More circle games A-C

A little dancing song

A-tisket, a-tasket

Ach ja! So, so!

All around the buttercup

All join hands

All those born in January

Ally galoo galoo

Apples, peaches, pears and plums

Big bunch of roses

Bird in a cage / Kagome, kagome

Birthday song game

Bluebird, bluebird, thru my window

Boom makaleli

Bounce high, bounce low

Built my lady a fine brick house

Button you must wander

Can you tell me?

Chiri bim, chiri bom

Clapping Land

Come along everyone / Here we go

Come and join our circle

Cut the cake

Also see:

Acka backa soda cracker

Last updated: 10/16/2018 4:52 PM

These songs are nursery rhymes and other traditional songs compiled, illustrated and music arranged 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 2013 All rights reserved

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.

 


 

 

A little dancing song 🔊

 

 


Words by Emilie Poulsson, music by Eleanor Smith from’Songs of a little child’s day’ published in 1910. Instructions below are as in the book.

 Try out different ways of moving with a partner.

Music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

Children choose partners and stand next to them forming a large circle; or stand in two lines facing partners. For the first two lines dance singly then point heel and toe. Then bow low to partners and dance away together, continuing the dance without singing till the music is repeated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Now in the dance we'll float around,

Follow the music's merry sound.

Point heel and toe,

Bow very low,

Dancing and dancing away we go.

 

La, la, la…

 

Now in the dance we'll skip around,

Follow the music's merry sound.

Point heel and toe,

Bow very low,

Dancing and dancing away we go.

 


 

 

 

A-tisket, a-tasket O

 

A fun circle game. This song was first noted in the U.S.A. in 1879. Roud Folk Song number 13188

 

Sit in a circle and as the others sing a child walks round the outside and drops a letter behind one child’s back. This child then jumps up and runs in the opposite direction to the dropper aiming to reach the vacated space before them. If successful they become the new ‘postman’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A-tisket, a-tasket,

A green and yellow basket,

I wrote a letter to my love / friend

And on the way I dropped it,

I dropped it, I dropped it,

Yes, on the way I dropped it,

One of you has picked it up

And put it in your pocket.

 


 

 

Ach ja! So, so! 🔊

 

 


This song and dance Es geht nichts über die Gemütlichkeit’ was brought over by German settlers to the USA. It appeared as a schoolroom dance in the 1950s from the Silver Burdett series ‘Music for living’.

I have adapted it a little to get back to its Germanic roots. You can find out more at: https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=152393. ‘Ach ja! So, so!’ means ‘Oh, yes, like that!’

I rather liked the dance in this video where it is sung in German and played at different speeds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c2H1zkYWRI .

 

Children choose partners and stand side by side behind other pairs in a circle.

Walk round holding hands with partner. Each time ‘Ach ja! So, so!’ is sung face partner and clap hands low then turn and clap outwards. On ‘Tra la las’ hold both partners hands and swing round. For more complex movements visit:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltZYbQo1li4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When my mother and my father made a visit to the fair,

Ach ja! So, so!

They hadn’t any money, but they didn’t seem to care,

Ach ja! So, so!

Tra la la, tra la la, Tra la la la la la la,

Tra la la, tra la la, Tra la la la la la la,

Ach ja! So, so!

 

 


 

 

All around the buttercup O

 

If you like this one also look out for ‘Buttercups and daisies dancing’

 

Stand in a circle with linked hands held high. One child weaves in and out of the windows. On ‘me!’ this child chooses the nearest who holds hands with the first child and leads them in and out of the circle. Each time the refrain is sung a new child is chosen to lead the line until one child is left and the line circles round them. If there is time that child then becomes the new leader travelling in and out of the newly formed circle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All around the buttercup,

One, two, three,

If you want a pretty one,

Just choose me!


 

 

All join hands O

 

 


A lively circle game suitable for younger children. It will also help children remember their left and right hands!

 

Children stand next to an identified partner holding hands in a circle.

Verse 1. Circle to the left in a lively manner. 2. Do the same to the right. 3. Link arms with partner and skip round. Older children could finish by ‘turning the blanket’.

4. Back in the circle holding hands move into the centre and out again. Repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All join hands and circle to the left,

And circle to the left, and circle to the left.

All join hands and circle to the left,

To swing them all around.

