More Fun Songs for Rhyming & Reading

Photo on 2011-11-30 at 08.10

This is another article in my series on songs for helping children learn about rhymes and vowel sounds. For even more songs on this topic, please check out my album of Songs for Rhyming and Reading and the Songs for Teaching web page. Parts of this article were previously printed in Pass It On! The Journal of The Children’s Music Network.

I find that children request certain songs repeatedly, and one is my “spoon puppet” song, “Icky Sticky and Ooey Gooey.” (Click the link to see a video and hear the tune.) I first learned this “traditional” song from Fran Friedman, a fellow member of The Children’s Music Network, an organization of performers, teachers, librarians and parents who love making music with kids. This song asks children to make rhymes with body parts.

 The lyrics go like this:

Icky Sticky and Ooey Gooey, they went out one day

Said Icky Sticky to Ooey Gooey, “Won’t you come and play?”

So Icky Sticky and Ooey Gooey, they played in the sand.

But Icky Sticky got stuck to Ooey Gooey’s – HAND!

Additional verses continue with the body-part rhymes: tree-knee, hose-nose, track-back, farm-arm. The idea is to get the children to guess the rhyming word each time the last line comes around. The song invites children to start listening for and even initiating rhymes. I created spoon puppets for the two characters. I tell the kids that when you cook with a wooden spoon, it often gets really icky sticky and ooey gooey!

I added another dimension to the song by asking the children to “stick to a friend” when we call out the body part. The kids have fun finding a friend and sticking to a knee, arm, toe, hand or back. I count to three and yell, “Un-stick!” to get everyone to come apart.

Another fun rhyming song I often use is called “I Like My Hat.” (You can click the link to hear the tune.) I first got the idea for a rhyming hat song after hearing a simple song with the same name by another friend in The Children’s Music Network, Carole Stephens. She demonstrated how she brings little cut-out paper hats for the children in her group; each child gets a “hat” for the song.

I Like My Hat

By Liz Buchanan, derived from a song by Carole Stephens

I like my hat, I like my hat.

Oh, my hat is red, I wear it on my head.

I like my hat, I like my hat.

Additional colors and rhyming lines:

My hat is green, I wear it like the queen.

My hat is blue, I wear it on my shoe.

My hat is yellow, I wear it with my fellow.

My hat is pink, I wear it when I wink.

My hat is brown, I wear it into town.

Like Carole, I bring lots of hats in different colors, and children can choose which hat to “like.” In school, we sing a verse about each color, and the children who have those colors stand up, or hold up their hats, when we get to their verse. It’s especially fun to ask children to suggest their own rhymes.

A good follow-up activity is the coloring sheet below.

Scan 22



  1. I love these ideas Liz! Icky Sticky I knew, but not the hat song. Does it have a tune?

  2. Hi Joanie – If you click on the link above on “I Like My Hat” it will take you to a sound file with the tune. Thanks for the nice comment! – Liz

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