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Toddler

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.

Conclusion

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 LYRICS
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 LYRICS

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 LYRICS
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

HOKEY-POKEY LYRICS

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 LYRICS
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 LYRICS

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 LYRICS

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

WHEELS ON THE BUS LYRICS

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

Looby Loo Music with actions

LOOBY-LOO LYRICS

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 LYRICS

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 LYRICS

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

MULBERRY BUSH LYRICS

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

THIS IS THE WAY LYRICS

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 LYRICS

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

POP! GOES THE WEASEL LYRICS

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 LYRICS

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

ROW, ROW, ROW YOUR BOAT LYRICS

(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 LYRICS

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

B-I-N-G-O

bingo clap song

BINGO LYRICS
(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
*-*-N-G-O
*-*-*-G-O
*-*-*-*-O
*-*-*-*-
*–8

Did You Ever See a Lassie?

did you ever see a lassie

DID YOU EVER SEE A LASSIE LYRICS

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.

Puppets

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.

Props

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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    Toddlers Music Classes with Beethoven!

    Toddlers music classes are full of laughter, fun, and discovery. I have created a music class with Beethoven, a fun loving, pancake eating sheepdog puppet, who sings, dances, and plays musical instruments. Kids love joining along and making music with him! Familiar music is also enriched with sounds of music from around the world. Beethoven will show you how to sing some songs while shaking a maraca and dancing to the music!

    FREE Early Childhood Music Classes

    Your preschooler will love this free 6 week early childhood music class. Together you’ll get to meet Beethoven, an adorable sheepdog who loves to sing, dance and play musical instruments! This online class is so much fun your kids will want to see it again and again! And, best of all… your kids will be learning so much as they participate.

    Parent child bonding opportunities are so important. They build strong relationships and trust. Early childhood music classes are the perfect opportunity for building strong parent child relationships.

    Why are there classes for toddlers?

    Babies and young kids by themselves are too young for a music class. But together with a caring adult, children of all ages are able to participate in music programs. Music helps children with cognitive development, language development, social development, and the development of physical skills. And while the development of children is essential, there are also benefits of music on kids’ health.

    Cognitive Development

    A definition of cognitive is 1 : of, relating to, being, or involving conscious intellectual activity (such as thinking, reasoning, or remembering) cognitive impairment.

    When kids learn how to sing fun songs, they are using a lot of intellectual brain activity. They are hearing a melody, rhythm, and words simultaneously. Those are a lot of skills to develop and utilize at the same time! And I think it is wonderful that children benefit from music in this way when it is also just good ole fun!

    Language Development

    Music encourages language development because most kids love to sing to music. While they may not know all the words to a song, they begin to vocalize what they can and then improvements are made over time. Engaging your child in musical activities is a wonderful springboard for your child’s language to develop.

    Social Development

    I love teaching music classes for babies and toddlers because it gives familes a chance to gather together in a group. But life has sure changed with the covid-19 pandemic. In-person, interactive classes have had to explore different ways to help parents and children learn how to make make music together. Personally I love the in-person classes for the personal contact, the family community that exists, the opportunity to create a learning experience for the youngest of age child.
    Online and video education is increasingly becoming popular. Parents are still seeking to have parent child bonding experiences that are fun, and discover how to use music to help their child grow developmentally.

    Motor Skill Development

    When young children begin to attend school, they are required to already know so many things. From the alphabet to counting to being able too hold a pencil or scissors. Both gross (large) and fine (small) motor skills are essential for the success of children in school. I believe the music classes for young kids play an important part of children’s ability to acquire these skills.

    For example, gross motor skills are developed as kids march or hop to the music. Dancing to music helps kids learn how to feel a steady beat or move to a specific rhythm pattern.

    Fine motor skills are practiced when a child plays a triangle (an instrument held suspended by a thread and struck with the other hand with a small metal stick).

    Music classes provide weekly opportunities for this kind of development. And school teachers are grateful to the parents who provide this kind of education and program to their children.

    Parents ask, “How do I teach my 2 year old music?”

    Sing on Non-sense Syllables

    When a child first begins to talk he/she says bah-bah-bah or dah, dah, dah. So it is natural for children to sing melodies with these non-sense syllables. It’s actually the building block to language development. Adults might feel silly singing songs with these syllables, but it makes it easy to play instruments, move to the beat, and learn how to sing without worrying about the words to a song. Even choirs vocalize on these basic syllables because it is easier to get a good sound from the voice!

    Play Rhythmic Instruments

    Music classes are not the only place kids can play musical instruments. When my kids were little I would pick up quality instruments from garage sales, online sales, thrift stores, or ask for them as gifts. I’m pretty picky about quality because it doesn’t take too much damage for a musical instrument to become dangerous if a bunch of small inner parts gets loose. So ask for great quality music instruments as gifts and build a little collection!