 

All join hands and circle to the right,

And circle to the right, and circle to the right.

All join hands and circle to the right,

To swing them all around.

 

Round and around and around we go;

Round and around and around we go;

Round and around and around we go

To swing them all around.

 

Old grey goose come flying home,

Come flying home, come flying home.

Old grey goose come flying home,

A gander by her side.

 


 

 

All those born in January 🔊

 

 


A birthday month song with lots of actions. Children can pick their own actions.

As it is a long song sing it briskly, you can also start at different months each time or just pick out random months from a bag. It could also be played as ‘all those wearing blue’, ‘all those who are five’ in a mixed age group or any other grouping!

 

Children in a circle stand up when their birthday month is called out and either move on the spot or around the outside of the circle. Lots of fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All those born in January skip around,

All those born in January skip around,

Tra la, tra la, la la la la la,

Tra la, tra la, la la la la la,

All those born in January skip around.

 

All those born in February jump around…

All those born in March march around…

All those born in April turn around…

All those born in May clap your hands…

All those born in June dance around…

All those born in July row a boat …

All those born in August tiptoe around…

All those born in September gallop around…

October… hop around…

November… stamp your feet …

December… throw a snowball…

All those born with wings fly around…

 

 


 

 

 

Ally galoo O

 

A circle game for young children. It is very similar to ‘Sally goes round the sun’.

 

Walk round in a circle holding hands. On ‘Wheeee!’ kick foot up high. The second time walk into the circle and raise hands high.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ally galoo galoo,

Ally galoo galee,

Ally galoo, ally galee,

As the wheel goes round.

Wheeee!


 

 

Apples, peaches, pears and plums 🔊

 

 


A traditional skipping / jump rope and counting out rhyme.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

Play as a ball game either bouncing or throwing the ball to each child round the circle Last child beomes the one in the circle. If it lands a 2nd time child sits down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Apples, peaches, pears and plums,

Tell me when your birthday comes.

 

January, February, March, April,

May, June, July, August, September,

October, November, December.

 

 


 

 

Big bunch of roses 🔊

 

 


A circle passing game for Valentine’s Day and other times.

A folk game song collected by John W Work from ‘Music in our town’ book 2, published by Silver Burdett in 1956. There is no other acknowledgement of its source.

I would love to know what a ‘lardstand’ is!

 

Children sit in a circle and pass stems of paper roses, bean bags or a mixture of both to the beat of the music. It is a good idea if you clap the beat before trying to pass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Big bunch, a little bunch,

Big bunch of roses;

Big bunch, a little bunch,

Big bunch of roses.

Here stands my wagon team,

Here stands my lardstand,

Here stands my valentine,

Here stands my darling.

 


 

 

Bird in a cage / Kagome, kagome 🔊

 

 


A circle guessing game from Japan; the meaning of the words are obscure but you can find out more at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kagome_Kagome.

I first came across it in ‘Teachers handbooks Language resources’ published by Scholastics in 1987 which credited it to ‘Folk songs from the East’ compiled by Janet Tobbitt published by A&C Black 1959.

 

One player is chosen to sit in the centre of the circle with their eyes covered; the other children join hands and walk gently round them. On ‘all fall down’ those in the ring sit down and when the song stops, the child in the centre tries to name the person sitting directly behind them. If successful the child identified sits in the centre and the game begins again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kagome, kagome,

Poor little bird in a bamboo cage.

What time will they set you free?

Midnight or at dawn of day?

Crane and old turtle must all fall down.

Who is that behind you, can you say?

 

かごめかごめ 籠の中の鳥は

Kagome kagome / Kago no naka no tori wa

いついつ出やる 夜明けの晩に

Itsu itsu deyaru / Yoake no ban ni

鶴と亀が滑った

Tsuru to kame ga subetta.

後ろの正面だあれ

Ushiro no shoumen dare.

 


 

 

Birthday song 🔊

 

 


This song is from South Africa and sung by Shimon Ash in 1961 on Folkways records at: http://www.folkways.si.edu/shimon-ash/songs-of-south-africa-sung-in-afrikaans/world/music/album/smithsonian

 

Children in a circle stand up when their birthday month is called out. Second time they sit at the same month. Lots of fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


January, February, March, April, May, June, July,

January, February, March, April, May, June, July.

