Rain or Shine: Weather Songs and Rhymes!

I was inspired by a recent post by Librarian Jenna titled What’s in the Sky? which features all kinds of fun songs and stories about, well, things that come from the sky! For anyone who follows us on Twitter, you may notice we like to talk about the weather A LOT. So, it was a natural choice for my next blog post to reach into the vaults of Youtube and pull together some of our favourite songs about meteorological wonders! These songs and rhymes are perfect because they are universal in their appeal, can be adapted to fit different themes or just to get kids up and moving.

 It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More

This fun little number is easy to sing and makes use of rhymes to help kids predict which body part is coming next.

Come Under My Umbrella 

We love this gentle song, plus it features lots of great sign language!

Continue reading “Rain or Shine: Weather Songs and Rhymes!”

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Preschool Storytime: City Kids

Print PDF Version Here

This storytime was inspired by the great city I live in, Vancouver, BC and wanted to share this love with children and families. These are the songs and books I used for a 30-minute Preschool Storytime. You can hear all of the songs and rhymes by clicking on the Watch Here links. For more ideas about city living with kids check out our Pinterest board here.

Books I Shared:

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!The Seals on the BusHow Do You WokkaCity Lullaby

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort
How Do You Wokka-Wokka? by Elizabeth Bluemle
City Lullaby by Marilyn Singer

Rhymes and Songs:

1. Welcome and Goodbye Song: Hi, Hello and How Are You?

Hi, hello and how are you?
How are you, How are you?
Hi, hello and how are you?
How are you today?

Watch here!

2. Oral Story: Pigeon and Turtle Go to New York City

This folktale explains why some animals appear in certain places, while other animals don’t. We’ve slightly modified it to fit into a city themed storytime. You can find the basic outline of the story which can be told by as many or as few people as you’d like in the About section under our Youtube video.

Watch here!

3. Action Song: A Hippopotamus Got 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 baby)
A sheep, a sheep, a sheep got on a city bus
and all, and all, and all the people said,
“Baaaack up!”
A cow, a cow, a cow got on a bus
And all, and all, and all the people said,
“Mooooove over!”

Watch here!

4. Book and Song: Seals on the Bus

The seals on the bus go arp, arp, arp
arp, arp, arp, arp, arp, arp
The seals on the bus go arp, arp, arp
All around the town.

The rabbits on the bus go up and down…
The snakes on the bus go hiss, hiss, hiss
The monkeys on the bus go eeh, eeh, eeh,
The tigers on the bus go roar, roar, roar
The geese on the bus go honk, honk, honk
The people on the bus go help, help, help!

Watch here!

5. Oral Story and Fingerplay: The Key to the City

This is the key to the city.
The city is on a hill.
And on the hill is a street.
And on that street there is a house.
And in that house there is a room.
And in that room there is a bed.
And on that bed there is a basket.
And in that basket there is a blanket.
And under that blanket there is a baby.
The baby in the basket
The basket on the bed
The bed in the room
The room in the house
The house on the street
The street on the hill
The hill in the city
And this is the key to the city.

Watch here!

6. Action Song: Construction Worker Song

This is the way we pound the nails, pound the nails, pounds the nails
This is the way we pound the nails so early in the morning.
This is the way we saw the wood, saw the wood, saw the wood.
This is the way we saw the wood so early in the morning.

Other Verses: Stack the bricks, Stir the paint, Paint the wall

Watch here!

7. Stretching Rhyme: Cranes Reach High

Cranes reach up
cranes reach down
cranes reach out
and all around.

Watch here!

8. Counting Rhyme: Five Little Houses

One little house all alone it stood
Then another was built
There grows the neighborhood.
Two little houses…
Three little houses…
Four little houses…
Five little houses
All together they stood
On a beautiful street in a happy neighborhood.

Watch here!

9. Song and Tickle: Put Your Shoes on Lucy

Put your shoes on Lucy
Don’t you know you’re in the city
Put your shoes on Lucy
It really is a pity
that Lucy can’t barefoot wherever she goes
Because she loves the feel the wiggle of her toes.

Watch here!

