Hop, skip and

away we go!

 

Singing games for children

 

A resource for teachers

 

Compiled, adapted and illustrated by Dany Rosevear

 

© Dany Rosevear 2006 All rights reserved

Updated 2008

Updated 2011

Last updated: 08/01/2016 16:49

 

You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

·        you must give the original author credit

·        you may not use this work for commercial purposes

·        for any re-use or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work

·        any of these can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder

Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.

 

Contents

 

Introduction

The singing games 1-44

Why singing games?

Accompanying the songs

Guitar chords

Dance variations

Teaching the songs

Index of song titles

Topic index

Acknowledgements

 

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page to find the songs below


 

 

Hop, skip and away we go!

 

Singing games for 4-8 year olds

 

 

Introduction

 

‘Hop, skip and away we go!’ is a treasury of singing games written as a resource for all teachers of young children, including their parents and carers. The songs can be taught with or without actions but are enhanced by teaching the children movements either in small or large groups.

Principles followed in making this collection were:

·       resources are all in one place with a similar format for easy access

·       expertise as a musician is not needed to use these pages

·       children learn musical and listening skills best through participating in enjoyable activities

·       to contribute to an active and creative curriculum and lifestyle for the 4-8 age group.

 

The songs in this collection are traditional singing games, mimes or dances that have been tried and tested over time. With my many years experience as an enthusiastic classroom teacher (Foundation Stage and Primary) I have:

·       selected songs from published sources, mainly on the internet

·       adapted or changed words , music and instructions for ease of teaching

·       grouped songs to link with topics

·       categorized suitability of games to specific age groups

·       suggested how to teach and accompany these singing games

·       provided a gateway to freely accessed supporting material on the internet.

 

This compilation has been created to share my discoveries, for the pleasure they will surely give and to put a smile on the face of every child who participates.

 


 

 

 

Hop, skip and away we go!

 

The songs

Click on links below to access

elephant30034songs and mp3s

 

Creatures great and small

Balancing elephants

Bow wow wow

Brave brave mouse

Shoo fly*

Six little frogs

Harvest time/ At the mill

Adam and Eve*

Creep, mousie, creep*

Dingle dangle scarecrow

Hot potato

Jimmy crack corn*

Jolly is the miller

Pick a bale of cotton

Oats and beans and barley

Old Roger is dead

Shake them ’simmons down

The muffin man

Meeting and greeting

Bow Belinda

Dipidu

Here comes a bluebird

Jim along Josie

Jingle at the window

 

 


 

 

Hop, skip and away we go!

 

The songs

Click on links below to access

songs and mp3s

 

The waves roll high

Bobbing up and down*

Charlie over the ocean*

Four in a boat

The alley-alley-O

 

Wade in the water

Draw a bucket of water

Floating down the river

Scraping up sand (Shiloh)

 

Away we go!

Dusty bluebells

Little red wagon

Little black train

My aunt came back

Rig-a-jig-jig

Rise, sugar, rise

Round and round the village

Train is a-comin

Willowbee

 

Who are you!

Grand old Duke of York

Hansel and Gretel’s Dance

I’m a big bright star

I’m a little Dutch child

Old King Glory

Sing a song of sixpence

Sur le pont d‘Avignon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Why singing games?

 

There are many good reasons for using singing games.

·       dance involves vigorous exercise and allows exploration of different movements

·       motor and muscular skills are developed increasing co-ordination and self-control

·       singing games use children’s natural response to music in rhythm, melody and form

·       a wide range of musical skills are learnt – singing, chanting, moving to the beat, changing rhythms and speed

·       singing games help develop social interaction with a partner or larger groups and encourage turn taking. Play is a natural way for the child to communicate

·       learning linked to action encourages participation

·       the value of rules are discovered as children learn to follow directions and synchronise actions with each other and the music

·       listening skills are sharpened with simple and then more complex instructions

·       memory is increased, brain research has found music, rhyme and rhythm are effective ways to do this. Consider the songs, learnt as a youngster, that you still know so well

·       a creative approach increases vocabulary as children are encouraged to make up new refrains, words and verses. Many of the singing games in this collection are traditional songs that have been changed and refined by each of my new classes depending on their enthusiasms and talents.