    Move to the music

    Toddlers and preschoolers learn best by moving. And music is the ideal platform for learning because who can resist music and movement? Music and movement are basically synonymous because who can listen to music without moving, right?!!! I feel so strongly that music and movement at the keys to learning that I am linking to several music and movement songs I have used over and over in my toddlers music classes.

    Use your child’s favorite stuffed animals

    You might be thinking, what!? Yes, stuffed animals are wonderful additions to the early childhood music experience. Most of the toddlers in my music class prefer to bounce their favorite stuffed animal on their lap to the beat of a song we are singing, than bounce on their parent’s lap. Bouncing and tapping are two ways kids learn how to feel a steady beat and that is very important in early childhood. Finding ways that makes this fun for kids helps build their rhythmic skills for future music making.

    Benefits of virtual music classes

    Offer support for child development

    As I mentioned earlier, Covid-19 has had an impact on family’s ability to gather into community to enjoy the social aspect of early childhood music classes. But there is still a demand for toddlers music classes. Parents are seeking the many advantages music offers to help prepare their children for school. So virtual classes for toddlers are now emerging.

    Teach parents how to work with their child

    I love recording these classes because I can reach more families. When I teach in person, I can only allow a limited number of parents and kids in my classroom. But with virtual learning, I can teach parents the activities that their child will benefit from and then you can continue on your own at home with your child’s favorite songs on your playlist.

    Accessing wonderful teachers throughout the country

    Another benefit is is accessing good teachers. I have been a teacher for over 30 years. And … because I have five kids of my own and 4 grandkids… I know good music! I am happy to help you discover the wonderful music of some of the great artists like Ella Jenkins, Raffi, Laurie Berkner, Elizabeth Mitchell, and more. I don’t know about you, but when I search for music on youtube, all I see is the cutesy, cheesy crap that I can’t listen to for more than about one minute. But great music… you will find me singing along all day with my grandkids!

    Drawbacks of virtual music classes

    Loss of opportunities for friendship and community

    Well, the main drawback of virtual classes is the loss of friendship and community. I have watched little kids become friends in music class and then they maintain that friendship for years. Something special happens in music class. Usually when I am teaching, I provide 15 minutes at the end of the class for children to explore a plethora of musical instruments. Parents can play with their child and also visit with other caregivers. This aspect is very important for child development.

    May encourage parents to be less engaged

    Virtual classes may tempt a caregiver to put a child in front of a screen and not participate with the child. The purpose of classes for babies and very young kids is to actually have the caregiver involved in the class. This is increasingly more important in a virtual setting. Through role modelling and demonstrating, the parent provides a wonderful foundation for learning.

    Benefits outweigh the drawbacks

    However, the musical benefits for child development are so very important that I think virtual classes are better than having no class at all. I believe a good early childhood music program will engage both the parent and child in an experience they can enjoy together.

    What classes are best for toddlers?

    So… what toddlers music classes are best? There are so many wonderful programs. I don’t believe there is only one superior curriculum. I would recommend you visit a few different classes join the one that your child enjoys and make sure the class also helps you learn! Parents who are taught along the way can then be a teacher at home. And I think this is important in life. Encouraging parents to learn and grow and equipping them to be a wonderful support and music teacher for their own children is a gift. So unfortunately I cannot really give you an answer here because every family is different.

    I am offering a free 6 week class!

    The good news is that I have released my first 6 week class for FREE! I’d love to have you join my class and check it out. If you don’t love it or haven’t benefited in any way, you aren’t out anything at all. But there is one catch! Please make sure you sit with your child and participate with him/her. I guarantee it will make a world of different and will be so much beneficial.

    All you have to do it join my music community below and you will have instant access to my early childhood music classes. These are activities I do with all my classes I teach locally, but am unable to do so currently do to Covid-19.

    I recommend having a couple basic instruments (or even safe plastic kitchen gadgets, a pot, a wooden spoon, etc.) and a scarf (could be a burp cloth, cloth diaper, or wash cloth). Most of all… have fun!

    FREE Toddlers Music Classes with Beethoven!

    Your toddler will love these early childhood music classes. You’ll get to meet Beethoven, an adorable, pancake-loving sheepdog who loves to sing, dance and play musical instruments! This online class is so much fun your toddler and preschooler will want to see it again and again! Get your free class today!

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

      Itsy Bitsy Spider Piano Activities & Games

      The highly imaginative Itsy Bitsy Spider Piano Song lends itself to many different piano activities and games. Because kids learn this nursery rhyme as toddlers, they know it already and are eager to play a song on the piano that they know! Interested in learning this as your first piano song? I will show you some of the ways I teach this nursery rhyme to young beginners!

