Music in the Air: An Outdoor Musical Storytime

This week at Outdoor Musical Storytime, our theme was Making Music. Here are the books and songs that we shared:

Books:

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas

Jan Thomas writes so many fun, interactive storytime books, and this is one of my favorites. A cowboy is singing his cows to sleep with a sweet lullaby, but EEK!!! Is that a spider? “No, Cowboy” his cows say. “It’s a just a flower.” More misconceptions follow: a stick that looks like a snake, a cow that looks like a bear, until finally the little group is confronted with an actual threat: a wolf who loves lullabies. The kids loved joining in on the “EEKs!,” which provide a great opportunity to help them make the connection between the written and spoken word. For the lullaby, I use a tune that a coworker of mine made up, but it also works to the tune of Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee.

The Nuts: Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants by Eric Litwin; illustrated by Scott Magoon

Hazel Nut has written a song to celebrate her polka dot pants. The problem is that everyone in her family is too busy to sing and dance with her. Luckily, Grandma Nut shows up to save the day. I came up with my own tune (similar to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star) for the “Polka Dot Pants” song that Hazel sings. There’s a YouTube video for the song featured the end of the book.

Kat Writes a Song by Greg Foley

Kat is very proud of her new song, and when she sings it, good things seem to happen. Is her song magic? This is a really sweet friendship story, and the kids loved singing the “Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow” song.

SONGS:

The Cowboy Pokey:

A cowboy-themed version of The Hokey Pokey, to go with Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy:

You put your left lasso in (move your right arm in circles in front of you)

You put your left lasso out (move your left arm behind you)

You put your left lasso in (move your right arm in circles in front of you)

And you shake it all around (shake your left arm)

You do the cowboy pokey and you turn yourself around (turn in a circle)

That’s what it’s all about! (clap as you sing each word)

You put your right lasso in…

You put your left spur in… (put your left foot in front of you)

You put your right spur out… (put your right foot in front of you)

You put your hat in… (tilt your head down)…

Giddy-Up!

This is one of my all-time favorite baby/toddler storytime songs. It’s to the tune of the William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger Theme):

Giddy-up, Giddy-up, Giddy-UP-UP-UP! (bounce baby or toddler, or have older kids “gallop” in place)

Giddy-up, Giddy-up, Giddy-UP-UP-UP!

Giddy-up, Giddy-up, Giddy-UP-UP-UP!

WHOA, Horsey! (Lean back with baby/toddler, or have older kids stop and put their hands out)

If Your Clothes Have any Red

We sang this one after Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants. It’s to the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It. It’s fun to come up with your own verses:

If your clothes have any red, any red,

If your clothes have any red, any red,

If your clothes have any red,

Put your finger on your head!

If your clothes have any red, any red.

If your clothes have any blue…put your finger on your shoe…

If your clothes have any green…make believe you can’t be seen… (cover your eyes with your hands, and then say, “Peekaboo!”

If your clothes have any black…put your finger on your back…

Dance Like You’ve Got Ants in Your Pants by Eric Herman

This is such a fun song. I play it on the ukulele (chords below). Each time we spray our imaginary spray, I usually say, “And the ants (bees, bears) say, ‘Ewww! Ewww! Ewww!” and run away!

[C] Dance like you’ve got [G7] ants in your pants.

[F] Dance like you’ve got [G7] ants in your pants.

[C] Dance like you’ve got [G7] ants in your pants,

Now [F] STOP! And spray some ant spray!

[C] Dance like you’ve got [G7] bees on your knees.

[F] Dance like you’ve got [G7] bees on your knees.

[C] Dance like you’ve got [G7] bees on your knees,

Now [F] STOP! And spray some bee spray!

[C] Dance like you’ve got a [G7] bear in your hair.

[F] Dance like you’ve got a [G7] bear in your hair.

[C] Dance like you’ve got a [G7] bear in your hair,

Now [F] STOP! And spray some bear spray!

[G7] Bop! Bop! Bop! [F] Until you [C]drop!

[G7] Hula, Hula, Hula! [F] Until you [C] drool-a!

[C] Jump like you got [G7] bumped on your rump.

[F] Jump like you got [G7] bumped on your rump.

[C] Jump like you got [G7] bumped on your rump,

Now [F] STOP!

[G7] Dance anyway, [F] Dance any [C] how,

[G7] Dance any night and day.

[F] Keep on dancing [C] now.

[G7] Dance any way you want to.

[F] Dance any way you [C] can.

[G7] Dance like you got ants [F] in your pants a- [C] gain!

[C] Dance like you’ve got [G7] ants in your pants.

[F] Dance like you’ve got [G7] ants in your pants.

[C] Dance like you’ve got [G7] bees on your knees.

[F] Dance like you’ve got [G7] bees on your knees.

[C] Dance like you’ve got a [G7] bear in your hair.

[F] Dance like you’ve got a [G7] bear in your hair.

[C] Jump like you got [G7] bumped on your rump.

[F] Jump like you got [G7] bumped on your rump.

[G7] Bop! Bop! Bop! [F] Until you [C]drop!

[G7] Dance, Dance, Dance, [F] don’t ever [C] STOP!

STAY AND PLAY: EGG SHAKERS

While looking through our craft closet (which is always an adventure), I found a whole bag of plastic eggs, and a couple of bags of dried beans. Why? Who knows! But it made for a fantastic follow-up activity for after storytime. We put out lots of different stickers for the kids to decorate their eggs after they filled them with beans. (In retrospect, I wish I had brought tape, so that the families could tape their eggs closed, but many of them just put stickers along the seam to hold them together). Super easy, and the kids had a blast!

What are your favorite books about music? Please share them in the comments.

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