Here are my all time favorite movement songs to use as warm up or wiggle songs in storytime. They are effective and seamless activities to do with a wide range of littles that require no props, no prep, and no stress!

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear by Jazzy Ash

A masterful reimagining of the traditional rhyme. This is an action song that calls for a movement that corresponds to each line of the song. Jazzy Ash brilliantly uses scaffolding to introduce the movements, then ties them together by taking away the breaks, then ups the ante (and the silliness) by speeding up the song. The arrangement and vocal performance are also *chefs kiss.* It really doesn’t get better than this. 

Suggested ages: 3 and up, but toddlers will still love it even if they can’t piece together all of the movements.

Silly Dance Contest by Jim Gill

Jim Gill is an artist that I will recommend again, and again, and again when talking about movement songs. He has so many winning ones, it’s ridiculous. Jim just gets it. This is one of his most celebrated songs, and for good reason. Who doesn’t love a good freeze dance? Add silliness, jumping, speed dancing, and slow motion and you’ve got a gold star movement song. 

Suggested ages: Toddlers and up.

Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi 

This song is a legend. That’s all.

Suggested ages: Toddlers and up.

Run Baby Run by Caspar Babypants

Caspar Babypants, aka Chris Ballew of the awesome band The Presidents of the United States of America (where my geriatric millennials at?) is one of my all-time personal favorite childrens’ artists. His arrangements generate this signature, whimsical aesthetic that is so cool and listenable. Run, jump, spin, sing, clap, dance, and swing to this interactive earworm. You will want to preface this one by explaining running IN PLACE to very young children. This is a great candidate for encouraging caregiver interaction because they can do the song with their “baby” be it an actual baby or a big kid “baby.” 

Suggested ages: Babies and up

Clap Your Hands by The Alana Banana Show

A perfect warm up song for toddlers. The production is contemporary and fun without being cheesy, and the pacing and movements are just right for littles. It encourages developmentally appropriate skills such as clapping, jumping, and dancing. I recommend repeating it every week to see them build and master these skills. Comin’ in at under a minute and a half this is a winner for 3 and under. 

Suggested ages: Babies to 3 years.

Clap Your Hands by They Might Be Giants (For Kids)

This is a stop and start song with rhythm matching, clapping, stomping, and jumping - and it is a winner for storytime! Short and sweet, this one will appeal to a slightly wider age group because of the funky production and self-aware vocal performance and pacing. It still works on developing those important physical milestones, but the pacing is a little faster.

Suggested ages: Toddlers and up.

Shake Your Body Down by The Laurie Berkner Band

Laurie Berkner is widely regarded as the GOAT in modern family music. I absolutely love her work and promote it a lot. This is my personal favorite movement song by her. It’s framed as a game, so right off the bat children are using listening skills to follow along with the vocals, which take you through a full body and brain warm up, complete with a jumping contest. This song covers pretty much everything about proprioception (awareness of body position) including waking up the entire body head to toe, clapping, jumping, and up/down movements that encourage spatial awareness. It requires a lot of movement and encourages a high level of listening skills, so I mostly use this one for ages 3 and up; but of course littles also love it, particularly the shaking and jumping parts. 

Suggested ages: 3 and up, but toddlers will still love it even if they can’t piece together all of the movements.

Move It, Move It! by Stephanie Leavell

Stephanie Leavell is the all-star behind Music For Kiddos (a fantastic resource for early childhood music and learning) and also a gifted singer and composer. She creates songs that are great for sensory regulation, plus she has a sweet, cool tone to everything she does. 

Suggested ages: Toddlers and up.