Toddler Storytime: Favourite Songs and Rhymes, Part 2

To this day, toddlers remain one of my favourite age groups to work with.   I thought I’d take some time to update the series I started two years ago that featured all the components of my toddler storytimes.  This week I’m sharing the songs and rhymes my toddlers have been loving recently.  If you’d like to read more, here are the links to my other posts:


I only recently learned new verses to this weekly jam.  Caregivers  especially appreciate seeing how to adapt and change a song to keep it fresh.  I like doing this song because it helps kids practice fine motor skills such as creeping their fingers up their arms which helps develop coordination.

This is a classic English song, but I had no idea it existed until a preschool group asked me to sing it during an outreach storytime.  It reminds me of “Open, Shut Them” and is great for getting hands back in laps.

We know that singing the alphabet song helps children learn the names of letters.  But singing it to a different tune breaks the letters down in different ways, and helps them hear strands such as “LMNOP” more clearly.  I’ve been doing the “Mary Had a Little Lamb” tune the most because it’s the easiest for me to remember.

I’ve been using this one when I have big groups that take awhile to settle back down after we’ve been up and moving.  I like to pat it out on my legs so the kids can hear the rhythm.

It’s rain season here in Vancouver, so this has been a seasonal hit.  I’ve changed it a bit from the video – we start with snapping, then clapping, then stomping. This way we move from smaller movements to bigger, whole body movements.  You can also change up the adjectives – giant raindrops, humongous raindrops, enormous raindrops!

I made super simple felt pieces to go along with this song.  It’s great for reviewing colours and counting, and the kids have lots of fun with the “pop!” at the end.  This song is also super easy to learn – new caregivers catch on after only the first verse.

I use this in babytime too, but it’s great for those one and two-year-olds who still like to sit in laps.  Rolling your hands takes so much coordination.  I tell caregivers to postiively encourage their toddlers even if they are just moving their hands by their sides like a choo-choo train.

Learning to count to five is a big deal for toddlers.  Before we start this rhyme we practice counting to five on our fingers.  You can also do it with scarves and have the kids throw them in the air when the pea pod pops.

Mel wrote this easy action rhyme that’s all about opposites.  We put it to a gentle tune in the video, but you can also just chant it.  Opposite songs are so popular in toddler storytime because they help children make distinctions and teach them how to describe different things.

This song has everything you need for toddler storytime – repetition, great vocabulary, gulping and gasping, and a chance to say, “oh no!”

These are some of my recent favourite songs and rhymes to use with toddlers.  Let me know your favourites in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Toddler Storytime: Favourite Songs and Rhymes, Part 2

  1. Hi! I am definitely borrowing Wind the Bobbin Up for storytime tomorrow!
    I wrote my own second verse to Open Shut Them, using a little Espanol. We sing the first verse in English, then the second verse goes:
    “Hola, hello
    Hola, hello
    Give yourself a hug
    Hola, hello
    Hola, hello
    Sit down on the rug”
    Then we sing the Spanish version, which is available at:

    It’s so encouraging to hear the little ones (both English-speakers and Spanish-speakers) speaking Spanish together!

    1. That’s wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing your additional verse.

  2. Oh, how I miss working with little ones! School-aged kids are lots of fun, but nothing compares to the barely-controlled chaos that is a toddler time 😉

    1. Kindergartners were my favourites when working with the school-age kids – they just stole my heart!

  3. What’s the last song on the list? The video is no longer available, and the description makes it sound so fun. Thanks!

    1. Hi Beth, the song is Slippery Fish! I have changed the video to one that doesn’t use sign language since I am unsure if the ASL is 100% correct.

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