The Animal Sounds Song – sing-along phonics practice for toddlers

th-5A fun sing-along and phonics-themed call and response with animal sounds, images and text.  


Bibliographic Info:  Jenkins, A. J. (writer/performer) The Animal Sounds Song  A.J. Jenkins/KidsTV123 (2010)  Format: Children’s Music Video, MP3 and video downloads  Platform: YouTube  Channel: KidsTV123  Interest Level: baby, toddler, preK  Genre: Educational Children’s Music Video  Themes:  Animals, Animal Sounds, Phonological Awareness, Sing-alongs and Musical Stories, Reading and Learning


StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1The Animal Sounds Song was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on March 25th, 2015 and has been selected for the MusicVideoWOW collection.  Read the Storytime section below for details on why it was selected.


Summary:  The Animal Sounds Song helps children, toddlers and babies learn phonics patterns in English by describing the sounds that animals make lyrically (through call and response) and visually (through text and artwork).

th-4Review:  This educationally-focused video is designed to teach phonics. The first rule of storytime (and storytimeWOW.com) is to choose materials that make reading and learning fun (not didactic).  For this reason, it would appear that The Animal Sounds Song is more appropriate as a teacher’s lesson-plan element than a storytime stretch.  However, kids love to make animals sounds and this video sing-along is surprisingly popular on YouTube.  The video also invites children to participate in a vocal call and response activity (which makes it highly engaging).  Despite its rudimentary animation, this children’s music video is fun AND educational (and children seem to love it).


th-3Storytime:  In a storytime context, The Animal Sounds Song requires a short setup.  First, let children know that their job in this activity is to make animal sounds.  Practice a few times before you play the video.  For example, let children know that when they hear “the cat goes meow”, they say “meow meow,” etc…

The Animal Sounds Song meets the StorytimeWOW Standards for Music Videos.  This video:

  • has universal appeal (children love to make animal sounds)
  • has that “WOW” factor (it’s enjoyable for groups of children)
  • is well-suited for repetition (it can be played as a routine element)
  • provides viewers with a happy takeaway (it helps children learn phonics)
  • is free of squirmy moments
  • hits the storytime target audience’s interest level (babies, toddlers and young children)
  • includes participation or lends itself to group interaction (the video activity is all call and response)

th-2Significance:  The Animal Sounds Song has received more than 175,485,252 hits on YouTube!

Watch-alikes:   ABC Song from LittleBabyBum   Ten Little Numbers by KidsTV123

Links:   creator’s website   YouTube link   YouTube channel


Early Childhood Education and Development:  The following lists the stand-out benefits of The Animal Sounds Song across various early childhood education (ECE) and child development checklists.

1.  This video cultivates the following Pre-Reading Skills (see full list of pre-reading skills here):

  • Understanding that print represents words that are spoken, knowing how to follow words on a page  (print awareness)
  • Knowing the names of things (vocabulary)
  • Knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing their names and sounds, and recognizing them (letter knowledge)
  • Being able to hear and play with smaller sounds in words (phonological awareness)
  • Being able to describe things and events, being able to tell stories (narrative skills)

2. This video provides opportunities to utilize the Early Literacy-building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):

  • Singing helps children learn new words and vocalize.
  • Reading together remains the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers. Reading together develops vocabulary, comprehension, and general knowledge needed to understand other books and stories when they are older.
  • Playing is one of the primary ways young children learn about how the world works and learn language.

3. This video follows these Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):

  • For all materials, whether they be traditional (like picture books, sing-alongs and felt board stories) or new media (like eBooks or apps), maintain a 50/50 balance between fiction and non-fiction (informational-focused) content.
  • Integrate more new media materials and technology.  Cultivate media literacy by modeling media literacy behaviors.
  • Create a more participatory culture in group programs and classroom settings.  Use materials that invite participation and keep learners engaged.

Why I Chose to Review this Video:  I chose to include this material because of its huge number of hits on YouTube.  The numbers attests to its effectiveness and likability.

3Make Reading More Fun


Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!