Baby Storytime: Favourite Lap Bounces

For the third post in our baby storytime series, I’m sharing my favourite lap bounces. Make sure to check out the rest of the posts in the series!

I do a few lap bounces every baby time. Usually in the middle, after we’ve sung our hello song and done a few fingerplays and tickles. Here are some of the early literacy tips I give for lap bounces:

  • If your baby is up for it, try turning them so they face you as they bounce. This allows them to watch your mouth as you sing so they can see how you form the sounds and words that make up your language.
  • Bounces are a great way for children to feel the beat with their entire body in addition to hearing the rhymes.  A steady beat is reminiscent of their mother’s heartbeat, a sound that provided them comfort in the womb.
  • Walking, running, and dancing all require the body’s ability to keep a steady beat. So by doing lap bounces with your baby you are getting them ready for this later developmental stage.
  • Lap bounces allow us to be close to our babies by holding them on our laps and giving them hugs and cuddles. This is a great chance to build a positive, loving relationship with your baby which is the foundation for learning.

And here are some of my favourites!


This one is so simple – perfect for when you have a group of new babytimers. When my niece was 2-years-old she always used to say, “bumpy road!” whenever we went over a part of the road that jostled her in her stroller. Proof that this one works!


To the tune of “Shortnin’ Bread” this one is catchy. I sing it three times through – pants, shirt, and hat. I always encourage caregivers to sing this one daily to establish a getting dressed routine. The best is when I hear them singing it on their own when they are packing up baby to leave the library.


This one is so fun! The caregivers love it and sometimes we do it multiple times throughout the babytime.  A lot of people in Vancouver take transit, so I encourage them to sing it while riding the bus.


A classic! There’s a second verse I started doing where you tip babies to the side and sing, “One wheel’s off and the axle’s broken, one wheel’s off and the axle’s broken, one wheel’s off and the axle’s broken, won’t you be my darling?” We also have a winter version of this song and a space version too!


It’s fun to take an old classic and adapt it for babies. Most of the caregivers know the words and tune to this one – we just made it more fun!


If I’ve got a group of particularly active or rambunctious babies, I always do The Grand Old Duke of York.  Sometimes bouncing just isn’t enough and the babies want to be lifted.  For younger babies, I recommend just moving their arms or legs up and down.


This one also combines bouncing and lifting, but it is less well known than the Grand Old Duke. I still think it’s lots of fun and a great one to introduce to babytime groups who are ready for some new material.

Want more lap bounces? Check out our YouTube playlist or our Pinterest board.

What are your favourite lap bounces for baby storytime? Let us know in the comments!

14 thoughts on “Baby Storytime: Favourite Lap Bounces

  1. Love your videos and your blog! Lots of great ideas that I use for my baby time. I was wondering if it might be possible for you guys to post the lyrics to the songs/rhymes?

    1. Thanks so much, Desiree! To keep the blog posts from getting too long, we don’t post the lyrics here. To see the lyrics, press the play button on the video, then click the “YouTube” icon on the bottom right. It will take you to the video on YouTube. We include the lyrics to every song and rhyme underneath the video in the information box. Just click “show more.”

  2. Great post!!! I was always a working mom, so never got to experience taking my babies to one of these. Thank you for sharing what it is all about! Thanks!!

  3. HELLO!!!

    I just started working at a Public Library and am now the Mother Goose Storyteller. Finding your website, by way of a Pinterest search, has definitely been a Godsend for me in preparing my story times. Thank you ladies for all of your inspiration to me. You both are WINNERS!

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lauren! We are so glad our website has been helpful to you. All the best in your storytimes 🙂

  4. Thank you for coming up with new fingerplays and introducing new ways to do old favorites! I’ve been a children’s librarian for almost 30 years and I’m always looking for something different to help parents and kids enjoy Laptime and Storytime! We particularly like your scarf activities!

    1. Awww, thank you so much for your comment! I’m so glad you’ve found our ideas useful. I’m a big believer in lifelong learning 🙂

  5. Is there any availability of the baby storytime songs, fingerplays, bounces etc. in a written format to access all the words/titles easily? Thank you for the video content, incredibly helpful to have the visual and hear the tune, flow and tones.

    1. Hi Kari, thanks so much for your kind words. We do provide the lyrics for each song in the description box below each video. Because the videos are embedded in our posts you can’t see them from here. To see the written lyrics, press play on the video, then click on the YouTube icon in the bottom right corner of the video. This will take you to view the video in YouTube. Once there you can click on the information box below the video to see the lyrics. I realize this is kind of complicated and will post the lyrics in the blog post in the future.

      1. That’s very helpful – thanks for the tip and super fast response! Ha, I was listening to A Hippotamus Got On A City Bus about 10 times to catch the lyrics. I’m a newbie starting a Lapsit storytime in our local very small town library and am deeply appreciative for your sharing successes, tips, ideas and resources. Thanks so much and please keep it up!

        1. Aww, that makes me so happy to hear! I’ve been itching to do some more updated posts about baby storytime, so hopefully you’ll see those soon. 🙂

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