DO Try This at Home! Storytimes for your Baby or Toddler. Part 3 – The Songs and Action Rhymes

Submitted by CCCL_ElayneP

In this 3-part series, you'll discover tips to help you practice Storytimes at home. Reading, talking, singing, and playing are the best ways to develop early literacy skills which help your child get ready to read when the time comes. This should start when they are brand new. Pick a time of day when your baby is fed and well-rested and give them your personal version of Storytime, including songs, bounces, peek-a-boo and reading their favorite books. So warm up those vocal cords, grab some books and get ready for fun with your little one!  

In Part 1 of this series, we provided  information for choosing the books, as well as some specific book recommendations. In part 2, we listed our favorite bounces and lifts and explained why these activities are not only lots of fun, but important for development too. Now in Part 3, we provide more ways for you and your child to bond through singing and action rhymes. Be sure to check our catalog for Children’s Music CDs to play at home or in the car.

Songs/Action Rhymes (Playing/Singing) Have fun with music every day, as singing to your child introduces them to rhyming, develops vocabulary and listening skills, and encourages memorization. Research shows that music stimulates the left side of a baby’s brain helping develop creativity and expression. Songs and rhymes slow down language as children hear words broken down into smaller sounds and syllables, which is an important early literacy skill. And of course, singing or chanting rhythmically can soothe a fussy baby anytime, no matter the quality of that singing! Here are a few of our favorites from Storytimes: 

Twinkle, Twinkle little star (open/close hands above head, moving them side to side)
How I wonder what you are, (point to side of head)
Up above the world so high, (circle arms up)
Like a diamond in the sky (open close hands together above head)
Twinkle, twinkle little star 
How I wonder what you are. 

Itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout, (alternate thumb and forefinger climbing up)
Down came the rain, and washed the spider out. (fingers dance downward like rain)
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain, (circle arms up)
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again! (fingers climb up again) 

Here is the beehive, where are the bees? (hold up fist)
Hidden away where nobody sees (hand on top of fist)
Watch! And you’ll see them come out of the hive,
1, 2, 3, 4, 5....Bzzzzz! (count each finger as it opens, then buzz like a bee and tickle) 

Ten fat peas in a peapod pressed (both hands form fists)
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest (show one finger on each hand, then open fingers)
They grew, and grew, and did not stop, (hands go up)
Until one day, that pod went POP! (clap on POP) 

Open, shut them, open shut them, (open, shut hands)
Give a little clap, clap, clap,
Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Lay them in your lap, lap, lap.
Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them (fingers crawl up baby’s tummy)
Right up to your chin, chin, chin,
Open up your little mouth, 
But do not let them in! (hide hands behind back)