Hitting the Right Notes: Using Music in Storytime

This week, we had a musical guest (Mr. Daniel) in place of my regular storytime. He did a wonderful job getting the kids moving and singing, and playing along with shakers and bells. He also did a number of songs in Spanish and Portuguese, and it was moving to see the faces of some of the parents and caregivers when they heard him singing some of the traditional songs of their native countries. (One family even followed him from one library to another, because they were so excited for their kids to hear songs from Brazil).

Watching him reminded me of all of the reasons why it’s so important to encourage families to sing and make music together, and why I make it such a focus in my own storytimes. So I wanted to share some of my tips for choosing and adapting songs for storytime.

Why Use Music in Storytime

Apart from the fact that songs and rhymes provide an easy way to regain the attention of wandering toddlers, and give sitting kids a chance to get their wiggles out in between books, they also help parents and caregivers get used to singing with their kids.

I’ve found that some parents are uncomfortable singing to their children, because they think that they “can’t sing.” I always tell them it doesn’t matter how well they sing, but singing itself is really important.

A few of the benefits of hearing songs in early childhood are

  • Phonological awareness: a fancy way of saying that singing teaches kids to recognize the sounds that make up the words in their native language. This is a key pre-literacy skill that can make it easier for young children to learn to read later on. Because songs (especially kids songs) use rhyming words, they are especially good for reinforcing this knowledge in a fun and memorable way.
  • Vocabulary: Songs also offer a fun and memorable way for kids to learn new words in their native language. The more words a child is exposed to in their early years, the easier it will be for them to learn to read once they enter school. As a children’s librarian, I was used to hearing that kids who were regularly read aloud to were more likely to become successful readers in school, but I didn’t fully understand why until my own kids were learning to read. When kids first start sounding out words on their own, it’s important that the words they are trying to read are words that they already know. That’s what gives them that “Aha!” moment when they recognize what the word in front of them is. And it far easier to remember words that are set to music. My kids’ middle school teacher uses songs to help her students memorize the names of the U.S. Presidents and the U.S. States in order, and my oldest daughter’s high school Spanish teacher started each week with the “Cancion de la Semana,” (song of the week), which my daughter still remembers.
  • Listening Skills: A lot of popular children’s songs, like If You’re Happy and You Know It and I’m a Little Teapot, require kids to watch and listen in order to follow the directions or copy the motions in the song.
  • Motor Skills: Most children’s songs involve some kind of movement, either large motor (clapping, stomping, jumping, etc.) or fine motor (fingerplays and songs like The Itsy Bitsy Spider). This helps them develop coordination, balance, and the kinds of fine motor skills required for writing later on.

What Songs to Use

The best storytime songs are simple and easy to remember. They are frequently based on familiar tunes, like Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star (I’m embarrassed to say that I was an adult before I realized that Twinkle, Twinkle, The Alphabet Song, and Baa Baa, Black Sheep all use the same tune).

Two things I look for in a storytime song are:

  • Opportunities for kids to suggest ideas. This is a great thing to model to parents and caregivers, since it provides them a way to extend the song-play into their daily lives. I recently read the book The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani, which includes lots of additional verses about the spider’s adventures. The day after that storytime, a parent called our library to ask if she could borrow the book, because after hearing it, her son had started coming up with his own verses to the song. Some of my favorite songs for kids to suggest ideas are: Old MacDonald Had a Farm, If All the Raindrops, Rainbow ‘Round Me, and Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee. (See the links at the bottom of this post to hear the tunes).
  • Opportunities for kids to move their bodies. Although some kids are shy about participating, most of them are excited to get a chance to move around. My favorites of these are Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!, The Wheels on the Bus, If You’re Happy and You Know It, and We Bounce and We Bounce and We Stop.

Keeping It Interesting

Surprisingly, kids never seem to tire of the old standbys like Wheels on the Bus. But I still like to find ways to surprise them with some simple changes like:

