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? Done to the tune of 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 (for kids over 2 or 3, they can make one big circle. For younger toddlers, have them just circle with 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)
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
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.” (This was a great tactic for diaper changing times when my son was about 18 months old… he would resist coming to the changing table, but all I had to do was toss a toy in the shoe box, shake it and sing this song, and he’d come running.)
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
Illustration credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1397328