After a long summer off, I’m back in the storytime saddle! My family storytime just started up and it’s got a great mix of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. I’ve learned so many new tunes since I last wrote about my favourite storytime songs, so I wanted to put together a list of the ones I’ve been loving lately, especially at the beginning of storytime. For even more hello and goodbye songs, check out our playlist. I’ve broken these ones into age categories, but there are no hard and fast rules about when to use them.
Do you have a favourite welcome or hello song for storytime? Let me know in the comments!
Wake Up Feet
You can wake up babies’ eyes, ears, hair, nose, etc. I also love adding the verse “Wake up Tummy” and we say “tickle, tickle, tickle” instead of wiggle. I encourage parents to use this song when their baby is waking up in the morning or from a nap.
Well Hello Everybody, Can You Touch Your Nose?
I love this song! I even sing it with toddlers if they are on the younger end. You can get creative with it too – can you pat your head, rub your tummy, touch your toes, etc.
Gilly Gilly Gilly Good Morning
It’s a bit of a tongue twister and you definitely have to teach it to caregivers over the course of the storytime session, but once they learn it it’s gold. This song was made for an early literacy tip about phonological awareness.
Hello Friends with Sign Language
We do this one every week at my family storytime and it’s so exciting when the toddlers start to sign! It’s also got a matching goodbye song. I also use it with my preschoolers.
If You’re Ready for a Story
I use this one a lot when I do outreach storytimes because everyone knows the tune already and it’s not intimidating. I’ll also use it with a particularly rambunctious group of toddlers because it gets them up and moving. You can add lots of action verses such as jump up high, shake your hips, touch your toes, etc.
Let’s All Clap
I do this one with babies or toddlers as long as it’s a small group. We sing it once for every child, inserting his or her name into the song. The parents really like to hold up their baby or toddler when it’s their turn. A great choice for a smaller, more personalized storytime.
The More Get Together and Read Together
There are two ways to freshen up this traditional welcome song. First, try singing it with sign language. Second, try adding this second verse we learned from Katie at Storytime Secrets. Preschoolers are ready for these added challenges. I also use this when I visit Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes and they enjoy it too.
When Cows Wake Up in the Morning
There are so many different tunes and lyrics to this song – this is just the one we learned first. If I want to bust out the puppets early on, I’ll sing this song and ask the kids to help me identify the sounds. Preschoolers pretty much know the basic animal sounds so I always throw in a few that make them think, like a dragon or a cricket or a porcupine. We have fun just thinking up different sounds.
School Age Kids
Bread and Butter
You can use this one with preschoolers too, but my K-2 kids love it! We talk about opposites and brainstorm some before we sing. It’s more of a rhyme than a song which oddly enough gives it a cool factor that school age kids dig.
Clap Everybody and Say Hello/Ni Hao
Again, you can use this with any age, but when I use it with K-2 students I ask them all the languages they know how to say hello in. I like doing this because it gives them a chance to teach me something, and I can model how to be a learner. We usually sing it 2-3 times depending on the languages of the group. I also encourage different actions besides clapping, such as stomping, blinking, shaking, and other silly things like cha chaing.
17 thoughts on “Favourite Hello Songs for Storytime”
Thanks so much After working with young children for many, many years. I can still learn a new tune. Thanks for getting me out of a rut.
I’m always learning too 🙂 Thank you for your kind words.
Thank you! Needed a new hello song with my k-1s, and we have many languages at our school, so “clap everybody and say hello” will be fun!
Yay! That’s really great that you found something that can be inclusive to the many languages of your students. Good idea for my toddler storytimes too!
I can’t believe how many languages have come up! This has been so fun – Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Hungarian, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Spanish, French. Thanks again!
Thanks! I was looking for a hello song for 5-7 year olds and I really like the bread and butter one! I will try it tomorrow 🙂
Oh that one is perfect for school-age kids! You can ask them to think of their own ways to say hello and offer more interesting options. For example, let’s say hello as opera as we can 🙂
I love ‘Well hello everybody can you touch your nose’, although I did get teased by a workmate for siniging it with your Canadian accent! When I have a smallish group I sing a verse for each child using their name and get them to nominate an action they would like. Thanks for all your resources – I am new to libraries and I use them extensively.
LOL, we would love to hear an Australian version of a Canadian accent 🙂 That is a great way to personalize the song and definitely something we’ll be stealing to use with small groups!
Some one put a hello song to London Bridge is falling down and I can’t see it. Can anyone tell me what it is please.
I’m not sure which one you are referring to exactly. We do have this one that is by that tune: https://youtu.be/YqFBnjALcRk
I know this post is a little old, but I’m new to storytime in general and found this post. Your stuff is fantastic and you guys are great!
My library is trying to be careful with usage rights and permissions, I was wondering if these songs are public domain or not? If not, would you maybe have some tips on where to find the original writers to ask permission?
We’re trying to post online storytimes during COVID-19 and being still pretty new to storytime, in general, I am not sure where to look.
For any of the songs on our channel that required copyright permission to film we added a note in the description box (viewable on YouTube). If you see a note there then you would have to reach out to the original author like we did. Otherwise, the songs are in the public domain or we searched and searched and couldn’t find an author or source. It’s common with children’s songs that are passed down orally. The two you mention are fine to film – no need to mention us unless you want to. If we couldn’t find an original author we try to mention where we learned it from so it’s easier to trace. But it’s optional 🙂 Also check out this blog post: https://yssevents.blogspot.com/2020/03/music-permissions-look-no-further.html
Thank you. My school is starting their distance learning program for 2020-21 tomorrow. I really needed something quick, fast and easy to learn. I am using your Hello/Goodbye song with sign language for the student’s library time. I am an elementary school librarian and until we return to school, I am doing PK & K. This is perfect. What fun!
So glad you found something that worked! All the best to you in a new learning environment. That must be quite the change.