Can You Stretch?

Action rhyme for pre-schoolers that lets them pretend to be animals, then quiets them down again.

Literacy Tip

Hi, my name is Mary and I want to share with you a great rhyme with lots of actions to it! One of the ways this rhyme helps kids get ready to read is by focusing on vocabulary— both nouns and verbs. We are encouraging physical participation that’s just right for the pre-readers. Everybody stand up and make sure you have some room around you! Ready?


Can you hop like a rabbit? (Hop)
Can you jump like a frog (Squat and jump)
Can you walk like a duck? (Waddle with arms tucked)
Can you run like a dog? (Run in place)
Can you fly like a bird? (Flap arms and soar)
Can you swim like a fish? (Pucker mouth and lean forward with hands clasped
behind but making your elbows move)
Can you sit still as can be?
As still as this? (Sit quickly and hold as still as you can with hands clasped)

Video Information

  • Creator: Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy
  • Performers: Mary Kuehner
  • Contributors: Rocky Mountain PBS
  • Source: Public Domain
Rating: 2.5/5. From 3 votes. Show votes.
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  • What a great idea this site is…I will use this with my 2 tiny grandchildren…I only wish the camera could have more of Mary to see the great actions. Thank you!

  • I enjoyed the poem with it’s accompanying movements. I would use this as an ice breaker or in between stories to help get the wiggles out.

  • What a great way to get the wiggles out before story time begins. Thank you for sharing the literacy tip and the cute fish face.

  • We loved the video Mary!
    What a treat to be able to share your talents with many more children, families, teachers, and grandparents!
    Ruth, Mary, Lisa, Gloria

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