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.

Bedtime Stories

Worry Doll by Addie

Worry Doll by Addie

Sorry for the lapse in my posts!  I have a backlog of storytimes I need to write up, but I’ll start with the one I did last Wednesday, because it featured some of my favorite picture books.  The theme was Bedtime.  Here’s what we read:

napping

The Napping House by Audrey Wood (Amazon.com link)

A fun, cumulative rhyme about a pile of sleepers that includes a granny, a child, a dog, a cat, a mouse, and a flea.  I like to read it in a hushed voice until the dramatic turn in the middle, when the flea bites the mouse.  The kids giggled as the pile of creatures grew bigger and bigger, and laughed when the bed broke.

squeaky

The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald; illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma (Amazon.com link)

Margaret Read MacDonald is a master at retelling old tales.  Her picture books usually include lots of repeated words or phrases for kids to chime in on.   A few weeks back, I read Pickin’ Peas, which one family enjoyed so much that they returned to the library later in the week to check out.  This story is about a little boy who is sleeping over at his grandparents’ house.  At bedtime, his Grandma says, “Now when I turn off the light, and close the door, are you going to be scared?” “NO! NOT ME!” says the boy.  But when she closes the door, it makes an awful squeak, and the little boy cries.  So Grandma brings in the cat to keep the boy company.  But of course the door squeaks again.  So Grandma brings in the dog.  The story gets more and more absurd, as more and more animals crowd into the bed.  The kids and parents laughed at Grandma kissing the pig goodnight, and dressing the horse in pajamas, and the kids loved saying the repeated, “No! Not me!” every time.  Always a hit.

granny

What! Cried Granny…An Almost Bedtime Story by Kate Lum; illustrated by Adrian Johnson (Amazon.com link)

This is one of my all-time favorite read-alouds.  It works well for a wide range of ages.  Like The Squeaky Door, it is about a little boy (whose name is Patrick) sleeping over at his Granny’s house.  But when Granny tells Patrick to climb into bed, he informs her that he doesn’t have a bed there.  “What?” cries Granny, and rushes out to cut down some trees and build Patrick a bed.  But then she discovers he doesn’t have a pillow.  This book is great for promoting print awareness (you can point out the word “What?!” which gets bigger and bigger every time it is repeated), and prediction (the kids enjoy guessing what Granny will have to make next.  But it’s also just a funny story, with big, brightly colored illustrations.

pigeon

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late by Mo Willems (Amazon.com link)

Whenever I have a Mo Willems book in my storytime stack, the kids always spot it right away, and demand that I read it.  So it was no surprise when someone shouted out, “Read the Pigeon book!”  This one, like the other books about that naughty Pigeon, encourages the kids to say “No!” to the Pigeon’s constant wheedling, this time about why he should be allowed to stay up a little longer.

lullaby

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas (Amazon.com link)

Jan Thomas writes a lot of great read-alouds, full of humor and surprise.  In this one, a cowboy is singing his cows to sleep, except “EEEEEK!  Is that a huge hairy spider?”  No, it’s just a flower.  The kids love the repeated, “Eeeks!” and the dramatic irony of knowing when an actual danger appears.  I use a tune my former manager, Thom Ball, came up with for the lullaby, which goes like this: 

SONGS AND RHYMES

Five in the Bed

When I did this at storytime, I actually made it Ten in the Bed, which obviously takes about twice as long to sing.  Click on the triangle for the tune:

There were five in the bed (hold up five fingers)
And the little one said,
“I’m crowded! Roll over!” (roll hands around each other)
So they all rolled over,
And one fell out,
There were four in the bed
And the little one said…
(Repeat, counting down until one.)…

There was one in the bed,
And that little one said,
“I’ve got the whole bed to myself!
I’ve got the whole bed to myself!
I’ve got the whole bed to myself!
I’ve got the whole bed to myself!”

No More Monkeys

I sing the version by Asheba from Putumayo’s Animal Playground.  Here are the lyrics, and ukulele chords (although actually in the recording, I’m playing the new banjolele my in-laws gave me for my birthday.  Squee!  Instant tiny banjo! So easy to play.) Click on the triangle to hear the tune:

Five monkeys were playing on the bed. (C)
One fell off and bumped his head. (C G7)
Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said, (C F)
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” (C G7 C)

“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!  (C)
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!  (C G7)
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”(C F)
That is what the doctor said. (C G7 C)

Four monkeys were jumping on the bed…

(Repeat, counting down to one…)

One monkey was playing on the bed,
She fell off and bumped her head.
Mama called the children, and the children said,
“YES! More monkeys jumping on the bed!”

“Yes! More monkeys jumping on the bed!
Yes! More monkeys jumping on the bed!
Yes! More monkeys jumping on the bed!”
That is what the children said.

CRAFT: Worry Dolls

Worry Doll by Sarah

Worry Doll by Sarah

I was originally going to read Silly Billy by Anthony Browne to introduce the worry doll idea, but the copy I ordered over from another branch didn’t arrive in time.  The kids loved making the worry dolls anyway.  If you aren’t familiar with worry dolls (also known as trouble dolls), they are a tradition that comes from Guatemala, where kids are given tiny dolls to tell their worries to, and keep under their pillows at night.  The book Silly Billy is about a boy who has so many worries that he makes worry dolls for his worry dolls.

For our worry doll craft, I gave the kids clothespins (the kind with the round top), markers to draw faces, pipe cleaners for the arms, and kids’ scissors and multicolored yarn to make hair and clothes.  We used gluesticks to stick the hair on, and wrapped the yarn around the clothespins for the clothes.  The kids needed some help securing the ends of the yarn (I tucked the ends under the wrapped part).  But the parents seemed to enjoy helping with the dolls, and the kids were excited to take them home.

What are your favorite books about bedtime?