Activities on this page are for the songs We Like Books, Giddy Up, Karate Chop Skip Count and others. You can download all of the lyrics and activities on the Downloads page. Click in the menu above.

We Like Books

(“Cadence” –Children repeat each line.)
We like to read, yes we do.         (Slap thighs and step from side to side.)
We like books.  How about you?  (Point to self and then others.)

Books are my friends wherever I go.
When I have a book I’m never alone.  (Shake head.)

Search for treasure, solve mysteries.  (Hand over forehead.)
Meet famous people from history.

Ride on a dinosaur long ago.  
Or fly to the future with a UFO.  (Slap hands.)

You can travel to faraway places.   (Arms out like airplane.)
Mountains, beaches, or desert oasis.

Learn about pandas and rattle snakes.  (Palms together like snake.)
Just look in a book, that’s all it takes.

If you’re feeling sad or blue   (Look sad.)
Books are always there for you.   (Smile and open palms like a book.)

Activities:  Have a “dress up like your favorite book character” day and encourage children to describe their character.
Gather books from the classroom library and challenge children to sort them.  What sorting rule did they use?
Take a field trip to your local library and help each child sign up for a library card.
Display a cookbook, travel book, fairy tale book, poetry book, nature book, etc.  If you wanted to take a trip, which book would you choose?  If you wanted to learn more about alligators, which book would you choose?  What if you wanted to make cookies?
Do a graph of children’s favorite author or book.

This Is How You Learn to Read

(Tune:  “Old MacDonald”)
Oh, this is how you learn to read – a e i o u
Use your eyes and what do you see?  a e i o u  (Circles around eyes.)
A picture here, a picture there.
Look at pictures everywhere.
This is how you learn to read  - a e i o u
Oh, this is how you learn to read – a e i o u
Use your ears for sounds you hear – a e i o u  (Cup hands behind ears.)
Consonants here.
Vowels there.
Put sounds together everywhere.
This is how you learn to read – a e i o u
Oh, this is how you learn to read – a e i o u
If you forget words in you head – a e i o u   (Point to head.)
Just skip one here.     (Snap finger.)
Or skip one there.
Then read it again and it will be clear.
This is how you learn to read – a e i o u
Oh, this is how you learn to read – a e i o u
Look for a little chunk you know – a e i o u  (Index finger and thumb.)
If there is a chunk at the end
Put the sound in front
And then blend.
This is how you learn to read – a e i o u
Now you know the tools you need – a e i o u
Just use your eyes and ears to read – a e i o u  (Point to eyes and ears.)
Pictures, sounds, and letters
Use these tools
You’ll read much better!     (Tap head with index finger.)
Now you have the tools to read – a e i o u

Learn to Read

Activities:  Let children make a “Reader’s Toolbox.”  Fold a piece of construction paper in half.  Attach pipe cleaners for handles.  Have children write the strategies good readers use in their toolboxes.
When children decode a word encourage them to “think out loud” by describing the strategy they used.
Partner reads are a good way to practice tools of good readers.  If you have multiple copies of books each child can hold one.  Have them face opposite directions with shoulders touching.  They can take turns nudging each other’s shoulder to prompt or correct.

Alphabet Remix  (Rita O’Brien & K.J. Karapetkov)

Sing the regular ABC song.         (Fold hands and sing sweetly.)
I say, A B C D E F G!  (clap twice)  (Dance from side to side.)
H I J K L M N O P  (clap twice)
Q R S,
T U V,
W X Y and Z.
Now I know my ABC’s.
Next time, won’t you rap with me?  (Make rapper hands and                bend over and dance.)
A (blow out of the side of your mouth)
B (blow)
C (blow)….Z        
Now I know my ABC’s (blow).
Now you’re ready to read with me!  (blow)


Activities:  Let children make rapper alphabet necklaces to wear as you sing this song.  Cut 6”-8” letters out of poster board and let children decorate with glitter pens, stickers, and fake jewels.  Punch a hole in the top and tie on string so letters can easily slip on and off their heads.  Stand in a circle and let children get in the middle and dance as their letter is sung.
This song is great for a school program.  Children can wear sunglasses, baseball caps turned backwards, and their rapper necklaces.  Make microphones out of toilet paper rolls and you’re all set to rock and roll!

Karate Chop Skip Count

Feet out, knees bent, karate chop with your right hand and then your left as you count by 2’s to 50.  Here we go…
2, 4, 6, 8…
Leg curls and chops as you count by 5’s to 100
Kick front and back as you count by 10’s to 200.
Wax on, wax off as you count by 100’s to 1000.