      So many preschool and beginner piano music books progress in a manner in which there is very little opportunity for repetition. I often hear teachers of preschool piano students wonder what they should do when a child doesn’t grasp a concept in the lesson because they worry about moving forward in the book. This is where easy piano activities and games are important. Music concepts can be taught over and over again in different ways until the students understand.

      Itsy Bitsy Spider Song

      Itsy Bitsy Spider (actually I learned this as Eency Weency Spider and yes! there is another version Incy Wincy Spider) is one of the first nursery rhymes young children learn. They love the finger play! Actions include climbing higher, then water coming down the water spout, making a big sun, and then climbing up and up and up again! How fun!

      Itsy Bitsy Spider (free download)

      The itsy bitsy spider went 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 went up the spout again

      First Piano Lessons

      Beginning piano students want to play music they already know. Sometimes those songs are a little more difficult than the first songs they would sight read in a piano music book. But, with a little practice, most kids easily learn songs they already know because their ear will guide them and they have a strong desire to learn.

      Beginners benefit from playing easy piano songs of familiar music because they can be successful without even reading a note. Plus piano lessons can focus on foundational piano skills before note reading is introduced.

      Toddlers and preschoolers are eager to explore the piano and young children must have plenty of movement activities and piano games ( I have a lot of piano games for beginners in my SHOP) to reinforce musical concepts. They need lots of repetition!

      Printable Sheet Music with Alphabet Letters

      sample of itsy bitsy spider piano song with alphabet letters

      I prefer young students play music with music alphabet letters at their first lessons. This allows me to teach the keyboard geography and basic rhythms before getting to the notes on the music staff. Because Itsy Bitsy Spider is a familiar nursery rhyme, I do not provide notes for rhythm in this piano music. I will let them play the rhythm by ear.

      Here is one example of sheet music that has no notes. This easy piano music only has music alphabet letters and the student will play and sing along (and the rhythm is usually spot on!).

      Printable Sheet Music with Notes that have Alphabet Letters

      Another easy piano sheet music I like to use will have notes (so yes, students can see the rhythm) but you can write the music alphabet letters next to the note. This version also has finger numbers for kids who can play with all five fingers. If they are not ready for that, just cross them out.

      What sheet music I give a student really depends on the age of the child and if they have played any other songs already. So it depends if I give them the printable easy piano sheet music with notes or only letters.

      Printable Sheet Music with Notes on the Staff

      The piano sheet music above is what I will use to provide the staff with regular notes. I will give this music to a student who is currently learning to read music notes on the staff. However, it is harder than a song like Hot Cross Buns. The fingering is included but can be changed. If a student knows where to place their hands on the piano and which finger is placed on each note, they will be very successful.

      Some teachers criticize the use of finger numbers, but I am a firm believer that kids need this kind of instruction for a couple reasons.

      First, learning the finger numbers can be tricky. We read from left to right, but the fingering for the left hand goes right to left. The hands are a mirror, so the fingering in the left hand is often difficult for beginners.

      Secondly, kids need some easy wins. If everything is about moving forward and always making progress, kids can get discouraged. They need to have lots of successes and feel good about learning piano, so writing fingering in songs is not a crutch. It is educational and motivational.

      Incy Wincy Spider

      The incy wincy spider went 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 incy wincy spider went up the spout again

      Piano Games for Itsy Bitsy Spider

      I am always on the look out for fun games for kids. Games that can teach keyboard geography, rhythms, note values, music alphabet, and the like. Math is strongly linked to music, so I also teach patterns, counting, adding, etc.

      I believe kids learn best through games. Sometimes they don’t even realize they are learning! So when you combine easy sheet music with fun games it is easy to teach many many concepts at a time!

      The games I created in the Itsy Bitsy Spider Piano Games & Activities Book include:

      Music Alphabet Path Game – This game provides a forward moving alphabet, but the path moves right to left. This is intentional to provide opportunities for kids to track going the opposite direction of reading.

      Tic-Tac-Toe Game – This game provides an opportunity for kids to build a relationship with the teacher.
      Pattern Cards – You can also use the cards to make patterns and sequences which is an important math skill for Kindergarten.

      Music Alphabet Memory Game – Alphabet letters can be matched to the corresponding piano keyboard cards for a memory style game. Alphabet cards can also be used separately to teach the music alphabet forwards and backwards as well as teaching skipping.

      Music Activities for Itsy Bitsy Spider

      Movement Activities for Itsy Bitsy Spider

      1. Move fingers, hands and arms to the nursery rhyme.
      2. Puppets or stuffed animals can be bounced to the nursery rhyme.
      3. Students can practice moving with their whole body!
      4. Tapping! Kids can tap on their lap or bounce a stuffed animal to the steady beat as the song is sung. (See this blog post or this video for more ideas on teaching a steady beat)
      5. Most instruments like shaker eggs, hand bells, tambourines, drums can be played to the beat or rhythm while singing the nursery rhyme. (See this blog post or video about short and long rhythm)

      Piano Activities for Itsy Bitsy Spider

      1. Learn to play the song Itsy Bitsy Spider
      2. Make up your own Spider Composition
      3. Tap your finger along with the nursery rhyme
      4. Play with rhythms – short and long sounds of Itsy Bitsy Spider

      Preschool Learning Activities for Itsy Bitsy Spider

      Learning activities for beginners may include worksheets (shown below) that help develop fine motor skills, math skills, music alphabet skills, coloring, and more.

