Ever since my Rockin’ and Readin’ at the Library program started back up in August, I’ve been thinking a LOT about singable stories, or as I like to call them Book ‘n Songs.

Because these sessions take place at the library, many of the interventions target early literacy skills. We work on letter identification, rhyming words, letter sounds, and of course incorporate at least one Book ‘n Song into each session.

It’s easy to incorporate Book ‘n Songs into your sessions too!

Today I’m sharing some tips for how to choose appropriate books AND write your own, original songs to go with them:

a) Find books with lots of repetition
Always be thinking – what are the children going to be doing throughout this activity? I like to choose a book that has a phrase repeated throughout so the children can anticipate and begin to sing along with that phrase.

“From Head to Toe” by Eric Carle is one of my favorite books to sing because the phrase “I can do it” repeats on every other page. Many of the children I see are working on speaking 3-4 word utterances, so this repeated phrase gives them the perfect opportunity to practice this. I also add the movement of tapping the chest on the word “I” and the movement of putting the hand up in the air for “can do it!” for those children in the group who are not yet verbal.

b) Find books with great pictures
Verbal identification of pictures is a goal for many of the children I work with. A book with beautiful, visually appealing pictures can help facilitate this.

c) Find books with catchy words or phrases
This can be really fun! “This Jazz Man” by Karen Ehrhardt is the perfect example. Phrases like “bippity bop pippity!” and “beedely bop bi bop!” are just plain fun to say…and offer multiple opportunities to practice those bilabial sounds.

d) Find books that are multisensory
I love a book with textures, flaps or any other way the children can be “tactile-y” involved. The ‘Touch and Feel’ series by DK Publishing has books that incorporate different textures on each page.

The book What’s in the Jungle?” by Pete Seymour is one of my favorite books to sing with, as it has flaps that hide the animal you’re singing about. “Whose Mommy is This?” by Charles Reasoner is another fave. This book has animals’ hiding’ and the children can pull the page out to see which animal is there.

e) Finally…you don’t need to sing every word on the page
I vary the lyrics for my song depending on the age and level of the children I’m working with. Sometimes I’ll simplify the lyrics or create my own if the words on the page are too complex. Just use the illustrations as a guide for how to create the song!

Well, there you have it. These are just a few guidelines to get you started in creating your own singable stories.

I would suggest just visiting the children’s section of the library and see what you can find!

In the meantime, check out a few examples of some of my original Book ‘n Songs:

“Ten Little Fingers” {This one is perfect for my Baby Rock & Toddler Rock sessions!}

“Color Dance” {Watch the video & see how I incorporate colorful scarves!}

“My First Book of the Body”

Now I’d love to hear from YOU! Leave a comment below and let me know your favorite singable storybook.



Image courtesy of Phaitoon at FreeDigitalPhotos.net