10. Action Song: 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.

Watch here!

11. Action Song: Zoom Down the Highway

Zoom down the highway
Zoom down the highway
Zoom down the highway
Fast!
Up goes the drawbridge
Up goes the drawbridge
Up goes the drawbridge
The ship is going past.
Down goes the drawbridge
Down goes the drawbridge
Down goes the drawbridge
The ship has past at last.
Zoom down the highway
Zoom down the highway
Zoom down the highway
Fast!

Watch here!

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Family Storytime: Making Food

Print PDF Version Here

This 30-minute storytime was designed for a family storytime with a mix of ages and language abilities. You can hear all of the songs and rhymes by clicking on the Watch Here links. If you’d like to hear more songs about food, check out our Food playlist. For more Making Food storytime ideas, check out our Pinterest board!

Books I Shared:

Bee-bim Bop!How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? To Market, To Market

To Market, To Market by Anne Miranda; illustrated by Janet Stevens
Bee-bim Bop! by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

I tried to choose books that dealt with buying food, making food, and eating food. To Market, To Market and Bee-bim Bop! use a lot of repetition which is what I was looking for knowing a lot of the kids are English language learners. I also wanted to feature foods from a non-Western culture, not only to make it more inclusive, but also to expose Canadian children to foods from around the world.

Rhymes and Songs:

1. Welcome and Goodbye Song: Bread and Butter

Watch Here!

To make this the goodbye song, I simply swapped out all of the “hello” parts for “goodbye.”

2. Action Song: Bananas Unite

Bananas Unite!
(clap hands above head)
We pick bananas, pick pick bananas
(do a “milking” motion up and down in the air)
And peel bananas, peel peel bananas
(hands spread to side-right and left alternating)
And chop bananas, chop chop bananas
(karate chop in front of body)
And mash bananas, mash mash bananas
(hands in fists, “pounding” the air)
And eat bananas, eat eat bananas
(“scoop” bananas into your mouth)
Then go bananas!
(jump around wildly)

Watch Here!

3. Call and Response Song: I Am Hungry(Tune: Are You Sleeping?)

I am hungry! (I am hungry)
What should I eat? (What should I eat?)
Think I’ll have some pizza
(think I’ll have some pizza)
Without any meat! (Without any meat).

I am hungry! (I am hungry)
What should I eat? (What should I eat?)
Think I’ll have tomato soup
(think I’ll have tomato soup)
With lots of heat! (With lots of heat).

I am hungry! (I am hungry)
What should I eat? (What should I eat?)
Think I’ll have some ice cream
(think I’ll have some ice cream)
Cold and sweet! (Cold and sweet).

Watch Here!

4. Counting Song: At the Kitchen Door

1, 2, 3, 4 _______’s at the kitchen door. (insert child’s name)
5, 6, 7, 8 eating _________ off a plate. (insert child’s favorite food and make eating noises)

Watch Here!

5. Felt Song: P-I-Z-Z-A(Sing to tune of “B-I-N-G-O”)

I had a pizza big and round
And all of it was mine-O
P-I-Z-Z-A…
And all of it was mine-O!

(Clap out each letter)

Watch Here!

6. Song: Table Manners (Tune: Frere Jacques)

Chewing quietly, chewing quietly
Do not slurp, do not slurp,
We must say excuse me,
We must say excuse me
When we burp,
When we burp.

Watch Here!

Other Books to Share:

The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos Happy Belly, Happy Smile by Rachel Isadora
Soup Day by Melissa Iwai
Tyler Makes Pancakes by Tyler Florence
Cooking with Henry and Elliebelly by Carolyn Parkhurst; illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison; illustrated by Joe Cepeda
How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman
Whopper Cake by Karma Wison and Will Hillenbrand
The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) by Philemon Sturges; illustrated by Amy Walrod

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Family Storytime: Welcome to the Library

Print the PDF Version Here

This 30-minute storytime is aimed at welcoming new families to the library. It includes songs, rhymes and stories which celebrate reading, books and using the library as a family. You can hear all of the songs and rhymes by clicking on the Watch Here links. For more library storytime ideas, check out our Pinterest board!