      Here is another fun finger builder activity to help develop curvy fingers. I am not a huge fan of too many worksheets at a time because I believe children learn best by moving and playing games.

      Eency Weency Spider (free download)

      The incy wincy spider went 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 incy wincy spider went up the spout again

      Plastic Spider Rings

      Plastic rings are fun for kids and I like to use them to play finger number games. How fun is it to play music with pointer finger wearing a little spider ring!

      Some links may contain affiliate links which means if you click through the link and make a purchase I may make a small commision at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

      Kids love these colorful rings! Use them to identify finger numbers or make patterns!

      Little Miss Muffet Lyrics

      Little Miss Muffet
      Sat on a tuffet,
      Eating her curds and whey;
      Along came a spider,
      Who sat down beside her
      And frightened Miss Muffet away

      Another spider nursery rhyme! Use this nursery rhyme to have kids create another original song they compose on their own!

      Conclusion

      I hope you have found some of the ideas I have on this blog post useful. I started this blog to help parents and teachers introduce music to young children. I’m convinced parents can teach their own young beginner many musical skills with a little help. And I know many teachers value the ideas of other teachers who have years of experience.

      Leave me a comment below what you found helpful or useful in this post. And share any ideas you may have for a future post!

      The resources I am creating are great for a beginner. You can purchase this Itsy Bitsy Spider Game & Activity Book on my website here.

      Create Music with Toddlers!

      music with toddlers

      Let’s create music with toddlers. The benefits of music and movement activities are many. And music is the perfect medium to teach important concepts in fun ways.

      Music will get children moving, singing, and making music. The sound of music will increase the joy in your home. So, whenever you can, find ways to play music. You will not only encourage children to be happy, but will also be stimulating their cognitive development.

      Guess what! Music will make you happier too! Sharing music and movement activities with toddlers and preschoolers is something any parent can do, so check out my favorite ideas!

      Why is music so important for toddlers?

      Music has saved many children’s days. Because music makes it possible to get quiet and focus, it has become an amazing teaching aid for toddlers and preschool students. Parents can help their toddlers make music to foster an interest in learning.

      You don’t have to follow an early childhood lesson plan or even know how music works to support child development. Just know that by implementing fun activities you are providing so many benefits to your child. Cognitive, social-emotional sensory motor skills and classroom preparation skills are developed naturally while kids are listening to their favorite music or singing a song.

      Music is one of the most powerful gifts in the universe.

      One of the benefits of music is that listening to music makes our souls happy. Use song based activities at home, in daycare, or in the preschool classroom helps children learning about important concepts. And when concepts are learned with music attached it helps improve short term memory.

      create music with toddlers

      Music and Movement Activities Benefit Kids

      Musical activities are an important part of childhood development and help preschool children in many ways. Music helps promote cognitive development and provides a chance for children to express their emotions and be creative. In this section I will list a few activities for toddlers (see my pinterest board for more ideas!) that will help your child explore music and learn foundational learning skills.

      I also have suggestions on how you can improve playtime for toddlers. So, let’s get started with these great ideas.

      Turn on background music

      Recent studies suggest background music playing while kids do other things helps with concentration. You can use background music while kids do other things… activities such as art & crafts, cleaning up toys, or cleaning up from dinner time. Background music may also help kids relax before bedtime, help kids get energized in the morning, give comfort in times of distress.

      Prop dancing

      Props can create dancing fun and spark the imagination. Kids love dancing with a stuffed animal, a puppet, a magic wand, or even cowboy hat. Designate a different prop for each song and watch! See how children explore different ways to move to music.

      Play talent show

      Use finger puppets or stuffed animals to sing or dance ro a favorite song. If your young child loves acting encourage them to dress up as characters. They can even create their own songs.

      Music fast and slow

      Let your child play various song styles with different tempos. Then request your child dance accordingly. Encourage them to quickly when music is very fast and slowly when the music is slow. Let your kids have a good laugh by watching you do the same.

      Explore sounds with water and Make your own Xylophone

      This DIY activity is also a science experiment! Fill some glasses with varying amounts of water. Apply some food coloring per glass for extra sensory stimulation. Give each person a spoon and tap the sides of the glasses. The goal is for kids to explore the sounds made by the spoons tapping the glasses. Each glass will make a different sound. Some children may hear this difference in sound and notice that every glass of water is unique.

