Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee

"Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee" Hickety Pickety bumble bee Who can say their name for me? First child’s name. Clap it. (Clap out the syllables in the child’s name.) Whisper it. (Whisper the syllables.) No sound. (Mouth the syllables.) Hickety pickety bumblebee, Who can say their name for me?

Early Literacy Aside--Example--Phonological Awareness
By clapping out and singing children's names, they hear words slowed down and they hear the parts of words, the syllables. This will later help them as they try to sound out words when they learn to read. The kids love the song, and parents tell me that they are clapping out the syllables to other family members names too.

Submitted by Marie Rogers, Hardin County Public Library in KY

Sing by Joe Raposo

Early Literacy Aside--Explain: Some of us can sing well, others not so well. Some of us like to sing whether we can or not and others would rather not sing. Did you know that singing is one way to help children learn the sounds in language which will then help them hear sounds as they learn to sound out words? Songs have a distinct note for each syllable so children hear the rhythm of language and hear words broken down into parts.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Our next book is a songbook. It uses the words to the song as the book itself. It's called Sing by Joe Raposo. I often feel like the third bird! I hope you do too. Let's see what happens when one of the three birds can't sing. We can all sing the words together and notice how songs help with hearing sounds in words.

Read/sing the book first describing what is happening in the wordless pictures.

Song: If You Want to Know an Answer

If You Want to Know an Answer is a good opening song especially when you want to emphasize what we can learn from factual books. You can substitute words to emphasize any aspect of learning. Song: If You Want to Know an Answer (tune:  If You're Happy & You Know It) If you want to know an answer, read a book! If you want to know an answer, read a book! If you're wondering where the moon goes; If you're wondering how the grass grows; If you want to know an answer, read a book!

If you'd like to learn to draw, read a book! If you want to learn to draw, read a book! If you'd like to draw a dog, Or a frog sitting on a log; If you'd like to learn to draw, read a book!

If you'd like to learn to bake, read a book! If you'd like to learn to bake, read a book! If you'd like to make some candy, Or a pizza that is dandy; If you'd like to learn to bake, read a book!

Early Literacy Aside--Explain--Background Knowledge:  Factual books offer many opportunities to add to children's knowledge based on their interests. Sharing factual books not only helps children learn about the world around them, but also will help them later understand what they read. In today's storytime, I'll be pointing out different ways to share factual books and information with children.

Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree Song

Preparation: Use a crocodile hand puppet and five monkeys that can be removed from a glove puppet. If you have a tree prop, like one for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, place monkeys on the tree.Children count and snap. Children of all ages enjoy the rhythm/chant of the song and the snapping. Adults with babies can gently give them a surprise snap with a big smile. Toddlers and preschoolers count and like the repetition.

Five little monkeys sitting in a tree   (Hold up five fingers and bounce hand up and down) Teasing Mr. Crocodile, teasing Mr. Crocodile (Wave fingers forward) Can’t catch me; can’t catch me. (Shake head no.) Along comes Mr. Crocodile as quiet as can be. (Whisper with index finger over nose and mouth.) And SNAPS that monkey out of the tree!

To make this rhyme more interactive between adults and children, when you repeat it, have the adult be the five little monkeys, holding up one hand. The child is the crocodile making a mouth with one hand. Optional: Reverse roles.

Early Literacy Aside--Example: In this rhyme, we are counting backwards with our children in a fun way. Counting is part of learning concepts which support your child's background knowledge.


Submitted by Katie Rinenbach, Bucks County (PA) Public Library

There Were Ten in the Bed by Annie Kubler or Five Little Monkeys

Extension Craft Activity: Five in the BedHand out half-sheet of construction paper cut lengthwise and figures for children to decorate. Younger children glue five figures in the bed; older children decorate with more detail. Each child also gets a brad so that they can rotate their figures onto and out of the bed as in the book/song.

Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, your children are not only using their art to reinforce retelling the story There Were Ten in the Bed we read today, but also to reinforce our early literacy skill.  Singing is a great way to support phonological awareness in that it slows down the words and gives a different note to each syllable, so today’s activity is a 2 for 1!


Submitted by Katie Ringenbach, Bucks County (PA) Public Library

Rock a Bye Baby

Song as lead in to book: Rock a Bye Baby[Adults rock baby back and forth] Rock a bye baby on the tree top, When the wind blows, the cradle will rock. When the bough breaks the cradle will fall, And I'm there to catch you, cradle and all.

Early Literacy Aside--Example: When we sing to babies, they hear language slowed down which makes it easier for them to hear the sounds in words. Even thugh we may not sing to our children for this purpose, it is the beginning of helping them to later sound out words when they later learn to read.

Jane Klein, Chester County (PA) Library System

Five Scrumptious Cookies

We sing this song after reading Wolf's Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza. The first time you come to the word scrumptious, add the words delicious or yummy. [If you prefer you can tlak about the word scrumptious before starting the book.]Early Literacy Aside--Example: When a book has a word that is unfamiliar to your child, this is a great opportunity to build vocabulary. Don't replace the word with a simpler one, just explain it briefly. Books have rich language, more unusual words than we use in daily conversation. Five Scrumptious Cookies Five scrumptious cookies in the baker’s shop Big and round with some sugar on top Along came a boy with a penny to pay Who bought a scrumptious cookie and took it away.

Four scrumptious cookies . . . Three scrumptious cookies . . . Two scrumptious cookies . . . One scrumptious cookie . . . No scrumptious cookies . . . Big and round with some sugar on top No one came with a penny to pay. So close the baker’s shop and have a baking day.

Song in Spanish

Here is a song that is fun to sing in English, Spanish or both, to the tune of "Frere Jacques."Esta canción es divertida cantar en inglés, español, o ambos, al tuno de "Frere Jacques."