Books I Shared:

Beverly Billingsly Borrows a BookRead It, Don't Eat It!We're Going on a Book HuntIt's a Book by Lane Smith

Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book by Alexander Stadler
Read it, Don’t Eat it! by Ian Schoenherr
We’re Going on a Book Hunt by Pat Miller and Nadine Bernard Westcott
It’s a Book by Lane Smith

Rhymes and Songs:

1. Welcome and Goodbye Song: The More We Get Together (And Read Together!)

The more we get together, together, together
The more we get together
The happier we’ll be
For your friends are my friends
and my friends are your friends
The more we get together
The happier we’ll be

The more we read together, together, together
the more we read together
the happier we’ll be.
Read big books and small books
Read short books and tall books
The more we read together
the happier we’ll be.

Watch here!

2. Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It, Read a Book

If you’re happy and you know it read a book (read a book)
If you’re happy and you know it read a book (read a book)
If you’re happy and you know and you really want to show it
If you’re happy and you know it read a book (read a book)

Alternate verses: turn the page, renew the book, swipe your card, tell a friend

Watch here!

3. Action Rhyme: Let’s Take a Look At This Book

Let’s take a look at this book
Here is the cover
We open it wide
Here are the pages hidden inside
There are words and pictures
We look and we look
And when we are finished
We close up the book

Watch here!

4. Song: Mmm Ahh Went the Little Green Frog

Mmm ahh went the little green frog one day.
Mmm ahh went the little green frog.
Mmm ahh went the little green frog one day.
And they all went mmm, mmm, ahh.
But…
We know frogs go (clap) shanananana.
(clap) shanananana. (clap) shanananana.
We know frogs go (clap) shanananana.
They don’t go mmm, mmm, ahh.

Bloop, bloop went the little blue fish one day.
Bloop, bloop went the little blue fish.
Bloop, bloop went the little blue fish one day.
And they all went bloop, bloop, bloop.
But..
We know fish go (kiss) kissy, kissy kiss.
(kiss) kissy, kissy kiss. (kiss) kissy, kissy kiss.
We know fish go (kiss) kissy, kissy kiss.
They don’t go bloop, bloop, bloop.

Watch here! For more verses check out Part 2!

5. Song: I Love it When You Read to Me

Oh, I love it when you read to me,
Read to me, read to me.
Oh,I love it when you read to me,
Please read me some more.

Watch here!

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Preschool Storytime: Transportation

Print PDF Version Here

This 30-minute storytime has been adapted from one I learned from Allison Taylor McBryde in my Children’s Services courses.  You can hear all of the songs and rhymes by clicking on the Watch Here links.  For more transportation storytime ideas, check out our Pinterest board!

Books I Shared:

Who's Driving? by Leo TimmersDown By The Station by Jennifer Riggs Vetter Trashy Town by Andrea ZimmermanFreight Train by Donald Crews

Who’s Driving? by Leo Timmers
Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha
Down by the Station by Jennifer Riggs Vetter
Freight Train by Donald Crews

Who is Driving? is a highly interactive story that helps kids learn to make inferences.  I did this one first, but it could have easily come last because it kept the kids engaged the whole time.  When I do Trashy Town, I teach everyone three hand movements that match the refrain in the book: dump it in, smash it down, drive around the trashy town.  It’s a great way to emphasize the repetition and get the kids involved.  I sing Down by the Station to the tune of Little Bunny Foo Foo. Lastly, I did Freight Train as a felt story. I don’t have the pattern to share, but you can find it here with lots of good early literacy tips as well.

Rhymes and Songs:

1. Welcome Song: I’m in the Mood for Singing

I’m in the mood for singing. Hey, how about you?
I’m in the mood for singing. Hey, how about you?
I’m in the mood for singing, singing along with you.
Hey, hey, what do you say? I’m in the mood for that today.
Hey, hey, what do you say? I’m in the mood for that.

Other Verses: Clapping, Stomping, Listening, Reading

Watch Here!

2. Action Song: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
We’re going to the moon
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
We’re going to the moon
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!

Watch Here!

