Nursery number favourites to 3

Alligator one, alligator two

Billy Pringle

Fishing song

My hat it has three corners

Once there were three cats

See, see, see, three birds are in a tree

The farmer’s apple tree

The farmer’s geese

The three little pigs

There were two birds sat on a stone

Three blind mice

Three crows

Three dinosaurs came out to play

Three little birds

Three little fish

Three little kittens

Three little owls

Three little pigs and a little pig more

Three young rats

Twinkle, twinkle, traffic lights

Two little eyes

Way up high in the apple tree

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears

 

Also see:

Three little angels

Three jellyfish

Last updated: 9/18/2018 4:51 PM

The songs below are compiled, illustrated and sometimes adapted by Dany Rosevear

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page

To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:

 

© Dany Rosevear 2008 All rights reserved

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

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·       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.


 

 

Alligator one, alligator two

 

 


A rhythmic hand play rhyme.

Begin to understand the concept of opposites, comparisons and differences.

 

 

Alligator one, alligator two,

Alligator, alligator, how do you do?

 

Alligator up, alligator down,

Alligator, alligator, round and around.

 

Alligator soft, alligator LOUD!

Alligator, alligator, floating on a cloud.

 

Alligator low, alligator high,

Alligator chasing me, alligator pie!

 

Alligator laugh, alligator cry.

Alligator, alligator, wave goodbye!

 


 

Billy Pringle had a little pig O

 

Iona and Peter Opie note that a version of this ’Did you hear of Betty Pringle’s pig?’ was published in Gammar Gurton’s Garland in 1784 . This tune is from Walter Cranes Baby’s Bouquet 1879.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Billy Pringle had a little pig,

When it was young it wasn’t very big,

When it was old it lived in clover,

Now it's dead and that's all over.

Billy Pringle he lay down and died,

Betsy Pringle she lay down and cried,

So that’s the end of one, two, and three,

Billy Pringle he, Betsy Pringle she,

And the piggy wiggy wee.

 


 

 

Fishing song O

 

How many children get to go fishing nowadays? Invite visitors in to talk about their experiences. You will probably need to introduce the word ‘bait’.

Set up the water tray with magnetized fish and fishing rods for fishing play; how many fish can they catch?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sitting by the riverside,

Here I wait,

For all the little fishes,

To nibble at the bait.

Pop them in my fishing bag,

One, two, three!

Salt them and pepper them,

And eat them for my tea!

Place hands one on top of the other with palms facing down, stick out thumbs and move hands in a fish like motion.

Wiggle forefinger like a worm.

 

Clap three times.

Shake with each hand.

Place imaginary fish in the mouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

My hat it has three corners O

 

A simple action rhyme; the difficult part is singing nothing!

First time sing through with no actions. Next time miss out the word ‘hat’ and touch the head instead. The third time continue with the first action but also miss the word ’three’ and hold up three fingers. Fourth time do both of the above but also raise an elbow when ‘corners’ is sung. The last time sing all the words and perform all the actions. Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My hat it has three corners,

Three corners has my hat,

And had it not three corners,

It would not be my hat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Once there were three cats O

 

A great song for making up rhymes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Once there were three cats,

And they were wearing hats,

Tra la la la la la la la la la, three little cats.

And then there were three dogs,

And they were wearing clogs,

Tra la la la la la la la la la, heigh ho!

 

Once there were three doves,

And they were wearing gloves,

Tra la la la la la la la la la, three little doves.

And then there were three ants,

And they were wearing pants,

Tra la la la la la la la la la, heigh-ho!

 

Once there were three goats,

And they were wearing coats,

Tra la la la la la la la la la, three little goats.

And then there were three ducks,

And they ran out of luck,

Tra la la la la la la la la la, heigh-ho!

 


 

 

See, see, see, three birds are in a tree 🔊

 

 


A Dutch nursery classic. I have been unable to find the original Dutch version of this song – do let me know if you have this information.

Make up your own rhyming verses; I made up the third verse.

 

1. Shade eyes with hands. 2. Hold up three fingers. 3. Point to thumb, index finger and middle finger, then rock baby bird in arms. 4. As before.

