Ask a Storytime Ninja: Toddler Songs

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There’s no shortage of wiggling going on in this edition of Ask A Storytime Ninja. I know you all have favorite toddler songs, so share in the comments! I, for one, am looking forward to trying out some of the suggestions below. Happy wiggling!

Question: I am looking for new action movement songs for my Toddler class.  I feel we are stuck listening to “Shake My Sillies” or “clapping” songs.  What are other youth librarians favorite songs?


Bridget (@bridgetrwilson): I use Greg & Steve’s “Can’t Sit Still” a lot. Easy to follow because it tells you what body part to wiggle.

Danielle (@LibrarianDani): Georgiana Stewart has some great toddler music, such as It’s Toddler Time and Toddlerific!

Lisa (@thrivethursday):
Ronno: I Can Dance
David S. Polansky: Spider on the Floor
Kimmy Schwimmy: Toes, Knees, Shoulders and Head
Susan Salidor: Two Little Blackbirds
Peter & Ellen Allard: Wiggle Your Fingers
Peter & Ellen Allard: Bearly Neighbors
Peter & Ellen Allard: As Quiet as Can Be
We Kids Rock: Clap When the Spirit Says Clap
Ready to Learn: My Eyes Are Looking Forward
Hap Palmer: Open and Shut Them & My Hands Are High
Georgiana Stewart: Toes Up, Toes Down

Kim (@librarylady2u): I love using the following songs in toddler time: “Tooty-Ta” by Dr. Jean, “Jump Up, Turn Around” by Jim Gill, “Bean Bag Rock” by Georgiana Stewart, “Milkshake” (w/ shaky eggs) from the the CD Songs for Wiggleworms, and “Tapping on My Sticks” by Kathy Reid-Naiman (w/ rhythm sticks).

Natasha: A really fun thing that I picked up from another librarian in my system is to do the ABC’s several times, but to do a different action along with it – the first time we sing our ABC’s, then at the last verse I say “next time won’t you clap with me” and then we clap each letter as we sing it, the third time we jump, the last time we stomp, etc.  It’s also a great time to remind parents of an easy way to make each letter distinct when they sing a song with one line that sounds a LOT like Elmo Has to Pee (LMNOP).

Michelle (@mmlibrarian):
1. Seals on the Bus
2. Shake Shake Your Hands (do different movements like shake your hands, roll your hands, wiggle your hands, rub your hands etc., do once slow and then once fast)

Kendra (@klmpeace): For recorded music I like Kathy Reid-Naiman (We’re Tapping is a favorite), Coconut Soap by Frank Leto (have the parents help and use scarves for soap), and anything with a freeze or pause in it. For non-recorded you can see all my favorite songs and rhymes here.

Learn about Ask a Storytime Ninja and ways to participate here.


About Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

Posted on April 1, 2014, in Ask a Storytime Ninja. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My go to songs are:
    Jim Gill–Shakin’ Everywhere (we do this weekly and at least one mom has told me she had to purchase the CD so they could have it at home)
    Jim Gill–Silly Dance Contest
    Henry Buzz Glass & Rosemary Hallum–Penguins
    Henry Buzz Glass & Rosemary Hallum–I Have Ten Little Fingers (I do weekly with babies, but have used with toddlers and preschoolers too)
    Laurie Berkner–I Know a Chicken
    Laurie Berkner–The Goldfish (this one is really fun, “wait a minute, we’re fish.. we don’t brush our teeth”)

  2. Grow a Banana, The Shark Song, Icky Sticky Bubble Gum, Raffi’s Brush Your Teeth, Jim Gill’s Jumping Song (actually anything Jim Gill!), They Might Be Giants Clap Your Hands are some of our favorites. Can’t wait to try the alphabet suggestion above!

  3. Hap Palmer’s “Beanbag song” is like crack for kids.
    “Ring around the rosie”, where they just spin around in circles (Don’t forget the 2nd verse: “The cows are in the meadow, eating butter cups. Thunder! Lightning! We all jump up!”
    The ants go marching
    “This is the way we wash our hands” can be changed to all sorts of actions: “This is the way we jump around”, and so on.
    “The wheels on the bus” can be made into actions: when the people on the bus go up and down, the kids can jump up and down, too. Or it can be changed to “The animals on the bus”: the horses on the bus gallop around….

    Calm-down rhymes are a whole ‘nother ball game, though

  1. Pingback: Ask a Storytime Ninja: How to be Amazing | Storytime Underground

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