3. Song: I’m Sitting in a Boat

This song is an African American spiritual. I have the kids sway side to side and then lift their arms (or their whole bodies) when the waves are high.

I’m sitting in a boat
And the boat is rocking, rocking, rocking
I’m sitting in a boat
And the boat is rocking, rocking, rocking
I’m sitting in a boat
And the waves are oh so high
Oh so high in the morning
Lord, Lord, Lord

Watch Here!

4. Song: Have You Ever Seen A Sailboat?
Tune: “Did You Ever See A Lassie?”

Have you ever seen a sailboat,
A sailboat, a sailboat?
Have you ever seen a sailboat
Waving its sail?

Wave this way and that way,
Wave that way and this way.
Have you ever seen a sailboat
Waving its sail?

Other Verses: Rocking back and forth

Watch Here!

5. Sign Language Rhyme: Stop Light Colors

Watch the video to see the sign language demonstrated.

Stop says the red light, Go says the green
Now just wait says yellow in between
That’s what they say and that’s what they mean,
We all must obey them, even the queen.

Watch Here!

6. Action Song: I’ll Take You Riding in My Car by Woody Guthrie

I’ll take you riding in my car, car
I’ll take you riding in my car, car
I’ll take you riding in my car, car
I’ll take you riding in my car

The doors on the car go open, shut (x3)
I’ll take you riding in my car

Windshield wipers go swish, swish (x3)
I’ll take you riding in my car

Horn in the car goes beep, beep (x3)
I’ll take you riding in my car

Watch Here!

How It Went:

The books were such a hit!  Three out of the four were very interactive and I think that helped keep the attention of the 2-year-olds who tagged along with their older siblings. When signing I’m Sitting in a Boat, I mentioned that the rhythm of the song would make a great lullaby or bedtime song for any age group. If I could do it again, I would introduce the sign language stop light rhyme at the beginning of the storytime and then again at the end to reinforce the signs.

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Preschool Storytime: Superheroes

Print Outline Here

This 30-minute storytime was designed for a ages 3-5 years. You can hear all of the songs and rhymes by clicking on the Watch Here links. For more Superhero storytime ideas, check out our Pinterest board!

Books I Shared:

The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee BoyPrincess Super KittyGo Away, Big Green Monster!Baron Von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident

The Amazing Adventures of Bumblebee Boy by David Soman and Jacky Davis
Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis
Felt Story: Go Away Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
Baron Von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident by George McClements

I was really conscious of making sure there was an even amount of boy vs. girl superheroes, or gender neutral pronouns used throughout today’s storytime. I wanted to read Soman and Davis’s other book, Ladybug Girl, but it was checked out. The kids loved the stories, and Baron Von Baddie was a great choice for discussing motives and words like villain, enemy, and nemesis.  When we did the felt story we talked about how you have to have courage and a brave spirit when you face monsters. I also like to pitch it to parents as a way to teach their kids to deconstruct their fears.

Rhymes and Songs:

1. Welcome and Goodbye Song: Hello Friends with Sign Language

Hello, friends. (x3)
It’s time to say hello.

Goodbye, friends (x3)
It’s time to say goodbye.

 Watch Here!

2. Action Song: Superhero, Superhero Turn Around

Superhero, superhero turn around
Superhero, superhero touch the ground
Superhero, superhero put on your suit
Superhero, Superhero put on your boots.

Verses: jump up high, fly, fly, fly

Watch Here!

3. Action Song: Did You Ever See a Superhero?

Did you ever see a hero, a hero, a hero,
Did you ever see a hero, flying through the sky?
Fly this way and that way, and that way and this way
Did you ever see a hero flying through the sky?

Verses: Putting on their cape, hopping on one foot, saving the day, twirling around

Watch Here!

4. Counting Rhyme: Five Superheroes
5 superheroes ready to fly
Here comes the villain, Stop that guy!
This superhero can save the day.
Off he flies – up, up, and away!

Count down from 4, 3, 2, 1, 0

Watch Here!

5. Song: I’m A Superhero
(Tune: I’m a Little Teapot)

I’m a superhero with my star
I help people near and far
If you have a problem, call on me
I will be there 1, 2, 3

Watch Here!

