Wee Ones story times

From Monica Sands at the Covington Library, Kings County (WA) Library System:

“In the past, the Covington Library has offered Wee Ones Story Times once a week for those who are newborn to 24 months. A second afternoon session is being added this year to try and reach a different audience as the morning session may conflict with naptimes or appointments.  It is considered a young toddler story time as opposed to a baby story time because it tends to draw crawlers and up.  The story time runs about 30 minutes, 15 minutes of rhymes, songs and very short stories followed by 15 minutes of social/play time when participants chat and enjoy bubbles and playing with blocks.  Registration is not required so our numbers vary from 30 to 70 attendees (includes both children and parents), although typically it is about 50 attendees.  

We start each story time with the same two rhymes then other rhymes that I change from week to week although I use all of the rhymes several times throughout the story time series so all participants get to know them well.  Each rhyme is repeated twice during story time except for Flying to the Moon.  We fly to the moon three times because it elicits the biggest grins I get to see all week and I love seeing that!  At each story time I include different types of rhymes that involve a variety of movements and activities so we never get bored.  To make this easier, my rhymes are organized by type of rhyme (bouncer, tickler, wiggler, clapping & tapping, and snuggler) as inspired by John Feierabend.  When I choose my books, I try to pick at least one that has photographs and one that is active. If I’m using shakers, scarves or other items to be distributed to participants, I always make that our final activity because it gets pretty random and playful and you may as well just bring out the toys after such happy chaos!  A hint to newbies:  I use a teddy bear as my “baby” to demonstrate rhymes and safety pin a copy of my story time to the back so the words to the rhymes are right in front of me as well as my outline.”

Sample program

Use rain stick to indicate start of story time -- then make announcements


Bouncer: This Is the Way We Say Hello

This is the way we say hello (wave hand to rhythm)
Say hello, say hello
This is the way we say hello
At every story time.

This is the way the baby rides (sway to rhythm)
This is the way the farmer rides (bounce to rhythm)
This is the way the jockey rides (faster and bounce to rhythm)

Tapping and Clapping:  Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist, Twist, Twist, (clap on each “twist”)
Can do this, this, this, (clap on each “this”)
Touch his knees, knees, knees, (tap on body part)
Touch his nose, nose, nose,
Touch his hair, hair, hair,
Touch his toes, toes, toes.

Oliver Twist, Twist, Twist,
Can do this, this, this,
Touch his ears, ears, ears,
Touch his waist, waist, waist,
Touch his eyes, eyes, eyes,
Touch his face, face, face.

Bouncer: Pop Goes the Weasel

All around the cobblers bench (bounce to rhythm)
The monkey chased the weasel
The monkey thought t’was all in fun
POP! goes the weasel.  (lift baby on pop)

A penny for a spool of thread,
A penny for a needle.
That’s the way the money goes,
POP! goes the weasel. (lift baby on pop)

Bouncer: Flying to the Moon (to Farmer in the Dell)

We're flying to the moon.
We're flying to the moon.
Oh, what an adventure! We're flying to the moon.
10 - 9 - 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - BLAST OFF!
(lift baby into the air)

Snuggler : Icky Bicky Soda Cracker

Icky, bicky, soda cracker (bounce to rhythm)
Icky, bicky, boo! (tip child forward on "boo")
Icky, bicky, soda cracker
Up goes you! (lift baby up)
Icky, bicky, soda cracker
Icky, bicky, boo! (tip child forward on "boo")
Icky, bicky, soda cracker
I love you! (hug baby)

Wiggler: Roly Poly (to Freres Jacques)

Roly poly, roly roly (roll hands)
Up and down, up and down, (raise and lower hands)
Roly roly poly, roly roly poly (roll hands)
Up and down, up and down (raise and lower hands)

Roly poly, roly poly (roll hands)
In and out, in and out (hug child then arms out wide)
Roly roly poly, roly roly poly (roll hands)
In and out, in and out (hug child then arms out wide)

Bouncer: Andy Spandy

Andy Spandy, sugar and candy
All pop up!  (lift child up)
Andy Spandy, sugar and candy
All pop down! (lower child)
Andy Spandy, sugar and candy
All pop in! (hug child)
Andy Spandy, sugar and candy
All pop out! (hold child out in front)

Bouncer: Mama Papa and Uncle John

Mama and papa and Uncle John
Went to the market one by one
Mama fell off (tip to child to side)
Papa fell off (tip child to other side)
But Uncle John went on and on and on and on (until I run out of breath)

Snuggler: Up, up, up

Up, up, up in the sky like this! (lift baby)
Down, down, down, for a great big kiss,
(lower baby and give baby a kiss)
 Up like this, down like this (lift and lower baby)
You’re my special baby! (big hug)

Tickler: Round and Round the Garden

Round and round the garden, (draw circle on child’s hand, back, etc.)
Goes the teddy bear.
One step, two step, (walk fingers up arm)
Tickle under there. (tickle under arms)


I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy

Rhyme book

1, 2, Buckle My Shoe by Anna Grossnickle Hines

Movement story

Hands Can by Cheryl Willis Hudson

Big book song

The Wheels on the Bus

Flannel story

I Went Walking by Sue Williams

Social/play time 

Music, blocks and bubbles. The blocks are vinyl and washable (sold at LakeshoreLearning.com).  I use a battery-powered bubble machine purchased at Target and carry it around the room otherwise you tend to get a toddler mosh pit at your feet.  If they know it’s going to come around, they learn to wait and the shy kids and smaller children get to enjoy the bubbles too.  Parents are welcome to stay and chat after I have cleaned up.