  • Changing the tempo. An easy way to get kids engaged in a song is to vary the speed. I often start off a class visit by singing The Alphabet Song. We start off at a normal tempo and then sing it again slightly faster, and again as fast as we can. I usually end The Wheels on the Bus by singing the first verse fast as well.
  • Changing the words. With older kids, I love to switch the babies and grown-up verses on the Wheels on the Bus, so the Grown-ups on the bus cry, “Waah! Waah! Waah!” and the kids say, “Shhh! Shhh! Shhh!” I usually add in a Tyrannosaurus Rex or a tiny kitten on the bus too. With The Itsy Bitsy Spider, I like to do a verse about the “great big giant spider.” For If You’re Happy and You Know It, I like to add verses about other emotions (“If you’re sad and you know it, cry, ‘Boo hoo!'”) It’s great for kids to realize that they can change songs and make them their own. Changing the words is also an easy way to come up with a song to go along with a picture book. I’m A Little Teapot can become I’m a Little Dinosaur or I’m a Little Kitty Cat. The Wheels on the Bus can become The Waves at the Beach, with verses all about things you see near the ocean.
  • Adding props. I always end my Musical Storytime by handing out shakers, so the kids can play along. But I also love to use play scarves and other props when I can. There are a lot of great scarf songs, but my favorites are probably Popcorn Kernels, Icky Sticky Bubblegum, and The Wishy Washy Washer Woman (see the links at the bottom for more info).

Adding Instruments

For years I sang all my songs a cappella, or played music on a CD, but then our staff CD player broke, and I finally worked up the nerve to play my ukulele. To my surprise, it was pretty easy. Most kids songs only require one or two chords, and you can use a very simple strumming pattern just to add a basic accompaniment. If you have a small group, it’s really empowering to carry a ukulele or guitar around and let the kids strum along to a song while you change the chords. For more about learning the ukulele, check out my post Uke Can Play.

My Favorite Storytime Songs

Here are a few of my all-time favorite songs, with YouTube links where available, or my own recordings. Where available, I’ve also linked to past posts that include the lyrics, chords, and any notes on how I adapted the song for storytime.

Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee

I use a variation of the version performed here by Dr. Jean, where we sing about a different animal for each verse (I take suggestions from the kids). Unlike the old camp version of the song, nobody gets squished!

Brush Your Teeth by Raffi

Icky Sticky Bubblegum

I do this one with play scarves, and have the kids suggest different body parts for the gum to stick to. Then we count 1, 2, 3…and throw the scarves in the air as we shout, “Unstuck!” Click on the triangle below to hear the tune.

If All the Raindrops

I have the kids suggest foods that they wish would fall from the sky, and I choose two or three to sing about for each verse.

If You’re Happy and You Know It

I sing about a different emotion for each verse: If you’re sad and you know it, cry, “Boohoo!”; If you’re angry and you know it, say, “I’m mad!”, etc.

Popcorn Kernels

I do this one with play scarves, as demonstrated in the JBrary video below:

‘Rainbow Round Me by Ruth Pelham

For each verse, I ask the kids to suggest things that they might see outside their window.

Silly Pizza Song by Rachel de Azevedo Coleman

I teach the kids the signs for pizza and cheese, as shown in the Signing Time video below. Then, for each verse, I ask the kids to suggest different foods they would like on their pizza.

These Are My Glasses by Laurie Berkner

I do this one pretty much the same way that Laurie Berkner demonstrates in her video below.

Two Little Blackbirds

I do this one as a fingerplay, with each thumb representing a blackbird. When they “fly away,” I hide them behind my back, then bring them back out in front of me when they “come back.” Each verse uses a different opposite: two little blackbirds sitting on a cloud. One was quiet, and the other was loud… Two little blackbirds sitting on a gate. One was early, and the other was…late!

We Bounce and We Bounce and We Stop

I add in different motions for each verse, then vary the speed, or add in pauses before the “Stop” to keep the kids on their toes. This song works really well for a wide range of ages.

The Wheels on the Bus

I like to add in silly verses about lions or dinosaurs or mice on the bus, then sing the first verse again, making the wheels (And o

The Wishy Washy Washer Woman

I do this one with play scarves, as demonstrated in the Imagine More Story Adventures video below:

Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!

I do a slight variation on the Jiggle Jam version below, and have the kids crouch down at the beginning, then jump up when we say, “Blast off!”

I’m always looking for new storytime songs, so if you have any favorites, please share them in the comments below.

Happy Singing!


Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy! A Storytime About Frogs

April is National Frog Month, which made for a fun theme for Outdoor Musical Storytime this week.

I started by showing pictures of two frogs that live in our area: the Pacific Tree Frog and the California Red-Legged Frog. Then we moved on to our celebration of frogs through books, songs, rhymes, and puppets.

Here’s what we did:


Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley; photos by Nic Bishop

This is such a beautiful book, and it worked perfectly for my storytime group. The photos follow an adorable red-eyed tree frog as he wakes up one night and looks for food in the rain forest (while trying to avoid becoming food himself). The kids were mesmerized!