Karate Chop

Activities:  Make counting books to reinforce skip counting.  For counting by 2’s, give each child a 6” square and ask them to draw their eyes.  Tape the pictures together to make an accordion book and then write the numerals on successive pages. 
For counting by 5’s, children can trace around their hands.
For counting by 10’s, children can trace around their toes.
Have children patty cake with a friend as they skip count.
Karate chop spelling words and word wall words.  Chop with right hand as you say a letter and then chop with the left hand as you say a letter.   Hands folded together and bow as you say the word.

Pump Up to 100

Pick up your weights and let’s count!
1-20 - bicep curls  (Elbows in, pretend to hold weights in fists with palms up as you bring forearms up and down.)
21-40 - for overhead press (Fists face forwards as you start at your shoulders and push the weights overhead.)
41-60 – side raises (Elbows at 90% angles as you raise them out to the side.)
61-80 – upright rows (Fists together close to the body and raise elbows out and up until fists are at your heart.)
81-100 – frontal raises -  (Fists together and arms stiff as you raise them in front of your body to eye level.)
Whew!  (Wipe brow!!!)
Stretch it out.  (Open arms.  Right arm stretch.  Left arm stretch.)


Activities:  Let children get an imaginary jump rope and jump as they count to 100.
Do leg exercises as you count to 100.  You could do squats, lunges, rock up on toes, knee raises, back kicks, etc.
Tighten and relax major muscle groups on a 10 count.  Tighten shoulders as you count 1-10.  Tighten fingers…forearms…stomach…neck…thighs…etc.
Make copies of the attached exercise cards.  Place in a bag and shake up.  Let one child at a time select an exercise card and roll two dice.  Children add up the numbers and then do the exercise that number of times.

Let’s Move!

(Pretend to play drums.)
Stand up…Let’s march….Let’s hop…Let’s tiptoe…Let’s run…Let’s swim...Let’s fly…Let’s twirl around…Let’s jump…Let’s gallop…Let’s dance…Sit and smile!

Activities:  Write action words in the song on flash cards and hold them up as you move.
Brainstorm other movements and include them in the song.
How do different animals move?  Let each child select an animal, draw a picture of how it moves, and write a sentence to go with it.  For example,  “Zebras gallop.”  Put their pictures together to make a class book.
Do animal relays where children pretend to be different animals and take turns moving to the designated line and back.  They could go on all fours like bears, jump like frogs, crawl backwards like crabs, run like cheetahs, and so forth.

Bubblegum Dance

Let’s all do the bubble gum dance. 
Draw an imaginary line on the floor. 
When we say “bubble gum” the first time we will jump forward over the line. 
When we say “bubble gum” the second time we will jump backwards. 
On “chewy, chewy” we will boogey down and then boogey back up on “bubble gum.” 
On “I love it” we will throw our arms in the air.  
Let’s give it a try! 
Draw an imaginary line on the floor and here we go!
Bubble gum (Jump forward over the line.)
Bubble gum  (Jump backwards over the line.)
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy    (Boogey down.)
Bubble gum.         (Boogey up.)
Bubble gum (Jump forward over the line.)
Bubble gum  (Jump backwards over the line.)
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy    (Boogey down.)
Bubble gum.         (Boogey up.)
I love it!  I love it!   (Throw arms up in the air.)
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy    (Boogey down.)
Bubble gum.         (Boogey up.)
I love it!  I love it!  (Throw arms up in the air.)
Chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy, chewy    (Boogey down.)
Bubble gum.         (Boogey up.)
(Do 4 times starting very slowly and getting increasingly faster.)

Activities:  Did you know that chewing gum is actually good for the brain?  Apparently the chewing motion constricts blood vessels and sends blood to the brain.  (Sounds good to me!)  To encourage children to write or do other assignments, give them each a piece of sugarless gum.  After they put their name on their paper they can open the gum and put it in their mouth.  As long as they keep working they can chew the gum.  Be sure and save the wrapper so you can throw the gum away at the end of the assignment.
Teach children this bubble gum cheer:
Get out your bubble gum.  (Pretend to unwrap gum and put it in your mouth.)
Chew so it gets nice and soft.  (Make exaggerated chewing movement.)
Let’s blow our bubbles.  (Put palms by the side of your mouth.)
Blow!  (Extend palms a little.)
Blow!  (Extend palms a little more.)
Blow!  (Extend further and then pause.)
POP!   (Clap hands together.)

