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.

More Halloween Songs

Last year I collected a great big round up of slightly spooky songs, and I’ve come across a few more fun ones that I wanted to share.

For all these songs, you can click the song titles to see my sources. I altered the first song a little (green ghosts didn’t match my felts, and kids seem more rambunctious than delicious). Scroll down to the bottom for more about the felts.


5-grey-and-spooky-ghosts
Five Grey and Spooky Ghosts
Tune: Five Green and Speckled Frogs
G

Five grey and spooky ghosts
C

Doing what they love most
G                              D

Scaring some most rambunctious kids (Boo! Boo!)
G

One flew into the sky
C

Where it was nice and dry
G              D                G

Now there are four grey spooky ghosts (Boo! Boo!)

4... 3... 2... 1...


Flap Flap Flap Little Bats
Tune: Ten Little…
C

Flap, flap, flap little bats
G7

Flap, flap, flap little bats
C

Flap, flap, flap little bats
G7           C  

Early in the evening

Verses
Dance...
Wiggle...
Soar...
Sleep... early in the morning



haunted-barn
Old MacDonald Had a Haunted House
Tune: Old MacDonald
C                   F       C              G7      C

Old MacDonald had a haunted house, E - I - E - I - Boo!
                        F     C            G7      C

And in that house there was a bat, E - I - E - I - Boo!
C

With a flap flap here, and a flap flap there
C

Here a flap, there a flap, everywhere a flap flap
                    F       C              G7      C

Old MacDonald had a haunted house, E - I - E - I - Boo!

Verses
Owl... hoot...
Mouse... squeak...
Spider... creep...
Cat... meow...
Ghost... boo...



The Spooky Pokey
Tune: The Hokey Pokey
              C

You put your foot bones in, you take your foot bones out
                                                    G7

You put your foot bones in, and you shake them all about
G7

You do the spooky pokey, and you turn yourself around
                      C

That’s what it’s all about!

Verses
Hand bones...
Funny bone (elbow)...
Back bones...
Neck bones...
Skeleton...



Felt Story Extensions
The ghost felts are borrowed from my Ten Little Ghosts set, while Old MacDonald is an extension of the Old MacDonald guessing game. Owl, bat, and mouse templates are from Pattern Universe. I’d like to make a set of haunted houses as well, but for now we’ll sing it as “haunted barn.”

You can also use the barn/animal set with the rhyme, “Little ghost playing hide and seek… Are you in the orange barn? Let’s take a peek.”

For more Halloween felt ideas, check out this week’s Flannel Friday round-up over at Thrive After Three.

The Hokey Pokey

This old classic is best if you have a little room to move. However, we don’t have enough space to form a circle at my cozy programs, and standing in an uncoordinated cluster works just fine for us.

The Hokey Pokey is the ultimate in adaptability. You can invent a variation for any theme or concept you might have in mind. All you need is a set of clothing, items, or creature with enough body parts (no snakes or worms!) and off you go. I’m linking to a couple alternatives at the bottom, but there’s no limit to this one, and it’s so familiar that your audience can generally follow where you’re going with it.

Do you have a favourite variation? Please share it in the comments.


The Hokey Pokey
             C

You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out
                                                  G7

You put your right foot in, and you shake it all about
G7

You do the hokey pokey, and you turn yourself around
                      C

That’s what it’s all about!

Verses
Left foot...
Right/left hand...
Head...
Whole self...



Other Variations Include
Animal Hokey Pokey
Campfire Pokey
Pirate Pokey
Winter Pokey