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack

This book appears to be out of print, which is a shame, because it’s so much fun to read aloud. The story, about a frog who narrowly escapes a boy with a jar, a hungry turtle, a flamingo, and an alligator, alternates between “Aaahhh!” when the frog is in danger, and “Ah ha!” when he thinks he’s found an escape. The kids loved joining in, especially on the “Aaahh’s!”

The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Keith Faulkner; illustrated by Jonathan Lambert.

It’s always fun to do a pop-up book, because the kids are usually fascinated. (I once had a toddler fall down flat on his bottom when he saw me pull a pull-tab on a pop-up that made something move on the page). This is a hilarious retelling of the old joke about the wide-mouthed frog who enjoys asking other animals what they like to eat, until he meets an alligator who eats “delicious wide-mouthed frogs,” and the frog makes his mouth very small and hops away. The large mouths of the animals are the real draw here. I read the part of the frog while holding up a frog puppet, and my coworker Charlotte read the rest of the parts.

Songs & Rhymes:

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Charlotte and I each held up a frog puppet for this one, while holding up our other hand to show the number of frogs remaining. I like to stop between each verse to ask the kids how many frogs are left. I also like to have the puppet pretend to slurp up an imaginary frog on a child’s head after the “Yum! Yum!”:

Five green and speckled frogs
Sat on a speckled log.
Eating the most delicious bugs! Yum Yum!
One jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool,
Now there are four green speckled frogs!

Four green and speckled frogs…etc.

Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky

This is a great lap-sit rhyme, as well as a fun movement rhyme for toddlres and preschoolers. For babies, I tell the caregivers to bounce them from knee to knee, and then pick them up and swoop them down between their legs at the end. For older kids, I have them jump forward and backward, or side to side, and then crouch down on the ground at the end.

Down by the banks of the hanky panky,

Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky,

With a hip! A hop! A hippety hop!

Jump off the lily pad and


Mmm-Ahh! Went the Little Green Frog

This is a silly camp song that’s always a lot of fun. There are LOTS of different versions, and additional verses. The one I do is fairly close to the one in the JBrary video below:

MMM-AHH! Went the little green frog one day. (blink your eyes and then stick out your tongue)

MMM-AHH! Went the little green frog.

MMM-AHH! Went the little green frog one day.

And they all went MMM-AHH- AHH!

But we all know frogs go “Flow-do-di-o-di-oh! (wiggle your fingers)



We all know frogs go “Flow-do-di-o-di-oh!

They don’t go MMM-AHH-AHH!

Caribbean Amphibean

I couldn’t find the composer of this song, but if anyone knows who it was, please tell me in the comments. This song is a hilariously horrible earworm, but perfect for the theme. We did it as our instrument play-along at the end.

[G]I know a [D]tropical [C]is[G]-land,
Where the [C]mango moon and [Am]banana sun [D]shine.
[G]And on this [D]tropical [C]is[G]-land,
[C]There lives a [D]cousin of [G]mine.

[Am]Sometimes he lives in the [D]water,
[Am]Sometimes he lives on the [G]land.
[C]Sometimes he likes to go [G]sun himself,
On [C] soft Ca[D]-ribbean [G]-sand

He’s a [C]Caribbean Am[G]-phibian
He [D]likes to hop in the [G]tropical sea.
[C]Caribbean Am[G]-phibian,
A [D]frog in a coconut [G] tree.

[G]The flying [D]fish and the [C]tur[G]-tles,
They’ve seen him[C] hop where the [Am]pineapples [D] grow.
[G] He likes to see [D] all [C]is[G]-lands,
[C]So island [D] hopping he’ll [G] go.

[Am]Sometimes he hops to Ja[D]-maica.
[Am]Sometimes to Haiti he [G] hops.
[C]Sometimes a warm Puerto [G] Rican beach
Is [C] where he [D] finally [G] stops!

He’s a [C]Caribbean Am[G]-phibian,
He [D]likes to hop in the [G]tropical sea.
[C]Caribbean Am[G]-phibian,
A [D]frog in a coconut [G] tree.

[Am]Sometimes he lives in the [D]water,
[Am]Sometimes he lives on the [G]land.
[C]Sometimes he likes to play [G] music in
An [C] all am[D]phibean [G] band.

He’s a [C]Caribbean Am[G]-phibian.
He [D]likes to hop in the [G]tropical sea.
[C]Caribbean Am[G]-phibian,
A [D]frog in a coconut [G] tree.