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Preschool Storytime: Bears and Berries

This preschool storytime features books, songs, rhymes, and an oral story all about bears and berries.

Books We Shared:

Sleepyhead BearJamberry by Bruce DegenWhere's My Teddy?Black Bears

Sleepyhead Bear by Lisa Westberg Peters
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
Where’s My Teddy? by Jez Alborough
Black Bears (Animals in my Backyard) by Pamela McDowell

Check out our Pinterest boards on bears and berries for additional book suggestions.

Rhymes, Songs, and Stories:

We started and ended with our favorite hello and goodbye song which uses sign language.  Check it out here!

1. Oral Story: Grandfather Bear is Hungry

Watch our YouTube video to see this oral story performed.  We used a chipmunk puppet, a bear puppet, and a paper log to help bring the characters alive.

2. Rhyme: A Little Brown Bear

A little brown bear, went in search of some honey (shade eyes with hand)
Isn’t it funny, a bear wanting honey? (shrug shoulders)
He sniffed at the breeze (lift head and pretend to sniff)
And listened for bees (hold hand to ear)
And wouldn’t you believe it (shake index finger)
He even climbed trees! (pretend to climb)

Watch the video of A Little Brown Bear to hear the tune and see the hand motions.

3. Song: Bear is Sleeping

Bear is sleeping. Bear is sleeping.
Wake him up! Wake him Up!
Come and say hello, bear. Come and say hello, bear.
Time to eat, time to eat.

Watch the video of Bear is Sleeping.

4. Flannel Story: Jamberry by Bruce Degen

We adapted this book as a flannel song which you can watch here.  We used the repeating refrain, “Under the bridge and over the dam, looking for berries, berries for jam” and had the kids help us count to ten.

5. Action Song: Pop Goes the Berry

(Tune: Pop Goes the Weasel)

All around the strawberry fields,
We picked some juicy berries
We brought them home and washed them off,
Pop! Go the berries! (have kids jump up on “pop”)
Other verses: blueberry, blackberry, huckleberry, raspberry

Hear it performed here.

6. Song: Picked a Strawberry

(Tune: Clementine)

Picked a strawberry, picked a strawberry
That was growing in the sun.
Then I washed it, and I ate it,
And I picked another one.

Other verses: blueberry, blackberry, huckleberry, raspberry

Hear it performed here.

7. Fingerplay: Two Little Black Bears

Two little black bears sitting on a hill,
One named Jack and one named Jill,
Run away Jack, run away Jill.
Come back Jack, come back Jill.

Two little black bears digging in the snow
One named Fast and one named Slow…

Two little black bears feeling very proud
One named Quiet and one named Loud..

You can hear it here.

8. Song: Grizzly Bears

(Tune: “Mary Had A Little Lamb”)

Grizzly bears are big and brown,
Big and brown, big and brown,
Grizzly bears are big and brown,
And live in the woods.
Polar bears are soft and white,
Soft and white, soft and white,
Polar bears are soft and white,
And live where it’s cold.
Teddy bears are just my size,
Just my size, just my size,
Teddy bears are just my size,
To cuddle with at night.

Watch this song performed here.

9. Song: Hug Your Bear

Hug, hug, hug your bear
Squeeze him very tight
Hold him high and help him fly
Then hug with all your might.

Watch this song here.

10. Song: Dancing With Bears

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 Dancing with bears
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 Dancing round chairs
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 that’s what we’ll do
1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 Dancing with you.

Listen to this song here!

How it Went:

We had a lot of toddlers mixed in with this preschool group, so it was nice to have a large range of songs and rhymes to choose from.  Starting with the oral story was a good choice as the kids were engaged the whole time.  They especially liked it when tiny chipmunk pops up out of the log.  Many of the preschoolers understood the humor in Jez Alborough’s Where’s My Teddy? and we will definitely use that book again.  Both of the berry songs were a hit – the kids loved popping up and shouting out different names of berries!  We’ll be recycling these songs in any future summer-themed storytimes we do in the next few months.

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