Nursery number favourites to 5 G-Z

Here are the beehives

Hicketty picketty buttercup

One elephant went out to play

One little cockerel

One little finger standing on its own

Only a boy named David

Old John Braddle-um

Peter hammers with one hammer

Poor Jane Higgins / A pig tale

Sailor, sailor on the sea

Teasing Mr. Shark

There were two wrens upon a tree

Tired bunnies

Where are the baby mice?

 

Also see:

Five fat turkeys

Five little Christmas trees

Five little jingle bells

Last updated: 29/05/2018 16:26

 

The songs below are compiled, illustrated and sometimes adapted

by Dany Rosevear

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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.

 

 

Here are the beehives O

 

Five in one hive, five in the other; how many bees altogether?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here are the beehives,

But where are the bees?

Hidden away where nobody can see.

Here they come,

Each one alive;

One, two, three, four, five!

One, two, three, four, five!

Curl fingers into fists.

Throw out hands and look puzzled.

Pull fists into chest.

Make hands fly about on one side then the other.

Pop up fingers on one hand and then the second hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


Hickety pickety buttercup O

 

 


Learn to identify and count numbers to five with this traditional song.

 

Leader sings to each child in turn and holds up a number of fingers to five. The child addressed calls out the number of fingers held up and checks by counting. The leader verifies the number and asks how many claps that will be. Everyone responds with the correct number of claps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hickety pickety buttercup,

How many fingers do I hold up?

THREE! One, two, three!

(Three) it is! Yes, three you say.

So how many claps for us today?

ONE, TWO THREE!

 


 

 

One elephant went out to play 🔊

 

 


Introduce early counting skills.

 

Begin with fingers down and raise a finger for each verse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One elephant went out to play,

Upon a spider's web one day.

He had such enormous fun,

That he called for another elephant to come. ELEPHANT!

 

Two elephants went out to play…

 

Three elephants went out to play…

 

Four elephants went out to play…

 

Five elephants went out to play,

Upon a spider’s web one day.

The web went creak, then the web went crack...

And all of the elephants went KERSPLAT!


 

 

One little cockerel O

 

 


Sing this song to five ten or more if you like!

An alternative first line could be: One little cockerel down our way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One little cockerel bright and gay

Stood on a gate at break of day.

“Ho! Little cockerel, how do you do?”

“Quite well, thank you, cock-a-doodle-doo.”

 

Two little cockerels...

 


 

 

One little finger standing on its own 🔊

 

 

 


Raise one finger at a time in the context of ‘one more’.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Raise index finger, middle finger, ring finger, little finger and thumb in turn. Wave goodbye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One little finger standing on its own,

Two little fingers, now they’re not alone.

Three little fingers as happy as can be,

Four little fingers go walking down the street.

Five little fingers; this one is a thumb;

Wave bye-bye ‘cause now we are done!


 

 

 

Only a boy named David O

 

 


A story from the Old Testament by A S Arnott.

 

Each time these words are sung repeat the following actions: ‘only a boy’ indicate height ‘sling’  place forefinger in palm ‘play and sing’ play harp then hands to make mouth shape ‘rippling brook’ wiggle fingers ‘five little stones’ show five fingers ‘one little stones’ show one finger ‘round and round’ whirl hands round ‘up in the air’ roll hands above head ‘tumbling down’  roll hands down and slap lap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Only a boy named David, only a little sling,

Only a boy named David, but he could play and sing.

Only a boy named David, only a rippling brook,

Only a boy named David, but five little stones he took.

 

And one little stone went in the sling, and the sling went round and round,

And one little stone went in the sling, and the sling went round and round.

Round and round and round and round and round and round and round;

One little stone went up in the air and the giant came tumbling down.


 

 

 

Old John Braddle-um O

 

Oh, what country folks we be. Have fun making up verses to the number twelve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Number one, number one,

Now my song has just begun,

 

Chorus

With a rum tum-taddle-um,

Old John Bradlelum,

Oh, what country folks we be.

 

Number two, number two,

Rooster crows, ‘Cock-a-doodle-doodle-doo!’...

 

Number three, number three,

Three little pigs run round a tree...

 

Number four, number four,

Now I’ll just sing one verse more...

 

Number five, number five,

Bees make honey in a hive...

 


 

Peter hammers with one hammer O

 

This action song requires a certain amount of co-ordination but is great fun for young children and helps them learn their numbers to five.

 

Sit in a circle and make actions as below:

Make hand into a fist and beat on the knee, then use both fists, two fists and one foot, two fists and both feet, ending up with two fists, two feet and a nodding head.

