Guest Blogger

Great Music for Preschool Storytimes

Who doesn’t love using music in storytime? It gets the wiggles out, it’s a great device for transitions, plus singing is a building block for early literacy.

But it’s easy to get stuck in the songs we all know and use a lot. One of my colleagues, Cindy Kohl, is our department’s children’s music guru, and she finds new music all the time. I’d love to share some great songs with you!

Here are a few favorites of (lesser known) storytime songs:

Move to the Beat by Stephanie Leavell
If You Want a Song – The Okee Dokee Brothers
I’m Me by Charlie Hope
Up & Down by Miss Nina & The Jumping Jacks
Home by SaulPaul featuring 123 Andrés
Goodbye in the Bayou by Jazzy Ash
Bananas by Jessica Deshong (a great version of the song!)
Dancing Bear by Bari Koral (great for yoga storytime)
Dance Like There’s Music in Your Pants by Sara Lovell
Clap For Love by Little Miss Ann

Here are some groups and blogs to follow to find new children’s music for storytime:

Kids Rhythm and Rock
KindieComm (Facebook group)
Playtime Playlist
Children’s Music Network
Zoo Gobble

One note: let’s think about diversity not just in our book collections. Let’s consider the musicians we play in storytime and the performers we hire. I hope with this list you can discover new artists of a variety of backgrounds.

What music do you love to use in storytime?


Today’s guest contributor is Katie Clausen (she/her). Katie is the Early Literacy Services Manager at Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, IL. Her specialties include discovery-based play, picture book analysis, and storytime best practices.


Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

One comment

  1. Alex Bell

    Thank you for putting this together and for sharing. I love The Okee Dokee Brothers, 123 Andrés, and Jazzy Ash so I’m very excited to check out the rest of this list!

    Some of my other favorites are Sonia De Los Santos, Lucky Diaz, Mister G, and “Tú eres mi flor: Songs for Children en Español” by Elizabeth Mitchell and Suni Paz. You can also play Anishinaabemowin songs at https://www.channel7oaks.org/projects/nurseryrhymes.cfm

    (Also, this is coming up Oct 8 for central IL folks, but the Okee Dokee Brothers tour,
    https://allerton.illinois.edu/events/campfire-jamboree/, and I know Jazzy Ash also does library and community events!)

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