 

August, September, October, November, December,

August, September, October, November, December.

 


 

 

Bluebird, bluebird, thru my window 🔊

 

 


This less well known version of the classic singing game comes from the ‘Handy play party book’ published by the Cooperative Recreation Service in 1968. It is suggested that girls are ‘bluebirds’ and boys ‘buzzards’.

It is very similar to ‘In and out the dusty bluebells’ that I played as a child in the 1950s.

Adapted and arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

Players hold hands high in a circle to make ‘windows’.

Verse 1. One or more children skip in and out of the ‘windows’ On the last phrase the ‘bluebird’ stops in front of a chosen partner. Verse 2. Bluebird taps partner on the shoulder. Verse 3. Partners skip around the centre then the old bluebird retires to the circle while the ones left are ready to start the game again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bluebird, bluebird, thru my window,

Bluebird, bluebird, thru my window,

Bluebird, bluebird, thru my window,

Bluebird I love you.

 

Tippy, tappy on my shoulder,

Tippy, tappy on my shoulder,

Tippy, tappy on my shoulder,

Bluebird I love you.

 

Let’s take a walk with a goose and a gander,

Let’s take a walk with a goose and a gander,

Let’s take a walk with a goose and a gander,

Bluebird I love you.

 


 

 

 

Boom makaleli O

 

A circle game.

I originally assumed this song had African origins but a look at the Kodaly site: http://kodaly.hnu.edu/song.cfm?id=755  tells me it was collected from Tabernacle Village, St. Kitts in the West Indies, 1974. So it is possible ‘makeleli’ has African roots!

 

Children walk in a circle holding hands. One child walks in the centre in the opposite direction. On ‘Down, down’ this child invites a named child to come into the circle and follow the leader in a crouched position. Each time the game is played a new child is chosen until everyone is waddling in a ring behind the leader.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Round and round we must go,

Boom makaleli, chi chim boom!

Round and round we must go,

Boom makaleli, chi chim boom!

Down, down ----- you must go,

Boom makaleli, chi chim boom!


 

 

Bounce high, bounce low  🔊

 

 


A ball bouncing circle game to help children pass the ball steadily to the beat.

 

Children stand in a circle. They pass a large soft ball from one to another round the ring by dropping, bouncing and catching. The ball bounces on the word ‘bounce’ and the first syllable of the child who is about to catch it at the end of the song. Continue round the circle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bounce high, bounce low,

Bounce the ball to Shiloh.

 

Bounce high, bounce low,

Bounce the ball to Isaac.

 

Bounce high, bounce low,

Bounce the ball to Emilia.

 


 

 

 

Built my lady a fine brick house O

 

This game can be found in Ruth Crawford Seegers ‘American folk songs for children’

It was also noted as coming from Western Nebraska in 1888 see: http://www.bluegrassmessengers.com/some-play-party-games-of-the-middle-west--piper.aspx .

 

Children stand in a circle in groups of three. Two children hold hands and the third stands in the middle. The pair circles round the one in the middle. On the third line that child moves under their hands and on to the next pair (house) in the circle and the game continues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Built my lady a fine brick house,

Built it in the garden;

I put her in but she jumped out,

So fare you well my darling.

 

 


 

 

Button you must wander O

 

Many games around the world involve passing an object round the circle. The game below is fairly simple though the children need to be devious as they try to fool the child in the centre.

There are other versions of this game including one that involves the identification of a child’s voice at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIxoZkJQdHE.

 

Children sit in a circle with one a child in the centre. This child closes eyes as one child in the circle is given a button to hold. During the song the button is passed round the circle while those without the button pretend to pass it on. At the end the child in the centre attempts to guess who has the button. They are allowed three or four guesses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Button you must wander, wander, wander.

Button you must wander everywhere.

Bright eyes will find you.

Sharp eyes will find you.

Button you must wander, wander everywhere.

 


 

 

Can you tell me? O

 

This song can be adapted to work with your physical or dramatic objectives. One child goes in the centre of the circle and mimes an action: texting, cycling, shopping. The others guess what they are doing and then copy them.

 

Skip in a circle; one child in the centre chooses a movement and the other children then copy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Can you tell me, can you tell me,

What the girls and boys do?