He’s a [C]Caribbean Am[G]-phibian.
He [D]likes to hop in the [G]tropical sea.
[C]Caribbean Am[G]-phibian,
A [D]frog in a coconut [G] tree.

Ribbit Ribbit!

Stay & Play: Watercolor Frogs

I went really simple for this one, and just brought a frog coloring sheet and watercolor paint sets. (I used this coloring sheet from ColoringBay.com). I also gave them option of painting whatever they wanted on the back side of the coloring sheet.

The beauty of doing a frog painting is that frogs come in all different colors, and we had some beautiful rainbow-colored frogs in the end. It usually takes the kids a few minutes to figure out the logistics of watercolor painting (dipping the brush in the water, and then into the paint), but once they get the hang of it, they never want to stop!

Hoppy Frog Month! If you have favorite frog books or songs, please share them in the comments below.

Spidey-Sense: A Storytime About Spiders

I had planned on doing this storytime way back in March, in honor of National Save a Spider Day on March 14, but since it’s an outdoor storytime, it kept getting cancelled due to rain. I had fun doing it today though, especially because we had a couple of older preschoolers, which allowed for some longer books.

I started by sharing photos of three types of spiders that are common here in the Bay Area: the California Tarantula, the Johnson Jumper, and the Cellar Spider (Daddy Long Legs). I also showed the kids how to do the ASL sign for Spider, which is a fun one to do.

Here’s are the books and songs that we did:


The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Iza Trapani

This is one of my favorite nursery rhyme adaptations. It takes the traditional “Itsy Bitsy” song and adds additional verses about the spider’s attempts to climb a wall, a pail, and a rocking chair, before finally spinning a web at the top of a maple tree. The illustrations are adorable.

Aaaargh, Spider! by Lydia Monks

Another all-time favorite picture book of mine. In this one, a lovable spider tries to become a family pet, but keeps getting put outside, until finally one of the family members notices her beautiful sparkling webs. The kids enjoyed joining in on the repeated “Aaaargh, Spider! Out You Go!” refrain. (The large text provides a great opportunity to point out the big words on the page, and help them make the text to speech connection). The ending got lots of laughs (and shudders!).

Are You a Spider? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries

I love this Backyard Books series, which uses a simple conversational approach to teaching young kids about the life-cycle of small creatures like spiders and snails. In this one, the author explains that if you’re a spider, you will hatch out of an egg, spin a web, eat flies, and have to be very careful to avoid birds and wasps. It was a much longer book than I usually read for this storytime, but I was happy to hear the families talking about how spiders have eight legs and eight eyes during the Stay & Play at the end.


The Itsy Bitsy Spider

When I do this song with toddlers and babies, I usually tell them that they can do the traditional finger motions (as shown here in this video by Katie Cutie Kids TV), or just wiggle their fingers like spider legs, or creep their hands up their bodies (it’s fun to have the grown-ups do this with babies, which gets lots of giggles). I usually do a second verse about the “Great Big Hairy Spider,” which we sing in a low voice, and sometimes add in a verse about the “Teensy Weensy Spider” in a high voice.

The [C] itsy bitsy spider went [G7] up the water [C] spout.
[C] Down came the rain and [F] washed the spider [C] out.
[C] Out came the sun and [G7] dried up all the [C] rain,
and the [C] itsy bitsy spider went [G7] up the spout [C] again.

I’m a Hungry Spider

To the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot” (If you don’t know the tune, here’s a video by Sing With Bella). We used the ASL sign for Spider for the first line.

I’m a hungry spider (Sign for Spider)

Look at me! (Point to yourself)

Eight legs to walk on, (Wiggle eight fingers)

And eight eyes to see (Point to your eyes).

When a bug gets caught in my web (Move your finger in the air like a fly),

Here I come!

I wrap it up tight (Move your hands in circles),

And YUM! YUM! YUM! (Mime eating).

There’s a Spider on the Floor

To the tune of If You’re Happy and You Know It. This is an old Raffi song, although I usually change the lyrics a little. Claire mimed the actions with a spider puppet, while the rest of us made spiders with our hands.

There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
Who could ask for any more than a spider on the floor?
There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.

Now the spider’s on my leg, on my leg.
Now the spider’s on my leg, on my leg.
Oh, he’s really, really big, this old spider on my leg.
There’s a spider on my leg, on my leg.

