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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Piano Activity

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, a popular English nursery rhyme, is one of the very first songs a toddler learns to sing. And it makes them so happy when they can learn to play this song on the piano. While it is not the easiest first song, it is not the most difficult. And because children already know the melody so well, their ear can help guide them to play the correct notes. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star Piano Sheet Music with Letters makes this song accessible on piano to even the youngest preschoolers.

Music Alphabet and Note Names

Very young children are not ready to read music notes right away, so it is helpful to use music alphabet letters to help them play this song. Sheet music with alphabet letters give kids a visual to follow (an more importantly help parents guide their kids!)

I like to use piano keyboard letters on the piano for all young children. These visuals help them learn the groups of two and three black keys and they also see which alphabet letters line up with the black keys.

Learning Middle C

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star begins on Middle C. Middle C is the very first note many children learn. One reason is because this note is singable, and many early childhood songs begin on this note. Middle C is also a white key and many beginner songs play on white keys.

I like to play games at the piano and always ask kids to sing the sound of Middle C. We then check to see if the pitch they sing is correct by playing the note. Eventually kids DO learn the sound of Middle C and that is the beginning of developing perfect pitch.

Right Hand and Left Hand

Little children begin learning about right hand and left hand as they learn to color, draw, cut and write their name. I always look to see which hand is dominant and encourage children to start playing little piano songs with the dominant hand. But I always challenge children to learn to play with their other hand, too, so both hands fingers get strengthened.


When teaching very young children, they are still learning how to use their fingers independently. It is easier to teach this song with only one finger. The index finger (pointer) OR middle finger are the two best fingers to begin playing piano with as young children can use the thumb to brace the knuckle joint and help develop the proper hand shape for playing piano.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a wonderful five finger piano song, but when kids start playing, using all five fingers can be a huge challenge (or even obstacle). The pinky and ring finger do not like to cooperate and so some fun finger games may be needed to get them working well (even older 7, 8, 9, and 10 year olds may struggle getting these fingers strengthened).

Patterns in Music

One of the first things I ask kids to notice are the patterns in the music. Finding patterns in sheet music helps kids see that the song may only have a couple different parts to learn. Piano lessons become less about just looking at notes and practicing long sequences of notes and more about finding “shortcuts” in songs.

For instance, you can save time by practicing the opening line of Twinkle Twinkle and learning that really well instead of playing through the whole song everytime. Also, in the middle of the song, GG FF EE D pattern repeats. Learning the different patterns of the melody help beginners practice more efficiently.

I like to play games with the patterns and ask kids to play them with different fingers! You can also ask more questions: Can you play the beginning melody notes with index finger? What about with middle finger? Can you play with the Left Hand? and so on.

Pattern identification is also essential to math skills in school. Isn’t it wonderful when we can use music to teach academics!?!

Piano Keyboard Fun

Because Twinkle Twinkle Little Star has patterns, I designed a fun little composition activity based on the many patterns you find in this song. I thought it would be fun for kids to take these patterns or notes ideas and place them in any order they’d like to create a NEW song.

Mixed Up Little Star Piano Activity

First, I recommend learning how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Young children should be comfortable playing this song well and if possible learn to play this song with the music alphabet letters. Learning where the white key music alphabet letters are in C Major will help them be able to play the little patterns for the mixed up song. It takes time for beginners to learn the music alphabet, so don’t rush this process.

Kids LOVE to create their own songs on piano. A fun little melody or a repeating jazzy rhythm is fun for kids to discover so I always look for opportunities to allow kids to MAKE their own music! Afterall, isn’t that what enjoying music is all about? And even the youngest children should be encouraged and allow this opportunity!

As a piano teacher, my goal is to help every child fall in love with making music and playing the piano. And I hope by creating these resources for parents and teachers of young children, that you too will be able to encourage kids to fall in love with music!

How do you play Twinkle Twinkle on the piano?

Piano Lessons for Parents

For those of you who need a little help knowing how to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I have created a video (below) that you can use to teach yourself how to play Twinkle Twinkle piano. You don’t have to be a piano teacher to learn how to teach your kids songs they know and are excited to learn! And here are 10 ways parents can help their young children get ready for piano lessons.

Music Alphabet Sheet Music

Twinkle twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are, Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky, Twinkle twinkle little star, How I wonder what you are.

Piano Race Game

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    5 Winter Preschool Songs and Fingerplays


    Winter songs for young children include visualizations of snowflakes whirling, cold winter winds, Arctic animals like polar bears and penguins, or building a chubby little snowman. Kids love singing winter songs about icy toes, jingle bells, jack frost, and Rudolph’s little red nose. I am always on the watch for new, fun and easy songs to sing, dance and play with toddlers and preschoolers. Today I want to share with you 5 NEW winter songs that any parent or pre k teacher can teach young children, because each song is set to a tune that is already familiar. But first, let’s talk a little bit about why the cold days of winter deserve front and center attention.

    Winter music for Preschoolers and Toddlers

    The seasons are very easy for children to identify. Springtime bursts forth with green grass, budding trees, and blooming flowers. All of the plants spring to life after the cold days of winter. In summer, the weather is hot. Lighter weight clothing is necessary because the sun shines so hot. Then fall arrives and air whirling leaves blow all around. Animals are busy preparing for a winter long rest time.

    Winter is significant. The entire ground is covered in white snow (in many parts of the U.S.). A chilly nose, chattering teeth, the need for a warming hat and coat are obvious. So let’s take the season of winter and get the most learning mileage we can. Below you will see many learning concepts you can teach any pre k child using fun and easy wintery songs.

    Learning with Winter Songs


    There are several winter songs that teach counting. And let’s have fun! We won’t just count with one finger. Let’s get out all our fingers and toes!

