From Head to Toe, Clap Your Hands; “Wiggle While You Read”

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This Week’s Kidsbook Friends Theme: “Keep Kids Moving!”

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley

Recently I had the opportunity to guest blog on Porridge. I wrote a post titled 7 Tips to Read Successfully with Toddlers. Here’s Tip #5- Select active books:

Books that encourage movement are wonderful. Check out titles such as: Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley, I’m Jack! by Crystal Bowman, and From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. Kindermusik also has a wide assortment. These books will get your kids up and moving and totally engaged in the book!

In lieu of that tip, this week’s Kidsbook Friends theme is “Keep Kids Moving”, so I’m excited to blog two books that truly will encourage kids to wiggle while you read to them!

Introducing Our Featured Friends: From Head to Toe  and Clap Your Hands:

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle is a fun, confidence-building book for kids. Each animal featured does a motion and the child copies him and says, “I can do it!” For example:

(donkey): I am a donkey and I kick my legs. Can you do it?
(child): I can do it!

Carle teaches body parts and motion while helping kids develop the skills of listening and mimicking . . . and all the while kids are happily wiggling while they read!

Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley is a great book with a beat. It starts off strong:

Clap your hands, stomp your feet.
Shake your arms, then take a seat.

Cauley teaches body parts also and includes counting (Count your fingers, count your toes.), conversation (Tell me your name. How old are you?), and characteristics of animals (Roar like a lion, growl like a bear.) . . . and all the while kids are giggling and wiggling while they read!

Inviting You to Become FRIENDS with From Head to Toe and
Clap Your Hands:

Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share

Select a couple of questions and activities to do with your kids or class:

F- How do you feel when a book gets you moving?
For us, we feel happy and are smiling and laughing because we’ve had a good time!

R- Can you relate to the boys and girls in Eric Carle’s book when they say, “I can do it!”. Were you able to do everything with them? If so, say “I can do it!” each time they do.
For us, I noticed my toddler relating to the kids by having fun and being confident while mimicking their motions and each time saying, “I can do it!”. What wonderful words to repeat.

I- Imagine that you could do anything a certain animal could do. Which animal would you pick and what would you do?
For us, my son said a hamster so he could run super fast; my daughter said a bird so she could fly high, and I think my toddler would like to be a chameleon so he could hide really well when we play hide-and-go-seek.

E- Explore songs that have movement like, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, “Hokey-Pokey” and “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”. The Learning Station fun videos to go with many kids’ songs:

N- Navigate through Clap Your Hands several times, reading and doing the motions with your kids or class. Then, hold up the book and see if they can “read” it back to you by looking at the pictures and remembering the motions!
For us, I’m surprised by how quickly kids can memorize these types of books. Rhymes and motions are powerful memory aids.

D- Develop a song for a concept or habit that you are trying to teach your kids or class.
For me, I’m trying to teach my toddler how to brush his teeth well, so I sing a silly little tune: “Thomas the Train, on the teeth tracks; Thomas the Train, he likes to go fast; Thomas the Train, open up wide (mouth), here he goes, down the slide (tongue). . .

S- Share what your favorite movement is from both books.
For us, our kids really like kicking their legs like a donkey (Carle) and doing a somersault across the floor (Cauley).

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Eric Carle: From Head to Toe

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Lorinda Bryan Cauley: Clap Your Hands

If you like this post, check out:
Guest Blogger: 5 Books to Keep Kids Moving-

Follow Kidsbook Friends on Facebook and at for more book reviews with creative, FRIENDly reading ideas!






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