Cinco ranas verdes: an action song for Spanish story time

Lyrics to kid song cinco ranas verdes

Frogs! Frogs everywhere! This action song is adapted from the children’s song “Un ratoncito sale de la cueva.”

It goes like this:

Cinco ranas verdes, (Enseña cinco dedos/Show five fingers)

Salen de los bolsillos, (Pasa un brazo bajo otro/Pass an arm under another)

Saltan por todas partes, (Da una palmadita en las piernas/Slap your legs)

Y juegan a la rueda. (Haz círculos con los brazos/Circle your arms)

And it continues with cuatro, tres, dos ranas until there is only una rana left:

Una rana verde,

Sale de los bolsillos,

Salta por todas partes,

Y juega a la rueda.

Videos and sheet music for the melody are available on

I tweaked the lyrics so they are about ranas (frogs) appearing out of bolsillos (pockets) in order to pair the song with Pat Mora’s Wiggling Pockets / Los bolsillos saltarines.

Wiggling pockets.jpg

Wiggling Pockets is about a family who gathers inside after outdoor playtime for a snack, but one sibling has a surprise in his pockets, frogs! They jump all around until they are finally let outside.

I used this book in a bilingual story time of mainly babies to three year olds. I would use it again!

More Spanish story time posts

More resources for multilingual action songs


Spanish story time: an Eric Carle classic & print awareness

I’ve grown emboldened this fall to place more emphasis on Spanish only stories during bilingual story time.

Picking a few key words and ideas to translate into Spanish has worked well at keeping monolingual English speakers engaged.


With this week’s pick, Papá, por favor, bájame la luna by Eric Carle, I read the Spanish text and emphasized the ECRR2 dimension of print awareness/conventions.

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Crafting stories from song for Spanish story time

Last fall, I launched a bilingual Spanish story time at my library called ¡Cantos! ¡Cuentos! ¡Juegos! I’ve discovered stories, songs, and story time structures that work (and that don’t).

One discovery I made last fall was the CD Cantar y Jugar. It’s from 2002, by Disney (sounding great, right?), but it has some surprisingly listenable versions of Latin American children’s songs.

Photo of album art for Disney presenta Cantar y Jugar showing Mickey Mouse with maracas
A shiny new copy I ordered for myself. The library copy looks more its age.

After almost a year of listening to the CD while setting up and playing after story time, the song “Que llueva” convinced me it could be something more.

Continue reading “Crafting stories from song for Spanish story time”

Interactive displays for families that build data literacy

The week before my wedding, I came up with a display idea for the children’s room. Not just any idea – an interactive, ties in with the strategic plan, incorporates data literacy display. You know, the week when I should be prepping my carts for ordering, and cleaning my desk, and spending all my mental energy staying calm-ish?

Fortunately, my amazing supervisor and coworkers encouraged me to work on the idea when I got back.

The Display

Bulletin board called “Walk ‘n’ Roll to the Library”  with map and lots of stickers

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Library program “Mini Clay Figures: Pokemon” drew crowds

Over 200 kids and adults have made tiny Charmanders, Squirtles, Bulbasaurs, Pokeballs, and – of course – Pikachu at the Ann Arbor District Library. The attendees used oven-bake clay to create, rather than capture, their favorite Pokemon.

Participants made Greatballs and Bulbasaurs at the second clay charms program.

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Programs, outreach, and lessons learned at the Ann Arbor District Library

Over the course of this summer, I was alternately a summer activity superhero, library information expert, and selector of library materials. Of all my activities, organizing events for the library was the most rewarding: between 10 programs, I was able to serve 340 children, teens, and adults.

Sewing Lab allows community to gain skills, design their own creations
Community members used library sewing machines to create aprons, table cloths, blankets, kids’ toys, zipper pouches, and more!

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Gameful Summer Reading

I celebrated finishing my first year of library school by attending the Oregon Library Association Conference!

I shared a poster of the work I did in SI 549 “Transformative Learning and Teaching with Technology.” The poster highlights some examples of library summer reading programs that are motivating, based on what we know about games.

Slater OLA Poster for Web

PDF Download


Preschool Storytime: Wishes

I am settling in to the masters program at the University of Michigan and my position as a Public Library Associate at the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL).

AADL has massive storytimes. Probably over 75 people attend the storytime at the downtown branch.

I am getting my start partnering with children’s librarians and staff. The Wednesday storytime is a production! I was pleased to jump in with a song, a couple of stories, and with my ukulele.

Opening song: “Dr. Knickerbocker, Knickerbocker”

Story: If the Dinosaurs Came Back by Bernard Most

Song on ukulele: “There were Five Dinosaurs

Story told by Kayla, with a puppet and stick: Anansi and the Magic Stick by Eric Kimmel

Song: “I feel so crazy so I jump in the soup” by Laurie Berkner

Story, a feltboard duo: Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson

Closing song: “Knees Up Mother Brown

Knees Up Mother Brown has been a tradition at AADL for decades. We sing the first verse as written and then we improvise verses. We perform using dancing puppets called Limberjacks. When we tap on a board, the Limberjacks jump!

Family story time in the park: Bicycles

Summer 2012, I was an intern at the Beaverton City Library. I planned and led eight family story times in the public park.

The park hosts free lunch in the summer. Each week I set up blue tarps near the food service and, with my puppet, invited families to join me on the tarps. I included high-interest elements for many ages by including song, dance, as well as longer and shorter stories.

Families also had the opportunity to register for summer reading.


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