Sleeping Bunnies

Sleeping Bunnies is one of my favourite action songs for toddlers and preschoolers, and here’s why: The kids love it so it focuses their attention better than anything (other than Zoom Zoom Zoom or The Elevator Song). It helps them practice self-regulation and instructional listening skills (now we sleep, now we hop, now we stop). The song is adaptable, and encourages discussion. My preschoolers yell out requests (Cat! Dinosaur! Robot!), and we decide what action they should perform when they wake up. There are several minor variations on the lyrics, and many of my storytime kids have sung it elsewhere, so we also talk about how there can be different ways to sing the same song.

My chords are largely indebted to Miss Mary Liberry who includes a very useful instructional video for the song and some beautifully simple finger picking in the middle, and to The Show Me Librarian for including Mary’s transcript. The version I sing is slightly different so I’ve adjusted it accordingly. I’ve also omitted the finger picking for simplicity’s sake (but I highly recommend you head over to Mary’s page and try it out). And for once, I’m including two different keys. C is definitely the simplest ukulele key, but I prefer to sing Sleeping Bunnies in G.

Not sure how the song sounds? Listen to Mary, Jbrary, or KCLS’ Tell Me a Story.


Sleeping Bunnies (C)
C              [G7]               F               C

See the little bunnies sleeping, till it's nearly noon
G7        C         G7           C

Shall we wake them with a merry tune

C

Oh, so still. Are they ill?
G7   C

Wake up... and

C

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop
C                   G7        C

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop
C

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop, and
C                     G7         C

Stop little bunnies, stop, stop, STOP!



Sleeping Bunnies (G)
G               [D]               C                G

See the little bunnies sleeping, till it's nearly noon
D         G         D            G

Shall we wake them with a merry tune

G

Oh, so still. Are they ill?
D    G

Wake up... and

G

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop
G                    D         G

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop
G

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop, and
G                     D           G

Stop little bunnies, stop, stop, STOP!

Shake My Sillies Out

Our summer of action songs continues with this wonderfully wiggly storytime favourite (and with credit to the songwriters, Raffi and B & B Simpson).

The original version uses the chords D, G, and A7 (which you can transpose to C/F/G7 or G/C/D7 if that’s easier for you to sing or play). Since I like to keep things super-simple for storytime, I’ve chosen this two-chord version I found via the Queen City Ukes Songbook.


Shake My Sillies Out
F

I gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out
C7             F

Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
F

Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
    C7                  F

And wiggle my waggles away

Verses
Clap...
Jump...
Yawn...

Do Your Ears Hang Low (and variations)

I love action songs. They get kids and caregivers up (and down and up and down) and moving. They refocus the restless, and help amazing little brains engage with the music and words. These are among the most popular, fun, and useful songs at any storytime I’ve participated in.

The Elevator Song has been my own favourite (and most requested!) storytime song for the past five or six years. I learned it from a talented then-student librarian named Sara, and I’m guessing she picked it up from MaryLee Sunseri’s album Baby-O.

I’m including the original tune (of course), as well as a few fun variations which all come to me via Jbrary. Click the titles to learn more from Dana & Lindsey.


Do Your Ears Hang Low
C

Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro?
                                    G7

Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?
         C

Can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier?
             G7    C

Do your ears hang low?



Elevator Song
C

Oh the city is great and the city is grand
                                      G7

There are lots of tall buildings on a little piece of land
        C

And we live way up on the 57th floor
                               G7          C

And this is what we do when we go out the door


C

Take the elevator up, take the elevator down
                               G7

Take the elevator up, take the elevator down
          C

Take the elevator up, take the elevator down
        G7      C

Then we turn around



Country Song
C

Oh the country is great and the country is grand
                                      G7

There are not a lot of buildings on a whole lot of land
        C

And we live way out by the forest and the trees
                                G7              C

We grow a lot of vegetables and maybe keep some bees

C
Put the seeds in the earth, take the vegetables out
                                     G7

Put the seeds in the earth, take the vegetables out
         C

Put the seeds in the earth, take the vegetables out
        G7        C

And we dance and shout



Ocean Song
C

Oh the ocean is great and the ocean is grand
                                  G7

There are lots of tall ships and very little land
        C

And we sleep down deep in a hammock near the floor
                               G7         C

And this is what we do when we go out the door


C

Ride the waves going up, ride the waves going down
                                   G7

Ride the waves going up, ride the waves going down
          C

Ride the waves going up, ride the waves going down
        G7     C

And we turn around



Put Your Hands Up High
C

Put your hands up high, put your hands down low
                                  G7

Put your hands in the middle and wiggle just so
          C

Put your elbows in front, put your elbows in back
                                 G7            C

Put your elbows to the side and quack, quack, quack!



Other Variations Include
Does Your Snout Hang Out

Buffalo Gals (and variations)

This tune sounds an awful lot like our last song, Rig a Jig Jig, since the basic chord sequence is identical. Popular versions of the songs even begin with the same introductory lines.

I love songs that get kids up and moving, so I posted this tune entirely for I Wake Up My Hands. My friend Francesca uses it to engage and settle her group at the beginning of a program, and she concludes each verse with the line, “then I wake up my hands no more.” I sing it a little differently, encouraging one last clap, stomp, or wiggle, while Jbrary offers a third option, ending their verses with “and I wiggle my waggles away.”

