New Prop Songs and Rhymes

Well hello there, everyone! How is your summer going? If you’re like me then your eye is already on fall storytime planning. I thought I’d do a few posts highlighting the new videos we’ve released on YouTube over the past year.  Did you know we still upload new videos? We do! And now I will organize those videos into nice thematic posts for your storytime planning.

This week I’m sharing songs and rhymes you can use with props such as shakers, rhythm sticks, scarves, parachutes, etc.  These are some of our most requested videos.  Here are my new favourites with information on how I use each.

Shout out to anyone who has a super large storytime and can never use props because you don’t have enough of each for every kid! I got you. This song is perfect because you can pass out ALL the props you have and sing a verse for each type. Plus the tune is familiar and families join along pretty quickly. Just rotate the name of the prop for each verse.


Old Macdonald had a band, E I E I O
And in this band he had some shakers, E I E I O
With a shake, shake here and a shake, shake there
Here a shake, there a shake, everywhere a shake, shake
Old MacDonald had a band, E I E I O


A bonus two songs in one video!  Here are some options for how to pass out and collect props. With bigger groups, I just keep singing it over and over again until we’ve got them all. It can really help the little ones give back the prop. If you’ve got a kid who really doesn’t want to part with their prop, I avoid the drama and just get it from them after storytime.


It’s time to take a scarf
It’s time to take a scarf
It’s time to take a scarf today
It’s time to take a scarf

It’s time to put the scarves away,
scarves away, scarves away
It’s time to put the scarves away
Put them away for another day.


I love using this one with preschool and school-age kids. It’s challenging for them to tap at the right moment and when they do it’s rewarding. Tapping the sticks adds an extra awareness of rhythm.  A great way to add a twist to a classic tune.


There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name-o
B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O,
And Bingo was name-o
(replace letters with taps)


This is a simplified version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. It works best with school-age kids, though you could totally get preschoolers on board if you repeated it every week for an entire storytime session.  Sing it really slowly to start.  It’s great for kids to hear the same story in different formats. Pair this with a felt version or book version to reinforce the story elements.


Trip, trap, trip, trap – across the bridge they come
Trip, trap, trip, trap – crossing one by one

Trip, trap, trip, trap – baby takes a stroll
Trip, trap, trip, trap – over the sleeping troll

Trip, trap, trip, trap – louder taps I hear
Trip, trap, trip, trap – middle goat is near

Trip, trap, trip, trap – stomps the biggest goat
Trip, trap, trip, trap – troll goes in the moat!


My absolute new favourite rhythm sticks song! It’s fun, imaginative, and easy to learn. Perfect for even toddlers. If you only try one song on this list, make it this one.

Tick tock, tick tock goes the clock
Waiting for someone to knock, knock, knock
My oh my
It’s a cat! (hold sticks to face like whiskers)
Verses: bunny, duck, walrus, alien


We have some talented friends, ya’ll. This one was written by Brytani Fraser and then remixed by Emily Lloyd. We love them so much! Here’s us doing our version. Great for shakers and scarves.

Oh, the walrus washes his winter coat
down by the wavy ocean.
He adds some water and he adds some soap
and he waits…and he waits…and he waits.

Then the laundry shakes, shakes, shakes
The laundry shakes and shakes and shakes
The laundry shakes, shakes, shakes until it’s clean.
The laundry shakes, shakes, shakes
The laundry shakes and shakes and shakes
The laundry shakes, shakes, shakes
until it’s clean.

Verses: The laundry spins, spins, spins


This song wins the award for most versatile. You can do it with scarves or shakers – try throwing the scarves in the air and asking the kids what colour popcorn they made. You could also do it as a lap bounce for babies and end with a lift. Or you could do it with the parachute! Crumple up some paper and throw it on top to make “popcorn.”

Pop, pop, pop
Put the corn in the pot
Pop, pop, pop
Shake it ’til it’s hot
Pop, pop, pop
Lift the lid and what have you got?

That’s what I’ve been digging lately. How about you?  Let me know your recent favourite songs and rhymes to use with props in the comments.

6 thoughts on “New Prop Songs and Rhymes

  1. I am back to read and earn great idea for my storytime after crazy summer is done!!!
    Miss your post!!!

    Always grateful for your post.
    Thank you!

    1. It’s been a busy summer for us as well! Hopefully we’ll get back to more regular posting soon 🙂

  2. You guys are awesome! I love checking out your videos for fun ideas to use at our library in Waunakee, WI 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Molly! So glad our videos are helpful and fun 🙂

  3. There is no need to sing songs of any kind to put props away!
    Insteaad, teach your parents/caregivers to use this simple phrase:
    “Can you help me?”

    I can get twenty toddlers (and that means 1 year olds) to help me get the scarves back in the bag, the shakers back in the box, in about 2-3 minutes, simply by ASKING them to help me! In fact, they enjoy helping as an activity.

    I have virtually never had a kid meltdown, and if they do, I tell the parent to let them hold onto the item for a few more minutes as we transition into the next activity.

    This is a skill worth teaching to the adults as well as the children.

  4. I LOVE The Walrus song! It’s brilliant Bytani and Emily 🙂 Can’t wait to use it for bathtime and/or ocean themes! Thank you so much for sharing. Like so many others I’m looking for inspiration for the fall and I’m taking away Tick Tock and the Walrus song as my new faves 🙂

    My colleague Kate and I use props for our outreach sensory storytimes a lot and my favorite (and the kids favorite apparently, as they ALWAYS ask us if they can do it when we bring scarves) is an older Popcorn song, which I’m pretty sure you taught us via blog post, Lindsay and Dana. Maybe you guys used a different tune? It’s Popcorn Kernels: “Popcorn kernels, popcorn kernels, in the pot, in the pot! Shake them, shake them, shake them; shake them, shake them, shake them, ’til they POP! ‘Til they POP!” (Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques) And you ball the scarves up in your hands, shake them up, and toss them in the air when they “pop”. My other popcorn-related favorite is the wonderful popcorn felt board. Now who came up with that perfect board?? Want to highlight that one again?
    Thanks so much Jbrary! You guys truly rock ; )

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