·       the tradition of children’s singing games from this and other countries is continued

·       above all, it allows lots of tremendous fun while learning, motivating even the most reluctant child. A singing and dancing child is invariably a happy one!

 

Cross-curricula dimensions

 

The National Curriculum recognises the benefit of a cross-curricula approach. Teaching singing games presents exciting opportunities to cover a range of subjects and themes other than the more obvious ones of language, physical education, PSHE & citizenship and music. Among these pages you will discover strands that cover geography, history, maths, science, religious education, cooking, healthy eating, teamwork, creative thinking and conservation.

 

Keep active

 

Children need to be active more than ever. Lifestyles and life at school can be sedentary but children learn best if periods of concentration are interspersed with relaxation. Whenever children are restless take a break, if only for five minutes, that’s plenty of time to enjoy a singing game. Show how to re-arrange tables quickly and quietly to make space or, even better, if the weather is fine, slip outside to enjoy the fresh air. A dedicated slot of 20 - 30 minutes each week is needed to learn these games.

 

An inspector calls

 

When an OFSTED inspector visited my mixed Foundation Stage and Year One class the first lesson she saw was of children enjoying singing games. She was delighted by their chuckles, smiles and obvious enjoyment with masses of energy being expended and lots being learnt. This initial impression favourably coloured the judgements made by OFSTED of my other lessons. No doubt the children were more alert and concentrated better in these lessons because of regular opportunities for movement.


Accompanying the songs

 

“For the best movement response children should move to their own voices” is excellent advice from Lois Choksy and David Brummit in their book 120 Singing Games and Dances for Elementary Schools. This approach leaves the teacher free to help children master sequences.

However, if you do not find it easy to hold a tune, accompany the song with a guitar as this can easily be put down when the need arises. A guitar is also invaluable to familiarise children with a song before attempting to introduce the movements.

The chord sequences below will help you accompany the songs. Remember your young audience will be tremendously impressed by even the most basic guitar playing!

 

Guitar chords

 

         E                   B7                  A                  A7                 D                Dm

                        X                                                              X   

 

          C                  G7                  F                  G                  D7                C7               Am

                                                   X                                        X

 

X = a string not to be played.

 or  denotes the fingers on the left hand that hold down the string behind the fret shown. : pointing finger, : middle, : ring finger, : little finger.

 

For more chords and to check the look and sound of your chords visit websites such as http://www.emediamusic.com/freetools/chord.html or http://www.hotfrets.com/chords/arpeggiator_free.asp .

All these songs can be played with a simple strong rhythmic strum using the right hand but do explore some simple plucks. Google “guitar lessons” to find a number of free sites on the internet to help you learn how to do this.

 

Musical novices will also find that a simple electronic keyboard can be very useful to record new tunes and to play them back. One that has a separate button for entering the rhythm after the notes have been put in is especially helpful.

These songs can also be accompanied using some of the delightful midis / mp3 / video files that can be found on the internet, including www.kididdles.com and You Tube.

At the end of this section you will find a full list of mp3s, videos and CDs referenced to each song. I have also made my own simple videos to accompany each song see

Dance variations

 

The chart below indicates suitability of games for a specific age group. Do remember that older children will often enjoy the fun of a simpler game and some younger groups will rise to the challenge of more complex routines, especially in the summer term.

 

Vary the type of dance you use, but ‘moving in place, then space’ often suit younger children and line formations are generally more suitable for the older ones.

 

Hop skip and away we go!

