than once?
Every time you read a book, count it in your reading log! Repetition is wonderful for reading development. Your child will notice new details during each reread. If you read Pete the Cat ten times in one day, that counts as ten books read!

We finished! Can we keep reading?
Of course! While you can only receive prizes once, we encourage you to keep going. Stop by the library anytime for book recommendations.

1000 Books Before Kindergarten Workbook

At sign-up, each reader gets their own physical workbook and a pencil to log their reading. I love our 64-page workbook filled with many pages to log your reading, early literacy tips and book recommendations, advertisements for various library services, and more.

Our workbook begins with a page to label your workbook in case it is lost and to track how long the program took you to complete.

The next spread focuses on how the program works and those frequently asked questions we highlighted above.

Moving on to a spread with a reminder to log online if you would like (more on that in Part 2) and the first of two All About Me pages. This page should be filled out at the beginning of the program, with the second, similar page being filled out after you’ve read 1000 Books.

Next come the early literacy spreads! I love how these turned out. Four age ranges are featured: 0-1, 1-2, 2-3, and 3-5. Each spread has an early literacy tip for read, sing, talk, play and write, as well as 12 book recommendations.

Listing books in a printing of this volume (we purchased 1000 of these logbooks at once!) was quite an endeavor. While we still ended up publishing pages filled with many of my favorite books, some of these were round two or round three suggestions. I worked with our collection development team to find books that we could bulk up on copies of now and that we would hopefully still be able to purchase (or would still own) in 3-5 years, since these log books will be sticking around a while.

Next we have lots and lots of book logging pages. Each page contains 25 images. Each image represents one book. Families can color or check off each image for each book read.

Pages marking 100-book intervals have a special spot for a sticker that participants can pick up at the library. Our marketing department designed and printed our stickers in house on label paper:

But what if a family really wants to write down the names of the books they read? There are a few pages to record up to 30 favorite titles in the workbook, and the online system encourages writing out each title.

Wrapping up the workbook, we have our second All About Me page and advertisements for some of our other library programs and services.

Learn more about our program on our website, and come back next week for more information about our online ReadSquared page!

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: Amazon.com:  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.

Woah!

— 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,
DUMP!

— 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:  Amazon.com: 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,
FAST!

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.
Cuckoo!

— 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

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)


B-I-N-G-O

There was a farmer who had a dog
And BINGO was his name-o
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-O
B-I-N-G-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…
Goodbye!

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
QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK!
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.


L-L-A-M-A

There was a llama who wore pajamas,
And Llama was his name-o!
L-L-A-M-A
L-L-A-M-A
L-L-A-M-A
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.


N-A-N-C-Y

I know a girl who is so fancy,
Nancy is her name-o!
N-A-N-C-Y
N-A-N-C-Y
N-A-N-C-Y
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…
OH DINOSAUR!!


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:
Saw…see-saw
Wrench…turn-turn
Screwdriver…twist-twist
Pliers…pinch-pinch
Drill…zzzz-zzzz


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!


PIZZA (BINGO)

There was a treat that’s good to eat
And pizza is its name-o!
P-I-Z-Z-A
P-I-Z-Z-A
P-I-Z-Z-A
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?
Okay!

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

Amazon.com: 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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