Little Cat

My own preschooler adores this song so I’ve been singing it a lot at home. Little Cat is by children’s musican Nancy Stewart, and I found it via KCLS. Nancy kindly provides the chords on her site, and I’ve transposed and simplified just a touch. If you incorporate American Sign Language in your storytimes, see Nancy’s descriptions of the signs (or watch the King County video for an example).


Little Cat
        C    G7            C    G7

Little cat (meow), little cat (meow)
           C          G7           C
There’s a little cat walking all around
              G7           C    G7

Little cat (meow), little cat (meow)
            C        G7            C

There’s a little cat walking all around


Verses
Other animals...

Wake Up

After a winter of rain clouds in my lovely gray city, I’m happy to wake up to the extra light of a spring morning. Even if I need to get up an hour earlier. This Woody Guthrie song is for all of us in daylight savings zones who may be yawning a little more this week.

For the full lyrics, head over to the official Guthrie site. And to hear it, check out the albums Nursery Days or 20 Grow Big Songs, or listen to a clip via Smithsonian Folkways.


Wake Up
C
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up
                                G7
Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up
     C                          F

Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up
     C        G7                C

Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up

C
Open eyes, open eyes, open eyes, open eyes
                                      G7
Open eyes, open eyes, open eyes, open eyes
     C                          F

Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up
     C           G7                    C

Open eyes, open eyes, open eyes, open eyes


Verses
Stretch arms...
Stretch feet...
Stretch hands and toes...

Here We Go Looby Loo (and variations)

Looby Loo is a traditional movement song with a similar pattern to The Hokey Pokey. The verses are identical, though sung to a different tune. If you have room in your storytime space, try walking in a circle during the chorus, then stand in place for the verses.

Storytime-ready variations include This is Big by Melissa Depper and We Put Our Umbrellas Up by Heather McPhail. As usual, click on song titles to see my sources for particular lyrics.


Here We Go Looby Loo
C
Here we go looby loo
                 G7

Here we go looby light
C

Here we go looby loo
G7                 C

All on a Saturday night

C
You put your right hand in
                         G7

You take your right hand out
C

You give your hand a shake, shake, shake
G7                 C

And turn yourself about

Repeat chorus before singing each new verse


Sally Go Round the Sun
C
Sally go round the sun
                    G7

Sally go round the moon
C

Sally go round the chimney tops
G7          C

Every afternoon



Here We Go Up Up Up
C
Here we go up up up
                      G7

Here we go down down down
C

Here we go back and forth
G7                        C

And here we go round and around



This is Big
C
This is big, big big
                       G7

This is small, small, small
C

This is short, short, short
G7                   C

This is tall, tall, tall

C
This is fast fast fast
                     G7

This is slow, slow, slow
C

This is yes, yes, yes
G7              C

This is no, no, no



We Put Our Umbrellas Up
C
We put our umbrellas up
                       G7

We take our umbrellas down
C

We give our umbrellas a shake, shake, shake
G7                  C

And turn them all around



Here We Go Walking Slow
C
Here we go walking slow
                    G7

Here we go walking fast
C

Here we go walking round and round
G7                   C

Round the block and back

Verses
We hold hands walking slow...
We climb steps so slow...
We watch for cars going slow...

 Peace Like A River

I don’t know where I learned Peace Like a River, but it may have been from Elizabeth Mitchell’s You Are My Little Bird. She certainly has a lovely rendition. The song itself is much older, tracing back to an African American spiritual.

For storytime, I’ve replaced the word “soul” with “heart,” and added a couple qualities that feel more active to me. This disrupts the continuity of water metaphors, but I don’t think the kids will mind. If you’d like to try a few ASL signs instead of strumming, you can pick them up from my friends at Jbrary.


Peace Like A River 
          C
I've got peace like a river
          F            C
I've got peace like a river
                                   G7
I've got peace like a river in my heart
          C
I've got peace like a river
          F            C
I've got peace like a river
                       G7          C
I've got peace like a river in my heart


Verses
Love like the ocean...
Joy like a fountain...
Dreams like a forest...
Strength like a mountain...

I Love My Rooster

This cumulative song has a number of titles and alternate lyrics. I heard it originally as “I had a rooster, my rooster pleased me,” but I much prefer this “love” version that I learned from my colleague, Ning. Changing two simple words evokes so much more gentle friendliness in the animal-child relationship.

I’ve replaced the name of the tree with a local variety so we can talk in storytime about what grows in our neighbourhoods. And then I rewrote it with dinosaurs to have a little fun.

