Favourite Hello Songs for Storytime

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!

Babies

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.

Toddlers

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.

Preschoolers

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.

Happy singing!

11 thoughts on “Favourite Hello Songs for Storytime

  1. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. 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!

  2. 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 🙂

    1. 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 🙂

  3. 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.
    Sharee (Australia)

    1. 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!

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