Tag Archives: baby storytime

Favorite Baby Songs

For more baby storytime posts explore:

Music is a staple of baby storytime. It is more valuable for little ones to hear people singing instead of recorded music. When singing acapella, adults can slow down words to help little ones hear small parts. Little ones often respond more to their parent’s voices than recorded music, and singing can help build the child-caregiver bond. I use a scattering of well known songs throughout storytimes that we will sing as a group without backing music (often Wheels on the Bus or If You’re Happy and You Know It).

However, like many folks, my voice is far, far away from Beyonce’s. My singing can be politely described as off-key. I sing in front of parents and poke fun at myself, reminding them that if I can sit in front of 100 people and sing horribly, they can do it with their child who doesn’t know any better. For everyone’s sake, however, I include a good amount of recorded music in my storytime. My favorite songs are linked below.

Just like my rhymes and other activities, all the words to songs are on my PowerPoint in the front of the room:

Kids Music – Storytime Songs

These are my favorite songs to use as an element of storytime (like books, rhymes, and puppets).

Kids Music – Play Music

These are some of my favorite kids songs that I use for play time.

Popular Music

Popular music is a great way to engage parents in a storytime as well as littles.

Top Baby Movement Rhymes

Each week, I present at least one baby storytime for fairly large crowds. My general storytime outline remains very similar week to week, particularly after my regular co-presenter and I worked together to make sure our dueling weekly storytimes followed the same general plan.

One staple of any baby storytime, mine included, are bounce rhymes. These are excellent tools to help little ones feel the rhythm in words (building phonological awareness), to keep both little ones and adults engaged in the program, and to provide caregiver/child bonding–the caregiver is essentially forced to participate by having to move their child.

I call these types of rhymes “movement rhymes” instead of “bounce rhymes” after having a parent (nicely) call me out after a program when she pointed out that the three rhymes I used that week–all of which I referred to as bounce rhymes–actually mostly involved swaying, lifting, and movements other than bouncing.

I also don’t tend to use traditional Mother Goose rhymes. This is one (of a few) ways that I deviate from the Mother Goose on the Loose program. That program is excellent–take a look at their website, read the book, take a course–and I think about the research behind that program when structuring and selecting activities for my storytime.

However, I struggle with MGOL because (1) we have large crowds that can’t accommodate some of the activities well (like the drum), (2) my programs tend to focus on older babies (10-24 months) who want to move a lot, and (3) the rhymes, particularly nursery rhymes, are dated. Goosey Goosey Gander (arguably) either references Catholic priests being persecuted or has sexual overtones. Maybe its my immaturity, but I can’t bring myself to say “two little dicky birds” in front of a group of adults. I know there is research backing up the value of nursery rhymes, but, frankly, I didn’t grow up with many of these, and the parents I work with didn’t either. The parents don’t know them, the parents find them weird, and if the parents aren’t enjoying the program, the babies aren’t coming. Unless it is one of those nursery rhymes that has really stood the test of time (like Itsy Bitsy Spider) I tend to choose rhymes that have a more modern feel.

After quite a bit of intro, I am happy to share some of my favorite movement rhymes. I take credit for inventing absolutely none of these. During a storytime, these are always repeated twice (and sometimes three times).

All of my rhymes appear on the PowerPoint at the front of the room to encourage parents to recite along.

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

Five Little Riders
Five little riders on a nice fall day
Jumped on their ponies and rode far away.
They galloped int he meadow.
They galloped up a hill (lift)
The galloped so fast (fast)
That they all took a spill. (tip over)

Gregory Griggs
Greggory Griggs, Gregory Griggs
Had 27 different wigs.
He wore them up (lift)
He wore them down
To please the people of the town.
He worse them east (tip to one side)
He wore them west (tip to the other side)
But which one did he love the best?
This one! (hug)

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)

Humpty Dumpty
Rock and rock and rock on the wall (sway)
Rock and rock; I hope we don’t fall!

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall! (tilt backwards)

All the kings horses and all the kings men (bounce fast)
Couldn’t put Humpty together again!