Verse 2. And 3. Turn hand upside down for third

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


See, see, see,

Three birds are in a tree;

One can chirp

And one can sing

One is just a tiny thing.

See, See, See

Three birds are in a tree

 

Look, look, look,

Three ducks are in a brook;

One is white, and one is brown,

One is swimming upside down,

Look, look, look

Three ducks are in a brook.

 

Hey, hey, hey,

Three monkeys out at play,

One can bounce and one can swing

One can do most anything.

Hey, hey, hey,

Three monkeys out at play.

 

 


 

The farmer’s apple tree 🔊

 

 


Older children can begin with five apples.

I first encountered this song in A&C Black’s ‘Count me in’ published in 1984 with words by Dorothy Williams; it is her version that is usually found on the internet and often cited as traditional!

However, I was charmed by the adapted words and new chorus accompanied by original music of MaryLee Senseri which can be found on her ‘Mother Goose Melodies’ CD.

 

1. Hold up arm with fingers on hand outspread. 2. Hold up three fingers, Circle thumb and fore fingers, place round eyes. 3. Pluck apple. 4. Hold up one finger, rub tummy. Chorus: Mime making apple pie or other apple products (crumble, baked apples).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


On the farmer's apple tree,

Three red apples I can see!

Oh, good farmer, pluck for me,

One red apple off the tree!

Down-a-derry, derry!

Down-a-derry, derry!

Down derry down, down, derry, derry down!

 

Two red apples…

One red apple…

 


 

 

 

The farmer’s geese O

 

 


Another song from ‘60 songs for little children’ published in the 1950s. It was inspired by the German song ‘Was haben wir Gänse’ and written by Frances B. Wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


There once was a farmer who had three geese,

Three fine geese.

They waddled o’er the field beyond

The yard to reach their muddy pond.

One, two three,

Three very, very fine grey geese.

 

Now sly Mister Fox was a-hiding near

In the wood.

He laughed “Ha, ha, why now I see

A splendid dinner waiting me.

One, two three,

Three very, very fine grey geese.”

 

Then nearer and nearer the grey geese came,

Quack! Quack! Quack!

And just as foxy was about

To jump, good Rover bounded out.

“Bow, wow, wow!

No dinner will you get just now!”

 


 

 

The three little pigs 🔊

 

 


Dramatise a well known story in musical form as a circle game. Move and clap to the beat.

You will recognise this tune as ‘London bridge is falling down’.

Adapted and arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

Children hold hands in a circle. ‘Wolf’ stands outside and three ‘pigs’ sit in the centre.

1. Each pig in turn builds a house as the others dance round. 2. The circle stops as wolf knocks and shouts with hand to mouth. 3. Wolf enters the circle and proceeds to blow each house down in turn, looks triumphant with first two and sulks of angrily when he does not succeed. Each time the first then second pig run to the house of the third. 4. Wolf with hands on hips stamps round the outside of the circle. 5. Everyone claps hands joyfully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The first little pig built a house of straw, house of straw, house of straw,

The first little pig built a house of straw, in the forest.

 

The second little pig built a house of sticks, house of sticks, house of sticks,

The second little pig built a house of sticks, in the forest.

 

The third little pig built a house of bricks, house of bricks, house of bricks,

The third little pig built a house of bricks, in the forest.

 

The big bad wolf shouted, “Let me in, let me in, let me in!”

The big bad wolf shouted, “Let me in, let me in!”

 

“Not by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin, chinny, chin, chin, chinny, chin, chin,”

“Not by the hair on my chinny, chin, chin,” said little piggy.

 

The big bad wolf then huffed and puffed, huffed and puffed, huffed and puffed,

The big bad wolf then huffed and puffed, and blew the straw house in.

 

The big bad wolf then huffed and puffed, huffed and puffed, huffed and puffed,

The big bad wolf then huffed and puffed, and blew the stick house in.

 

The big bad wolf then huffed and puffed, huffed and puffed, huffed and puffed,

The big bad wolf then huffed and puffed, but couldn’t blow the brick house in.

