Movement Songs for preschoolers and toddlers

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If you work with kids at all you know that after you read a book and sometimes even in the middle of a book, they’ll start to get a bit antsy and need to stretch their little legs and arms. Here’s a list of some of my favorite songs, with (usually) an example on where to find it.

GRANDMA MOSE WAS STUCK IN BED

Grandma Mose was stuck in bed
She called the doctor & the doctor said:
“Grandma Mose, you’re not sick!
All you need is a cinnamon stick!”
Shake it up, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake it down, shake, shake, shake, shake
Turn around, shake, shake, shake, shake
Get out of town, shake, shake, shake, shake

[Ask kids “What other kinds of sticks can we use?” Examples include hockey sticks, doggie stick, backyard stick… this usually ends in the ridiculous]

From JBrary’s Shaker Song list

HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES & TOES

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes!
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes!
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes!

JOHNNY WORKS WITH ONE HAMMER

Johnny works with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer,
Johnny works with one hammer, then he works with two!
Verses:

Just count up to five!

I first heard this song as a child on Barney, but my coworker reminded me of it a few months ago. There’s a rockin’ version of this song on YouTube on the Wiggles channel.

TEDDY BEAR, TEDDY BEAR

Teddy bear, Teddy bear, turn around
Teddy bear, Teddy bear, touch the ground
Teddy bear, Teddy bear, reach up high
Teddy bear, Teddy bear, touch the sky
Teddy bear, Teddy bear, touch your nose
Teddy bear, Teddy bear, touch your toes
Teddy bear, Teddy bear, grab your knees
Teddy bear, Teddy bear, sit down please!

From childhood.

TONY CHESTNUT

Tony Chestnut knows I love you
Tony knows, Tony knows.
Tony Chestnut knows I love you
That’s what Tony knows.

From The Learning Station YouTube channel.

I’ll try to update this list as I explore and discover new songs.

Do you have any movement songs and chants that you absolutely love? Share your Go-To in the comments below. 

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Publication Date:

August 18, 2015

Review:

Absolutely stunning. This novel takes on the idea of ghosts, both real and emotional as they affect an entire family. Cara’s family struggles to survive during the accident season every year. From October 1-31, there’s an increase in scrapes, broken bones, and other more fatal injuries. Like when her dad drowned. Or her uncle. This accident season, even more odd things are happening. For one, Elsie (the weird mousy girl from school) is in every one of her photos. Not just the ones she’s taken in this last few weeks, but in every photo on her phone and in the photo albums at her mom’s house, Elise is there… watching. When she tries to confront Elise about everything, she’s not at school and nobody knows where she is. Or who she is, for that matter.

Then there’s Bea. Her best friend has been acting extra weird around her sister Alice, and she and her ex-stepbrother Sam are both starting to notice. Speaking of Sam, he’s looking at her differently these days too. Just as it’s about to come to a close, Bea reads (in her Tarot deck) that this accident season will be one of the worst.

Filled with ghosts and monsters straight out of a fairy tale, this novel set in rural Ireland was a real treat of a ghost story. It’s anything but typical, and I can’t wait for someone to please please please read this so that I can actually talk to them about it!

Verdict:

Holly Black meets John Green meets Ireland. Boom. (That’s an “I would recommend to anyone” for all of you not familiar with my weirdness).

Have you read this book? Is there anything similar out there that I can read before I lose my mind? Can we start a support group? 

At The Same Moment Around the World and Julia, Child

At the Same Moment Around the World by Clotilde Perrin

This book was great to me, not only because it resembles Isabelle Arsenault’s illustration style (and I’ve gone on about that before) but because it’s got absolutely phenomenal cultural representation. It’s a great introduction to time zones–the whole thing is all about what various children around the globe are doing in one moment–but it also features many countries that are underrepresented in picture books. For example, “in Nuuk, Greenland, it is three o’clock in the morning, and Lexi can’t sleep,” along with Hanoi, Vietnam, and Baghdad, Iraq. Obviously all children are fictional, but the introduction to various countries is crucial, especially those that are often featured on the news in a way that might be scary for young readers. It’s important that they see there are people like them all over the world, and we all do similar things!

Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Julie Morstad

Can you guess who this one is about? You’re right! In this book, Julia and Simca’s friendship is front and center, and readers explore a world of culinary delights that unite children and adults alike. Charming illustrations accompany and feature scenes like a lovely French street market, cooking class with snobby would-be cooks, and of course two friends who want to share their passion for food with others. It’s no wonder that I love this book–it features two of my very favorite things in the world!

Side note: Here’s another one by Kyo Maclear. I think I have a new favorite picture book author for 2015!

What great picture books are you guys excited about this week? 

The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

I was so impressed by this book. I can remember going to little “talks” in high school where they would talk about how many high school relationships are abusive (that statistic is up to roughly 10% according to a CDC article I found while writing this). It seemed so high to me at the time. I’d never experienced anything like what I imagined an abusive relationship was like. I got these ideas–from Law & Order: SVU and from those talks in my health class in high school–that abuse was always rape o physical abuse, that the women and men who take that kind of abuse are just hit one day and afraid to say anything because they’re too surprised. That’s true, and I’m not saying that that doesn’t happen. However a lot of what I’d consider abuse now as a twenty-something isn’t as overt as that.

Plot

This book was a breath of fresh air as someone who’s been in an abusive, controlling, manipulative relationship. This book is important for the very reason that it describes Bettina’s relationship with her boyfriend Brady as picture-perfect. It’s the kind of relationship that all teenage art kids dream of (I know I did) where the basketball star notices you and wants to make you his because he sees how unique you are. You’re his special snowflake that he defends in front of his jock friends. But when he starts to act cruelly, Bettina can’t believe it. She’s so shocked that she doesn’t say anything to him. And when she does he brushes it off, telling her that it’s all in her head, that she needs to lighten up, that it was just a joke. That brushoff is what made this book seem real to me.