I Bounce You Here
I bounce you here, I bounce you there,
I bounce you, bounce you, everywhere! (lift)

I tickle you here, I tickle you there,
I tickle you, tickle you, everywhere!

I hug you here, I hug you there,
I hug you, hug you, everywhere!

Popcorn, Popcorn
Popcorn, popcorn (bounce gently)
Sittin’ in the pot.
Shake it up, shake it up. (wiggle baby)
Pop! Pop! Pop! (bounce high 3 times)

Snuggle Up
Snuggle up together
Baby’s in your lap.
Snuggle up together
And clap, clap, clap

Snuggle up together
Don’t you nap.
Snuggle up together
And tap, tap, tap. (tap feet)

You’re workin’ out together
Baby don’t stop.
You’re workin’ out together
So hop, hop, hop. (big bounce)

Now our song is over
Get ready to stop.
Now our song is over
So stop, stop, stop.

Tick-Tock
Tick-tock, tick-tock, (sway)
I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick-tock, tick-tock,
Now it’s almost one o’clock.
Cuckoo! (lift)

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

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

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

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)

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’ll get there very soon.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
BLAST OFF! (lift)

Baby Storytime Outline

I don’t write up weekly storytime reports, as I don’t theme my storytimes, and I repeat quite a lot of content week to week and month to month. While two back to back storytimes contain different content, the first storytime of December and the first storytime of January may have many similar elements.

Generally, I think of storytimes in “seasons.” (January-April, summer, and August-December). In each season, I try not to repeat the book I use. However, the set of books used from January-April will look very similar to the set of books used in August-December. Summer is essentially a mixture of my favorite activities that work best with large crowds (especially since I will typically only present about four storytimes in the summer due to our staff size and reduced schedule). In the two longer “seasons”, I make an effort to rotate through about six manipulatives and to take about a month between reusing a rhyme or song (except for the rhymes and songs that are repeated week to week).

Some things that have changed since my last baby storytime outlines:

  • For simplicity, we have changed our baby storytime name from Wee Wonders to Baby Storytime.
  • The program is more clearly defined for ages 0-24 months. We used to list the ages as 0-2, and we had more two-year-olds attending the program than we do now.
  • My co-presenter and I worked together to create a core outline that we use for our baby storytimes. Our powerpoint layout, opening song, opening rhyme, number of books, and activity order is always the same. We have slightly different endings because I don’t quite have the confidence to free dance at the end of my storytime (with bubbles and music), but I am hoping to get to that point in the next few weeks.

The songs, rhymes, stories, and activities I used for a 25-minute baby storytime, followed by 20 minutes of free play in January 2020 are below. Our baby storytime is for ages 0-24 months, with most children being 12-24 months old. Approximately 68 people attended this storytime, including about 35 babies.

My powerpoint is available here:

Room Setup: Doors open about 5 minutes before storytime. Powerpoint slides are displayed on a smartboard at the front of the room with words to all songs and rhymes. As folks enter, two bubble machines are hard at work in the front of the room while baby songs play from the department iTunes account.

Welcome Song: Wake Up Feet (play from 0:14 to 1:00)
Wake up feet, wake up feet
Wake up feet and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wake up feet, wake up feet
Wake and wiggle in the morning.
Continue with: Legs, Arms, Hands

Welcome Rhyme: Clap and Sing Hello
We clap and sing hello,
We clap and sing hello,
With all our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello!

Continue with: kick and sing hello, wave and sing hello

Focused Early Literacy Tip: The shape of the human face is the first thing a baby learns to recognize. Young babies focus best of faces and objects held 8-10 inches away.

Book: Toes, Ears, & Nose! by Marion Dane Bauer

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat from Songs for Wiggleworms

Body Rhyme: 1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Finders
1 little, 2 little 3 little fingers
4 little, 5 little, 6 little fingers
7 little, 8 little, 9 little fingers
10 little fingers on my hand.

They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together.
They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together.
They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together.
10 little fingers on my hand.

