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.
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!”
Hokey Pokey. lyrics and motions
I’m a Little Teapot. lyrics and mp3
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring. lyrics and mp3
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…)
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
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
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