      Freeze Dance

      Play your favorite songs and let your kids move and dance the way they want. Then, when they least expect it… stop the music and say “freeze.” Take note what silly places you find yourself in. How long can your kids hold their freeze? This is can get quite giggly and kids love playing this game!

      Find musical library books

      Go to the library with your child and ask the librarian to show you the picture books that are actually children’s songs and nursery rhymes. Select books that include songs, rhymes, or easy melodies that you can bring with you home. Use full body movements with your child while you sing and read.

      Story sound effects

      Choose different percussion instruments (drum, shakers, tambourine etc.) with children and play together a story. Children provide sound effects for each character or act. Here https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/kids/5-picture-books-filled-great-sound-effects/ is an article highlighting some great books that kids can make sound effects to.

      Paint what you hear

      Children listen to evocative songs and respond to sounds and moods they hear. Apply tape on an over sized piece of paper or cardboard on the floor then have kids create a mural.

      Instrument Petting Zoo

      Gather various stuffed animals and a musical instrument for each animal. You can even use homemade instruments for this fun activity. Pretend you are going to the zoo and visit each animal. See if you can make sounds like the animal, feed the animal, sing a song to or about each animal, and learn more about your favorite animal.

      Kitchen Band

      You don’t need fancy instruments when you get out the pots and pans and a wooden spoon. Kids can have fun and make music with just about anything! Singing their favorite tun, parents can join the fun singing and playing rhythms on the pots!

      When my kids were little I always had one low cupboard in my kitchen that was just for them. I would keep simple kitchen items in there for them to have easy access to. Sometimes they would just haul everything out of the cupboard and crawl inside themselves. These are some great memories!

      Dance with silk scarves

      Actually any lightweight scarf will work, but silk scarves are pretty, soft and they twirl and drift in the air beautifully. Young children benefit from and love moving to their favorite music. Moving the scarf helps toddlers develop gross motor skills. Encouraging them to touch the scarf to different body parts (like a shoulder or a knee) increases body awareness.

      Go to a concert

      Explore your community! Weekday music concerts specific to preschoolers have become more popular. Public libraries, performing art centers, chamber of commerce, public schools, and community park programs are great resources for locating these kind of music opportunities.

      Not exactly a concert, but local high school sporting events feature the school pep or marching bands and this is a great opportunity for kids to see other kids making music!

      music activity for toddlers

      What’s the best musical instrument for toddlers?

      Parents can provide a variety of different musical instrument sets for their toddlers. Make sure each instrument is appropriate for the age of your child. I can’t tell you how many blog posts I have seen that recommend instruments I would never give to a baby or toddler. If there is a disclaimer to watch your child closely while playing with an instrument, it’s not designed for a baby or toddler. Children under the age of three WILL put everything in their mouths. So… now that we have that out of the way…

      There are many instruments a young child will LOVE! Remember they WILL put these items in their mouth, so they need to be age appropriate and washable! Children learn about the world around them and develop physical skills by mouthing everything and that is just natural!

      I have blogged about some of the best musical instrument sets for toddlers and some of my favorite songs. And below I will list the types of instruments that provide fun music activities. Where applicable I will provide a link to a product that I personally have purchased and used with toddlers. I like to add links because there are a lot of junky toys out there that look like the good stuff but aren’t. Don’t waste you money on the cheap stuff (ask me how I know!).

      (Links may contain affiliate links that mean if you purchase a product through that link I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog!)

      Can toddlers play homemade instruments?

      Preschoolers think creating their own music instruments is fun! Again, I always recommend using only instruments that are safe for kids under age three. Many musical instruments have small parts. So for example, if you want to make a homemade rattle, I wouldn’t recommend letting an 18 month old play with this DIY instrument. What if it comes apart and they choke on the objects you placed inside. However, I have made rattles, maracas, and rain sticks that I have given to a 3+ year old and they were SO delighted! There are tons of blog posts, youtube videos, and pinterest pins on making your own fun instruments. Just use good common sense about it. See my other pinterest board for even more ideas for music activities for preschoolers.

      Create a musical craft

      Simple supplies you may already have at home are all you need to make diy instruments. Kids will have fun putting these together and decorating them. You can then play pretend with the child. Put together a family band and have a small concert together. Sing their favorite tune as they play and dance along. The ideas below are perfect activities for toddlers on a rainy day! See more ideas on my pinterest board here.

      Paper Plate Tambourines

      Homemade tambourines are one of many popular homemade musical instruments. This video is a cute example of easy it is to make a fun diy instrument.

      Rain sticks

      If you make some rain sticks, try putting different fillings in each rain stick and see if they sound different. Some ideas include: popcorn kernels, lentils, oatmeal, dry beans.

