Blogger Abby Johnson

Happy Leap Day!

Are you celebrating Leap Day today? It’s the perfect day to feature some books, songs, and rhymes about leaping and jumping!

Jump! by Scott M. Fischer. A rhythmic, rhyming text and bright pictures of different animals makes this a great choice to share with young children. Encourage your audience to jump every time you read the world “Jump!”

Recite the rhyme Jack Be Nimble and bring in a candlestick (unlit is probably best) for your kids to jump over. As each child takes his or her turn, substitute his or her name for “Jack”.

Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over the candlestick!

If You’re Hoppy by April Pulley Sayre. Sing this book to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and your kids will have great fun doing the animal actions along with the book.

Jim Gill has some great interactive music that’s perfect for storytime. For Leap Day, try “Jumping and Counting” on Jim Gill’s Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense or “Jump Up, Turn Around” on Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times.

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow. This classic will have your kids reciting the rhymes and jumping along with you.

Pair the book with the song “No More Monkeys” by Asheba, which can be found on the Putumayo Kids CD Animal Playground. Watch the music video!

When it’s time for the kids to sit back down again, use the rhyme Handy Spandy:

Handy spandy, sugar and candy, we all jump in!
Handy spandy, sugar and candy, we all jump out!
Handy spandy, sugar and candy, we all jump up!
Handy spandy, sugar and candy, we all sit down!

Of course, you can also add books about animals that jump, leap or hop. Add in your favorite books about frogs, rabbits, crickets, grasshoppers, and kangaroos. Can you think of other animals that leap?

What other books, rhymes, and songs are you sharing with your students or patrons on Leap Day?

— Abby Johnson, Children’s Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN


  1. Miss Bea

    Thanks for the tips! I totally scrapped my original storytime plan and read “Five Little Monkeys,” “Hop Jump,” and “Wide-Mouthed Frog.” The kids loved jumping over the candle and we jumped and danced to an old club song “Jump!” by The Movement. (Jump around, jump around! Jump up, jump up and get down!) Great fun.

  2. Becca

    You offered us so many interesting ideas and thoughts, I’m not aware that
    it’s leap year already. thanks for the share.

  3. Lisa Jenn Bigelow

    Looks like you had some overlap with my Leap Day Storytime yesterday! We did “Five Little Monkeys” (the rhyme, not the book, though) and “[Child’s Name] Be Nimble” with a candlestick, too — big hit. We also did our “Five Green and Speckled Frogs” flannel. Books we read included Who Hops?, One, Two, Three, Jump! (everyone got to say the refrain together), McGillycuddy Could, and Katy Did It.

  4. Pingback: Storytime: Leap Year – My Library Toolbox

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