Summer Camp Week 5: 5 Sleepy Songs

So, after a week of singing and dancing, let’s calm things down a little…

1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

I can’t imagine this is going to be new to anybody, but it’s still one of E’s favourite songs so I couldn’t leave it out. You could also use it as an introduction to Mozart’s piano music…

 

2. Brahms’ Lullaby

Lullaby and goodnight, with roses bedight
With lilies o’er spread is my baby’s wee bed
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed
Lay thee down now and rest, may thy slumber be blessed

Lullaby and goodnight, thy mother’s delight
Bright angels beside my darling abide
They will guard thee at rest, thou shalt wake on my breast
They will guard thee at rest, thou shalt wake on my breast

This lullaby doesn’t necessarily have the most catchy lyrics, but once the melody is familiar to your child it could serve as a nice introduction to another great composer.

 

3. Golden Slumbers

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes,
Smiles await you when you rise.
Sleep, pretty baby, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.
Cares you know not, therefore sleep,
While over you a watch I’ll keep,
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.

When I was looking up versions of Golden Slumbers my youngest fell in love (or, more accurately, was mesmerised by) the version below, but don’t forget there’s also a Beatles version if you’re after something a little less saccharine!

 

4. Beautiful Boy, John Lennon

A favourite with my children ever since watching Mr Peabody and Sherman.

 

5. Sleeping Bunnies

So now the kids are all calm and quiet, let’s get them all bouncing! I’m sorry – I can’t resist including this – it’s not really a sleepy song, I know, but it never gets old in our house…

See the little bunnies sleeping ’til it’s nearly noon.
Shall we wake them with a merry tune?
They’re so still, are they ill?
Shhhh, shhhh….
Wake up soon [clap]!
Hop little bunnies, hop hop hop,
Hop little bunnies, hop hop hop,
Hop little bunnies, hop hop hop,
Hop little bunnies, hop then… stop!

The version on this video is slightly different from the version I usually sing, but I like it because it prolongs the bouncing – sometimes with really little kids it takes them so long to get up and bouncing that the song is nearly finished by the time they’ve got going. Of course, you can always just sing the hopping section twice through… or pause for longer while everyone gets up (if the rest of your group is patient enough).

 

+ Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

And while we’re bouncing rather than sleeping, here’s another great favourite. I love this version, from the brilliant Putumayo Animal Playground album.

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Summer Camp Week 5: 5 Long Songs

As promised, here’s a selection of longer songs to keep little (and big) people occupied…

1. Old MacDonald

This one can be as long or as short as your knowledge of farm animals/vehicles/crops and the noises they make!

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O,
And on that farm he had some cows, E-I-E-I-O,
With a ‘moo moo‛ here and a ‘moo moo‛ there,
Here a ‘moo‛, there a ‘moo‛, everywhere a ‘moo moo‛,
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O,
And on that farm he had some pigs, E-I-E-I-O,
With an ‘oink oink‛ here and an ‘oink oink‛ there,
Here an ‘oink‛, there an ‘oink‛, everywhere an ‘oink oink‛,
A ‘moo moo‛ here and a ‘moo moo‛ there,
Here a ‘moo‛, there a ‘moo‛, everywhere a ‘moo moo‛,
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

And on that farm he had some sheep… with a ‘baa baa‛ here…

And on that farm he had some chickens… with a ‘cluck cluck‛ here…

And on that farm he had some ducks… with a ‘quack quack‛ here…

2. There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her;
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd to swallow a bird!
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat;
Fancy that to swallow a cat!
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog;
What a hog, to swallow a dog!
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cow,
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow;
She swallowed the cow to catch the dog,
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – perhaps she’ll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse…
She’s dead, of course!

3. She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain

There are a fair few variations on this one; I’ve included some of the most common verses I could remember below. Not everyone includes the ‘aye aye yippee’ chorus, but it certainly drags things out if you’re looking to build up your singing stamina!

She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes,
She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes,
She’ll be coming round the mountain, coming round the mountain,
Coming round the mountain when she comes.