Continue with: Clap, Tickle

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It (sang without music)

Body Rhyme: Slowly, Slowly
Slowly, slowly, very slowy
Creeps the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly, very slowly
Up the wooden rail.

Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Runs the little mouse.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Round about the house.

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

Movement Rhymes: This portion of my storytime involves 2-3 rhymes that specifically focus on bouncing, swaying, or tilting to the rhythm of the words. I talk about how these types of rhymes help develop phonological awareness.

  • Tick-Tock
    Tick-tock, tick-tock, (sway)
    I’m a little cuckoo clock.
    Tick-tock, tick-tock,
    Now it’s almost one o-clock.
    Cuckoo! (lift)
  • Five Little Riders
    Five little riders on a nice fall day (bounce)
    Jumped on their ponies and rode far away.
    They galloped in the meadow.
    They galloped up a hill (lift)
    They galloped so fast (fast)
    That they all took a spill. (tip over)
  • 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)

Puppet Time: Who’s in the Barnyard?
An oink, a moo
A cockle-doodle-doo
Who’s in the barnyard
Playing peekaboo?

This week’s friends: Cow, Pig, Horse, Dog, Cat

Manipulative Time: Shaker Eggs

  • Manipulative Rhyme: We Shake and Shake
    We shake and shake and shake and stop.
    We shake and shake and shake and stop.
    We shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and STOP!
    Continue with: Tap, Bounce

Closing Song: Skinnamarink by Sharon Lois and Bram

Discovery Time Activities: Discovery Time is 15-20 minutes of free-play at the end of storytime that encourages parents to have time to talk to one another and for parents to interact with their children. I try to include a variety of fine motor, gross motor, and sensory activities that appeal to my wide age range as well as a mixture of purchased toys and items that parents can remake at home. This week’s activities included:

  • Cereal Boxes and Straws
  • Ball Pit Balls and Pool Noodle Pieces in Baby Pools
  • Tumbling Mats with Soft Blocks
  • Sensory Tiles
  • Sensory Bottles
  • Pom Pom Drop

Family Storytime Outline

These are the songs, rhymes, stories, and activities I used for a 25-minute family storytime, followed by 20 minutes of free play in December 2019.

We offer an unregistered family storytime every Saturday at 10 am. While this is designed for roughly ages 3-5, we expect an audience that includes all ages. For this storytime, I had about 55 attendees, spanning in age from newborns to upper elementary students.

Room Setup: Doors open about 5-8 minutes before storytime. Powerpoint slides are displayed on a smartboard at the front of the room with words to all songs and rhymes. As folks enter, two bubble machines are hard at work in the front of the room while baby songs play from the department iTunes account.

The powerpoint below includes more content than I actually used in this program. The material I actually used is listed below.

Welcome Song: Can’t Wait to Celebrate by Jim Gill
We clap our hands when we get together.
Clap our hands to celebrate.
We clap our hands when we get together.
My friends and I can hardly wait….

Continue with: Stamp Our Feet, Wave Hello, Bounce Up and Down, Clap Our Hands

Welcome Rhyme: Open Shut Them
Open, shut them; open, shut them;
Let your hands go clap, clap clap.
Open, shut them; open, 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!

Book: Get Out of My Bath! by Britta Teckentrup

Song: Elephants Have Wrinkles from When You Are Two

Flannel: Five Little Penguins
Five little penguins playing in the snow,
Slipping and sliding to and fro.

One looks up and yells “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!

Countdown to 0.

Song: Baby Shark by Pinkfong!

Movement Rhyme: Slowly, Slowly
Slowly, slowly, very slowly
Creeps the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly, very slowly
Up the wooden rail.

Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Runs the little mouse.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Round about the house.

Body Rhyme: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Puppet Time: Retold abbreviated version of book Bark George using George box prop.

Song: Can You by the Wiggles

Flannel: Little Mouse
Little mouse, little mouse
Are you in the _________ house?

