Favorite Songs

Babies and young toddlers LOVE it when parents sing to them! Older toddlers and preschoolers LOVE to learn songs to sing with you. (Click here to learn about all the ways that music helps children learn and develop!) Here are lots of favorite songs, lap rides, and finger rhymes


A Ram Sam Sam, a Moroccan folk song. Lyrics and hand motions are here.

ABC Song / Alphabet Song: lyrics and mp3video, learn sign language letters and sign along

All the Fish are Swimming in the Water lyrics and hand motions

Are You Hiding? To the tune Frere Jacques: “Are you hiding? Are you hiding? Yes I am. Yes I am. Now it’s time to come out, now it’s time to come out. Peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo!”

Five Little Ducks. video, lyrics and hand motions

Frere Jacques / Are you sleeping. lyrics, video

Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. lyrics and mp3, video,  video of motions and Spanish version

Hokey Pokey. lyrics and motions

If You’re Happy and You Know It. lyrics and motions, video

I’m a Little Teapot. lyrics and mp3

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring. lyrics and mp3

Itsy Bitsy Spider. Lyrics and mp3 available here. Video.

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad. lyrics and mp3

Old McDonald Had a Farm. lyrics and mp3

Ring Around the Rosie. lyrics and motions (kids over 2 or 3 can make one big circle. For younger toddlers, have them circle with just their parent, not the whole group)

Row Row Row Your Boat. lyrics, motions and variations

Shake and Stop. Oh you shake and you shake and you shake and you stop. (repeat 3x) Shake them up high, shake them down low, shake them on your tummy, and way down to your toes.

Skinnamarink. lyrics and motions

Teddy Bear Teddy Bear. lyrics and motions (note: there are variations on these lyrics) Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear turn around, Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear touch the ground,
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear peekaboo, Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear I love you.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear reach up high. Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear wave bye-bye.

Ten Little Bubbles. lyrics and video (bring out the bubbles for this one!)

The More We Get Together. lyrics and mp3

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. lyrics and mp3

Walk Bear: Take a little walk bear, walk bear, walk bear, take a little walk bear, walk bear walk. Take a little run bear…. Take a little wiggle bear…. Have a little hug bear…

Way Up High in an Apple Tree. video

What’s in the box. lyrics “What’s in the blue box, the blue box, the blue box? What’s in the blue box? I don’t know. Let’s find out.” (When my son was about 18 months old, he was resisting diaper changes. But all I had to do was  toss a toy in a box, shake it and sing this song, and he’d come running to the changing table.)

Wheels on a Bus. lyrics and mp3  (Great song for babies: you can move their arms or legs for them as the “doors” open and shut, and “windshield wipers” go swish…)

Lap Rides

For each of these, the child sits in an adult’s lap. The adult bounces their knees, or does other actions as described. It’s a great way for parents and kids to interact while singing, and many of these are designed to inspire giggles with fun bumps and tickles.

Bumping Up and Down in my Little Red Wagon lyrics and movement

Grand Old Duke of York (aka Noble Duke)  lyrics and movement, video

Humpty Dumpty. words and variationsvideo

Let’s Go Riding in an Elevator video

Pony: Riding on a Pony Downtown. You better watch out, or you might fall down!

Popcorn: popcorn, popcorn in a pan, shake em up, shake em up, bam bam bam

Trot Trot to Boston lyrics and movement

Zoom Down the Freeway lyrics and movement


Criss-Cross Applesauce (rhyme)  words and motions

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed video, video of motions to do

Jack in the Box video

Round and Round the Garden (rhyme) words and motions – we use variation 3

Up the Mountain… down the other side… brr it’s cold out, let’s climb inside. (run your fingers up your child’s arm, then down the other arm, then snuggle them tight for brr, and tickle the back of their neck at the end.)

Full Lesson Plan: Here’s my full lesson plan for a year’s worth of Toddler Circle Times. It includes lots more songs and rhymes, gathered around 9 monthly themes.

Science Songs: You can also check out my collection of fun science themed songs for ages 3 – 7 on my Inventors of Tomorrow site.

Illustration credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1397328

11 thoughts on “Favorite Songs

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