Down on Grandpa’s Farm (and variations)

Yes, it’s another song about animals and their many sounds (like Old Macdonald, When Ducks Get Up in the Morning, I Love My Rooster, or Little Cat). There sure seem to be a lot of these around, and they’re mostly about farms. Of course, you can switch things up to sing about animals in other places (ie Grandpa’s beach, Grandpa’s forest, Grandpa’s desert). You can listen to Grandpa’s Farm via KCLS.

Going for a Walk is based on a song my colleague Marilyn wrote to promote BC Summer Reading Club, the province-wide reading program here in British Columbia. I added a few more verses to explain SRC when I promote it at elementary schools this month. So far the kids think it’s funny. I tell them that I can’t remember how SRC works, but I have a song to remind me, and then I stop between each verse, “remembering” more details to share with them. If you repeat “going for a walk” instead of “walking on the wild side,” in the first verse and tweak the prize line as appropriate, then you could probably use this with similar reading incentives in your own geographic area.


Down on Grandpa’s Farm
C
We're on our way, we're on our way
                        G7
We're on our way to Grandpa's farm


We're on our way, we're on our way
                         C
On our way to Grandpa's farm

C                                  G7          C
Down on Grandpa's farm there is a wooly white sheep
                                   G7         C
Down on Grandpa's farm there is a wooly white sheep
                                  G7
The sheep, it makes a sound like this, Baa baa
                                 C
The sheep, it makes a sound like this, Baa baa

(Repeat Chorus)

Verses
Grandpa's farm: Farm animal names and sounds
Grandpa's beach: Ocean animal names and sounds
Grandpa's woods: Forest animal names and sounds



Going for a Walk
(for BC Summer Reading Club 2017)
C
Going for a walk, going for a walk
                    G7

Going for a walk today

We're walking on the wild side
                  C

At our local library

C
Going to get some books, going to get some books
                           G7
Going to get some books today

And magazines and comics
                  C
At our local library

C
Going to play some games, going to play some games
                            G7
Going to play some games today

And maybe even win a prize
                  C
At our local library

C
Going to read a bit, going to read a bit
                    G7
Read a little every day

So I can win a medal
                   C
From my local library

Repeat 1st verse

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Clementine variations

I wouldn’t consider Oh My Darling, Clementine to be a storytime song, but it is definitely a popular tune for storytime variations. My favourite of this set is a song I learned as Picked an Apple from KCLS and Picked a Strawberry from my colleague Lindsey. It’s perfect for spurring discussion and audience participation, particularly when it’s growing season and we can talk about our gardens or local farms.

I’ve previously posted See You Later Alligator to the tune of Happy Birthday. Clementine is an alternative tune to match the same words.


Picked an Apple

Picked an Apple
F

Picked an apple, picked an apple
                        C7

That was growing in the sun
                         F

Then I washed it, and I ate it
        C7             F

Then I picked another one

Verses
Any fruit or vegetable (ask the kids for suggestions)


Airplane
F

I'm an airplane, I'm an airplane
                   C7

Flying up into the sky
                       F

Flying higher, flying higher
      C7                  F

As I watch the clouds go by

I'm an airplane, I'm an airplane
                   C7
See me flying all around
                      F

Flying lower, flying lower
        C7               F

Till I land down on the ground


See You Later, Alligator
F

See you later, alligator
                  C7

In a while, crocodile
                F

Give a hug, ladybug
        C7         F

Blow a kiss, jellyfish

Take care, polar bear
                  C7

Out the door, dinosaur
                     F

See you soon, big baboon
         C7          F

Wave goodbye, butterfly



What’s the Weather?
F

What’s the weather, what’s the weather
                         C7

What’s the weather, everyone?
                    F

Is it windy, is it cloudy
          C7                F

Is there rain, or is there sun?



Other Variations Include
Found a Peanut
There are Seven Days in a Week


Felt Story Extensions
Any set of weather-related felts or images would nicely supplement What’s the Weather.

I made a handful of popular fruits to accompany Picked an Apple, and I’d like to add a few silly options like ice cream and teddy bears to make the kids howl with joyful outrage.  Preschoolers are excellent at shouting out suggestions without much assistance, but toddlers may not have the vocabulary yet to participate without visual cues to assist them.  I made this set primarily for them.

For more felt-related storytime ideas, see this week’s Flannel Friday, hosted by Shawn at Read, Rhyme & Sing.

When Ducks Get Up in the Morning

Tired of Old Macdonald? Try this instead.  Get creative, and your toddlers can practise sounds from any creature with a recognizable sound. There’s no need to stick to those same old farm animals. For added participation, the Loudest Librarian suggests asking the audience what to say when”kids get up in the morning.”

These chords come from the Loudest Librarian. To play a 3 chord version with more transitions see Nancy Stewart’s page. Don’t know what it sounds like? Listen to Nancy Stewart, Jbrary or some KCLS librarians.


When Ducks Get Up in the Morning
C                                     G7              C

When ducks get up in the morning they always say good day
G7              C

When ducks get up in the morning they always say good day
                                          G7               C

They say, "Quack quack quack quack," and that is what they say
                                          G7                C

They say, "Quack quack quack quack," and that is what they say


Verses
Other animals/sounds...

Hickety Pickety Bumblebee

Hickety Pickety Bumblebee is my favourite name-sharing tune. I love the way the syllables roll off my tongue, and how I can’t help but clap a beat.

Name songs work as a welcome, a chance for children to practice speaking, and an aid to some of the relationship and community building that caregivers do when storytime is over. When my audience is large, I don’t use them, as toddler attention spans only last so long, but with a small group, they’re magic.

This particular song has some exciting early literacy extensions, where you encourage the kids to break down the syllables and repeat the name in a variety of ways. See Jbrary for an example of this. I learned a different way to sing it from my colleague Saara, which sounds a little more like this, and is smoother if you’re playing an instrument.


Hickety Pickety Bumblebee
C

Hickety pickety bumblebee
C

Won't you say you name for me
C

Charlie... Charlie...
G7               C

What a beautiful name

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...

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...

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.