Closing Song: Shake Your Sillies Out from When You Are One

Discovery Time Activities: Discovery Time is 15-20 minutes of free-play at the end of storytime that encourages parents to have time to talk to one another and for parents to interact with their children. I try to include a variety of fine motor, gross motor, and sensory activities that appeal to my wide age range as well as a mixture of purchased toys and items that parents can remake at home. This week’s activities included:

Favorite Baby Storytime Books

We all have our personal favorite storytime books. There are plenty of lists of best baby storytime books on the Internet–some of these work for me, some of them don’t. For one thing, we typically have large storytime crowds–a minimum of 40 people, often up to 80-90. With these crowds, I tend to avoid standard 6″ board books. I’ve thought about scanning in the pages and displaying them on my storytime powerpoint, but I like using a physical book for the younger kids (who often don’t have strong enough vision to see the screen).

Our large crowds are often made up mostly of ages 12-24 months, meaning our little ones often have less patience than some of their younger counterparts. I focus on selecting books that have repeated phrases we can read as a group or clear actions. I slip in more traditional stories sometimes, but those never go over as well as more action-based titles.

Finally, and most importantly, I choose books that work for me. For whatever reason, I have never been able to make Clip Clop by Nicola Smee work. I can’t seem to get the rhythm right, even though this should be a book that would be ideal for my storytime crowd and style (its available in big book format and has easy actions).

My personal go-to titles are included below. What are some of your go to baby storytime books?

The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz

Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera

For this title, I include the different verses on the PowerPoint behind me so the parents can join in. The first few times I read this book, parents, used to my style, joined in, but they repeated the traditional “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” verse for every page, overwhelming my reading voice (that happens with 40 parents reading along!). My slides look like this:

If You’re Happy and You Know It: Jungle Edition by James Warhola

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

Jump! by Scott M. Fischer

Ten Tiny Tickles by Karen Katz

Up!: How Families Around the World Carry Their Little Ones by Susan Hughes

The Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell

Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn

Baby Faces Peekaboo! by Dawn Sirett

Peek-a-Baby by Karen Katz

Do Crocs Kiss? by Salina Yoon

Splish, Splash, Ducky! by Lucy Cousins

Baby Storytime Outline – July

These are the songs, rhymes, stories, and activities I used for a 25-minute baby storytime, followed by 20 minutes of free play.

Our baby storytime is for ages 0-24 months, with most children being 12-24 months old. Approximately 85 people attended this storytime, including about 50 babies.

Room Setup: Doors open about 5-8 minutes before storytime. Powerpoint slides are displayed on a smartboard at the front of the room with words to all songs and rhymes. As folks enter, two bubble machines are hard at work in the front of the room while baby songs play from the department iTunes account.

Welcome Song: Wake Up Feet (play from 0:14 to 1:00)
Wake up feet, wake up feet
Wake up feet and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wake up feet, wake up feet
Wake and wiggle in the morning.
Continue with: Legs, Arms, Hands

Welcome Rhyme: Clap and Sing Hello
We clap and sing hello,
We clap and sing hello,
With all our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello!
Continue with: kick and sing hello, wave and sing hello

Focused Early Literacy Tip: Babies focus on the work spoken immediately after their name. For example, if you say, “Raven, do you want to read a book?”, the child focuses on the word “do.” Instead, try saying “Raven, book. Do you want to read a book?”

Book: Up!: How Families Around the World Carry Their Little Ones by Susan Hughes

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat from Songs for Wiggleworms

Body Rhyme: Everybody Knows
Everybody knows that I love your toes!
Everybody knows that I love your toes!
I love your eyes,
Your ears,
Your mouth
And your nose!
But everybody knows that I love your toes!

Action Rhyme: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

Song: Baby Shark by Pinkfong!

Movement Rhymes: This portion of my storytime involves 2-3 rhymes that specifically focus on bouncing, swaying, or tilting to the rhythm of the words. I talk about how these types of rhymes help develop phonological awareness.

  • Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    Zoom, zoom, zoom
    We’re going to the moon.
    Zoom, zoom, zoom,
    We’ll get there very soon.
    In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
    BLAST OFF! (lift)
  • Tick-Tock
    Tick-tock, tick-tock, (sway)
    I’m a little cuckoo clock.
    Tick-tock, tick-tock,
    Now it’s almost one o-clock.
    Cuckoo! (lift)
  • Humpty Dumpty
    (sway) Rock and rock and rock on the wall,
    Rock and rock; I hope we don’t fall.

