Rhythmic read-aloud books for toddlers guarantee hours of enjoyment for long summer days! Parents of toddlers know that rhythmic read-alouds are key for engagement and interactive play. As an early childhood educator, I keep many music and movement books available so my little ones can move and groove!
Summer’s hot days are approaching, which will certainly keep energetic children indoors. It’s vitally important to have engaging and rhythmic books in your bag of tricks for children to stay occupied. Lack of materials and restless children create a storm of summer meltdowns!
The following are a list of rhythmic read-aloud books for toddlers to keep children engaged. Some read-alouds are call and response activities, and others encourage young ones to wiggle away the boredom. All of these titles will make the indoor time fly!
My toddler classroom has many wiggly angels, so some of these rhythmic tales helped! The Bank Street College of Education (my alma mater) also gives an extensive list of read-alouds for children!
I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison and Frank Morrison
I Got the Rhythm gets toddlers dancing both indoors and out! Beautiful images paired with simple movements invite children to flex their motor skills. Dancing will no doubt wiggle the hot and humid days away!
Five Tough and Tiny Seeds by Steve Metzger and Mike Byrne
With Five Tough and Tiny Seeds, sung to the tune of “Five Green and Speckled Frogs,” children will enjoy this quick yet engaging read. Toddlers learn about nature’s cycle while having fun. Curious animals also make an appearance!
There’s a Monster in Your Book by Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott
There’s a Monster In Your Book is one of my absolute faves! Heavily interactive, children can yell and move to draw out a pesky monster. My students never get tired of this story!
Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band by Kwame Alexander and Tim bowers
Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band features both endearing animals and the power of teamwork. Children will adore the stunning illustrations and creative rhymes strewn throughout the book!
Bee Dance by Rick Chrustowski
Enter the busy world of worker bees with Bee Dance. Using the patterns of wiggles and lines, we playfully discover where pollen is located. My little ones enjoy imitating the worker bees’ wiggles and shakes. Every. Single. Time!
Chugga-Chugga Choo Choo by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk
Chugga Chugga Choo Choo brings us into a child’s world. Vibrant colors and characters dictate their journey. Toddlers also enjoy imitating the train sounds used in the book!
Moo, Baa, La, La, La! by Sandra Boynton
It’s an animal’s world in Moo, Baa, La La La!
Sandra Boynton uses call and response animal sounds from start to finish. The images alone will draw little ones in for hours.
How Loud is a Lion? By Claire Beaton
How Loud Is a Lion? Through patience and listening, Claire Beaton shows us how. Toddlers will love both the range of movement and rich images of the story. Since children love imitating animals, a wild animal movement activity is an ideal follow up!
I Am Human: A Book of Empathy by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds
While not musically centered, I Am Human: A Book of Empathy has heart. Susan Verde writes small snippets of mindfulness paired with vibrant images. I Am Human provides a map for kindness and compassion.
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp Whomp Whomp! A Sonic Adventure by Wynton Marsalis and Paul Rodgers
Music is everywhere! Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! displays the power of music at home and in your community. Because of the variety of sounds, toddlers will love voicing the rumbles and squeaks of objects around them.
The Messy One by Christianne C. Jones and Jana Martinez-Neal
Vivienne loves being messy, but a lost gift teaches a valuable lesson. The Messy One shows both children and adults to adore the traits that make us unique. This is not a rhythmic story, but children can create messy crafts to pass warm afternoons. After all, being cluttered is in their nature!