    I have a blog post and downloadable book featuring Counting Songs for Preschoolers. Many of these songs can be adapted and used in the winter months. For example, you can change the words in the song “Bell Horses” to “Sleigh Horses.” Or, you can change the words “little ducks” in the song, “Five Little Ducks” to another animal like “snowy owls,” or “arctic fox.” Or you can change the lyrics in the song “Ten Little Indians” to lyrics like “Ten Little Penguins, or Ten Frosty Snowmen, or Ten Polar Bears in the snow”.

    Winter or Arctic Animals

    Kids love animals. Some animals live where it is always cold. Arctic animals have antics that mesmerize young children. A waddling penguin dance, skating polar bear on the tundra, hopping arctic fox hunting for food… these are all movements kids can copy as they sing a winter song.

    Some animals take a long winter rest and hibernate for months. Kids love to discover how animals live, eat, and sleep. I especially love the story about The Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep. Kids can often relate to what it is like to have a hard time falling asleep. And you can discuss helpful ways that make it easier to fall asleep faster at naptime or bedtime.

    Descriptive Words

    little snowman

    “Little Snowmen I Can See” is a sweet winter song based on the tune “Where is Thumbkin”. I love singing interactive songs with young children where they can help think of other descriptive words we can sing in place of the word “little”.

    Four year olds can usually hear that the word little has two syllables, so we try to think of other descriptive words that also have two syllables. Sometimes it is silly to have bigger syllable words and I always use their ideas and have a great laugh.

    Some ideas for two-syllable words may include: winter, great big, hungry, sleepy, tired, happy, smiling, yellow, purple, etc. My granddaughter’s favorite color is aquamarine. Now THAT would be an example of a silly descriptive word that I would LOVE to sing!


    Winter weather captures the imagination of children. Fascinated by a window’s jack frost kissed patterns, giant icicles hanging from the eaves, or blankets of snow with rambling animal tracks, kids have many beautiful images to wonder about.

    Snowflakes dancing on a winter wind, ice landing on a snowy tree, animal tracks roaming across the yard all indicate that the weather is COLD! Pre K kids may wonder why the leaves fell off some trees, but other trees stay green. They will need to learn about how to dress and what kind of clothes they need to stay warm. How much snow is on the ground? Can we measure it? There are so many things preschool teachers and parents can teach through studying the weather and encouraging a child’s sense of wonder.


    I created the interactive finger play, “Tracks in the Snow,” just so kids could participate in the wonder of winter. This fingerplay gets kids thinking about what kind of animals will walk in the snow. Some animals may hibernate all winter long. Some animals just keep warm in their nest, curled in a round ball and coming out in the daylight to eat.

    I also add counting to this finger play. Each verse gives you an opportunity to add a different animal and each time you an animal you can one more count. Can you count to five? ten? fifteen?

    Calendar and Seasons

    The calendar is linked to the seasons and the weather. So teaching the months of winter and keeping track of the weather each day is a fun activity for kids. You can put little snowflakes on the days that snow fell and count how many days it snowed in winter (or in one month). Likewise you can keep track of cloudy or sunny days.

    “Little Snowflakes Falling Down” is an easy song to learn because it is sung to the tune “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. Add this cute song to your winter theme. You can have snowflakes falling and land on other parts of the body like the knee, elbow, or shoulder. Or the snow can land on your clothes like a hat, mitten, scarf, coat or boots. Winter songs like this give you a lot of creativity to change them up. Perhaps your snowflakes dance or maybe your snowflakes smiled? Below I will give you a few more ideas on how you can create or change winter songs for preschoolers to fit your exact needs.

    New Winter Songs to Teach Kids

    As an Early Childhood Educator, I get tired of singing the same old snowman songs, winter hokey-pokey, snowkey pokey, and super simple songs. I totally understand when preschool teachers get tired of teaching about winter because they are always reaching for the same materials year after year. That is why I created new pre k songs. New songs you can use at circle time, new songs that save time because they are easy to learn and teach and weave into your winter theme. Kids songs that parents and kids love to sing over and over at home because they are fun and interactive.


    You can get these 5 NEW Winter Songs when you join the Music Time Kid Community. I offer new free content for community members that you can download, print and use right away!

    Winter Songs for Preschoolers

    In this collection of winter songs, you will find familiar melodies that you will already know with some new lyrics and actions. I will also give you ideas on how you can take these winter songs and get kids involved in the music creation. Whether you use these winter songs at circle time in your pre k program or just having fun with your toddler in your living room, kids love to make music and they love to be a part of the creation process.

    So, I am offering you this 5 song collection of fun and interactive winter songs that you can download, print and use right now. Cut out some snowflakes, bake some cut-out cookies, or dance a frosty freeze dance with jingle bells to add to the fun. Printing this music will save time as you plan for winter-time fun this year!

    Tracks in the Snow

    Little Snowflakes Falling Down

    Five Frosty Snowmen

    Little Snowmen I Can See

    Ten Little Arctic Animals Song

    Favorite Winter Finger Play

    One of my favorite winter fingerplays is called “I Built a Little Snowman”.

    If you can point me to the author, please point me in their direction, so I can give them the proper attribution. This is how I teach this finger play.

    I Built a Little Snowman

    I built a little snowman, he had a carrot nose, along came a bunny, and what do you suppose? That hungry little bunny, looking for some lunch, ate the snowman’s carrot nose, nibble, nibble crunch!

    Kids have so much fun imagining swiping the poor little nose off that little snow person. It is one of the most requested winter fingerplays in my music classes.

    Best Winter Songs for Kids on Youtube

    Here are links to some of the songs I know my young families love. Super Simple Songs is one of my favorite channels and they even offer “how to teach” videos for many of their songs on their channel.

    Super Simple Songs

    The Kiboomers

    How to Turn Any Song into a Winter Song

    Often you will find new and original lyrics set to old familiar tunes. This is intentional. It is easy for parents and preschool teachers to learn new songs when they already know the melody. It is easy for KIDS to learn a new song when they already know the melody. This is also WHY I am a big fan of teaching young children songs they already know when they first begin to play the piano. It’s easy to teach something new from a foundation of something already known. (Learn more about that here).

    So…See if you can take a familiar tune and make up some fun new lyrics. (See more examples of this in 15 Singable Autumn Songs for Preschoolers PDF)

    Two examples are I’m a Little Snowman sung to the tune I’m a Little Teapot, or singing the Snowkey Pokey to the hokey pokey tune. Find ways to incorporate things kids are learning like colors, counting, weather, animals, feelings, etc into your song. This list is a great place to get started.

    Tunes you may already know

    Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

    Row Row Row Your Boat

    Mary Had a Little Lamb

    Where is Thumbkin

    Ten Little Indians

    If You’re Happy and You Know It

    The Wheels on the Bus

    Hot Cross Buns

    Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

    London Bridges


    You can get these 5 NEW Winter Songs when you join the Music Time Kid Community. I offer new free content for community members that you can download, print and use right away!

    Let me know if you have created a new winter song! I’d love to hear it!

    Fingers & Toes: Fun Kids Counting Songs

    fun kids counting songs

    “This little piggy went to market…This little piggy went home…” Wiggling tiny little toes is part of the joy of singing and playing with little children. We even joke about learning to count with fingers and toes. But really we do learn this way! Parents begin the process of teaching their children from the time they are babies! Let’s explore some fun kids counting songs.

    Why are Counting Songs Important?

    Kids learn through play. When they are having fun, they don’t even realize they are learning. So singing songs and reciting rhymes that involve counting help children learn while they are having fun. In this article we will highlight some of the early nursery rhymes and fun songs that parents and teachers can learn and teach to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. I guarantee they will love to sing and move to these fun counting songs.

    What are Some Counting to Five Songs?

    Let’s begin with your fingers. Kids learn to count to five first. One idea I like to share with parents is when you count to five using your fingers, count consistently. Start with your thumb and move to the pinky. These are the finger numbers for playing the piano, so always referring to thumb as finger number one, pointer finger as two, middle finger as three, ring finger as four, and pinky as five will help them later on if they begin taking piano lessons.

    There are lots and lots of Youtube variations of these songs. I will link some quality teaching versions so you don’t have to search for them! Personally, I like the less flashy entertainment kind of videos that kids like to watch because we want good teaching content… Ideas that teachers use to get the most out of teaching these songs. So watch these videos to the end. You get a lot of great ideas on HOW to sing these songs to kids so they are having fun and learning!

    Five Little Ducks

    Five little ducks counts backwards from five down to one. You can have your child keep track of how many ducks with their fingers which helps improve their fine motor skills. Or it is fun if you make some manipulatives like finger puppets to playact as you sing!

    five little ducks

    Five Little Ducks – Lyrics

    Five little ducks
    Went out one day
    Over the hills and far away
    Mother duck said
    “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
    But only four little ducks came back.

    Four little ducks
    Went out one day
    Over the hills and far away
    Mother duck said
    “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
    But only three little ducks came back.

    Three little ducks
    Went out one day
    Over the hills and far away
    Mother duck said
    “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
    But only two little ducks came back.

    Two little ducks
    Went out one day
    Over the hills and far away
    Mother duck said
    “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
    But only one little duck came back.

    One little duck
    Went out one day
    Over the hills and far away
    Mother duck said
    “Quack, quack, quack, quack.”
    But none of the five little ducks came back.

    Sad mother duck
    Went out one day
    Over the hills and far away
    The sad mother duck said
    “Quack, quack, quack.”
    And all of the five little ducks came back.

    Five Little Ducks – VIDEO

    This video from Super Simple Songs demonstrates motions for this song! I also like how they count the number of ducks at the end of each verse. Talking about safety and mother duck’s concern for her little ducks is an additional teaching moment.

    Five Green and Speckled Frogs (or Five Little Frogs)

    Five Green and Speckled Frogs is similar to the Five Little Ducks song because it begins with 5 and counts backwards which is teaching subtraction.

    Five Green and Speckled Frogs – Lyrics

    FIVE green and speckled frogs
    Sat on a speckled log
    Eating some most delicious bugs
    Yum Yum.

    One jumped into the pool
    Where it was nice and cool
    Then there were FOUR (subtract one each verse) speckled frogs.
    Glug Glug.

    (Repeat song using the number four, then three, then two, then one, then no in place of FIVE)

    five green and speckled frogs counting song

    Five Green and Speckled Frogs – VIDEO

    This video has helpful instruction on how to teach this song at the end of the song.

    Alice the Camel

    alice the camel kids counting song lyrics

    Make a Camel Craft
    Make some fun camels using the number of humps your child wants! Fun activity!

    Alice the Camel – VIDEO

    Five Little Monkeys

    I love to allow kids to play with props to this little nursery rhyme. First of all, monkeys are so cute. Kids love to watch them! And jumping is fun! So get some monkey stuffed animals, finger puppets, or just print some monkeys out on paper that children (or you) can cut out! Kids will love jumping these monkeys all around!

    Five little monkeys kids counting song

    Fun Five Little Monkeys Craft Idea

    This craft is definitely for a little bit older kids, but it looks so fun!

    How to Teach “Five Little Monkeys” – VIDEO

    Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

    Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    We’re going to the moon.
    Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    We’re going to the moon.
    If you want to take a trip,
    Climb aboard my rocket ship.
    Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    We’re going to the moon.
    5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
    Blast off!

    Zoom Zoom Zoom counting song for kids

    What are Some Count to 10 Songs?

    One Two Three Four Five

    One, two, three, four, five,
    Once I caught a fish alive,
    Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
    Then I let it go again.
    Why did you let it go?
    Because it bit my finger so.
    Which finger did it bite?
    This little finger on my right.

    fishing song with numbers

    10 Little Indians

    Ten Little Indians song is one of my favorite teaching songs because it very versatile. You can change the words to this song in numerous ways. And you can also count this song backwards. Here are the original song lyrics.

    One little, two little, three little Indians
    Four little, five little, six little Indians,
    Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians,
    Ten little Indian boys.

    lyrics for kids counting song

    Here are a few examples of how I change the song lyrics while keeping the number counting and the melody the same.

    Sing about FRIENDS… Ten little friends at the park or Ten little friends playing ball, etc.

    BUBBLES! Ten little bubbles go pop!

    BUGS! Ten little bugs fly away.

    LEAVES! Ten autumn leaves on the ground.

    RAINDROPS! Ten little raindrops on my head.

    SNOWFLAKES! Ten little snowflakes on my tongue.

    See what I mean? You can sing about practically anything! It’s fun to let children brainstorm and come up with ideas. They love to create and when kids are invested in their own learning, learning is so much fun!

    Ten in the Bed

    Imagine a crowded bed. What is on that bed? Tons of stuffed animals? Lots of friends having a sleep over? Or it’s a big, big family. No matter what you imagine is on the bed, you can collect 10 and reenact this song.

    10 in the bed lyrics
    Ten in the bed kids song counting to ten

    Early in the morning, kids are usually a little slow to get going. Having fun right at the start of the morning as you get your child ready for the day is so playful and fun. Singing and imaginative play gets the day started with lots of positive energy! If you start singing, your child might even sing along. They will definitely help you play by tossing some stuffed animals overboard to get from ten to one. And then get them back on the bed after the covers are all pulled up! What singing fun!

    How to Teach “Ten in the Bed” – VIDEO

    One Two Buckle My Shoe

    One, two,
    Buckle my shoe;
    Three, four,
    Knock at the door;
    Five, six,
    Pick up sticks;
    Seven, eight,
    Lay them straight:
    Nine, ten,
    A big fat hen;

    One two buckle my shoe counting song

    This Old Man

    This old man counting to 10 song

    Song with ASL Motions

    American Sign Language counting video. Wonderful way to teach kids counting to ten in American Sign Language.

    The Ants Go Marching

    the ants go marching counting song for kids

    Ants Finger Puppet Craft for Kids

    Other Fun Counting Songs

    Bell Horses

    I love teaching Bell Horses because there are other skills kids are learning besides counting, like ringing the bells while we sing the lyrics and then freezing (STOP!) while we count. You may have to demonstrate this, and actually teach the kids how to ring and freeze. It’s really a lot of fun to have them watch y ou and freeze when you freeze! If we are also marching while we sing and ring, we freeze that too! This is so much fun for kids and it requires that they pay attention.

    bell horses lyrics

    Bell Horses Ringing Demonstration – VIDEO

    Here is a short demonstration of how we ring the bells while we sing and FREEZE! (or stop ringing) while we count. I always encourage kids to march while we sing and FREEZE (no moving at all) while we count. I do however, encourage them to count their fingers if the bells are on their wrists… so technically that is moving, but it’s not moving their feet!

    Fingerplay Counting Activities

    Here is the Beehive

    Here is the Beehive is a counting rhyme that counts to five. It really doesn’t have a melody, but you could easily sing a sol-mi type of melody to the rhyme. This nursery rhyme is fun because at the end of the song you can buzzzzz….. and tickle a child under the chin with your fingers. Kids love little tickle rhymes and often beg for them over and over again.

    I also created a little bumble bee music activity /piano improvisation page for preschoolers. If you are interested in this little piano activity, or the DIY Mother’s Day piano activity I have created, follow the links on this page!

    here is the beehive kids counting song

    Here is the Beehive – VIDEO

    This Little Piggy

    While not an official counting song, “This Little Piggy” offers the opportunity for counting. There are other nursery rhymes that also can be adapted to counting as well. Once you get done wiggling the toes with the rhyme, go back and wiggle each toe and count: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

    this little piggy nursery rhyme with counting

    One Potato Two Potato

    one potato two potato

    One Potato Two Potatoes
    One potato two potatoes
    Three potatoes, four!
    Five potatoes, six potatoes
    Seven potatoes, more!

    To count to ten add:
    Eight potatoes, nine potatoes, ten potatoes all!

    Five Fat Sausages

    Five fat sausages sizzling in a pan,
    (Hold up five fingers)
    All of a sudden one went “BANG!”
    (Clap hands loudly)

    Four fat sausages sizzling in a pan,
    (Hold up four fingers)
    All of a sudden one went “BANG!”

    Three fat sausages sizzling in a pan,
    (Hold up three fingers)
    All of a sudden one went “BANG!”

    Two fat sausages sizzling in a pan,
    (Hold up two fingers)
    All of a sudden one went “BANG!”

    One fat sausage, sizzling in a pan,
    (Hold up one finger)
    All of a sudden it went “Bang!”
    And there were NO sausages left!
    (No fingers left up)

    five fat sausages counting nursery rhyme

    Other songs kids can add numbers to

    Finger Family Check out this link. While there is no actual counting in the song itself, it offers imagery that you can springboard from and then count the family members. Plus you use your hands, so counting is natural using fingers.

    Baa Baa Black Sheep This song offers counting, 1, 2, 3 for the very youngest of children. It’s also an easy song for kids to learn because it shares the same melody as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

    Mary Had a Little Lamb You can change the lyrics in this song to “Mary had some little lambs” and teach counting to various numbers of sheep.


    I hope you find this list useful. Select your favorites and create some learning opportunities for your child.

    And while you are at it, grab my printable, “Counting Songs for Toddlers and Preschoolers”. In this printable you will find lyrics that you can use to help teach counting to your kids. Printables give parents and teachers confidence to teach these songs and will help you bring these songs to life! They encourage imagination, movement, motor skills, and so much more!

    Join the Music Time Kid Community and get a FREE copy of this downloadable Counting Songs Booklet!

    All of the songs from this blog post are included in the printable.

    Preschool Songs with Actions Boost Brain-Body Connection

    Preschool songs with actions have the ability to boost kids’ brain-body connection. And this is an important part of child development! Let’s explore what it is, why it is important and then get to the action songs you can use to boost the brain-body connection with your toddler or preschooler.

    What is the mind-body connection?

    songs with actions boost brain-body connection

    John Hopkins Medicine has a wonderful article on the connection of the mind and body. You can read more details about that here.
    For the sake of this article, I want to quote these ideas from the article, “Mind-Body Connection is the belief that the causes, development and outcomes of a physical illness are determined from the interaction of psychological, social factors and biological factors.

    Your emotional health includes:
    – your overall psychological well-being;
    – your feelings about yourself;
    – the quality of your relationships, at work and at home;
    – your ability to create and use positive coping skills;
    – your ability to manage your feelings.

    Emotional health can be affected by the stress from both good and bad… It also can be affected by daily routines…”

    Family life is very significant for young children. Making music together as a family can really have a positive impact on the emotional well-being of children. In fact, you’d be surprised how much making music together as a family impacts the emotional well-being of adults, too!

    Why is mind-body connection important for young children?

    Music and movement are both things that directly relate to children’s overall well-being. They both provide creative ways to relieve excess energy, as well as express and manage feelings. While music alone can help soothe or uplift children, the ability to move with music gives kids a positive way to express themselves. When kids sing movement songs they feel good about themselves and for a while they may escape things in their life that negatively impact them.

    preschool songs with actions benefits

    Here is an article that lists 12 benefits action songs have for kids.

    The last four benefits all have to do with emotional wellness: foster self esteem and confidence, encourage creativity, adaptability, and imagination, promote social skills and cooperation, engage children and adults in bonding activities.

    Here is another article that lists 15 Benefits of Music on Kids Health.

    Action songs that encourage mind-body wellness

    I recommend these action songs because they are kids’ favorite songs. They love to sing them over and over and over and that is okay! That is how kids learn. In fact, preschoolers love these songs so much that teachers and parents rarely look further for new material. While I also love the tried and true familiar tunes of childhood, I also like to find more imaginative and creative activities for preschoolers (but that is another post!)

    These songs help kids with awareness of body parts, learning right and left, clapping hands, stomping feet, moving arms, dancing, hopping, and so much more. Kids will be having a blast with these movements they won’t even know they are learning!

    To help you teach this music, I am offering you a free pdf download of these songs. I am also including printable song cards that you can use with your preschooler. As you learn a new song, you can reward your child with a card that they can display or collect. Children are very proud of themselves as they earn these cards. If you are a classroom teacher or daycare provider, you can post each card on the wall as a new song is learned.

    I love to make the most of every teaching experience, so whether you are a parent at home or a preschool teacher, I hope you will find the information in the rest of this blog post, links, enrichment ideas, and videos helpful. I am sure your toddler or preschooler will love this music!

    songs with actions pdf

    Movement Songs Lyrics for Preschoolers

    20 Songs that ENCOURAGE movement and help toddlers and preschoolers develop Brain-Body Connection

    Get this Freebie TODAY!

    PLUS! You will get the printable,
    Baby Animal
    collector song cards!

    20 Songs with Actions Kids Love!

    Help your child with the motions by asking them to do them before you sing the song, and take time as you sing to show them how to do the motions. Kids love to move. They may have trouble at first holding up one finger or one thumb, but they will eventually figure it out. Get out the musical instruments, too! Kids will have so much fun!

    If You’re Happy and You Know It

    If You're Happy and You Know It Action Song

    if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap, clap)
    If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap, clap)
    If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.
    (point to your smile)
    If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands. (clap, clap)

    with each additional verse add one new motion to the front of all the actions
    If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet. (stomp, stomp)
    If you’re happy and you know it, turn around. (turn around)
    If you’re happy and you know it, shout “HOORAY”

    Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

    Head shoulders knees and toes actions


    Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,
    Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,
    Eyes and ears and mouth and nose,
    Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.

    The Itsy Bitsy Spider

    itsy bitsy spider

    The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout.
    Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
    Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
    And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

    The Hokey-Pokey

    hokey pokey action song


    You put your right foot in
    You take your right foot out
    You put your right foot in
    And you shake it all about
    You do the hokey pokey
    And you turn yourself around
    That’s what it’s all about

    Sing the song again hanging “right foot” to left foot, and then right hand, left hand, head, and whole self respectively.

    Open Shut Them

    open shut them

    Open, shut them. Open, shut them. (open, close hands)
    Give a little clap. (clap, clap)
    Open, shut them. Open, shut them.
    Lay them in your lap. (fold hands in your lap)
    Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them,
    (crawl fingers up your arm to your mouth)
    Right up to your chin.
    Open wide your little mouth, (open mouth)
    But do not put them in. (quickly run fingers back down arm)

    I’m a Little Teapot

    I'm a little Teapot action song


    I’m a little teapot, short and stout.
    Here is my handle, here is my spout .
    When I get all steamed up hear me shout
    “Tip me over and pour me out!”

    Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

    Teddy Bear Teddy Bear song


    Teddy bear, teddy bear,
    Turn around!
    Teddy bear, teddy bear,
    Touch the ground!
    Teddy bear, teddy bear,
    Jump up high!
    Teddy bear, teddy bear,
    Touch the sky!
    Teddy bear, teddy bear,
    Bend down low!
    Teddy bear, teddy bear,
    Touch you toes!
    Teddy bear, teddy bear,
    Turn out the light!
    Teddy bear, teddy bear,
    Say good night!

    Wheels on the Bus

    The Wheels on the Bus movement song


    The wheels on the bus go round and round,
    Round and round, round and round.
    The wheels on the bus go round and round,
    All through the town.
    The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep…
    The doors on the bus go open and shut…
    The windows on the bus go up and down…
    The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish…
    The babies on the bus go wah, wah, wah…
    The parents on the bus go “Shhhh, shhhh, shhhh”…


    Looby Loo Music with actions


    Here we go looby loo.
    Here we go looby light.
    Here we go looby loo.
    All on a Saturday night.
    You put your right hand in.
    You take your right hand out.
    You give your hand a shake, shake, shake.
    And turn yourself about.

    Each verse changes the body part you put in: right hand, left hand, right foot, left foot, head, whole body.

    Where is Thumbkin

    Where is Thumbkin music and movement


    Where is thumbkin?
    Where is thumbkin?
    Here I am (bring out one thumb)
    Here I am (bring out the other thumb)
    How are you today sir?
    (make thumb talk to other thumb when singing that line)
    Very well, I thank you (and vice versa with this thumb)
    Run away (put one thumb back behind your back)
    Run away (put the other thumb back behind your back)
    Additional verses:
    Where is pointer…
    Where is tall man…
    Where is ring man…
    Where is pinky

    Bell Horses

    Action songs bell horses


    Bell horses, bell horses
    what’s the time of day?
    One o’clock, two o’clock
    time to go away. (repeat)

    One, two, three, four
    Jingle; jingle, jingle more
    Five, six, seven, eight
    Jingle, jingle don’t be late. (repeat)

    Bell horses, bell horses
    what’s the time of day?
    One o’clock, two o’clock
    time to go away. (repeat)

    Mulberry Bush

    actions songs mulberry bush


    Here we go round the mulberry bush,
    The mulberry bush,
    The mulberry bush.
    Here we go round the mulberry bush
    On a cold and frosty morning.

    The is the Way

    This is the way movement song


    sung to the same tune as The Mulberry Bush

    This is the way we clap our hands,
    clap our hands, clap our hands,
    This is the way we clap our hands,
    All day long.

    repeat with other motions like stomp our feet, touch our nose, etc.

    Ring Around the Rosie

    ring around the rosie action song


    Ring around the rosie,
    A pocket full of posies,
    Ashes! Ashes!
    We all fall down

    Pop! Goes the Weasel

    action songs pop goes the weasel


    All around the mulberry bush
    The monkey chased the weasel
    The monkey thought it was all in good fun
    Pop! goes the weasel.

    A penny for a spool of thread
    A penny for a needle
    That’s the way the money goes
    Pop! goes the weasel.

    Do Your Ears Hang Low?

    do your ears hang low song


    Do your ears hang low?
    Do they wobble to and fro?
    Can you tie ’em in a knot?
    Can you tie ’em in a bow?
    Can you throw ’em o’er your shoulder
    Like a Continental soldier
    Do your ears hang low?

    Row, Row, Row Your Boat

    row row row your boat movement


    (have child sit facing you and gently pull their hands towards you and away from you like you’re rowing)

    Row, row, row your boat
    Gently down the stream
    Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
    Life is but a dream.

    Five Green and Speckled Frogs

    five green and speckled frogs finger play


    Five Green and Speckled Frogs
    Five green and speckled frogs, sitting on a speckled log
    (hold up five fingers)
    Eating some most delicious bugs… yum, yum!
    (rub stomach)
    One jumped into the pool, where it was nice and cool
    (make one finger jump and move down)
    Now there are four speckled frogs…..
    (hold up four fingers)
    Four green and speckled frogs…
    Three green and speckled frogs…
    Two green and speckled frogs…
    One green and speckled frog, sitting on a speckled log
    Eating some most delicious bugs… yum, yum!
    One jumped into the pool, where it was nice and cool
    Now there are no g


    bingo clap song

    (Clap when you see *)

    There was a farmer had a dog
    And Bingo was his name-oh.
    B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O,
    And Bingo was his name-oh.

    There was a farmer had a dog
    And Bingo was his name-oh.
    *-I-N-G-O, *-I-N-G-O, *-I-N-G-O,
    and Bingo was his name-oh.

    Continue removing one letter

    Did You Ever See a Lassie?

    did you ever see a lassie


    Did you ever see a lassie,
    A lassie, a lassie?
    Did you ever see a lassie,
    Go this way and that?
    Go this way and that way,
    Go this way and that way.
    Did you ever see a lassie,
    Go this way and that?
    Did you ever see a laddie,
    A laddie, a laddie?
    Did you ever see a laddie,
    Go this way and that?
    Go this way and that way,
    Go this way and that way.
    Did you ever see a laddie,
    Go this way and that?

    Kids Activities You Can Use with an Action Song

    Whenever possible I like to “extend the lesson” with kids activities and get the most mileage out of teaching each and every song. So I want to share more ideas on how you can teach more learning concepts at the same time.

    Musical Instruments

    Whenever possible use some musical instruments! Kids love to dance and ring bells, shake maracas or tambourines, or play a drum.


    Finger puppets and larger hand size puppets encourage the imagination and make play time even more fun. You will find many illustrated story-song books in the public library that a puppet can sing to a toddler or preschooler. (hint: even bigger kids love puppets!)

    Stuffed Animals

    I love using stuffed animals while singing with kids. It’s hard for them to sit still. So holding an animal gives their fingers something to do. I often bounce a stuffed animal to the beat of the song. While they watch me, of course, kids will copy what I am doing and this helps them learn to feel a steady beat.


    Build a prop box that can accompany a short music time. Kids love to play pretend. Hats, costumes, jackets, coats, boots, scarves, etc. all make music time more interesting. Toddler songs are filled with easy repetitive words and acting those words out with props is definitely fun child play.

    Story Books

    Like I mentioned, there are numerous illustrators who have created beautiful picture books using these familiar children’s melodies. You can not only sing as you turn the pages, but go back and really look at the pictures. Increase your child’s vocabulary by talking about the pictures. Is that monkey hopping? jumping? dancing? singing? wiggling? Use descriptive words as you look at the pages.

    More Songs with Actions that I Love!

    There is so much great action music available for kids these days. Here are more wonderful action songs that are less familiar. For these movement songs I will provide Youtube links so you can add them to your playlist. These are fun songs that I regularly include in early childhood music classes or preschool classes I teach at a daycare. I often use musical instruments along with motions so go ahead and add a few. Kids love them!

    Everybody clap your hands

    Tap it on your head

    Shake my sillies out

    Bunny hop

    Roly poly

    One little finger

    Egg shakin’ blues

    Peekaboo by super simple songs

    Wake up toes

    music and movement

    Free PDF

    Action Songs for Preschoolers

    20 Songs that ENCOURAGE movement and help toddlers and preschoolers develop Brain-Body Connection

    Get this Freebie TODAY!

    PLUS! You will get the printable,
    Baby Animals
    collector song cards!

    15 Singable Autumn Songs for Preschoolers

    15 singable autumn songs for preschoolers and toddlers! Autumn is my favorite season and I have collected a nice repertoire of singable fall songs for preschoolers. In fact, I wrote a few of them and added familiar tunes to others. So this list may be different than many of the lists you will find online because some are original ideas. But I guarantee all are loved by parents and kid from my early childhood music classes. (And here is another list of imaginative fall songs for preschoolers if you are looking for more fall songs activities!)

    What kind of autumn song should I teach preschoolers?

    15 autumn songs for preschoolers

    This blog post contains a list of text lyrics, song sheets, and videos to help you create music with toddlers and preschoolers. You will learn how to teach these autumn songs and rhymes for early years and preschool children. Included are musical fingerplays and songs about leaves, apples, spiders, scarecrows, pumpkins, squirrels and bunnies. These songs reinforce concepts preschoolers need to learn when they begin school like counting, colors, and developing large movement and fine motor skills.

    I also wrote another blog post, “Imaginative Fall Songs for Preschoolers” that focuses on creativity, pretend play, and use of imagination. And a blog post, “Preschool Songs with Actions Boost Brain-Body Connection”. The songs in those posts are a great addition to this list!

    What if I don’t know the songs?

    Often the words repeat so they are easy to sing. Most melodies are familiar, but the ones you may not know I am including videos so you can learn them! You’ll enjoy singing these seasonal songs in September and October, and I will provide links that you can save on your playlist. Let’s make music together!

    Autumn Songs for Preschoolers PDF Preview

    Autumn songs for kids with printable resources.

    Fall music is a great springboard for fall craft activities. Learning about the different shapes and colors of autumn leaves lends itself to many many toddler and preschool activities. Going outdoors and actually collecting falling leaves is so much fun for kids. Below I will share the songs I love sing during autumn. Teachers and parents love teaching these songs about the seasons.

    Fall Songs about Leaves

    Falling Leaves

    falling leaves autumn song

    Falling leaves

    This version of Falling Leaves is sung to the tune of Jingle Bells. I like to sing this song with scarves so kids can move the scarf and imagine and the leaves are twirling in the air. If you can find an orange, yellow or red scarf all the better! When you sing “way up high” move the scarf up over your head. You can even stand on your tippy toes. When you sing “way down low” your scarf can touch the ground. Move your scarf fast and then slow (over exaggerate this!) when you get to “fast and slow”. At the very end blow a loud wind sound and you can even toss the scarf in the air, blow it and let it drift to the ground. Kids love this!

    Leaves are Falling Down

    leaves are falling down

    Leaves are Falling Down

    This is a song that I use as a little fingerplay song. “Leaves are falling down” I wiggle my fingers and hands, and make my arms go from high to low (just like when it rains in Itsy Bitsy Spider song). “Swoosh!” my arms swipe out and in. “Rake them” I hold both fists together like I am hold a rake. You can make this song fun by changing the tempo (speed). Start slow and each time you repeat the song, make it a little faster. Kids love to get silly with this!

    Autumn Leaves are Falling Down

    autumn leaves are falling

    Autumn Leaves are Falling

    “Autumn Leaves are Falling Down” is sung to the tune “London Bridges.” Again like the song “Leaves are Falling Down,” I will wiggle my fingers and hands, and make my arms go from high to low while I am singing the lyrics, “Autumn leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down.” We imagine we are raking leaves by putting our fists together and pretend we are holding a rake for the second verse.

    I love to engage kids with their imagination. “What else can we do with the leaves?” I will ask. They may want to make a pile, jump in them, or bag them up. Creativity is so much fun. Let the kids create more verses to act out to this song!

    Crunchy Leaves

    crunchy leaves

    Crunchy Leaves

    I love the song Crunchy Leaves. It is sung to the tune “Hot Cross Buns”. This is a song I sing in every season because the words are so fun to change! On the download page I give you ideas for other words you can sing like, “pumpkin patch,” “falling leaves,” “coat and hat,” and “apple pie.” I have kids think of other autumn things that fit these three syllables. When they offer me suggestions, we check to see if it is three syllables. Sometimes they can hear that it is, or it isn’t. Really there are no bad suggestions, so longer syllable ideas we sing extra silly.

    Because this song has a repeating short, short, long pattern I love to have kids bounce a stuffed animal on their lap while singing. It gives them the opportunity to move while singing, and you may have noticed… kids love to move!

    The Leaves are Falling Down

    leaves are falling down

    The Leaves are Falling Down

    The Leaves are Falling Down song is sung to the the tune, “The Farmer in the Dell.” There is a focus on color names: orange yellow red and brown. And also an add-on to this song with counting. We sing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 going higher each time up the music scale. Then as we sing, “8 leaves falling, falling to the ground.” we are going back down the scale. I love to have kids visually see the music going higher and then lower using props. So having a cut out leaf or a scarf while singing this song is great!

    A Scarecrow Song

    Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

    scarecrow song

    Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

    Well, this isn’t actually about a scarecrow. But we can imagine we are a big scarecrow in the garden frightening away the birds who want to eat the vegetables in the garden. You can even dress up like a scarecrow if you put on a plaid shirt and hat. Kids love moving to this song. Make sure they know where all the body parts are before you begin. And make sure to repeat this song many times, getting faster and faster and faster. Did I already mention (yes!) kids love to get silly with how fast they can sing and move.

    Autumn Spider Songs

    10 Little Spiders

    10 little spiders

    10 Little Spiders

    “Ten Little Indians” is another one of my favorite melodies to re-use every season. We can have 10 little friend, 10 little cookies, 10 little apples, etc. What can your children come up with for autumn? Pumpkins, apples, costumes, black cats, and more. Getting kids input and encouraging their creativity makes singing and moving even more fun!

    This song “10 Little Spiders” has a creative ending. You can change the last line of the song to have the spiders crawl on a body part: a leg, arm, head, chin, etc. This makes the song very fun. If your child is old enough you can use a spider stuffed animal, finger puppet, or even cut out a spider and see if they can find and touch it to the body parts you sing.

    Itsy Bitsy Spider

    itsy bitsy spider

    Itsy Bitsy Spider

    This classic song is probably one of the most popular children’s songs. Whenever I, as a teacher, decide I am tired of this song and take it out of my early childhood music class, I get those disappointed kids that mention at the very end of class that that was the one song they wanted to sing! So, while I may get tired of singing this song, kids don’t!

    It’s also a favorite first piano song. Kids love to play songs they already know when they are learning to play an instrument. If you want to know 10 ways to get your child ready for piano lessons check out a few more of my blog posts for more information!

    Fall Songs About Apples

    Apple Tree Song

    apple tree

    Apple Tree Song

    Apple Tree Song is sung to the tune, “Hush Little Baby.” Apple Tree can be sung over and over and each time you can change the number of apples on the tree. You can start from the number one and count going up. Or you can start at the number 10 and count going down. Older kids may also count by twos, fives, or tens.

    Apple Pie Song

    applie pie

    Apple Pie Song

    This song is similar to the “10 Little Spiders” song in that it uses the tune, “10 Little Indians.” Apple picking and apple orchard visits are a classic part of autumn, so it makes sense to have an apple pie counting song! You can think about other foods apples can be put into: cobbler, oatmeal, muffins, cereal, etc. Kids love to be a part of the creative process and think of some of the most amazing things!

    Fall Songs About Pumpkins

    When I think of autumn, I think of apples, sunflower, and PUMPKINS! There are lots of great songs about pumpkins. Many of the apple songs can also become pumpkin songs with a little twist of lyrics.

    Five Little Pumpkins

    five little pumpkins

    Five Little Pumpkins

    Five Little Pumpkins is a more difficult song for preschoolers to learn, because it has a lot of words! But wonderful education happens in this song, so it is worth singing!

    First of all this song teaches ordinal numbers. Ordinal numbers are first, second, third, fourth, fifth. I like to do a little piano teaching prep here, so I teach the kids to put up their thumb on first, pointer finger on second, middle finger for third, ring finger for fourth and pinky for fifth.

    These are the finger numbers for teaching piano lessons so it is great prep to get kids used to identifying these ordinal numbers with the correct finger. Just by demonstrating it, kids catch on.

    I like to sing “Five Little Pumpkins” to the tune, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

    Pumpkin Patch Song

    pumpkin patch

    Pumpkin Patch Song

    I sing this song to the tune of “Shortenin’ Bread.” You can sing this song many times and each time you can change the word “loves” to something else. Some suggestions include: picks, eats, carves, bakes, etc. Again, getting kids thinking about what other ideas they can come up with is fun!

    A Little Pumpkin with a Frown

    a little pumpkin with a frown

    A Little Pumpkin with a Frown

    This is an original song. I wrote this song because kids don’t always feel happy. So it’s a great segue into talking about emotions and what we can do when we are not happy. How might you feel when you have a frown on your face? Why might you feel that way? What can you do about it? Equipping children with how to handle their emotions is very important. I look for opportunities to validate emotions and feelings, and let kids know that it is okay to feel those ways. The video below demonstrates how to sing this song,

    Fall Animal Songs

    Animals are busy busy busy in the fall. They are preparing for a long winter. Talking about what animals are doing to prepare for winter is a great springboard to thinking about animal activities and how animals might move. These ideas are great to incorporate into music and movement.

    Grey Squirrel

    grey squirrel

    Grey Squirrel

    Kids love the Grey Squirrel song because they love to swoosh the big bushy tail! I love to sing this song with a scarf and move the scarf like the squirrel’s tail. Identifying your nose and fingers that hold little acorns adds to the movement of this song.

    My version is adapted from Leanne Guenther’s fall nursery rhyme. You can add more verses to this song by changing the lyrics “grey squirrel” to other family members, like papa squirrel, mama squirrel, baby squirrel, etc. You can also talk about other animals that have tails and make this an animal tail song.

    Or you can make this a color song and make your squirrel brown, yellow, orange, red, etc.

    Five Little Bunnies

    five little bunnies

    Five Little Bunnies

    There are several melodies you can sing Five Little Bunnies to: Twinkle Twinkle, Paw-Paw-Patch tune, Row Row Row your Boat. This song lends itself to making up any kind of simple tune. The end of the song is fun. You can have children hop as long as you want and you can count how many hops they hop!

    Printable Resource: Autumn Songs for Preschoolers

    I love to have all my seasonal materials in one place. So I made up this song collection, printed it, and put a comb-binding on it. If you are interested in this pdf collection you can get it by subscribing to Music Time Kid Music Community below. I’d love to have you join us. I am constantly putting together more musical resources to help you have fun with your toddlers and preschoolers. Both parents and teachers find these games, songs, musical activities and other printables helpful! Join us today!

    Autumn Songs for Kids

    15 Easy to Sing Songs & Fingerplays

    Get your Autumn Song PDF’s here!

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