Jazz BabyPapa J Funk asked me if I’d be interested in writing a post about what we do at our library’s Preschool Story Time, and I thought, “What a great idea!” Leading Story Time is one of my favorite things to do at the library!

This is what we did for our Jazz, Rhythm and Rhyme Story Time, in honor of February being African American History Month.

At most story times, we end with a craft activity. But since the children were going to use the craft during our story time, we started with it this week. We made egg shakers using plastic eggs and rice. All we did was open up the plastic egg, put in a scoop or two of rice and taped closed with a heavy tape. You can also use a hot glue gun to seal the egg together.

We start our story time with an opening song called Here, Here sung to the tune of Skip to My Lou.

Here, Here
We’re all here
Here, Here
We’re all here
Here, Here
We’re all here
We’re all here today
Hello [sing child’s name], How are you? (Repeat two times)
We’re glad you’re here today!

We do that until every child has been greeted, then end with the “Here, Here, We’re all here” verse.

To get into the mood for rhythm, we did an activity called Feel the Beat. Children felt the beat on different parts of their body, such as:

Feel the beat on your head,
On your head, on your head
Feel the beat on your head,
On your head

I led the rhyme for several rounds then the children came up with their own places to feel the beat.

Next we read Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor book, Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler. This is a great book for teaching rhythm and rhyme in a Jazz style.

Then the children took their egg shakers and we sang Raffi’s fun song Down by the Bay. The children shook their eggs to the beat. I almost always play my guitar when we sing!

Down by the Bay
Down by the way, where the watermelons grow
Back to my home, I dare not go
For if I do, my mother will say,
“Did you ever see a goose kissing a moose?”
Down by the bay

You can listen to the song here:

Children love the silly rhymes at the end of each verse, and we enjoyed coming up with our own, too!

We continued with another Raffi song, Shake My Sillies Out. Children got up and moved around, many of them using their egg shakers.

Shake My Sillies Out

Gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
And wiggle my waggles away

You can listen to the song here:

Row, Row, Row Your BoatNext was the singable picture book that I recently reviewed Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Pippa Goodheart. I sang through book through once then sang it again while the children acted out what has happening in the story.

We ended with our closing song, Hands Go Up, sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Children do the movements while singing.

Hands go up and hands go down
I can spin around and round
I can jump upon two shoes
I can clap and so can you
I can wave, now show me how
Story Time is done for now

We had a lot of fun at our Jazz, Rhythm, and Rhyme Story Time!


Until next time, Happy Reading!


the Singing Librarian