I Had a Rooster

I Love My Rooster
          C
I love my rooster, my rooster loves me
                         G7
I feed my rooster by the big maple tree
C                       F
My little rooster goes cock-a-doodle-doo
     C          G7         C
Dee doodle dee doodle dee doodle dee doo

           C
I love my kitten, my kitten loves me
                        G7
I feed my kitten by the big maple tree
C                      
My little kitten goes meow meow meow
                        F
My little rooster goes cock-a-doodle-doo
     C          G7         C
Dee doodle dee doodle dee doodle dee doo

           C
I love my duck, my duck loves me
                      G7
I feed my duck by the big maple tree
C                    
My little duck goes quack quack quack
                      
My little kitten goes meow meow meow
                        F
My little rooster goes cock-a-doodle-doo
     C          G7         C
Dee doodle dee doodle dee doodle dee doo
etc

I Love My Dinosaur

I Love My Dinosaur
           C
I love my tyrannosaur, my tyrannosaur loves me
                              G7
I feed my tyrannosaur by the prehistoric tree
C                           F
My little tyrannosaur goes roar roar roar
      C           G7          C
Roar roary, roar roary, roar roary roar roar

Verses
Triceratops... snort...
Pteranodon... squawk..
Brontosaurus... chomp...



Felt Story Extension
If you already have a set of felt animals (farm, wild, prehistoric, or otherwise) just add a tree.  I free-handed both my trees, and adapted my rooster from an existing hen pattern. The rest of the farm animals are visiting from my Old Macdonald set, while the dinosaurs come from the template shared on Mel’s Desk.

Flannel Friday is hosted this week by Mollie at What Happens in Storytime…

Aiken Drum (and variations)

This traditional song is so adaptable and participatory that unless you’re working with a felt story, you probably sing it differently every time. It’s delightfully fun to hear the children’s suggestions for building Aiken Drum. And if you give each child a turn, they’ll have the opportunity to verbalize their thoughts, contribute to the narrative, and practice turn-taking and self-regulation.

I’d only ever sung this about food, but I’ve just made my own felt version to expand discussion to shapes and colours as well. Heather McNeil, in Read, Rhyme and Romp also suggests building Aiken Drum from parts of animals or vehicles.

My chords are transposed from the version on Traditional Music. You can simplify further by replacing the F chords with G7, as Storytime Songs does.

Aiken Drum Food
Aiken Drum
      C               F            C            G7

There was a man lived in the moon, in the moon, in the moon
      C               F                   C        G7    C

There was a man lived in the moon and his name was Aiken Drum
       C              F        C        G7

And he played upon a ladle, a ladle, a ladle
    C             F             C       G7    C

He played upon a ladle and his name was Aiken Drum

Verses
His eyes were made of blueberries...
His nose was made of a grape...
His mouth was made of watermelon...
His ears were made of cheese...
His earrings were made of green peppers...
His hair was made of strawberries...
His neck was made of a cracker...



Flip Flap Jack
      C         F             C             G7

There was a man made of food, made of food, made of food
      C         F                    C       G7         C

There was a man made of food and his name was Flip Flap Jack
        C               F          C          G7

And he danced upon the table, the table, the table
    C               F             C       G7         C

He danced upon the table and his name was Flip Flap Jack

Verses
His head was made of a pancake...
His hair was made of whipped cream...
His eyes were made of eggs...
His body was made of a waffle...
His arms were two bananas...
His legs were strips of bacon...



Other Variations Include
Aiken Drum (Spanish Version)
Musical Instruments
Animals, Shapes, Vehicles, etc

Aiken Drum Shapes

Felt Story Extension
I made two Aiken Drum felts from one template, but they could be made reversible if painted lightly. One tells the traditional food theme, while the other simply focuses on shapes and colours. I cut two of each shape to ensure flexibility, allowing any piece to represent any body part. Fewer shapes/foods will suffice, but I like the variation, and the creativity that it inspires.

For more great felt storytelling ideas, see this week’s Flannel Friday, hosted by Anne at So Tomorrow.

You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song

My wonderful colleague Els reintroduced me to this classic Ella Jenkins song.  It’s quick to learn, participatory, highly adaptable and very catchy. Perfect for storytime. You can listen to a sample of it here. Or check your library collections. Everyone should have some Ella Jenkins; she’s an institution.

You can sing this as an action song, a daily activity song, an opening/closing song, or whatever else you might come up with.

Els worked out these chords in C. I’m including a 3-chord F version as well for those (like me) whose vocal range is reduced by endless winter colds. It sounds better with that 4th chord, but I can’t bear to fumble with a B during storytime.


You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song (C)
C

You'll sing a song
    Am

And I'll sing a song
    F                   G7

And we'll sing a song together
C
You'll sing a song
    Am
And I'll sing a song
   G7              C
In warm or wintry weather



You’ll Sing a Song and I’ll Sing a Song (F)
F

You'll sing a song
    Dm

And I'll sing a song
    F                   C7

And we'll sing a song together
F
You'll sing a song
    Dm
And I'll sing a song
   C7             F
In warm or wintry weather


Variations Include:
Actions: You dance around… / You wave your scarf…
Babytime: You peek-a-boo… / You roll your hands…
Daily Activities: You wash your hands… / You put on socks…
Musical: You hum along… / You snap your fingers…
Opening/Closing: You say hello… / You wave goodbye…