On the last two verses put hands to cheek in sleeping mode then jump up and repeat sequence standing up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Peter hammers with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer,

Peter hammers with one hammer,

Then he hammers with two.

 

Peter hammers with two hammers, two hammers, two hammers,

Peter hammers with two hammers,

Then he hammers with three.

 

Peter hammers with three hammers...

 

Peter hammers with four hammers...

 

Peter hammers with five hammers...

But now he’s very tired - YAWN!

 

Peter’s going to sleep now, sleep now, sleep now,

Peter’s going to sleep now,

Let’s all do the same.

 

Peter’s waking up now, up now, up now,

Peter’s waking up now,

Let’s all do the same.

 


 

 

Poor Jane Higgins O

 

 


Or ‘A pig tale’. Subtract from five.

A rhyme by James Reeves. Music by Alan True.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Poor Jane Higgins,

She had five piggins,

And one got drowned in the Irish Sea.

Poor Jane Higgins,

She had four piggins,

And one flew over a sycamore tree.

 

Poor Jane Higgins,

She had three piggins,

And one was taken away for pork.

Poor Jane Higgins,

She had two piggins,

And one was sent to the Bishop of Cork.

 

Poor Jane Higgins,

She had one piggin,

And that was struck by a shower of hail.

Poor Jane Higgins,

She has no piggins,

And that is the end of my little pig tale.

 


 

 

Sailor, sailor on the sea O

 

 


This guess the number game from Kentucky was originally collected and recorded in 1968 by Jean Ritchie.

 

One child, the farmer, stands behind another child, the sailor. The farmer sings the first verse and the sailor the second one and holds up one to five of their fingers; the farmer guesses how many. If the guess is wrong the sailor sings the couplet ‘You have missed…’, if correct ‘You have guessed…’ and the farmer becomes the new sailor. The old sailor then chooses a new farmer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sailor, sailor on the sea.

Sailor, sailor on the sea.

Sailor, sailor on the sea.

What treasures have you brought for me?

 

Farmer, farmer, on the land,

Farmer, farmer, on the land.

Farmer, farmer on the land,

I've gold and jewels in my hand.

 

Sailor speaks: Guess how many.

Farmer guesses: Three? Or any number to five.

 

You have guessed the number true, (3x)

Now you may sail the ocean blue.

OR

You have missed the number plain. (3x)

So I must sail the seas again.

 


 

 

Teasing Mr. Shark O

 

 


A hand play game for a seaside theme.

 

1. Hold up five fingers, put one hand on top of the other and rotate thumbs. 2. Put thumbs to cheek and waggle fingers, shake head. 3. Put hands pointing above head, forefinger to lips. 4. Snap left hand with right, put hands to cheek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Five little fishes swimming in the sea,

Teasing Mr. Shark, “You can't catch me!”

Along came Mr. Shark as quiet as can be...

And it’s SNAP! little fishy, Oh dear me!

 

One little fishy swimming in the sea,

Teasing Mr. Shark , “You can't catch me!”

Along came Mr. Shark as quiet as can be…

And it’s SNAP! little fishy, Oh dear me!

 

No little fishes swimming in the sea,

Teasing Mr. Shark , “You can't catch me!”

Along came Mr. Shark as lonely as can be…

With a wish for a fishy friend swimming in the sea.

 


 

 

 

There were two wrens upon a tree O

 

 


A nursery number rhyme from a Ladybird book set to a traditional tune by Dany Rosevear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


There were two wrens upon a tree,

Whistle and I'll come to thee;

Another came and there were three,

Whistle and I'll come to thee;

Another came and there were four,

You needn't whistle any more,

For being frightened, off they flew,

And there are none to show to you!

 

 


 

 

 

Tired bunnies 🔊

 

 


It is bedtime and the bunnies need counting. Music by Dany Rosevear ©

Can also be used as a hand play game, see video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Come my little bunnies, it's time for bed"

That's what Mother Bunny said.

"But first I'll count you, just to see

If you have all come back to me!"

Bunny 1, Bunny 2, Bunny 3, oh dear!

Bunny 4, Bunny 5, yes, you're all here!

You're the sweetest little things alive

My bunnies, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5!”

 


 

 

 

Where are the baby mice?  🔊

 

 


A hand play. You can also use two hands and count to ten.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Hide fist behind back. 2. Put hand to ear. 3. Peer into fist. 4. Show fist and extend it. 5. Count one finger at a time. 6. Point to empty palm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Where are the baby mice?

“Squeak, squeak, squeak!”

I cannot see them,

Peek, peek, peek;

Here they come out of their hole in the wall.

One, two, three, four, five,

That’s all!


 

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