She is lucky enough to find someone who gets her through her abuse and who reminds her often enough that she’s better than that abusive relationship that she eventually leaves Brady.

Verdict

This book had me crying on the train to Chicago before a big date night, and my mascara ran all over. It was a mess. Needless to say don’t read this in public unless you’d like to make a spectacle of yourself. I normally totally judge books by their covers, but this one is definitely deceptive. It seems like it’ll be a fun little romp into the land of teen dating and the life of a girl whose parents are Greek (like, Greek Greek) and control most of her life. It was not. It’s a sad book. I cannot stress this enough. But I also know it’s an important book because it describes a realistic abusive relationship between two teens.

Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

This is a children’s picture book, yes, but it was so unexpected. I honestly don’t know where I first heard the title, but the book was overall very much about depression and coping/living with someone who suffers from depression.

Plot

Vanessa’s sister Virginia has woken up feeling quite wolfish. She finds no joy in her friends stopping by or the birds singing. Her art box remains unopened. So Virginia sits with her and listens to what she could possibly want. From here she decides to paint a magical world on their bedroom walls that can transport Virginia to a happier place. Virginia notices. The two talk together and eventually Virginia starts to feel less like a shadowy wolf and more like a sunshiny little girl.

Verdict

It’s hard to find a book that deals with mental illness in a positive way. This is nothing like the brusque titles like My Mommy Has Depression (is that a title? I should hope not, but I would not be surprised at all). This one handles the issue with respect and dignity while at the same time giving examples of how to help: listen, talk, be there for that person. It’s a beautiful book.

Bonus

I fell in love with Isabelle Arsenault when I read Jane, The Fox, and Me during grad school. I believe it was for my class, “Art in Picture Books.” In it, a young girl struggles with her weight and feeling inadequate. The manner in which the story is told is both whimsical and heartbreakingly real. I’ve been planning on getting her fox tattooed on me for a while now. At any rate, if you’ve got a minute you should head over to Arsenault’s blog. Since she’s from Montreal, there are both English and French captions on her lovely pictures.

Shatter Me (Series) by Tahereh Mafi

Okay so now that I’ve read the whole series and have time to reflect on these books, I can’t even handle how wonderful they are. Here’s my two cents:

Shatter Me:

For a series with super feminine covers, Juliette is such a badass chick. She’s been locked up for nearly a year in what she can only assume is an asylum all because she touched a little boy and apparently killed him. 245 days of not speaking to a soul, of looking out the window and wishing to be free, of praying she would die just so she could be spared the loneliness she feels every day.

Until Adam comes along. Harsh at first, he soon warms up to Juliette and starts treating her with respect. After Adam, it isn’t long before she is taken to Warner, the chief officer of Sector 45 (a sector of the Reestablishment, a movement to unite the world after ecological disaster). He’s cold and unpredictable, and he soon reveals that Juliette has been very, very wrong about Adam. But when Warner pushes her too far, will Juliette finally snap? Will she touch Warner to try to escape?

This selfless character really reminded me of Valerie from V for Vendetta, suffering for something she couldn’t control. And yet while Juliette seems weak, there are glimpses of a character that is loyal enough to let her ferocity shine. Here is a character who has a haunting past. Here is a girl who might fight for what she believes in.

Might I also comment now on Tahereh Mafi’s prose? It’s a rare thing when I just want to take a book and memorize pages and entire passages so I can remember them when I’m feeling sad or just feeling feelings, but she is absolutely out of this world. I know people have been comparing Shatter Me to The Hunger Games & Divergent, and I get that. I do. Because they’re all dystopian and trilogies and bla bla bla. But honestly this book is on another level entirely. For a much more mature audience because of the emotions going on between Adam and Juliette.

Unravel Me:

I never thought I’d be team Warner, but I’m team Warner. Let me just say.

Warner Warner Warner. Le Sigh.

Ignite Me:

HA!

You made the right choice, Juliette.

Verdict

As you might sense by my digression from analytical and hands-off to complete manic pixi dream fangirl, I’m definitely 100% in love with this series. I’m buying it. And that never ever happens because everything is free at the library. However I need to re-read this series at least twice more before I’m satisfied.

It’s also a rare thing for me to call my best friend in the middle of the night and gush about character development. Juliette is one of those women who really had several “aha moments,” to borrow from Ms. Oprah Winfrey. She listened to Kenji when he told her she needed to stop feeling sorry for herself and pulled herself up out of her self-loathing.

Great friendships, families, and relationships. If you haven’t yet, please get on this series.

Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen

Sooooo normally children’s books get to me, but this one really got to me. For some reason this little girl’s story of not being able to find her monster hit home. Maybe it’s because I’m starting to date people again. Maybe it’s because another one of my college acquaintances got engaged over the weekend. Who can say?

Plot

The world Marilyn lives in is quite similar to our’s, with one difference: there are monsters. Not the hide-under-the-bed, jump-out-and-scare-you monsters, but the companion kind. Not unlike a significant other, Marilyn waits patiently for her monster to come and accompany her throughout life’s little journeys. “Your monster has to find you. That’s just the way it works” says basically everyone to Marilyn (including her brother). Eventually she says “eff you” to that idea and searches for her monster herself (que “RESPECT” at full volume). Maybe her monster just got lost.

Verdict

Again, did this hit close to home? Yes. But I will say that Knudsen is amazing and she really got me on Marilyn’s side.