 

Off in the forest he stamped and stomped, stamped and stomped, stamped and stomped,

Off in the forest he stamped and stomped, a big bad hungry wolfie.

 

So everybody clap their hands, clap their hands, clap their hands,

So everybody clap their hands, for those three dear little piggies!

 


 

There were two birds sat on a stone O

 

A traditional nursery rhyme with music by Moya Smith.

Find out more at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/folklore/ballads/BGMG049.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


There were two birds sat on a stone,

Fa, la, la, la, lal, de;

One flew away, and then there was one,

Fa, la, la, la, lal, de;

The other flew after and then there was none,

Fa, la, la, la, lal, de;

And so the poor stone was left all alone,

Fa, la, la, la, lal, de.

 


 

 

Three blind mice O

 

This song can easily be sung as a rhyme.

Find an energetic game to play at:

http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/pe/threeblindmice.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


Three crows O

 

A song from Scotland – this is the English adaption but there are many charming versions in the Scottish vernacular to be found on You Tube.

 

Use fingers and fist to show the birds on the wall. Mime the other movements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Three crows sat upon a wall,

Sat upon a wall, sat upon a wall-all-all-all.

Three crows sat upon a wall,

On a cold and frosty morning.

 

The first crow couldn't fly at all,

Couldn't fly at all, couldn't fly at all-all-all-all.

The first crow couldn't fly at all

On a cold and frosty morning.

 

The second crow fell and broke his jaw,

Fell and broke his jaw, fell and broke his jaw-aw-aw-aw.

The second crow fell and broke his jaw,

On a cold and frosty morning.

 

The third crow was weeping for his ma,

Weeping for his ma, weeping for his ma-aa-aa-aa.

The third crow was weeping for his ma,

On a cold and frosty morning.

 

The fourth crow wasn't there at all,

Wasn't there at all, wasn't there at all-all-all-all.

The fourth crow wasn't there at all,

On a cold and frosty morning.

 

That's all I know about the crows,

Know about the crows, know about the crows-ow-ow-ows.

That's all I know about the crows,

On a cold and frosty morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Three dinosaurs came out to play 🔊

 

 


You can start with five dinosaurs or more as with many songs it depends on the age and stamina of your audience!

1. Hold up three fingers. 2. Hand over eyes look round as if lost. 3. Stamp three times. 4. Make munching motion with arms. Repeat with two, one, and finally no dinosaurs.

Last verse: 1. Hold up "no" fingers. 2. Hand over eyes look round as if lost. 3. Make munching motion with arms. 4. Hands on hips.5. Throw out hands. 6. Crouch down with hands to the cheek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Three dinosaurs came out to play,

Out in the land of lost one day,

Along came Tyrannosaurus, Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!

And ate up a dinosaur, Munch! Munch! Munch!

 

Repeat with two, one, and finally no dinosaurs.

Last verse:

No dinosaurs came out to play,

Out in the land of lost one day,

Along came Tyrannosaurus, Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!

He stood there and shouted, "Where's my lunch?!"

Tyrannosaurus Rex did not find anything to eat,

So off she stomped and went to sleep!

 


 

 

Three little birds 🔊

 

 


A rhyme for teaching dynamics with loud and quiet voices. Also learn concepts of counting down, ordinal numbers and ‘one less’.

Melody by Dany Rosevear.

 

Show and count three fingers. Curl those fingers over the ‘nest’ a cupped palm of the other hand. These will be the three birds fast asleep.

1. Sing quietly as birds sleep. 2. Raise one finger each time a bird wakes up. Sing ‘cheep, cheep, cheep’ in a loud voice opening and closing thumb and forefinger. 3. Cross hands at wrist and make mother bird fly down, then make a beak to feed baby bird. 4. Rub tummy for ‘yum, yum, yum’ singing in a ‘middle’ voice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Three little birds all fast asleep,

One little bird said, “Cheep, cheep, cheep!”

Down came mother with a big fat crumb,

And the first little bird said, “Yum, yum, yum!”