    (sway) Humpty Dumpty say on a wall
    Humpty Dumpty had a great fall! (tilt backwards)

    (bounce fast) All the kings horses and all the kinds men
    Couldn’t put Humpty together again!

Puppet Time: Retold abbreviated version of book Dear Zoo.

Manipulative Time: Scarves

  • Manipulative Rhyme: We Shake and Shake
    We shake and shake and shake and stop.
    We shake and shake and shake and stop.
    We shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and STOP!
    Continue with: Wave, Jump

Closing Song: Skinnamarink by Sharon Lois and Bram

Discovery Time Activities: Discovery Time is 15-20 minutes of free-play at the end of storytime that encourages parents to have time to talk to one another and for parents to interact with their children. I try to include a variety of fine motor, gross motor, and sensory activities that appeal to my wide age range as well as a mixture of purchased toys and items that parents can remake at home. This week’s activities included:

  • Cereal Boxes and Straws
  • Scarves in Oballs
  • Water Painting
  • Easter Grass & Balloons in Baby Pools
  • Tumbling Mats with Soft Blocks
  • Large Blocks
  • Sensory Tiles
  • Sensory Bags

Babytime Outline

These are the songs, rhymes, stories, and activities I used for a 25-minute baby storytime, followed by 20 minutes of free play.

Our baby storytime is for ages 0-24 months, with most children being 12-24 months old. Approximately 80 people attended this storytime, including about 45 babies.

Room Setup: Doors open about 5-8 minutes before storytime. Powerpoint slides are displayed on a smartboard at the front of the room with words to all songs and rhymes. As folks enter, two bubble machines are hard at work in the front of the room while baby songs play from the department iTunes account.

Welcome Song: Wake Up Feet (play from 0:14 to 1:00)
Wake up feet, wake up feet
Wake up feet and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wake up feet, wake up feet
Wake and wiggle in the morning.
Continue with: Legs, Arms, Hands

Welcome Rhyme: Clap and Sing Hello
We clap and sing hello,
We clap and sing hello,
With all our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello!
Continue with: kick and sing hello, wave and sing hello

Focused Early Literacy Tip: Talking to Your Baby (the LATS method described on jbrary)

Book: Peek-a-Baby by Karen Katz

Song: The Monkey Dance by The Wiggles

Bounce Rhyme: Five Little Monkeys
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Fingerplay: Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.

Song: Little Red Wagon from Wiggleworms Love You

Movement Rhymes: This portion of my storytime involves 2-3 rhymes that specifically focus on bouncing, swaying, or tilting to the rhythm of the words. I talk about how these types of rhymes help develop phonological awareness.

  • The Baby Hop (to the tune: Bunny Hop)
    Snuggle up together
    Baby’s in your lap.
    Snuggle up together
    And clap, clap, clap.

    Snuggle up together
    Don’t you nap.
    Snuggle up together
    And tap, tap, tap

    You’re workin’ out together
    Baby don’t stop.
    You’re workin’ out together
    So hop, hop, hop.
  • 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

Puppet Time: Who’s in the barnyard?
An oink, a moo, a cockle-doodle-doo
Who’s in the barnyard playing peek-a-boo?
Featuring: cow, pig, sheep, chicken, horse

Manipulative Time: Bells

  • Manipulative Rhyme: We Shake and Shake
    We shake and shake and shake and stop.
    We shake and shake and shake and stop.
    We shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and STOP!
    Continue with: Tap, Bounce

Closing Song: Skinnamarink by Sharon Lois and Bram

Discovery Time Activities: Discovery Time is 15-20 minutes of free-play at the end of storytime that encourages parents to have time to talk to one another and for parents to interact with their children. I try to include a variety of fine motor, gross motor, and sensory activities that appeal to my wide age range as well as a mixture of purchased toys and items that parents can remake at home. This week’s activities included: