Using song in the everyday with children works wonders to get their attention, help them understand and follow directions, learn about new concepts, get to know eachother, and make changes and transitions easier to handle. If your little one just isn’t listening to your words, try singing them instead and see what happens.
During my many experiences working at daycares, preschools, and other places of early learning, I’ve picked up quite a few fantastic little action songs for children and activities for transitions, circle time, and really any time that we need to keep busy with some structure and pause to change what we’re doing.
Don’t be afraid to sing these or any songs with babies, either. You’re never too young to enjoy watching the actions and hearing the words being sung.
Here, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to sing some of these funny little songs for you, in the hopes that you’ll find them helpful to your own preschool, daycare, or home-with-kids experiences. Being in front of a camera – especially a video recording – is not a natural place for me, so please bear with any awkwardness you notice. I’m trying! (Although not too hard. No make-up, messy hair, no practice before recording – just straight up honest song ideas.)
You’ll notice I refer to preschool and circle time with these songs, but most of them work just as well one-on-one at home or wherever you happen to be. Have fun with these, and I’d love to see/hear any of your favourite songs, too! Throw out a comment at the bottom of this page and give me some more great ideas for songs to sing with little ones.
Come Along and Sit With Me
This song is useful as a transitional song for inviting and calling children to circle or new activity, as well as for learning to follow directions, and be creative leaders when children are invited to make up their own actions. Bonus: It also involves a bit of learning about weather.
I’ll Clap My Hands
An action song for following directions, offering ideas, learning about parts of the body and weather. Works great as a transitional song for calling children to circle, or even for some one-on-one fun. Again, we take notice of the weather in this song.
Alligator 1, Alligator 2
A fun action song for teaching the difference between soft (or quiet) and loud. Works great one-on-one or in a group.
I Roll the Ball to You
This is a great interactive song that incorporates rolling a ball and saying and repeating children’s names. The perfect song/game for learning and remembering names of teachers and playmates at circle.
A-Ram Sam Sam
A fun and silly action song for children with nonsense words. Explore different speeds with this song by trying it slow and fast. How fast can you go?
Run, Run Away
A wonderful song for transitioning children from one activity to the next. Can easily be modified to suit your children’s interests, theme or topic. It also promotes self-confidence and makes a positive connection with the child. You can also change the action of leaving from “run away” to “walk away”, “hop away”, “fly away” or whatever motion is more appropriate for the setting and the version of the song you come up with. *If you don’t want the children running, pick a different motion.*
Looking for more? I have a whole category of music and songs for children! Check it out here.