Storytime Songs and Rhymes

These are my favorite and most used storytime songs and rhymes!

Acka Backa Soda Cracker (Click to hear the tune)
Acka backa soda cracker, (bounce child on lap)
Acka backa boo.
Acka backa soda cracker,
Up goes you! (lift child in air)

Acka backa soda cracker, (bounce child on lap)
Acka backa boo.
Acka backa soda cracker,
I love you! (hug child)

Bumblebee, Bumblebee
Do this as a fingerplay or use it with scarves or a puppet!
Bumblebee, bumblebee, landing on my nose.
Bumblebee, bumblebee, now he’s on my toes.
On my arms, on my legs, on my elbows.
Bumblebee, bumblebee, he lands and then he goes.

Bumping Up and Down in My Little Red Wagon
This is a Raffi song; these are the verses I use.

Bumping up and down in my little red wagon. (bounce child on lap)
Bumping up and down in my little red wagon.
Bumping up and down in my little red wagon.
Won’t you be my darling? (hug child)

One wheel’s off and the axel’s broken. (rock from side to side)
One wheel’s off and the axel’s broken.
One wheel’s off and the axel’s broken.
Won’t you be my darling? (hug child)

Dance Your Scarves Up
Use scarves to make all the motions!
Dance your scarves up, dance your scarves down.
Dance them to the side, then dance them all around.
Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on your head.
Dance them on your tummy, then put them all to bed!

Father and Mother and Uncle John
I recently realized that this might be two different rhymes combined together. I got this version from the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, Indiana.

Father, Mother and Uncle John (bounce babies slowly but steadily )
Went to London one by one.
First Father fell off, (rock to one side)
Then Mother fell off, (rock to the other side)
But Uncle John went on and on and on. (bounce)

Let me tell you how the road was. (continue bouncing)
It was a smooth road, a smooth road.
It was a bumpy road, a bumpy road. (bounce faster)
It was a rough road, a rough road. (bounce even faster)
A HOLE! (babies “fall” through their parents’ legs)

Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree
Five little monkeys, swinging in a tree.
Teasing Mr. Crocodile, “Can’t catch me!”
Along comes Mr. Crocodile, as quiet as can be…
And he SNAPPED a monkey right out of that tree!

Repeat with four, three, etc. until you have no monkeys left.

Five Plump Peas
Five plump peas in a pea pod pressed. (make a fist)
One grew, two grew, and so did all the rest! (pop up fingers one by one)
They grew and they grew and they grew and never stopped. (hold hands apart and spread them wider and wider)
They grew so big that the pea pod popped! (clap hands together on “popped”)

Here is a Beehive
Here is a beehive, but where are all the bees? (make a fist)
They’re hidden inside, where no one can see!
Here they come, out of their hive.
1… 2… 3… 4… 5! Bzzzz! (hold up each finger in turn, then fly fingers around and tickle child)

I Wiggle My Fingers
I like to do this a few times in a row, having them freeze in place at the end of each time through.
I wiggle my fingers, I wiggle my toes.
I wiggle my shoulders, I wiggle my nose.
Now all the wiggles are out of me,
And I’m as still as I can be.

I’m a Little Cuckoo Clock
Tick tock, tick tock, (rock from side to side)
I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick tock, tick tock,
Now I’m striking one o’clock! (lift baby into the air)
(repeat with two o’clock, etc.)

Johnny Works With One Hammer
Do a search on YouTube for the tune. I use a tune similar to the Barney version, but I can’t bear to link to it. Have everyone stand up for this song.
Johnny works with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer. (hammering motion with one arm)
Johnny works with one hammer, then he works with two.

Johnny works with two hammers, two hammers, two hammers. (hammer with both arms)
Johnny works with two hammers, then he works with three.

Continue with three hammers (use both arms and stomp one foot), four hammers (both arms and both feet), five hammers (your head is the fifth hammer). End with “Johnny works with five hammers and then he goes to sleep!” (pretend to sleep)

Mama’s Sleeping (tune: Skip to My Lou)
I love this song and use it all the time with shakers, but I have no idea where I got it from. If you have a source, please let me know and I will credit it!
Mama’s sleeping, don’t wake her up. (sing quietly, shake shakers softly)
Mama’s sleeping, don’t wake her up.
Mama’s sleeping, don’t wake her up,
We must be very quiet!

Wake up mama, we want to play! (sing louder, shake shakers hard)
Wake up mama, we want to play!
Wake up mama, we want to play!
Let’s be very noisy!

Do additional verses for grandpa, baby, etc.

Once I Caught a Fish Alive
There’s a tune to this, which you can find online. I couldn’t find a version I liked enough to link to.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, (count on fingers)
Once I caught a fish alive.
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, (count on fingers)
Then I threw it back again.

Why did you let it go? (hold hands out, palms up)
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right. (touch pinkie finger on right hand)

Our Hands Say Thank You
Our hands say thank you with a clap, clap, clap.
Our feet say thank you with a tap, tap, tap.
Clap, clap, clap. Tap, tap, tap.
We wake our hands and wave. Bye bye!

Rain is Falling Down
I like to use this with scarves. I use a different tune, but you can hear JBrary’s version here.
Rain is falling down–splash! (slowly lower the scarf and clap on “splash”)
Rain is falling down–splash!
Pitter patter, pitter patter. (slap knees to rhythm)
Rain is falling down–spash!

Sun is peeking out–peek! (use scarf to do peekaboo on each “peek”)
Sun is peeking out–peek!
Peeking here–peek! Peeking there–peek!
Sun is peeking out–peek!

Slowly, Slowly, Very Slowly
Slowly, slowly, very slowly, creeps the garden snail. (slowly creep your fingers up baby’s arm)
Slowly, slowly, very slowly, up the garden rail.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly, runs the little mouse. (quickly run fingers up baby’s arm)
Quickly, quickly, very quickly, to his little house!

Take Your Scarf and Make It Into a Ball
Take your scarf and make it into a ball.
Make it very, very, small. 1, 2, 3! (throw scarves into the air. repeat over and over.)

The Train Goes Up the Hill
The train goes up the hill. (creep hand up baby’s arm)
Choo choo! Choo choo! (gently tug baby’s ear)
It blows the whistle.
Toot toot! Toot toot! (gently tug baby’s other ear)
Then the train goes down the hill. (creep hand down baby’s other arm)

Two Little Blackbirds
Two little blackbirds, sitting on a hill. (start with hands behind back)
One named Jack and one named Jill. (bring out one fist with the thumb up, then the other)
Fly away, Jack. Fly away, Jill. (fly one hand behind your back, then the other)
Come back, Jack. Come back, Jill. (bring hands back out one at a time)
I also like to do extra verses from Rob Reid’s Family Storytime book, such as sitting on a cloud/quiet and loud; sitting on a gate/early and late; sitting in the snow/high and low.

Where Are Baby’s Fingers? (Tune can be found here.)
Where, oh where, are baby’s fingers?
Where, oh where, are baby’s toes?
Where’s the baby’s belly button?
Round and round it goes!

Where, oh where, are baby’s ears?
Where, oh where, is baby’s nose?
Where’s the baby’s belly button?
Round and round it goes!

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