 

Two little birds both fast asleep,

One little bird said, “Cheep, cheep, cheep!”

Down came mother with a big fat crumb,

And the second little bird said, “Yum, yum, yum!”

 

One little bird still fast asleep,

One little bird said, “Cheep, cheep, cheep!”

Down came mother with a big fat crumb,

And the third little bird said, “Yum, yum, yum!”

 


 

 

Three little fish 🔊

 

 


An ocean life hand play for encouraging fast, slow and still movement.

Adapted and arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

Hold up three fingers. Put one hand on top of the other and make swimming motion with thumbs. ‘Swim’ and sing fast. ‘Swim’ and sing slowly. Open and close hands. Hold up three fingers and put them in lap under the other hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Three little fish, three little fish,

See how they swim, see how they swim,

As round and round so fast they go;

And now they’re swimming so very slow.

Watch out little fish there’s a shark down below!

Hide, three little fish, hide, three little fish!

 


 

 

 

Three little kittens O

 

The tune of this nursery rhyme was probably originally a hymn tune - it is very similar to the folk tune The seven joys of Mary. To find out more to the background of the words visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Little_Kittens

 

 

 

 

 

 


Three little kittens, they lost their mittens,

And they began to cry,

“Oh mother dear, we sadly fear,

Our mittens we have lost.”

“What lost your mittens, you naughty kittens,

Then you shall have no pie.”

“Miaow! Miaow! We shall have no pie.”

 

The three little kittens, they found their mittens,

And they began to cry,

“Oh mother dear, see here, see here!

Our mittens we have found.”

“What, found your mittens, you good little kittens,

Then you shall have some pie.”

“Purr, purr! Purr, purr! We shall have some pie.”

 

The three little kittens put on their mittens,

And soon ate up the pie;

“Oh, mother dear, we sadly fear

Our mittens we have soiled.”

“What, soiled your mittens, you naughty kittens!”

Then they began to sigh,

“Miaow! Miaow! Yes, they began to sigh.

 

The three little kittens they washed their mittens,

And hung them out to dry;

“Oh, mother dear, see here, see here,

Our mittens we have washed!”

“What, washed your mittens, you good little kittens,

But I smell a rat close by.”

“Miaow! Miaow! We smell a rat close by.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 


Three little owls O

 

 


What a noise, what a racket, then night falls and all is quiet.

A hand play song; this version of the rhyme (the first verse appears in ABC ‘The new useful book’ published 1995) has a final verse by Dany Rosevear which is great for calming lively ones down.

Other animals partnered with suitable noises can be suggested by children.

If you live in Australia find out what animals might visit a gum tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One little owl said, "Whoo! Whoo!"

Two little owls said, "Whoo! Whoo!"

Three little owls said, "Whoo! Whoo!"

As they sat in the old oak tree.

 

One little squirrel said, “Crunch! Crunch!"

Two little squirrels said, “Crunch! Crunch! "

Three little squirrels said, “Crunch! Crunch!

As they sat in the old oak tree.

 

One little crow said, "Caw! Caw!"

Two little crows said, "Caw! Caw!"

Three little crows said, "Caw! Caw!"

As they sat in the old oak tree.

 

One little cat said, "Meow! Meow!"

Two little cats said, "Meow! Meow!"

Three little cats said, "Meow! Meow!"

As they sat in the old oak tree.

 

Now the wind it blew, "Oooo! Oooo!"

And the rain it rained, "Pitter patter! Pitter patter!"

As the silver moon whispered, "Shhhh! Shhhh!

It’s sleepy time in the old oak tree."

 


 

 

Three little pigs and a little pig more O

 

A lesson in manners, for as the saying goes ‘manners maketh man’ and perhaps pigs too!

These verses were written by Anne Mendoza; the music by Dany Rosevear.

 

Hold up the number of fingers indicated by the words and make expressions and movements to suggest how the farmer and animals feel. Rap loudly on the door for the first two verses and quietly for the last one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Three little pigs and a little pig more,

Knocked on the farmer’s bright green door:

Be quick, Mr Farmer, we want our lunch,

‘Hunch, hunch, hunch!’

