Next up in my Toddler Storytime series is my selection of songs and rhymes that I use every week or almost every week. I’ll be doing a separate post on songs and activities to get the wiggles out – these ones are just my go-to, familiar tunes that I know the caregivers and kids love to sing. In case you missed it, here are my other posts in this series:
- How I Plan
- Favourite Read Alouds
- Favourite Read Alouds, Part 2
- Favourite Songs and Rhymes, Part 2
- Songs To Get the Wiggles Out
- Songs to Get the Wiggles Out, Part 2
- How I Incorporate Puppets
- Favourite Felt Stories
- Favourite Felt Stories, Part 2
Without further ado!
1. Hello, Friends
I use this as my welcome and goodbye song every week. I love it because it’s simple and repetitive. It’s also exciting to see the toddlers get better and better at making the sign for friends each week. And I’m always surprised at how many remember the signs even after singing it once!
2. Open, Shut Them
We do this song at least two times every week. The kids love hiding their hands behind their backs at the end of the song. I have a little boy who tells me every time, “I let them in my mouth!”
3. Roly Poly
The BEST song for teaching opposites, in my opinion. You can get creative and add as many verses as you’d like. I’ve been adding a verse called “High/Low” where we just change the pitch of our voices.
4. Mmm, Ahh Went the Little Green Frog
I fell in love with this song when my 2-year-old niece was struggling to make the “K” sound. You can give lots of good early literacy tips around phonological awareness before and after singing it. We also have multiple verses to try.
5. Rain is Falling Down
Sometimes you just need a calming song, something to bring the toddlers back to a place where they can listen to the next story. This is my go to slow song for this age group. I encourage caregivers to play peek-a-boo with their children in the second verse. You can also add a winter verse with “Snow is falling down, slush!”
6. Stop Says the Red Light
I try to incorporate as much sign language as possible in my storytimes. I love this rhyme because you can encourage caregivers to say it in the car or on the bus. Also, traffic safety is very important for the little ones!
7. Hello, Bubbles
I used bubbles one time with my toddlers and ever since they’ve been asking for them. We sing this song before and after using the bubbles at the end of storytime. A great way for them to jump around!
8. Song Cube
I got this idea from Mel’s Desk and boy is it a lifesaver. I always pull out the song cube at least once during storytime and let the toddlers roll it to see which song we’ll sing next. It’s a great way to encourage nursery rhymes and traditional children’s songs. I need to make a new one with 6 different songs just to add some variety though.
So those are my favourite tried and true songs and rhymes to use with toddlers. What are your yours? Let us know in the comments!