      Glow Stick Drumming

      Try the short fat type of glow stick that is made for stringing like a necklace. This kind is usually this kind is very strong and it’s great to practice drumming! Use these glow sticks to have a glow-in-the-dark concert! Of course you can practice in a dark room or a room with a black light!

      This is great for helping kids learn how to keep a steady beat and also for teaching rhythm patterns. Read more about how to encourage children to feel a steady beat here. Read more about teaching a short and long rhythm activity for preschoolers here. And Read more about how to teach patterning with music here.

      What Music is Good for Toddlers?

      Let’s face it. The internet is saturated with mediocre kids stuff. Preschoolers are bombarded with cutesy-cheesy low quality music. Parents who prioritize and intentionally curate music with different sounds help their children learn more about the world around them.

      Listening to classical music, world music, folk music, and amazing musicians who have specialized in children’s music (like Raffi, Ella Jenkins, Elizabeth Mitchell, etc.) provide solid music education. Parents don’t even have to know how this preschoolers music is benefiting their child. Simple music activities such as shaking a maraca along with good quality music makes all the difference. Just do it! Here is a link to some of my favorite songs!

      Get your free music class!

      Want to make some music with your toddler? Join Beethoven, the adorable, pancake lovin’ sheepdog for some Music Time fun right in your living room!

      music class for toddlers

      Classical music for young children

      It is said that listening to classical or relaxing music increases concentration and eliminates other distractions in children. Increased concentration will ultimately result in greater academic achievement.

      When my children were young I purchased all the DVDs made by Baby Einstein. My kids loved watching these videos, but more importantly we were LISTENING! As I mentioned earlier, background music is a wonderful way to help kids concentrate and influence their mood. Some music activities may not seem like music activities at all… the music is just playing in the background.

      Peter and the Wolf

      Classical music can be super imaginative. One of the most widely know compositions is Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” which is a symphonic fairy tale for children.

      Music and movement is a natural experience as kids act out the parts or move like the animals. This is a fun idea for a kids’ party.

      I wrote an article about friendship that talks about the different stages of play for children. As children turn 4-5 years old, they are ready for cooperative play and pretending. Acting out this story with the music playing could be really fun!

      Kids learn best at this age by moving! And that is why music and movement is so so so important to child development.

      Carnival of the Animals

      Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of Animals” is a humorous musical suite of fourteen movements.

      In the description box below the video it breaks the different animals up into chapters. There are 14 animals. You could have a little music lesson about each of these animals, complete with story books and art activities. Again, this orchestral piece lends itself well to music and movement activities as kids pretend to be different animals. Here are the chapters:

      You can even springboard off the petting zoo idea above and create a real zoo with wild animals. This again lends itself to small group music activities you can play with friends.

      The Nutcracker Suite

      The Nutcracker Suite is a two-act ballet. The music was composed by Peter Tchaikovsky. If you listen carefully you can hear the different characters in this story.

      This orchestral piece is pretty well known and you can actually find wonderful videos of ballet troupes dancing. Kids can pretend to be in the ballet and dance along!

      If you take the time to get some library books that are based on one of these works you can create your own little music lesson. Kids can visualize the story and can use stuffed animals, puppets, or costumes (like paper plate masks or face paint) to pretend play.

      World music that represents different cultures

      Music appreciation truly begins at home. In my blog post, 15 Benefits of Music on Kids’ Health, I mention,

      “Listening to the music of other cultures provides awareness and empathy for others. This will enhance the mind, body and soul. The sooner young minds are exposed to music from other cultures the more appreciative and empathetic they will be toward others. Learning music about other cultures’ customs and traditions will encourage children to be more tolerant of others’ beliefs.”

      Cherie Norquay, Music Time Kid

      It isn’t always easy to find music from other cultures. I know… I look for this all the time to include in my early childhood education classes. And due to privacy laws for children, it is difficult to create playlists for this music on youtube. So I will leave you with some links below of mp3’s you can purchase from Amazon to add to your toddler’s playlist.

      Books about different cultures

      Your local library is filled with books about different cultures. You can choose to learn about one different culture each month or each season of the year. See if you can find classic stories from that culture and authentic music with original instruments.

      You can read books and play music about different countries right at home. Your kids can have a lot of fun when you listen to music from around the world. Find some fast music you can dance to or some slow lullabies to add to your bedtime routine.

      Instruments from other cultures

      Learn about different musical instruments! When you learn music from other cultures you will hear many different kinds of sounds than what you are used to. I think these discoveries are very interesting!

      An article highlighting 10 famous instruments from around the world can be found below.

      Folk Music and Nursery Rhymes

      Many preschool music and movement activities are based on old folk tunes and nursery rhymes. These music activities are still so popular because many have movement and help develop fine motor skills.

      You will definitely find these songs in the preschool classroom and in most music education programs. They use these old songs because they are simple, have stood the test of time as great teaching tools, and the songs are in the public domain (no copyright) so they are easy to access.

