Follow my leader and other line games L-W

Lead through that sugar and tea

Let us chase the squirrel

Little red caboose

Off to Timbuktu

Oh, won’t you come a-sailing?

Page’s train

Puffer train

Snail, snail

Somebody’s knocking at my door

Swing and turn, Jubilee

Take your feet out the sand

The elephant is so slow

The little red engine that could

The old grey cat

The thread follows the needle

Turn, cinnamon, turn

Wind the bobbin, “Ding dang”

Wind up the apple tree

Find more line games at: http://www.singinggamesforchildren.com/A%20Cluster%202.1%20HSAAWG/HSAAWG%2029-37%20awaywego%20w.htm

Last updated: 11/6/2018 5:37 PM

These songs are nursery rhymes and other traditional songs compiled, illustrated and music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

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To listen to music from these songs click on O

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

 

© Dany Rosevear 2013 All rights reserved

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

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


 

 

 

Lead through that sugar and tea O

 

 


Learn to use space effectively. A simple classroom or playground game where children, in small groups, move in different directions and weave in and out of other lines without touching.

The third verse comes from the Ozark Folk song collection where it is played as a classic ‘play party’ dance with lines and sets of pairs and is suitable for older children. http://digitalcollections.uark.edu/cdm/ref/collection/OzarkFolkSong/id/2860

 

Make lines of six or eight with a leader at each end. Leader 1 weaves the line in and out of other group; on repeat the second leader takes the line off in another direction. At the end of the first verse both leaders join hands to make a circle and dance round first in one direction and then the other. The circle then splits into pairs that cross hands and skip round. The circle reforms so there are two new leaders and the game continues.

Miss the last verse to simplify for younger children. Young children might like to lead an older sibling or parent round obstacles as they sing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lead through that sugar and tea-o,

Lead through that candy,

You lead through that sugar and tea

And I’ll lead through that candy. (Repeat verse)

 

Circle round that sugar and tea-o,

Circle round that candy,

Circle round that sugar and tea

And circle round that candy. (Repeat verse)

 

Olly-olly-um-bum, sugar and tea-o,

Olly-olly-um-bum candy,

Olly-olly-um-bum, sugar and tea-o,

Swinging is so handy.


 

 

 

Let us chase the squirrel O

 

A song from North Carolina.

There are many versions of this game that can be played to this simple tune. Find some of these for different age groups at: http://ket.oake.org/spr09game.htm

The one below is a tunnel game.

 

Two curved lines stand facing the other so each child has a partner. Pairs hold hands high to make a tunnel making sure they stand close to the next set of partners. One pair at the end of the tunnel hold inside hands and move through the tunnel followed by subsequent pairs. When they get to the end they raise hands high to rejoin the line. The game continues until everyone has gone through the tunnel or they tire of the game!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Let us chase the squirrel,

Up the hickory,

Down the hickory,

Let us chase the squirrel,

Up the hickory tree.

 

If you want to catch me,

Up the hickory,

Down the hickory,

If you want to catch me,

Learn to climb a tree.

 


 

 

Little red caboose O

 

A follow-my-leader song.

A caboose was a conductor’s cabin at the end of a freight train, similar to the guard or brake van at the end of UK and Australian trains. Find out more about these vehicles at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caboose

 

One child takes the line around the room. After each verse the child at the front runs to the back of the line so a new child is ready to take the role of leader.

To ensure every child gets a turn have three or four trains weaving in and out around the room. Don’t forget to make train noises – pull down for the ‘Toot, toot!’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little red caboose, little red caboose,

Little red caboose behind the train.

Toot! Toot!

Smokestack on its back,

Coming around the track,

Little red caboose behind the train.

Toot! Toot!

 


 

 

Off to Timbuktu 🔊

 

 


A cheerful ‘follow the leader’ game.

From ‘This little pig went to market’ compiled by Norah Montgomerie, published 1966.

 

Children make a line one behind the other; The one in front, the leader chooses an action which everyone else copies as they travel about the room. When the song finishes the child at the front moves to the end of the line so a new child becomes the leader and chooses another way of moving and the game continues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


We are off to Timbuktu,

Would you like to go there too?

All the way and back again,

You must follow our leader then.

You must follow our leader,

You must follow our leader,

All the way and back again,

You must follow our leader.


 

 

 

Oh, will you come a-sailing O

 

 


A simple introduction to this form of line dancing. Learn to ask and answer questions.

 

Make two facing lines each child standing opposite a partner. Line 1 skips to the centre and back singing the question. Then it is line 2s turn to do the same and answer. Do the same for each verse. On the last verse instead of skipping back line 2 continues dancing towards line 1, they then sing ’la la la’ to the tune and dance freely round the room with their partners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Oh, will you come a-sailing, a-sailing, a-sailing,

Oh, will you come a-sailing, a-sailing o’er the sea?

 

We cannot come a-sailing, a-sailing, a-sailing,

We cannot come a-sailing, we have no ship you see.