Now the spider’s on my tummy, on my tummy…
Oh, I feel so very funny with this spider on my tummy!…

Now the spider’s on my neck, on my neck…
Oh, I’m gonna’ be a wreck, I’ve got a spider on my neck!…

Now the spider’s on my face, on my face…
Oh, I’m such a big disgrace. I’ve got a spider on my face!…

Now the spider’s on my head, on my head…
Oh, it fills my heart with dread to have this spider on my head!…

Spoken: But it jumps off!

Now the spider’s on the floor, on the floor…

Who could ask for any more than a spider on the floor?…

Un Elefante

This is a traditional Mexican children’s song, which you can hear below in this video from VideoKids TV Canciones. The Spanish lyrics mean “An elephant balanced on a spider’s web. When he saw that it ‘resisted’ (held his weight), he called another elephant.”

If you’d like an English version of the song (with a slightly different meaning to the lyrics), here’s a video of a cute one from Canticos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1XC8cuio24)

[C] Un elefante se balanceaba,
sobre la tela de una a-[G]raña.
Como veía que resistía,
fue a llamar a otro ele-[C]fante.

Dos elefantes se balanceaban,
sobre la tela de una araña.
Como veían que resistía,
fueron a llamar a otro elefante.

Tres elefantes…

Stay & Play: Paint Splotch Spiders

This was really simple and fun! Before the storytime, I folded pieces of white cardstock in half lengthwise (like a book). For the Stay & Play, I put out the folded cardstock, two colors of tempera paint, googly eyes (the kind with sticker backs), and markers.

To make the spider shape, the kids opened their folded cardstock and dropped a small drop of paint of each color along the center fold (it helps to have an adult supervise this, so they don’t end up with too much paint). They then folded the cardstock again, and pressed down on it to spread the paint. When they opened the cardstock again, they had a symmetrical shape that they decorated with googly eyes and markers.

In the two examples above, the kids (both preschoolers) were making an effort to count out eight eyes, although they got a little carried away on the legs. It was great to hear them counting though!

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

Sprouting Up: A Storytime About Growing Things

Today was the first Outdoor Musical Storytime I’ve been able to hold in a month, because it’s been so stormy every Tuesday for the past three weeks. So, in honor of the first day that actually LOOKED like spring anyway, we did a storytime about flowers, plants, and gardening.

Here’s what we did:


Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Mathiesen

Like Tap the Magic Tree by the same author, this colorful picture book provides interactive motions for kids to do: counting to three to plant the seeds, tapping the cloud to make it rain (I just have them pretend, rather than actually touching the book), clapping to bring the sun, etc. The kids were thoroughly engaged.

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Sweet, simple book with colorful cut-outs showing how different living things transform: an egg hatches into a chicken, a seed grows into a flower, a tadpole turns into a frog, etc. The kids enjoyed calling what each one was going to turn into on the next page.

My Garden by Kevin Henkes

This is a little longer than the books I typically read for this storytime audience, but it’s such an imaginative, whimsical book, and kids always seem to enjoy it. It describes a little girl’s dreams of having her own garden, where the rabbits are made of chocolate, jelly beans grow into jelly bean bushes, and flowers always bloom.


Ring Around the Rosy

This traditional nursery rhyme usually has kids hold hands and walk in a circle, but I just had them spin around in place. We did the song three times, and the kids loved it! I can’t remember who taught me the second verse years ago, but it’s nice for getting everyone back on their feet again. Here’s a video from Little Baby Bum with the tune:

Ring around the Rosy, (spin around in place)

A pocket full of posies, (spin around in place)

Ashes, Ashes,

We all fall DOWN! (drop to the ground).

Fishes in the water,

Fishes in the sea,

We all jump up with a

One, Two, Three! (jump up)

Oh, Mister Sun

A great song for welcoming the sun after all the rain we’ve been having. I do the Raffi version, which is shown here with the motions:

Oh, [C] Mister Sun, Sun, [F] Mister Golden Sun,

[C] Please shine [G7] down on [C] me!

Oh, [C] Mister Sun, Sun, [F] Mister Golden Sun,

[G7] Hiding behind a tree.

[C] These little children are [G7] asking you,

[C] To please come out so we can [G7] play with you,

Oh, [C] Mister Sun, Sun, [F] Mister Golden Sun,

C] Please shine [G7] down on [C] me!

