I found that I was able to get them to sit better by 'bouncing on our bottoms.' Basically, as they were sitting they bounced up and down in that spot and that really helped get the wiggles out and keep them sitting. I may have to start throwing that in the mix of every story time when they get too wiggly.
I should note that before doing a high energy hopping story time make sure you have your inhaler if you need it. I had been suspecting that I have asthma and the kangaroo song followed by open shut them really did me in. Thankfully, I have since visited the doctor and now have an inhaler to use before story times.
Our first book originally was Bouncing by Shirley Hughes. I thought it was cute how the little girl bounces all around the house with her baby brother, but the kids did not seem to go for it. So, for the last two session of the week we read Emily loves to bounce by Stephen Michael King. This book features another bouncing girl, but she bounces around with an elephant, with her Nana, and all over mom and dad's bed. This book has lots of springs and boings and the kids seemed to enjoy it better. (I will mention that my Monday group this session was a little crazy and there were few things they seemed to 'like', so Bouncing may have gone over better later in the week.)
The second book that we read was Lauren Thompson's Leap back home to me. I was excited to find that this book used the word leap repeatedly, perfect for a leap day story time. And the illustrations were great with the little frog leaping all over then back to his mom who was always waiting for him. I love the way that the frog is depicted soaring through the air with his arms and legs straight back from the speed.
Our final story was Jump! by Scott Fischer. I turned this one into a flannel story. It was a lot of fun. I always enjoy throwing flannel pieces in story time, so every instance where an animal would 'jump' I threw that piece way up into the air behind me. Basically, the story starts with a frog and when he sees a cat he jumps. The cat jumps from the dog and on and on with bigger animals until we end with a whale - who jumps away too. I got the kids to join in by pausing before putting up each new animal and letting them call out what it was. You can read more about my flannel here.
As mentioned above, I was able to find several asthma inducing jumping/hopping songs. The Exercise Party album has one called Kangaroos hopping. This song in non-stop hopping as the kangaroos hop, wiggle big feet, and wag a tail all over Australia.
Carole Peterson has a song called the Shaker Hop. It is essentially the Bunny hop, but instead of the Bunny hop lyrics you 'put your shakers in, put your shakers out, do the shaker hop, hop, hop, hop.' There is also a bit of dancing with the shakers. This is a great egg shaker song for preschoolers.
Hap Palmer's Five little monkeys also fit right in with our theme. I have used this song many times before. It has the five little monkeys who jump, hop, and spin on the bed before bumping heads and causing mama to call that doctor. They finally wise up and jump outside, an activity that the doctor okays.
A few other hopping songs that we did were:
Five green and speckled frogs:(I have a magnet board for this one)
Five green and speckled frogs,
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs,
One jumped into the pool,
Where it is nice and cool,
Now there are four speckled frogs,
If you’re hoppy and you know it:
If you’re hoppy and you know it give a hop,
If you’re hoppy and you know it give a hop,
If you’re hoppy and you know it then you really want to show it,
If you’re hoppy and you know it give a jump.
Give a bounce
Give a jump
Once we were all bounced out we made some frog party blowers. This was really easy as we have a die cut for the frogs. I used the version with the finger holes so that the kids could make the frogs jump if they wanted. I let them decorate the cardstock frog with colorful bingo daubers and eye stickers. Then, they slid a party blower through the mouth slit so the frog had a tongue they could blow in and out. They LOVED this part of it. A few of the youngest ones had a little trouble making the blower work, but I think eventually they all got it. The blowers were cheap (8 / $1.49 at Walmart) so I needed a few extra on hand.