 

Oh, will you come a-riding, a-riding, a-riding,

Oh, will you come a-riding, a-riding o’er the lea?

 

We cannot come a-riding, a-riding, a-riding,

We cannot come a-riding, we have no horse you see.

 

Oh, will you come a-fishing, a-fishing, a-fishing,

Oh, will you come a-fishing, a-fishing in the sea?

 

We cannot come a-fishing, a-fishing, a-fishing,

We cannot come a-fishing, we have no nets you see.

 

Oh, will you come a-dancing, a-dancing, a-dancing,

Oh, will you come a- dancing, a- dancing oh so free?

 

Oh yes, we’ll come a-dancing, a-dancing, a-dancing,

Oh yes, we’ll come a- dancing, a- dancing oh so free.

 


 

 

Page’s train  🔊

 

 


A  North Carolina folk song. Move fast move slow. Can be played as a ‘follow my leader’ line game as below or individually moving around the classroom.

Change ‘Page’ to another child’s name when it is suitable and make up other rhyming couplets of creature, thigs that move fast and slow.

 

Five or six children make a line one behind the other; the one in front, the one in front leads them in and out of other lines. When the song finishes the child at the front moves to the end of the line so a new child becomes the leader as the game continues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page's train goes so fast,

Can't see nothing but the window glass.

Page's train goes so slow,

Can't hear nothing but the whistle blow.

 

Page's mule goes so fast,

For carrots, sugar or a field of grass.

Page's mule goes so slow,

There'll always be another row to hoe.


 

 

 

 

Puffer train O

 

Steam engines might be long gone but young children will be fascinated by tales of journeys long ago – ask grandparents to talk about their experiences on a steam train.

 

Children make a line hands on shoulders and shuffle round the room. Change leaders at the end of each verse. Don’t forget to make train noises such as the “Oo-oo!” of the whistle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Puffer train, puffer train,

Noisy little puffer train,

If you’re going to the sea,

Puffer train will you take me.

Ff-ff-f-ff! Sh-sh-sh!

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch –ch-ch-ch!

Noisy little puffer train.

 

If you’re going to the town,

Don’t forget to slow right down…

 

If you’re going to the fair,

Puffer train please take me there…

 

 

 


 

 

Snail, snail O

 

 


A song from Cornwall where snails are known as ‘bulhorns’. Its Cornish  origins are tenuous as snail games and songs are played worldwide; it is possible there is confusion with another game known as the ‘snail creep’

Watch the game below performed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Oz5wOq8qLY

 

Children hold hands in a circle; one person, the leader, takes the line in a leisurely manner round the inside of the ring as the song is repeated until a spiral is formed. They then turn and unwind until everyone is back in the circle but facing outwards. Repeat this sequence until the whole circle is once again facing inwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Snail, snail, snail, snail,

Go around, around, around.


 

 

 

Somebody’s knocking at my door O

 

 


An American play song that began as a spiritual.

As an easier option to the game below children can just tap with claves or clap along to the beat or rhythm.

 

Children sit in two lines opposite a partner. Ensure each child can clap their own name pattern. After singing the word ‘door’ each time the child in one line claps the rhythm of their name, when the song ends their partner copies this pattern. Continue down the line until each child has had a go.

Alternatively each child could have a percussion instrument to play their name pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Somebody’s knocking at my door,

Somebody’s knocking at my door,

Oh, children, why don’t you answer?

Somebody’s knocking at my door.

 


 

 

 

Swing and turn, Jubilee O

 

 


This play party game comes from Jean Ritchie’s family tradition.

 

Children stand facing a partner in two lines holding hands. The ends of the lines also hold hands so they can circle to the left until back in their original position in two lines. Hands are dropped and the pair at the head of the line skips sideway to the bottom of the set as the others clap. Once they reach the foot the game continues as before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It's all out on the old railroad,

All out on the sea,

All out on the old railroad,

Far as I can see.

 

Swing and turn, Jubilee,

Live and learn, Jubilee.

Swing and turn, Jubilee,

Live and learn, Jubilee.

 

Hardest work I ever done,

Working on the farm,

Easiest work I ever done,

Swing my true love's arm.

 

If I had a needle and thread,

As fine as I could sew,

I'd sew my true love to my side

And down this creek I'd go.

 

Coffee grows on a white oak tree,

Sugar runs in brandy,

Girls are sweet as a lump of gold,

Boys as sweet as candy.

 


 

Take your feet out the sand O

 

 


A very energetic action song.

 

Move around the room as if moving through hot sand and then as suggested by other medium e.g. kick leaves, splashing in puddles, sliding on ice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Take your feet out ‘the sand,

Take your feet out ‘the sand,

Take your feet out ‘the sand

And stick them in the mud!

 

Take your feet out the leaves,

Take your feet out the leaves,

Take your feet out the leaves

And stick them in the mud!

 

…jam   …snow   …puddles

 


 

 

The elephant is so slow O

 

An elephant might not always be slow – when he needs to he can get up quite a speed – but this is a lovely song to move to at a steady pace. Children can move individually round the room or in lines of four or five as below.