Butterfly Song

My coworker Angela taught me this one. We handed out play scarves before we sang it, and had the kids bundle them up to be chrysalises and wave them in the air to be butterflies. My coworker Claire also showed the different stages of the butterfly lifecycle with this cool puppet. The song is to the tune of Up on the Housetop. Here’s a video by Colleen Niedermeyer:

First comes a butterfly (Wave scarf)

Who lays an egg. (Make a circle with your thumb and index finger).

Out comes a caterpillar (Wiggle your finger like a caterpillar)

With lots of legs.

Now see the caterpillar spin and spin (Spin the scarf),

A little chrysalis to sleep in (Bundle scarf up in a ball).

Oh, oh, oh, wait and see…

Oh, oh, oh, wait and see…

Out of the chrysalis, my, oh, my!

Out comes a beautiful butterfly! (Wave scarf).

Shoo Fly

One of the first songs I learned when I started out as a children’s librarian was this variation on the traditional Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me song, originally by Thomas Bishop. I had the kids wave their scarves for the “Shoo Fly” parts, and took suggestions for what animal the kids would like to be for the other verses. We ended up purring like a cat, and flying like a butterfly.

Here’s a recording of this version of this song, by Greg & Steve, who I think may have written it:

Shoo, Fly, don’t bother me! (Wave hands or scarf as if shooing a fly)

Shoo, Fly, don’t bother me!

Shoo, Fly, don’t bother me,

I’ll tell you what I want to be.

I wiggle, I wiggle,

I wiggle like a wiggling worm.

I wiggle, I wiggle,

I wiggle like a wiggling worm.

Oh, Shoo, Fly, don’t bother me…

The Lollipop Tree by Burl Ives

This song fit perfectly as a follow-up to My Garden, so we did it as our instrument play-along at the end. Here’s the recording by Burl Ives:

[C] One fine [G] day in
[C] early [G] Spring, I [C] played a [G] funny [C] trick.
[C] Right in the [G] yard
[C] behind our [G] house I [C] planted a [G] lollipop [C] stick.
[F] Then every day I watered it well,
And watched it [G] careful-[C]ly.
I [G] hoped one day that [C] stick would [C] grow
[F] To be a [G] lollipop [C] tree.

[C] Ha, Ha, Ha, [F] Ho, Ho, Ho!
[C] What a place to [G7] be!
[C] Under my lollipop, [F] lollipop, lollipop,
[C] Lolli-lolli-[G] lollipop [C] tree.
[C] Under my lollipop, [F] lollipop, lollipop,
[C] Lolli-lolli-[G] lollipop [C] tree!

[C] Then one [G] day I [C] woke to
[G] Find a [C] very [G] lovely [C] sight:
A tree all [G] full of [C] lollipops
Had [G] grown in the [C] dark of the night.
[F] I sat beneath that wonderful tree,
And looked up [G] with a [C] grin.
[C] And when I [G] opened up [Am] my [C] mouth,
[G] A pop would drop right [C] in!

[C] Ha, Ha, Ha, [F] Ho, Ho, Ho!
[C] What a place to [G7] be!
[C] Under my lollipop, [F] lollipop, lollipop,
[C] Lolli-lolli-[G] lollipop [C] tree.
Under my lollipop, [F] lollipop, lollipop,
[C] Lolli-lolli-[G] lollipop [C] tree!

[C]Winter came and days grew cold,
As Winter [G] days will [C] do.
On my tree, my [Am] lovely [C] tree,
Not [G] one little lollipop [C] grew.
[F] From every [C] branch an [F] icicle hung,
The twigs were bare as [C] bones.
But when I [G] broke the [Am] icicles [C] off,
They [F] turned to [G] ice cream [C] cones!

[C] Ha, Ha, Ha, [F] Ho, Ho, Ho!
[C] How I laughed with [G7] glee!
[C] Under my lollipop, [F] lollipop, lollipop,
[C] Lolli-lolli-[G] lollipop [C] tree.
Under my lollipop, [F] lollipop, lollipop,
[C] Lolli-lolli-[G] lollipop [C] tree!

Stay & Play: Flower Painting

I’ve posted about flower painting before, but it’s one of my favorite process art activities. This morning before storytime, I picked a bunch of flowers from my yard. I tried to stick to edible flowers, just in case anyone tried to sample one, so I had nasturtiums, geraniums, borage, oxalis (sour grass), lavender, and oregano leaves. For the Stay & Play, we just put the flowers out on the tables with some blank paper, and the kids smashed them to explore the different colors that they made. Always a hit, and so simple. There’s not even very much to clean up at the end.

Happy Spring! What are your favorite books about plants and growing things? Please share them in the comments below.