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.

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.

Old MacDonald

I usually sing Old MacDonald with puppets on my hands, feet and head to make the kids laugh, but once in a while I’ll pull out the ukulele instead. Classic storytime songs are fantastic tools for welcoming storytime newbies or drawing distracted little folks back to the circle. For variation, I might change the environment and animals, or connect it with a theme (ie Old MacDonald had a desert, forest, jungle, ocean).

For my fall storytime session, I’m again focusing on repetition-with-variation from week to week, so we’ll sing this song with puppets, felts, and using Steve Goetz’ fun new book Old MacDonald had a Truck.


Old MacDonald
C              F     C            G7      C

Old MacDonald had a farm, E - I - E - I - O
                        F     C           G7      C

And on that farm there was a cow, E - I - E - I - O
C

With a moo moo here, and a moo moo there
C

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

Old MacDonald had a farm, E - I - E - I - O



Old Macdonald Little Mouse

Felt Story Extension
I made a few extra barns for my Old MacDonald felt so I can uncover each animal like we’re playing Little Mouse. Next I’ll make a few non-farm animals to incorporate more surprise, variation, and vocabulary.

For patterns, I adapted this barn quiet book template, and this farm animal colouring sheet. Thanks to Kate at Felt Board Magic for hosting this week’s Flannel Friday.

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.

Little Bird Little Bird

Little Bird Little Bird (or Bluebird Bluebird) is a sweet gentle song, which can be sung about different colours or species of bird. Closing lines vary, but neither of the common ones (“Find molasses candy” or “Oh Johnny I’m tired”) feels right for my group. Instead, I’m going to try a line that encourages more discussion and participation (and motivates me to learn a few bird calls).

I’m rather in love with Elizabeth Mitchell’s rendition, so if you’re unfamiliar with the tune, give her a listen. Her chords are A and E7.


Little Bird Little Bird
C

Little bird little bird fly through my window
G7

Little bird little bird fly through my window
C

Little bird little bird fly through my window
           G7       C

Sing your song this morning

Verses
1. Birds: Chickadee / Stellar Jay / Robin...
2. Colours: Red bird / Bluebird / Blackbird...



Little Bird

Storytime Extensions
This song pairs well with bird props, so if you have a few bird finger puppets, or can print or felt different coloured birds, then you’re good to go. I also love the popsicle-stick bird puppets shown at What Happens in Storytime, and I’m dreaming of making a set big enough for my whole storytime group. My own felt is based on a deservedly-popular pattern from Mel’s Desk, adapted to reflect local birds for the Pacific Northwest (adding Robin, Stellar Jay, and Red-Winged Blackbird). 

If you’re a fan of felts, check out this week’s Flannel Friday roundup over at So Tomorrow.

Yo Te Amo

I learned this gentle lullaby from a beloved mentor/instructor back when I was in library school. I love asking my storytime group how they say “I Love You” in their myriad home languages and then singing them all together. It’s a wonderful way to get to know each other, and glimpse the diversity in our communities. And of course, it offers a moment to reinforce what a gift it is to speak and sing to a child in their home language.

I used to write our group’s “I Love Yous” on a flipchart or white board, but I’ve just made some reversible felt hearts to put up while we sing. I’ve made a few extra blanks so I can keep up with new languages and phrases that the families volunteer.

This song doesn’t seem to be too well known but one of my colleagues recorded it at a rhyme-sharing workshop, and you can listen to it here.

Update: You can now see my friends at Jbrary singing this as well. Thanks Dana & Lindsey! Also, I’ve learned the song origin, and can finally credit Uncle Ruthie Buell. It’s from her album Take a Little Step.


Yo Te Amo
C
Yo te amo, yo te amo
G7                        C

All day long I sing this little song to you
C

Yo te amo, yo te amo
G7             C

Darling I love you


Verses
Wo ai ni... (Mandarin Chinese)
Je t’aime... (French)
Mahal kita... (Tagalog)
Ich liebe dich... (German)
Sarang hae... (Korean)
Daisuki... (Japanese)

Yo Te Amo Yo Te Amo

We’re participating in Flannel Friday again, so check out this week’s roundup at What Is Bridget Reading?

Ukulele Love Songs
This is the fifth in a series of love-the-littles songs.