They are jumping, they are jumping,

So I will jump too.

 

Can you tell me, can you tell me,

What Dylan can do?

He is dancing, he is dancing

So I will dance too.

 

Can you tell me, can you tell me,

What Nancy can do?

She is hopping, she is hopping,

So I will hop too.

 

 


 

 

 

Chiri bim, biri bom 🔊

 

 


A call and response Yiddish circle game.

It can be danced as a ‘hora’ an Eastern European / Balkan dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww5uSzT0Wes, but a simple dance as below is still great fun.

Some might also enjoy this modern take on the story behind this song by Mark Binder in ‘Stories for peace’: http://www.jwmag.org/page.aspx?pid=3058.

 

Children stand in a circle holding hands Make little running steps to the left for the first four bars, Turn to the right and do the same. Next two bars walk for steps into the centre and stamp three times. Move back four steps and stamp. Repeat last two movements finishing with two stamps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chiri bim, chiri bim,

Chiri bom, chiri bom,

Chiri bim bom bim bom bim bom.

Chiri bim, chiri bim,

Chiri bom, chiri bom,

Chiri bim bom bim bom bim bom.

 

Ay chiri chiri chiri bim bim bom,

Ay chiri chiri chiri bim bim bom,

Ay chiri chiri chiri bim bim bom,

Ay chiri chiri bim bom.

 


 

 

 

Clapping land O

 

This song is sung as a cheerful Christmas song in Norway ‘Jeg gikk meg over sjø og land ‘. It is also sung in other parts of Scandinavia.

 

Skip round in a circle holding hands for the first five lines. For the second part drop hands and move round the circle one behind the other clapping, stamping, hopping or whatever takes your fancy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I travelled over land and sea,

I met a man and old was he,

“Old man,” I said

“Where do you live?”

And this is what he told me.

“I belong to Clapping Land,

Clapping Land, Clapping Land,

And if you clap along with me,

Then you can come to Clapping Land.

 

...I belong to Stamping Land...

...I belong to Hopping Land...

...I belong to Jumping Land...

...I belong to Tiptoe Land...

 


 

 

 

Come along everyone / Here we go 🔊

 

 


Learn to followsimple instructions.

Words and music Dany Rosevear, based on ‘Walk along John’.

 

Each time walk round holding hands. 1. Stand in place and stamp feet. 2. Jump up and down. 3. Stand and stretch up high. 4. Still holding hands move into the middle and out. 5. Drop hands, turn on the spot then hop. 6. Continue walking then sit down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Come along everyone, hush your talking,

All join hands and let’s go walking.

Ready now to stomp your feet,

And keep on stomping to the beat.

 

Come along everyone, hush your talking,

All join hands and let’s go walking.

Make great big jumps up and down,

And keep on jumping down to town.

 

Come along everyone, hush your talking,

All join hands and let’s go walking.

Holding hands, stretch up high,

Then up on tiptoes reach the sky.

 

Come along everyone, hush your talking,

All join hands and let’s go walking.

Here we go, use your brain,

Into the middle then out again.

 

Come along everyone, hush your talking,

All join hands and let’s go walking.

Turn around and don’t you stop,

We’re ready now to hop, hop, hop.

 

Come along everyone, hush your talking,

All join hands and let’s go walking.

Round the circle, lickety-split,

But now it’s time to quietly sit.

 


 

 

Come and join the circle 🔊

 

 


Invite children into the ring – a song might work better for the shy child rather than a verbal invitation.

Supports shape recognition, encourage children think of other shapes that are round: clock face, moon, dish, ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and join our circle,

Our circle, our circle,

Come and join our circle,

It’s round like the… sun. / moon, clock, dish, ball

 


 

 

 

Cut the cake 🔊

 

 


Have lots of fun and learn to be thoughtful care for each other when ‘cutting’ and passing while running fast.

 

Children stand in a circle clapping hands while one child walks round the outside. They then shake their bodies and walk round in the circle holding hands.

On the last line the outside child ‘cuts’ gently with the side of their hand through two children’s hands. These two children then run in opposite directions round the circle. The first to arrive back and ‘high five’ the original child becomes the next one to walk outside as the game begins again. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Clap your hands together,

Give a little shake.

Make a happy circle,

And then you cut the cake!

 


 

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page