      Old folk tunes and nursery rhymes do not have a single composer. Because these old songs were passed down by generations orally, they do not have a single composer associated with them. Each tune is generally identified by the title and the country of origin.

      Favorite songs for fun music activities

      Some good examples include:

      Mary had a little lamb

      Itsy Bitsy Spider

      Old MacDonald

      Music Activities for Preschoolers and Toddlers

      If you would enjoy some music activities for toddlers and want a little help or a sneak peak into what would happen at an early childhood music class, check out my online toddler music class! Beethoven, my adorable sheepdog puppet, loves to sing his favorite song about pancakes and you’ll see how he loves to play musical instrument too!

      Sign up for my newsletter to get this free class. Kids are loving all the music and movement activities and you can then take all those ideas and use them with your own playlist of songs!

      Music Class for Toddlers

      sign up to get your free music class with Miss Cherie and Beethoven, the adorable, pancake lovin’ sheepdog! Have some Music Time fun right in your living room!

      music class for toddlers

      What music activities have you tried?

      Comment below! There are so many fun activities for toddlers that I could write a hundred articles about music activities and still not cover the whole topic. But I hope that this article has provided you will some new nuggets that will help you teach children more about music.

      Leave me a comment about your favorite activities!

      Playtime for Toddlers

      How Can I Make Playtime Better for My Toddler?

      Music is an important part of playtime for toddlers. It stimulates their imagination and creativity, builds vocabulary in a natural way, and has been shown to improve brain power.

      The saying goes, music makes everything in the world better. Toddlers are no exception to this rule. Playtime is important for them to learn and develop their basic motor skills, speech, and language. Music during playtime helps your toddler develop these skills; it also builds their imagination and creativity when they use props (household items or toys), or ability to pretend when they take their cues from the music.

      Research has shown that all children, including toddlers, have a natural drive to explore their surroundings and interact with others – this is called intrinsic motivation. Through play, toddlers develop imagination and creativity in addition to physical skills such as balance, coordination and problem solving.

      Ways to Use Music During Playtime for Toddlers

      There are many ways to include music in your toddler’s playtime. Music can be a central theme, where you sing songs and use props with your child. It can also be a background to other types of play such as blocks, legos, cars and trucks; however this method is best for older toddlers who have an understanding of the correlation between music and character. Here are some ideas to include music in your toddler’s playtime that is fun and stimulating!

      1) Sing fun songs

      Songs with actions and simple words are a good place to start. The most important part of singing is participation. Singing without any action isn’t as much fun for young children who can’t talk yet.  

      “Head, shoulders, knees, toes” or “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” or “Patty cake, Patty cake” can be good places to start.

      This may be one of the easiest ways to include music in toddler play; however it is also one of the most effective. Songs are a great way for children to learn rhythm and rhyme, which is an important part of language development. Older children also develop language skills and benefit from singing childhood songs.

      2)   Incorporate music toys into playtime

      playtime for toddlers

      There are many toys your child can use to make music. Think about the types of sound effects that each toy makes and incorporate those sounds into songs.  Providing a sensory bin during toddler play will provide opportunities for little ones to explore new textures and sounds.

      For example you may place a few toys, a small kitchen pan, plastic dishes, wooden spoons or other household objects that are safe for young children in a basket for babies and toddlers to explore. This unstructured playtime allows children to explore and not necessarily use the toy or object “correctly”.

      Explore the world with them! Encourage your toddler to play and nurture their interest in the world around them. This will help develop their curiosity, and engage them in learning how and why things fit together. It will also help them develop problem-solving skills.

      Parents can help with pretend play. For example, if you sing “The wheels on the bus go round and round” while pushing a car or truck toy as the child pushes along with you, you help your toddler’s development in correlating the text of the song to the activity. This demonstrates pretend play for your child which they will later copy.

      3)  Play percussion instruments with your toddler

      Another great way to incorporate music is to play instruments with your child. Parents playing an instrument during playtime helps kids copy what their parents are doing. They can then develop physical skills such as keeping a steady beat or learning short or long rhythms. Learning to feel a steady beat is so so important and I talk more about it in this blog post.

      One way I love to play percussion instruments with children is to play an instrument along with my favorite song. I am not a huge fan of tons of screen time for young children, but I do think having access to great quality music important. Having several playlists on a device ready at a moment’s notice is ideal for parents. You have the music you need the moment you need it. Children older than toddlers may have a device especially for educational content and music playlists. I have several playlists for toddler playtime and other activities than just playtime. You can check them out here:

      15 Songs That Get Your Toddler Moving

      Rainy Day Music and Movement Songs

      10 Songs That Get My Kids Cleaning

      4) Turn on some nursery rhymes

      playtime with toddlers song

      Parents can start with music they are familiar with such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “This Little Piggy Went to Market,” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

      Toddlers love repetition! So singing songs that are familiar over and over are great for them. They will get familiar with the tune and want to sing along even if they don’t know all the words.

