Songs

A running list of the songs I use at storytimes!

If you’re a children’s librarian or library worker, you know that picture books are the bread and butter of any storytime. It’s songs like these that can save a storytime, though, from being a chore for wiggly kiddos.

Bread and butter

Bread and butter, marmalade and jam
Let’s clap our hands as nice as we can!
(clap, clap, clap, clap)
Verses: 
Quick, slow, quiet, loud

From JBrary’s “Rhythm Sticks” chant.

Construction worker song

This is the way we pound our nails,
Pound our nails, pound our nails
This is the way we pound our nails
So early in the morning
Verses:
Saw the wood, drill a hole, turn a screw, stack the bricks, stir the paint, paint the walls

From Storytime Katie‘s Construction storytime.

Down around the corner

Down around the corner in the bakery shop
Were five yummy cupcakes with sprinkles on top
Along comes (name of child) with a dollar to pay
S/he buys a cupcake, and takes it away!

[Continue with four, three, two,and one.]

 Found on Storytime Katie’s website.

The Elevator Song

Oh the city is great and the city is grand
There’s a whole lot of people
on a little piece of land
And we live way up on the 57th floor
and this is what we do when we go out the door.
We take the elevator up and the elevator down,
take the elevator up, take the elevator down
Take the elevator up and the elevator down
and we turn around.

From the almighty JBrary–I’ve used this one with preschoolers and they think it is so funny!

Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks went out to play, over the hills and far away
Mama duck said, “quack, quack, quack, quack!”
But only four little ducks came back

[count down on fingers until you get to “no little ducks came back! Then…]

Sad mother duck went out one day, over the hill and far away
Mama duck said, “quack, quack, quack, quack!”
And all of her five little ducks came back!

I know this song from childhood, but an excellent example of the movements can be found here

Five Little Monsters

Five little monsters jumping on the bed!
One fell off and bumped his head!
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monsters jumping on the bed!”

Count down from five, and as a bonus, be sure to alternate genders.

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

The Green Grass Grows All Around

There was a tree (children repeat each line back)
A pretty little tree
The prettiest tree
That you ever did see

{Refrain}
Oh the tree in a hole
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
And the green grass grows all around

Now on this tree
There was a limb
The prettiest limb
That you ever did see

Well the limb on the tree
And the tree in a hole
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
And the green grass grows all around

Verses:
Branch, twig, leaf, nest, bird, feather, flea

I know I say this a lot, but as much as we ’90’s kids got made fun of for Barney, it’s an excellent resource for us as adult librarians. Here’s their version.

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.

Little Bird

Little bird, little bird, fly through my window
Little bird, little bird, fly through my window
Little bird, little bird, fly through my window
Find molasses candy

{Refrain}
Fly through my window my sugar lump
Fly through my window my sugar lump
Find molasses candy

Verses:
For each verse, name a different colored bird (yellow, pink, green) that you can replace “little bird” with, and if you have scarves or colored dots, have the kiddos raise their color when it comes up! You can also name shirt colors. The possibilities here are endless.

I heard about this one at a conference,but there’s an excellent version by Elizabeth Mitchell here.

Monster, Monster

Monster, monster, turn around
Monster, monster, touch the ground
Monster, monster, reach up high
Monster, monster, touch the sky
Monster, monster, touch your nose
Monster, monster, touch your toes
Monster, monster, touch your knees
Monster, monster, sit down, please!

My Dog Rags

I have a dog.
His name is Rags.
He eats so much that his tummy sags,
His ears flip flop
and his tail wig wags.
And when he walks, he goes zig zag.

He goes flip flop, wig wag, zig zag.
He goes flip flop, wig wag, zig zag.
He goes flip flop, wig wag, zig zag.
I love Rags and he loves me.

From JBrary–a great alternative to “BINGO” for a Dog storytime.

1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Fingers

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.

Verses:
They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together
They clap, they keep on clapping

From the JBrary website

Open, Shut Them

Open, shut them, open, shut them. Give a little clap, clap, clap
Open, shut them, open, shut them. Lay them in your lap, lap, lap
Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them right up to your chin, chin, chin
Open up your little mouth but do not let them in!

From Storytime Katie’s website

Patty Cake

Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can
Roll it, and pat it, and mark it with a “B”
And put it in the oven for baby and me!

From Childhood.

Peek-A-Boo!

(Done to the tune of Frere Jaque)
Peek-a-boo, peek-a-boo,    (cover face with hands two times)
I see you! I see you!            (point to children)
I see your little nose            (point to nose)
And your tiny toes                (point to toes)
I see you, peek-a-boo           (point to self then baby, then cover face with hands)

Shaker Song (Easy)

Sung to the tune of “London Bridge”
Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake,
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake,
Shake your shakers!
Verses:
Shake your shakers high, high, high,
Shake your shakers  low, low, low,
Shake your shakers  fast, fast, fast,
Shake your shakers  slow, slow, slow,

From the lovely JBrary librarians.

Sticky Bubble Gum (Chant)

Sticky sticky sticky bubble gum
Bubble gum, bubble gum.
Sticky sticky sticky bubble gum
Sticking our hands to our heads!
[pretend to try and wrench hands away from your head on the count of three, and then add different body parts like elbows and knees]

These are my glasses

These are my glasses (put on fake glasses)
This is my book (put your hands together in front of you)
I put on my glasses (again with the fake glasses)
And open up the book (open hands like you’re reading)
Then I read, read, read
And I look, look, look.
I take off my glasses (take off pretend glasses)
And (clap) close up the book!

Based off of the song on Laurie Berkner’s song from Wadda Ya Think of That?

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 website.

The Wheels on the Bus

The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round
’round and ’round, ’round and ’round
The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round
All through the town
Verses:
Wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish
Doors on the bus go open and shut
Driver on the bus goes, “please move back”
Babies on the bus go, “waa, waa, waa!”
Mommies on the bus go, “Shh, shh, shh!”

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