Giddy Up 

Alright cowboys and cowgirls.  Let’s get our guitars and do a little strumming as we step to the music.  (Pretend to strum a guitar as you make exaggerated steps and rock forwards and backwards.)
Now get your hats and your boots and let’s ride!  (Touch head and then feet.)
Hold the reins and gallop in place.  (Cross wrists and pretend to hold reins.)
Lasso in the air with your right hand.  (Circle right hand in the air.)
Lasso in the air with your left hand.  (Circle left hand in the air.)
Touch right hand to your left boot. 
Touch left hand to your right boot.
Fingers crossed, palms push up and down as you tap alternating heels.
One foot forward as you rock back and forth.  (Rocking horse.)
Take your hat on and off as you rock back and forth.  (Tap hat to foot as you rock forward.   Put hat back on head as you rock backwards.)
Yeehaw!  (Pretend to throw your hat in the air.)

Giddy Up

Activities:  Hold hands with a partner and rock back and forth as you sing the song.
Teach children other square dance movements, such as bowing to your partner, do sa do, swing your partner, etc.
Make newspaper ponies.  Lay out three sheets of paper, roll up lengthwise, and tape to make the stick.  Take a lunch sack and draw a horse’s head on the bottom of the sack.  Cut out ears and tape on.  Wad up a sheet of newspaper and stuff in the sack.  Attach the sack to the newspaper stick and tape in place.  Encourage children to name their ponies and ride their ponies on the playground.

Steppin’ Up

This is called the “easy step.”
Step forward with your right foot and then
step forward with your left foot.
Step back with your right foot and then step back with your left foot.
Forward, forward, back, back.
Forward, forward, back, back.
You’ve got it.
Open and close your arms as you step.  (Right arm out.  Left arm out.  Right arm on hip.  Left arm on hip.)
Hands in the air and then double clap.  (Right hand up.  Left hand up.  Clap two times.
Roll your hands in front of you by your tummy.  (Roll hands around.)
Roll them up by your chest.
Roll them up by your chin.
Roll them up by your eyebrows.
Now roll them down by your chin.
Down by your chest.
Down by your tummy.
Shuffle your hands in front of you.  (Right over left two times.  Left over right two times.)
Walk like a penguin.  (Arms down.  Wrists bent up.  Waddle from side to side.)
Punch up in the air with your fists.  (Right fist up.  Left fist up.  Right fist down.  Left fist down.) 
Make stars in the air as you spread your fingers wide.  (Arms up.  Open and close fists.)
Play the drums.  (Pretend to play the drums.)

Stepping Up

Activities:  Children trace around their shoes on construction paper and cut them out.  Write a story on the reverse side called “If Shoes Could Talk.”
Let children do rubbings of the bottom of their shoes.  Take off a shoe, place a sheet of paper over the sole and rub gently with the side of a crayon.
Count the number of steps to the cafeteria, playground, pencil sharpener, etc.
How many steps do you think you take each day?  Get a pedometer and let children take turns estimating their steps and checking how much they walk each day.
Why is walking good for you?  Brainstorm all the places you can walk instead of riding in a car.  Plan a special “walk to school day” and encourage parents to walk with their children to school.

Dancing in My Chair

We can dance in our chairs.  Feet together, sit up straight, and begin to get the beat by slapping your thighs and tapping your feet.
Do the swim.  (Pretend to swim by stroking arms.)
Funky monkey.  (Fists out in front and move up and down.)
Disco.  (Finger in air up, across your body, and down.)
Hitchhike.  (Right thumb up and move across your body.  Left thumb.)
Can you twist?  (Elbows by waist and rotate upper body.)
Do the chicken.  (Hands in armpits and flap like wings.)
Salsa.  (Left arm bent with index finger.  Right arm bent with finger in air.)
Bollywood.  (Hands up like you’re screwing in a light bulb.)
Do the wave.  (Hands up and wave them over your head from left to right.)


Activities:  Play follow-the-leader as children make different hand motions for friends to copy.
Use various types of music for dancing in your chairs.  Waltz music, salsa, techno, country, etc.
Enlarge copies of the dance cards.  Demonstrate how to do the various dances.  Play some good music and then hold the cards up so children can practice doing the different dances.
Do the hand jive to various styles of music.
         Slap thighs 4 times.
         Clap 4 times.
         Shuffle right hand over left 4 times.
         Shuffle left hand over right 4 times.
         Thump right hand on top 4 times.
         Thump left hand on top 4 times.
         Hitch hike with right hand 4 counts.
         Hitch hike with left hand 4 counts.
         Slap thighs 4 times…



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