If your audience is cozy enough that you can welcome each participant by name, you might want to opening a storytime with Let’s All Clap which I picked up from Lindsey at Jbrary.

Alternate chords include G and D7, F and C7, or A and E7.


Buffalo Gals
C

Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight
G7                C

Come out tonight, come out tonight

Buffalo gals won't you come out tonight
G7                            C

And dance by the light of the moon



I Wake Up My Hands
C

I wake up my hands with a clap clap clap
G7               C

Clap clap clap, clap clap clap

I wake up my hands with a clap clap clap
G7                           C

Then I wake up my hands some more

Verses
Feet... stomp...
Head... nod...
Eyes... blink...
Tongue... bleah...
Hips... wiggle...



Let’s All Clap
C

Let's all clap 'cause Sophie is here
G7                C

Sophie is here, Sophie is here

Let's all clap 'cause Sophie is here
G7                C

Sophie is here today



Other Variations Include
Wiggle Box

Rig a Jig Jig

This week I added a strap to my ukulele so I can dance, bounce, and jump while I’m playing. Expect to see a lot more action songs over the next little while.

My current storytime space isn’t big enough for walking-in-a-circle songs, but if you can manage it, it’s quite wonderful to see all the caregivers and babies dancing together to this upbeat traditional tune.


Rig a Jig Jig
C

As I was walking down the street
G7                C

Down the street, down the street

A very good friend I chanced to meet
   G7            C

Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho

C

A rig a jig jig and away we go
G7          C

Away we go, away we go

A rig a jig jig and away we go
   G7            C

Hi ho, hi ho, hi ho

It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More

I never paid much attention to this novelty/camp song until I discovered Karen Beaumont’s hilarious singalong picturebook I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More, which riffs on the tune. I love reading it as a guessing game for kindergartners or older preschoolers, asking them to listen for the rhymes and yell out which body part the child in the story will paint next. Recently I adapted it into a felt story, so I can extend and build on the telling throughout a storytime series.

There’s also a fun mash-up that combines the original tune with Shel Silverstein’s song I’m Being Swallowed By a Boa Constrictor. I like to sing this with scarves so the kids can mime the water rising, but I might bring out the ukulele as well next time.


It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More
C

It ain’t gonna rain no more, no more
G7
It ain’t gonna rain no more

How the heck can I wash my neck
C
If it ain’t gonna rain no more



It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More (Oh No!)
C

It ain't gonna rain no more, no more
G7
It ain't gonna rain no more

Oh no, it's up to my toe
C
But it ain't gonna rain no more

Verses
Oh gee, it's up to my knee...
Oh my, it's up to my thigh...
Oh fiddle, it's up to my middle...
Oh heck, it's up to my neck...
Oh dread, it's up to my head... Guess I'd better swim home



I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More
C

I ain’t gonna paint no more, no more
G7
I ain’t gonna paint no more

That's what I say but there ain't no way
C
That I ain’t gonna paint no more

C

So I take some red and I paint my head
G7
Now I ain't gonna paint no more

Oh what the heck, gonna paint my neck
C
Now I ain't gonna paint no more...

etc

Felt Story Extension
In the spirit of the story, I aimed for some wild colourfully painted body parts. I adapted the character from paper doll patterns and cut everything else to fit this shape.

This week’s Flannel Friday roundup is hosted by Mel’s Desk. If any other felters adapt this story, I’d love to see your version.

I’m Gonna Count

I’ve just discovered this great song by The Harmonica Pocket. Head over to Youtube to listen to it.

I’ve simplified this song to make it easier for storytime attendees to learn it and participate (including changing the counting systems a little), and I’ve put together a felt to help us visualize it. I love how the song plays with numbers, but I think older children might appreciate that more than my toddler attendees. You can read the full, richer lyrics here.

The original chords are F/Bb/F/C7, but my fingers are too slow to play a Bb at storytime. It sounds good in most keys (I tried A, C, D, F and G), but as usual, I’m posting the simplest chords for storytime.


I’m Gonna Count
C                        F

I'm gonna count all the stones on the beach
C                        G7

Do you want to count the stones with me? (repeat couplet)
C       F

1 2 3 - 4 5 6
C         G7

7 8 9 - 10 11 12 (repeat couplet)
C                        F

I'm gonna count all the stones on the beach
C                        G7          C

Do you want to count the stones with me?


C                        F

I'm gonna count all the leaves on the trees
C                         G7

Do you want to count the leaves with me? (repeat couplet)
C       F

2 4 6 - 8 10 12
C                                   G7

If you don't sing it with me, gonna sing it myself (repeat couplet)
C                        F

I'm gonna count all the leaves on the trees
C                         G7        C

Do you want to count the leaves with me?


C                        F

I'm gonna count all the stars in the sky
C               G7

I never counted up that high (repeat couplet)
C        F

10 20 30 40 50
C     G7

60 70 80 90 (repeat couplet)
C           F        C           G7

One hundred stars up high in the sky
C           F        C           G7   C

One hundred stars up high in the sky

I'm Gonna Count

We’re participating in Flannel Friday again, so if you’re a felt story fan check out this week’s roundup at Literary Hoots. I cut this one freehand, which worked out fairly well as the shapes are simple.