Summer Camp Week 5: 5 Action Songs

Inspired by a Facebook conversation started by my dear friend Philippa (of the fascinating Thinking on my Feet dance blog), this week’s posts are going to be suggestions for songs to sing with your child or listen to together.

Few, if any, of these will be new to you – many are very well-known old favourites – but maybe one or two will jog your memory if you’ve got stuck in a rut singing the same songs over and over (Let it Go, anyone?).

1. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

This familiar song is a good full-body warm up!

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.

Sung while tapping or pointing to the relevant body part with both hands. Subsequent verses omit singing body parts, taking one more away with each subsequent verse (you can substitute a ‘shh’ to remind smaller kids) while still tapping them. Sometimes the final verse is sung in full but as quickly as you can manage the actions.

 

2. Wind the Bobbin Up

Young kids sometimes find the arm rolling action in this song tricky, but it’s good fun working on it.

Wind the bobbin up, wind the bobbin up,
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap.
Wind it back again, wind it back again,
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap.

Point to the ceiling, point to the floor,
Point to the window, point to the door.
Clap your hands together, 1, 2, 3.
Put your hands down on your knees.

Actions are rolling hands around each other as you wind the bobbin up (changing direction on the back again) and pulling hands apart, clapping, pointing etc as suggested by the lyrics.

 

3. Tommy Thumb, Tommy Thumb, Where Are You?

This one is a nice introduction to individual finger dexterity.

Tommy Thumb, Tommy Thumb, where are you?
Here I am, here I am, how do you do?

Subsequent verses introduce Peter Pointer, Toby Tall, Ruby Ring and Baby Small. If you are teaching your child about the fingers you can wiggle the appropriate finger on the first line, encouraging them to join in on the second line. If your child already knows the rhyme you could both hide your hands for the first line, and both bring out the appropriate finger on the second.

 

4. One Finger, One Thumb, Keep Moving

This is another fun one to get the whole body moving.

One finger, one thumb, keep moving,
One finger, one thumb, keep moving,
One finger, one thumb, keep moving,
We’ll all be merry and bright.
Verse 2.One finger, one thumb, one arm, keep moving…
Verse 3. One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, keep moving…
Verse 4. One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, one nod of the head, keep moving…
Verse 5. One finger, one thumb, one arm, one leg, one nod of the head, stand up, sit down, keep moving…
The lyrics are pretty self-explanatory; I’ll leave it to The Wiggles (sorry!) to demonstrate.

 

5. This Little Piggy

I don’t want to leave the toes out, although you can do this with fingers, too.

This little piggy went to market,
This little piggy stayed home,
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none,
And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home.

The finger-play for this is to wiggle each toe in turn starting with the big toe (NB. I do mean that you should use your fingers to wiggle your child’s toes – it would be pretty impressive to be able to wiggle each toe independently!), and at the wee wee wee it’s time for tickles.

+ 1 2 3 4 5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive

I like this one because it helps young piano students get the idea of the finger numbers we use (thumb starts as 1), and they need to remember which hand is on the right.

One, two, three, four, five, once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten, then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go? Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite? This little finger on the right.

I hope there is something in this list to get you singing and moving. I’ll be back with some more counting songs tomorrow.

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