Special Storytime Spotlight: Move & Groove with the Stretchy Band

We’re bringing back our full storytime schedule come mid-August… and that also means the return of special storytimes! These “special” storytime one-offs take the place of our preschool storytime once a week. We’ve done STEAM, Mindfulness, Box Parties… the only limit is the storyteller’s imagination! I’m scheduled to lead a Move & Groove our very first week, so I wanted to look back on some previous plans.

What is Move & Groove? As the name implies, this special storytime focuses heavily on music and movement! Sometimes we just sing and dance and don’t read any books at all. Here’s a fun, stretchy band centered Move & Groove storytime from March 2020:

Sing: Good Morning to You*

Welcome & Set Expectations

Lit Tip: Getting Your Child’s Body Ready to Read and Write

Grown-ups, learning to read and write takes MUCH more than just knowing the ABC’s! Reading and writing is a whole body effort from head to toe. Your child also needs things like strong fine motor muscles in their fingers and hands, and core strength in their trunk, and self-regulation. We’re going to work on all of these skills today during Move & Groove as we SING and dance together!

Throughout the rest of Move & Groove, I let parents know what skill each activity was helping us develop.

Sing: Can’t Wait to Celebrate by Jim Gill

“Speaking of… let’s build our self-regulation skills with my favorite stop and go song!”

Sing: My Thumbs Are Starting to Wiggle…

Tune: The Bear Went Over the Mountain

My thumbs are starting to wiggle,

my thumbs are starting to wiggle.

My thumbs are starting to wiggle,

and now so are my hands!

Repeat: other body parts


Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers Up

Dance your fingers up, dance your fingers down.

Dance them to the side, dance them all around!

Dance them on your shoulders, dance them on your head.

Dance them on your tummy – hee hee!

Now put them into bed.


Read: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera

This book was the PERFECT foreshadow to one of our stretchy band songs later in storytime.

Sing: Can You Bounce the Stretchy Band?

Tune: Do You Know the Muffin Man?

Can you bounce the stretchy band,

the stretchy band, the stretchy band?

Can you bounce the stretchy band

and hold it in the air?


pull it to the back

hold it in your lap


A successful stretchy band storytime is all about setting the stage! I find that spending some time previewing different motions and practicing following directions helps us when we get to more complicated songs.

Sing: The Waves in the Sea… (stretchy band)

Tune: The Wheels on the Bus

The waves in the sea go up and down,

up and down, up and down.

The waves in the sea go up and down

all day long!


We sang this song three times – normal speed, quickly for choppy waves, then very slowly for gentle, calm waves.

Sing: Row, Row, Row Your Boat (stretchy band)

Rowing is hard work! As happened during the Jane Cabrera story, the captain (yours truly) fell asleep. Our boat veered dangerously off course. In additional verses, we…

  • Went over a waterfall
  • Encountered a crocodile
  • Rowed so fast and so far we found ourselves in the middle of the ocean
  • Got surrounded by sharks

After a narrow escape, I decided it was time we abandon ship and read another book!

Sing: Everybody Clap Your Hands

Tune: Do You Know the Muffin Man?

Everybody clap your hands,

clap your hands, clap your hands.

Everybody clap your hands

and let go of the band!


Sing: If You’re Ready for a Story…*

Read: Toad on the Road by Stephen Shaskan

Sing: The Wheels on the Bus (stretchy band)

Sing: If You’re Holding Red Today… (stretchy band)

Tune: Do You Know the Muffin Man?

If you’re holding red today,

red today, red today.

If you’re holding red today

Stand up and shout hooray!


We repeated verses with other stretchy band colors until everyone was standing up.

(Wow, I didn’t realize there were so many Muffin Man piggyback songs in this plan! Such a good transition tune).

Sing: Green, Yellow, Red by Music with Mar (stretchy band)

This was a little challenging with the wide variety of motor skills in the room! I had caregivers keep babies in their laps and bounce them along to the song while the rest of us held onto the band and tried to walk at different speeds.

Sing: Goodbye, Goodbye*

*Please visit this page to learn more about my regular storytime songs and routines. To learn more about how I use the stretchy band in storytime, click here.

It’s probably going to be a LONG time before I bring the stretchy band back to storytime… For the immediate future, I plan on sticking to individual instruments that are easy to clean, like rhythm sticks and shaker eggs.

What special storytimes does your library offer? What does your fall storytime schedule look like? Would love to learn more in the comments below!

1 thought on “Special Storytime Spotlight: Move & Groove with the Stretchy Band”

  1. Is it weird to be jealous of kids today? I don’t remember my library doing programs like this when I was a kid… or if it did, I never was brought to them.

    Move and Groove especially sounds like so much fun. Good luck getting everything ready!

    Liked by 1 person

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