Get up and move that body!
Let's face it, sometimes a kid likes to bust a move, not sit still for a story. And sometimes, let's say when it's not bedtime, it's great to just let the little wiggler hop down and go to it. Heck, you can even turn it into a game and direct it a bit. And if you're lacking inspiration? Hey, I always turn to a book... Here are a few titles to get you and your babe bending and stretching, hopping and twirling.
Teddy Bears, Teddy Bears, ill. William B. Winburn
My favourite version of this was always a simple Harper Growing Tree version by Steve Scott, but I am now also a fan of this newer version. It is illustrated with photos of real teddy bears posed to perform the actions of this classic skipping rhyme. They are cute, but not cutesy, and there are some new actions in this rendition that I quite like. (It is also nice for me that the "say your prayers" rhyme has been omitted, so it's more comfortable to use with our multicultural public.)
We've All Got Bellybuttons, by David Martin, ill. Randy Cecil
Animals lead the charge in this fun, colourful book about the parts of the body and what we can do with them. We've got hands, and you do too. We can clap them. Can you? And, like so many great rhymes to share with your child, it ends with a tickle and a giggle, which I love for parent-child combos.
From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle
This is a go-to book for body parts in motion. It works its way through a variety of actions by associating each with an animal and challenging the reader to see if they can do it, too. I am a buffalo, and I can raise me shoulders. Can you do it? Kids love pattern and repetition, and tend to enjoy professing that yes, they can do it, while Carle's signature style elevates the whole thing, as he tends to do.
Toddlerobics, by Zita Newcomb
This and it's followup Toddlerobics: Animal Fun are designed for actions that toddlers can perform, and the book is framed as a visit to the toddler gym. The toddler crew are introduced by name on endpapers, and add personality to the cute-but-not-quite-icky-cute illustrations. I also like the bouncy rhyme scheme. Of these, I prefer the animal version, myself.
For older children, you could also try some fun skipping rhymes, like those found in Anna Banana: 101 Jump-Rope Rhymes, by Joanna Cole. Happy hopping!
For these and more lively titles, hop on down to your local library!
Originally posted on MommyBlogsToronto/Better Than a Playdate.