 

One hand is placed on the shoulder of the child in front and the other arm is swung like an elephant’s trunk. The lines weave in and out around the room.

Each time the song is sung the child at the front moves to the back for a new child to become the leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Heigh-di, heigh-di-ho, the great big elephant is so slow,

Heigh-di, heigh-di-ho, the elephant is so slow.

He moves his trunk from side to side

And takes the children for a ride,

Heigh-di, heigh-di-ho, the elephant is so slow!


 

 

The little red engine that could O

 

 


With a bit of effort we can all achieve our aims; the power of positive thinking.

 

Make a circle and walk round moving arms back and forth. As the train moves up the hill walk on tiptoes. Make a loud whistle sound to finish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The little red engine was chuffing along,

When he came to a great big hill,

He said, ‘I must chuff and never stop,

I must chuff, chuff, chuff till I get to the top.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,’

And he chuffed right over the hill.

WHOO-OO-WHOO!


 

 

 

The old grey cat is sleeping O

 

A great song for dramatic activity.

 

This can be played as a hand rhyme sitting in place – and is best taught this way. As the children become more familiar with the song use the whole room and divide the class into two groups. Sing ‘The old grey cats’ and each group moves as suggested by the words. If you are playing outside and there are good hiding spots this song could be turned into a ‘hide and seek’ game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The old grey cat is sleeping, sleeping, sleeping.

The old grey cat is sleeping in the house.

 

The little mice come creeping, creeping, creeping.

The little mice come creeping in the house.

 

The little mice are nibbling, nibbling, nibbling.

The little mice are nibbling in the house.

 

The little mice are sleeping … in the house.

The old grey cat comes creeping … in the house.

The little mice all scamper … through the house.

The little mice are hiding … in the house.


 

 

The thread follows the needle O

 

How often are children’s clothes mended today? This simple game however continues to give pleasure in the playground.

 

Children hold hands in a line; the end person is the knot and makes an arch with the child next to them. The needle at the head of the line walks the others through the arch and back to its original position so the last person to go under will find their arms now crossed. The game continues with the needle threading through subsequent arches until all children have arms crossed. The two end children then join hands to make a circle and walk round for one final verse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The thread follows the needle,

The thread follows the needle,

In and out the needle goes

As mother mends the children’s clothes.

 


 

 

Turn, cinnamon, turn O

 

 


A Florida singing game. This can be played as a Virginia reel as below for verse one, as a circle game or simply to skip round the room find a partner and swing them around on the last line. It could also be used as a baby bouncing game!

 

Make two lines facing a partner. The two at the top hold hands and skip sideways down to the bottom of the line. They then face each line then travel up the line right then left hand in succession swinging each child and themselves to the top. Then skip outside down to the bottom and holding hands with their original partner swing them round as the rest of the line do the same. The game continues with the next pair at the top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All up and down my honey,

All up and down we go.

That lady’s a-rockin’ her sugar lump,

That lady’s a-rockin’ her sugar lump,

That lady’s a-rockin’ her sugar lump,

Turn, cinnamon, turn.

 

All up and down my honey,

All up and down we go,

That grandma’s a-rockin’ her sweetie pie…

 

Turn that cinnamon round and round,

Turn that cinnamon round and round,

Turn that cinnamon round and round,

Turn that cinnamon round!

She's my sugar-lump, I'll never give her up, She's my sugar-lump, I'll never give her up,

Turn that cinnamon round!

 

All up and down my honey,

All up and down we go,

Brother’s a-rocking his sugar plum…

All round the ring we go!


 

 

Wind the bobbin, “Ding dang” O

 

In the past children watched their mothers spin wool to weave into clothe which might have suggested this game. Look at different types of bobbins and how they have been used in the past.

 

Children hold hands in a line; one person, the tail stands still as the child at the other end leads the line round repeating the first phrase until a fairly tight spiral is formed. Lift hands up and wave to the second part. On ‘Break it!’ drop hands and scatter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wind the bobbin, “Ding dang,”

Gonna wind it tight, “Ding dang.”

Wind the bobbin, “Ding dang,”

Gonna wind it tight, “Ding dang.”

Bobbin a-wound up, bobbin a-wound up, Bobbin a-wound up, BREAK IT!

 


 

 

Wind up the apple tree 🔊

 

 


A game that can be played at apple tree wassails on the Eve of Old Christmas or Twelfth Night ideally outside with a real apple tree!

This is from the Kentucky Dance Institute pamphlet published in 1960. It also features in Lady Gomme’s book.

 

1. Children stand in a single curved line with hands joined. The child at the left end is the apple tree, and stands still, while the child at the other end is the leader and leads the line round and round the tree. 2. When all are wound up the leader runs straight out, which makes the tree turn round fast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1. Wind up the apple tree, hold on tight.

Wind all day and wind all night.

(Repeat as many times as necessary)

 

2. Stir up the dumplings, the pot boils over! x2

 

 

 

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