Chorus:
Singing aye aye, yippee yippee, aye,
Singing aye aye, yippee yippee, aye,
Singing aye aye, yippee, aye aye, yippee,
Aye aye, yippee yippee, aye!

She’ll be driving six white horses when she comes…

She’ll be wearing pink pyjamas when she comes…

Oh we’ll all go out to meet her when she comes…

We will all have chicken and dumplings when she comes… [or cake and ice cream]

4. One Man went to Mow

It’s up to you how many men end up going to mow this meadow, but here’s a song that is good for counting up with each verse and then counting back down rapidly every time.

One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow,
One man and his dog (‘woof!’) went to mow a meadow.

Two men went to mow, went to mow a meadow,
Two men, one man and his dog (‘woof!’) went to mow a meadow.

5. The Hokey Cokey

This classic action song, more usually known as the hokey pokey outside the UK, can keep little ones moving for quite some time – especially if you add extra verses to identify and isolate different body parts (shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees etc.).

You put your right hand in, right hand out,
In, out, in, out, shake it all about.
You do the hokey-cokey and you turn around.
That’s what it’s all about.

Chorus
Whoa, hokey-cokey-cokey,
Whoa, hokey-cokey-cokey,
Whoa, hokey-cokey-cokey,
Knees bent, arms stretched, rah, rah, rah!

Verses continue with left hand, right leg, left leg, whole self…

+ 99 Bottles of Beer

In case Ten Green Bottles (suggested yesterday) isn’t long enough for you, how about counting down from 99 bottles of beer (or milk, pop, organic juice…)

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer.
Take one down and pass it around, 98 bottles of beer on the wall.
and so on until…
No more bottles of beer on the wall, no more bottles of beer.
Go to the store and buy some more, 99 bottles of beer on the wall.

Tomorrow it’s pop song suggestions, I hope you’ll join me for some woo-hoo and way-hay action!

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.

Summer Camp: So far…

We’re halfway through the summer break here so I thought I’d take a break from posting new activities this week to give us time to play around more with some of the ideas we’ve already tried.

If you’re looking for a quick musical activity, please do take a look at what we’ve been up to so far…

Singing/Playing

Crafts/Games/Theory

Listening/Watching

It’s been a fun few weeks! Hope to see you back here for more next week…

Summer Camp Week One: Turn-Taking Tuesday

Today we’re going to sing ‘Let Everyone Clap Hands Like Me’. This is a favourite of ours to sing in the car – I’m interested to see what else the kids come up with when we give it a bit more attention.

If your kids don’t already know this song then you’ll be able to practise turn-taking as you sing the song and they join in with the sound/action you suggest. They can then take turns in suggesting what the action should be for the next verse (even if they aren’t quite ready to sing the whole thing).

The lyrics go like this:

Let everyone clap hands like me (clap, clap),
Let everyone clap hands like me (clap, clap),
Come on and join in with the game,
You’ll find that it’s always the same (clap, clap).

Further verses can include ideas like, ‘Let everyone sneeze like me (at-choo)’, ‘Let everyone laugh like me (hee, hee)’…

You can find various versions of this on YouTube; today I’m enjoying hearing the legendary Pete Seeger at work:

A few more ideas to explore:

‘Let everyone whistle like me (woo, woo)’ – young children will struggle with whistling but it’s really fun for them to try – they will be so excited the first time they make an actual whistle sound, and some of their alternatives to whistling are pretty cute!

Sharpen up their listening skills – try changing the verses without warning – do the kids still do the sound/action you sing? How about if you cue just one of the kids, ‘Let Emily clap hands like me,’ – who responds?

Working on beat, rhythm and the vestibular system – ‘Let everyone rock like me (rock, rock). Do a slow rock from foot to foot in time with the music, then a quick rock, rock at the end of lines 1, 2 and 4. Try getting little ones to stand facing you and holding your hands, with their feet on top of your feet for this – great fun for them and a good challenge to your core stability!

Older kids might be interested to learn a bit more about Pete Seeger. Fascinating life, fabulous music. His New York Times obituary is here.