Age group

Moving in place

Moving in space

Pair + more games

Circle games

Line games

4-5

 

6 little frogs

Dingle dangle scarecrow

Little red wagon

Brave, brave mouse

Jimmy crack corn

Creep, mousie, creep

Bobbing up and down

Dipidu

Elephant

 

Oats and beans

Sing a song of sixpence

Charlie over the ocean

The muffin man

Jingle at the window

Train is a-comin

Bow-wow-wow

Floating down the river

Jim along Josie

5-6

 

Shoo fly

Pick a bale of cotton

Hot potato

My aunt came back

Scraping up sand

(Shiloh)

Round and round the village

I’m a big bright star on a Christmas tree

Bow Belinda

Draw a bucket of water

Shake them ’simmons down

I’m a little Dutch child

Old Roger is dead

Little black train

Rise, sugar, rise

Sur le pont d’Avignon

Dusty bluebells

Here comes a bluebird

Four in a boat

Willowbee

The alley-alley-o

6-8

 

 

 

Rig-a-jig-jig

Jolly is the miller

Grand old Duke of York

Hansel and Gretel’s dance

 

Many of the songs included in this collection have their roots in the UK and were taken to North America and adapted there. Those such as Dipidu come from other continents.

Parents or carers whose own parents, or themselves, come from other countries may provide another rich resource to be tapped for more a diverse and global selection of singing games.

 

Teaching the songs

 

Gather the children close to you. When singing a song for the first time, use its natural speed so children appreciate the spirit of the song. Allow the children to learn the words and music thoroughly before attempting to teach the movements of each game, it is not easy for children to concentrate on both initially. Indeed you might find the less confident willing to follow the movements but taking some time before joining in with the words. Often, however, you will find these very same children singing with gusto at home!

 

When introducing a new game allow the bolder children to demonstrate the actions and the shyer ones to sit and watch. The less bold will soon join in especially if they are partnered with a more confident friend.

The younger the children the more practice they will need. These children will also appreciate singing familiar songs regularly rather than learning a new one too often. Begin and end a session with old favourites.

 

As children become familiar with a song allow them to change words, make up new ones and suggest different actions or ways to improve performance.


Index of song titles

 

Song title

Song title

Adam and Eve

 

Rig-a-jig-jig

 

Balancing elephants

 

Rise, sugar, rise

 

Bobbing up and down

 

Round and round the village

 

Bow Belinda

 

Scraping up sand (Shiloh)

 

Bow wow wow

 

Shake them ’simmons down

 

Brave brave mouse

 

Shoo fly

 

Charlie over the ocean

 

Sing a song of sixpence

 

Creep, mousie, creep

 

Six little frogs

 

Dingle dangle scarecrow

 

Sur le pont d‘Avignon

 

Dipidu

 

The alley-alley-o

 

Draw a bucket of water

 

The muffin man

 

Dusty bluebells

 

Train is a-comin

 

Floating down the river

 

Willowbee

 

Four in a boat

 

 

Grand old Duke of York

 

Hansel and Gretel’s Dance

 

Here comes a bluebird

 

Hot potato

 

 

I’m a big bright star

 

I’m little Dutch child

 

Jim along Josie

 

 

Jimmy crack corn

 

Jingle at the window

 

Jolly is the miller

 

Little black train

 

Little red wagon

 

My aunt came back

 

 

Oats and beans and barley

 

Old King Glory

 

Old Roger is dead

 

Pick a bale of cotton

 


 

Topic index

 

The songs

The topics

At the farm

At work

In the woods

Creatures great and small

Colours and clothing

Counting and numbers

Food, fruit and vegs

Homes and gardens

Dance, hop and jump

Days and nights

Family and othrs

Musical instruments

My body

Friends and feelings

On the water

Position left and right

The seasons and time

Off we go!

Weather hot and cold

Adam and Eve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balancing elephants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bobbing up and down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bow Belinda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bow wow wow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brave brave mouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie over the ocean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creep, mousie, creep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dingle dangle scarecrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dipidu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Draw a bucket of water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dusty bluebells

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floating down the river

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four in a boat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand old Duke of York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hansel and Gretel’s Dance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here comes a bluebird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot potato

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a big bright star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m little Dutch child

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim along Josie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy crack corn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jingle at the window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jolly is the miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little black train

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little red wagon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My aunt came back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oats and beans and barley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old King Glory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Roger is dead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pick a bale of cotton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rig-a-jig-jig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rise, sugar, rise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round and round the village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scraping up sand (Shiloh)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shake them ’simmons down