 

Three little calves and a little calf more,

Knocked on the farmer’s bright green door:

Be quick, Mr Farmer, we want our lunch too,

‘Moo, moo, moo!’

 

The farmer came out with a furious roar:

‘Who’s that a-hammering at my green door?

Not a bit, not a scrap will you get from me.’

So said he.

 

Those poor little animals knocked once more,

Quietly, so quietly on the bright green door,

And asked most politely on their knees,

‘If you please!’


 

Three young rats O

 

A traditional nursery rhyme with music by Moya Smith.

According to The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book edited by Iona Opie and

Peter Opie ‘Flats’ were, in 19th C America, broad-brimmed, low crowned straw hats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Three young rats with black felt hats,

Three young ducks with white straw flats,

Three young dogs with curling tails,

Three young cats with demi veils,

Went out to walk with two young pigs,

In satin vests and sorrel wigs,

But suddenly it chanced to rain,

And so they all went home again.

 


 

 

Twinkle, twinkle traffic lights 🔊

 

 


A hand play that can also be used for outdoor traffic play scenarios as well as supporting the concepts of number to three and colour!

 

1. Wiggle fingers. 2. Hold up three fingers with one hand flashing. 3. Hold palm up facing out. Move hand forward. 4. Steer wheel slowly. 5. As before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Twinkle, twinkle, traffic lights,

Three colours flashing bright;

Red means stop, green says go,

When it’s amber move very, very slow.

Twinkle, twinkle traffic lights,

Three colours flashing bright.

 


 

 

 

Two little eyes O

 

 


The first verse is a traditional action rhyme.

Dany Rosevear has added a melody and extra verses.

 

Point to eyes, ears, nose and mouth with appropriate movements and appreciative sounds for each last line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Two little eyes that look around,

Two little ears to hear each sound;

One little nose to smell what’s sweet,

One little mouth that likes to eat.

 

Two little eyes see an old oak tree,

Two little ears hear humming bees;

One little nose smells honey sweet,

One old badger finds a golden/syrupy treat.

 

Two little eyes watch black ants scurrying

Two little ears hear robin sing;

One little nose smells strawberries,

Lying in a bowl for our picnic tea.

 

Two little eyes watch an acorn fall,

Two little ears hear Autumn call;

One little nose smells a mushroom sweet,

One little squirrel stores food to eat.

 


 

 

Way up high in the apple tree 🔊

 

 


A song for the apple picking season.

1. Make arm and hand into a tree, point upwards. 2. Make thumb and forefingers into apples, draw a smile on face. 3. Shake ‘tree’ with other hand. 4. Roll arms downwards. 5. Rub tummy and put up thumb.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Way up high in the apple tree,

Two little apples smiled at me.

I shook that tree as hard as I could,

Down fell the apples!

Mmmmh! They were good!

 


 

 

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears O

 

An action song; count to three and learn about comparative sizing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears,

Oh, what did her blue eyes see?

A bowl that was huge,

A bowl that was small,

And a bowl that was tiny, and that was all,

She counted them: one, two, three.

 

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears,

Oh, what did her blue eyes see?

A chair that was huge,

A chair that was small,

And a chair that was tiny, and that was all,

She sat in them: one, two, three.

 

 

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears,

Oh, what did her blue eyes see?

A bed that was huge,

A bed that was small,

And a bed that was tiny, and that was all,

She slept in them: one, two, three.

 

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears,

Oh, what did her blue eyes see?

A bear that was huge,

A bear that was small,

And a bear that was tiny, and that was all,

They growled at her: GRRRH! GRRRH! GRRRH!

With hands above head make a roof shape. Thumb and forefinger make glasses to look from side to side. Indicate size of each bowl with hands.

Count with fingers.

 

As above.

 

Indicate height of each chair.

 

Hands indicate sitting then count with fingers.

 

 

 

 

 

As above.

Indicate length of each bed.

 

 

 

As above.

 

Indicate height of each bear.

 

Growl loudly with hands to face to protect others from the loud sound!

 

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