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Early Literacy

Early literacy is what children know about communication, language—verbal and non-verbal—reading and writing before they can actually read and write.

Reading Tip

When reading to children, allow them to chant any repetitive phrases. They love doing this, and it allows them to become an active part of the book-sharing time.

Music and Movement: Books

Barnyard Boogie by Tim McCanna
A group of barnyard animals pick up their instrument and gather to perform for the waiting crowd, but they need someone to lead them.

Barnyard Boogie

Bats in the Band by Brian Lies
When the weather warms up, bats take advantage of an empty theater to stage a concert.

Bears in a Band by Shirley Parenteau
The little bears pick up their instruments and play a noisy song. They might wake up big brown bear.

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
In this nearly wordless book with interactive flaps, a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together.

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
Gerald the giraffe is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle Dance, until he finds the right music.

Hootenanny!: A Festive Counting Book by Kimberly Ainsworth
In this counting book, a set of owls work their way to the top of the Old Oak Tree for a party on Saturday night.

I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield Morrison
On a trip to the park with her mother, a young girl hears a rhythm coming from the world around her and begins to move to the beat, finally beginning an impromptu dance with other children she encounters.

Wendell the Narwhal by Emily Dove
Everyone in the ocean can make music, except for Wendell the Narwhal. His big, pointy horn can’t go “pop” or “clappy clap clap” or even “whoosh.” Wendell must find a way to join in with a symphony of sea creatures.

The Wheels on the Tuk Tuk by Kabir Sehgal
In this twist on the classic song, “The Wheels on the Bus,” the wheels on the tuk tuk go round and round all over the city in India.

You are a Lion by Taeeun Yoo
Children pretend to be many different animals as they do various yoga poses.

Music and Movement: Songs and Rhymes

We Can…

(Tune: Do Your Ears Hang Low?)

We can jump, jump, jump. (jump three times)

We can hop, hop, hop. (hop three times)

We can clap, clap, clap. (clap three times)

We can stop, stop, stop. (hold up hand like a stop sign)

We can nod our heads for yes. (nod)

We can shake our heads for no. (shake head)

We can bend our knees a little bit. (bend knees)

And we can sit down really slow. (sit down)

Dance Your Fingers Up

Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down. (gently flutter fingers up)

Dance your fingers to the side, dance them all around. (flutter fingers on one side, then the other)

Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on your head. (touch shoulders, touch head)

Dance them on your tummy, and put them all to bed. (touch stomach, tuck hands in armpits)

Dance Any Way You Want To

(Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and other Contagious Tunes CD)

Dance any way you want to

Dance any way you please

Dance any way you want to

But stop when I say freeze.

Jump as high as you want to…

Dance as fast as you want to…

Dance as slow as you want to…

I Have a Little Wiggle

I have a little wiggle down deep inside of me. (wiggle, then reach down to touch toes)

I tried to make it stop but it wouldn’t let me be. (hold up hand like a stop sign, then shake head “no”)

So I pulled out that wiggle, and I took a careful look. (pretend to pull something, make binoculars with fingers)

And now it’s time to sit down, I’m ready for a book. (sit down, and open hands like opening book cover)

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