Hello children.                  Hola niños. How are you?                   ¿Como están? Very well thank you.        Muy bien gracias. How about you?               ¿Y Usted?

Although today we are having  fun singing songs in two languages, talk with your children in the language  that is most comfortable for you. It is best for children to know one language  spoken fluently. If children know one language well, they can learn another one  more easily. If you are fluent in more than one language you can choose which  language to talk with your child in.

Aunque hoy  nos divertimos por cantar en dos idiomas, recuerde hablar con sus niños en el  idioma que usted mejor sepa.  Es mejor para  los niños saber un idioma con fluidez.  Si los niños saben bien un idioma, es más fácil para ellos aprender  otro.  Si usted habla con fluidez más que un idioma, puede elegir en cual quisiera hablar con su niño.

by Katie Cunningham, http://bilingualchildrensprogramming.blogspot.com

Library Love Song

Library Love Song[Storytime presenter] I love you, you love me We're a happy library With a great big hug And a wish from me to you Won't you say you'll read books, too!

[Child to adult/parent] I love you, you love me Won't you share a book with me? With a great big hug And a wish from me to you Won't you say we'll read books, too!

Early Literacy Aside--Example: Keeping that close connection as we read with children is something they cherish. It is this kind of feeling around reading books that helps them see reading as something enjoyable. This attitude helps them want to hear more books, read more and makes learning to read easier.

Jane Boss, Hennepin (MN) Public Library and Diana Price, Bucks County (PA) Free Library

B I N G O (Bingo) Song

BINGO SongHere is a way to do the BINGO song so that we are saying all the letters at the end. "X" means to clap. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-X-X-X-X, B-X-X-X-X, B-X-X-X-X And Bingo was his name, oh. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-i-X-X-X, B-i-X-X-X, B-i-X-X-X And Bingo was his name, oh. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-i-n-X-X, B-i-n-X-X, B-i-n-X-X And Bingo was his name, oh. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-i-n-g-X, B-i-n-g-X, B-i-n-g-X And Bingo was his name, oh. There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo was his name oh, B-i-n-g-o, B-i-n-g-o, B-i-n-g-o And Bingo was his name, oh. We all spelled Bingo's name. You know all these letters!  B   i   n    g   o  (point slowly to each one) Early Literacy Aside--Example: Singing letters of the alphabet is one enjoyable way for children to learn letters. You can spell out other words using the same tune. Having children become familiar with letter names and identifying letters will later help them as they try to recognize words.

Eensy Weensy Spider by Mary Ann Hoberman

During the storytime, introduce book: Our next book is called The Eensy Weensy Spider. It has the eensy weensy spider rhyme that we are familiar with. Let's say it together (show first page). Now the author, Mary Ann Hoberman, has made up some new verses. I'll read you one of my favorite ones: The eensy weensy spider fell down and scraped her knees. "Ouch!" cried the spider. "I need some Band-Aids, please!" "How many?" asked her mama. "I only have a few." Said the eensy-weensy spider, "Six of them will do."

Optional--talk about how many legs/knees a spider has . . . Early Literacy Aside--Explain: All of these rhymes based on the original, piggyback rhymes, have new rhyming word combinations. Pointing out the rhyming words or letting your children fill in a rhyming word helps them hear the smaller sounds in words which will help them later to sound out words when they learn to read. Early Literacy Aside--Empower: You noticed that today we read a bok with piggyback rhymes. You and your children can pick a rhyme they know well and then make up your own words to new rhymes. Having your children think of rhyming words is one way to support phonological awareness, hearing the smaller sounds in words. This is a fun activity and also helps your children later to sound out words. Enjoy!

I Love Books Song

I Love Books Song: to the tune of Skip to My LouBooks, books, I love books Books, books, I love books Books, books, I love books I know that you do, too. This song can be used as an Opening Song and/or a Closing Song to articulate the joy we find in reading books. Print Motivation, a child's enjoyment of books and reading, can help children stick with learning to read when they art taught to read in school.

Now It's Time to Read a Book Song

Now It's Time to Read a Book: to the tune of London Bridge Is Falling Down:Now it’s time to read a book, Read a book, Read a book Now it's time to read a book I’ll read a book to you. This song can be used as a transition into reading the next book to help instill print motivation, the enjoyment of books. Songs help children make smooth transitions from one activity to another. As children come to know the song, they can sing it at home when they want to read to a parent/adult or when they want an adult to read to them.


Sing songs in English and in at least one other language during storytime.Early Literacy Aside--Empower: Adults, you can sing anywhere about anything in any language! Singing helps children hear the smaller sounds in words to help them sound out words later. Also many songs have new words for them to learn which will help them know the meanings of words when they get to school.

Randi Kay Stephens, Sacramento (CA) Public Library

Sing your own songs

Early Literacy Aside--Explain: Singing with your children helps them to hear words broken into smaller parts because there is a different note for each syllable. Hearing these smaller parts of words will help them later to sound out words.Early Literacy Aside--Empower: We sang some songs today in storytime. You can make up your own songs and sing about the things you do everyday. Singing helps children hear words broken down into part and you can do this throughout the day in fun ways. Heather Bratt

Jack and Jill Rhyme and Song

Nursery Rhyme: Jack and Jill
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down
And broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Preparation: Have the words to the rhyme up on a chart. Have the group say, not sing, the words. Then have the group sing the rhyme. Ask the adults what differences they noticed when singing it vs. saying it.
Early Literacy Aside--Example: Singing slows down language so that children can hear the smaller sounds in words. This helps children later to sound out the words when they learn to read.