Summer Camp Week 5: 5 Counting Songs

As with yesterday’s post about action songs, 5 (or 6) songs is just a very small sample of all the wonderful options available, but hopefully I’ve included something in this selection which is new to you or an old forgotten favourite.

1. Five Currant Buns

Five currant buns in a baker’s shop.
Round and fat with a cherry on the top,
Along came [name] with a penny one day,
Bought a currant bun and took it away.

Subsequent verses start with the remaining number of buns until they are all gone.

A lot of these counting songs also count as action songs – with this song you could either use your fingers to represent the currant buns, or if you have a group of children you can act out the whole song with children as the customers, the baker, and even the currant buns if you have enough people.

 

2. Five Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day

Five little ducks went swimming one day,
Over the hill and far away.
Mummy Duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
But only four little ducks came back.

Similarly to the currant buns song, subsequent verses start with the remaining number of ducks until they have all swum away. I like to include the final verse below to keep things cheery!

Just Mummy Duck went swimming one day,
Over the hill and far away.
Mummy Duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
…And all five ducks came swimming back.

 

3. Five Little Speckled Frogs

Five little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs. Yum yum! 
One jumped into the pool, where it was nice and cool,
Then there were just four speckled frogs. Glug glug!

Again, this one counts down from five with each verse, with the final line being, Then there were no more speckled frogs. Glug glug!

 

If you fancy some variety, or more of a mathematical challenge, you could try this starting with ten frogs and have them jumping off in twos.

This is also a great song for introducing the idea of syncopation (stress on the off-beat) – try clapping the rhythm of the song emphasizing the syllables capitalised here, Five LI-ttle speckled frogs sat ON a speckled log.

4. Ten in the Bed

There were ten in the bed and the little one said,
‘Roll over, roll over.’
So they all rolled over and one fell out.

This continues counting down to one in the bed, until the last person in the bed says, ‘I’m lonely’, or ‘goodnight’.

 

5. Ten Green Bottles

Ten green bottles, hanging on the wall,
Ten green bottles, hanging on the wall,
And if one green bottle should accidentally fall,
There’ll be nine green bottles, hanging on the wall.

 

+ This Old Man

I thought I ought to include at least one song that counts up rather than down!

This old man, he played one, he played knick-knack on my thumb,
With a knick-knack paddywhack, give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two, he played knick-knack on my shoe…

This old man, he played three, he played knick-knack on my knee…

This old man, he played four, he played knick-knack on my door…

This old man, he played five, he played knick-knack on my hive…

This old man, he played six, he played knick-knack on my sticks…

This old man, he played seven, he played knick-knack up in heaven…

This old man, he played eight, he played knick-knack on my gate…

This old man, he played nine, he played knick-knack on my spine…

This old man, he played ten, he played knick-knack once again…

 

Tomorrow I’ll suggest some longer songs… the sort that can keep you occupied/drive you crazy on long car trips.

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