      One tip is to have one favorite recording of each nursery rhyme. If you have these songs in a playlist, you can turn these on as you watch your child play. I love watching their facial expressions as they learn to sing these rhymes and I can tell right away which ones are their favorite.

      5) Play an instrument together

      Stringed instruments such as a ukulele can be fun because toddlers enjoy using their hands to “strum”. The rhythm of this instrument can also be fun to dance along to.

      Every child who has come to one of my early childhood music classes is interested in getting their hands on a ukulele. I use one to accompany myself as we sing together, but I also have several toy ukuleles. They do not sound as good as a real soprano ukulele, but kids love playing them. This play helps them desire to play a real musical instrument when they get older.

      Parents often ask me about getting a ukulele for their child (and also one that they can learn to play) and I usually recommend this one for preschoolers.

      Remember when I mentioned that kids explore instruments and often do not “play them” as they are intended to play? Well, playing an instrument together is a wonderful way for you demonstrate the correct way to play a instrument. Kids will eventually copy your modelling.

      There are plenty of other musical instruments you can use to play together. Bongos, drums, bells, maracas, etc. would fit this category too.  Having a variety of musical instruments available during toddler playtime is beneficial.

      6) Play a simple instrument yourself

      Play a simple instrument yourself while the child watches. A kazoo or maracas are simple instruments that toddlers can learn to play. They will be excited and proud of themselves for “making music”. It’s a good chance to work on taking turns since the child will want to make music too!

      If you don’t feel you are musical and feel you are not qualified to play an instrument, just start simple. Sing a song. Shake a maraca as you sing, or ring some bells. Even playing peekaboo with a receiving blanket as you sing a simple song is fun for kids and sets the example for young children.

      For more ideas on how you can work with kids ages 0-5 years old, watch my free toddler music class. It will demonstrate how you can interact with your child and use your favorite music in playtime for toddlers!

      7) Use music as a setting for unstructured play

      playtime for toddlers music

      Music doesn’t have to be the focus of playtime as long as it is playing in the background. It can help create a peaceful and lively atmosphere for toddlers which makes them feel more relaxed.  

      During free play, music that isn’t too loud or distracting will allow children to use their imaginations.  You can even use music during outdoor play.

      By incorporating music into the background of physical activities such as playing with building blocks or toy cars, children learn to be able to create a story line for themselves!

      Do I Need a Lot of Musical Toys?

      A simple set of musical toys is enough to get started when you want to focus on improving your playtime for toddlers.

      If the toy makes a noise or plays music, it’s likely to be fun for your toddler. Set these items in the play area and see what types of games they want to make up!

      Music playtime for toddlers can also include stuffed animals for kids to bounce in their lap. This fun activity will help them learn to feel a steady beat, and also inspire their imagination. In today’s world, there is so much stimulation so it is wonderful when toddlers learn that they can they can enjoy music with their favorite stuffed friend without creating loud noises.

      If you are worried about having too many toys or creating an overwhelming environment, try removing the majority of toys and keeping only a few out at a time. This will make it easier to clean up at the end of playtime instead of being overwhelmed by excess things.

      Incorporating music during playtime is an easy way to improve your relationship with your toddler. It’s good for them too! It will create a positive, joyful environment that everyone can enjoy.

      How much playtime does my toddler need?

      Use your toddler’s interests and abilities to design playtime. As your toddler grows, she may need less structured play time. By encouraging her interests and abilities, you can adapt playtime for best results. You will see below ways that you can incorporate playtime and toddler activities into your everyday life.

      fun playtime for toddlers

      Talk to your child

      Ask about their activities during the day, such as eating a favourite food or playing with friends. Listen carefully so that you can respond to their interests. Use your child’s interests as a springboard for the types of music and songs you select. Even babies, kids age one, and two year olds show preference to the things they like. In fact you can even begin to share music with your child before birth, and then modify your music selections later to their preference.

      Change the way you think about playtime

      Use the knowledge of your child to plan activities that will capture their enthusiasm, encourage language skills, and provide creative as well as physical activity. For example, if they’re interested in vehicles, imagining a car wash or a traffic jam. This pretend play involving cars and trucks provides a story line for for them to act out.

      If your child is interested in playing house, then encourage play by having them set up a picnic at the same time as you are making a lunch. Or let them play with a sponge, water, and soap bubbles in the kitchen sink when you are cleaning.

      Finding music that captures their imagination will help support them in unstructured toddler play.

      Plan variety

      A wide range of experiences promotes development and creativity in addition to encouraging language skills and social interaction. Use your knowledge of what interests your child to build on what they already know while encouraging new activities.   To encourage these skills, focus on providing your child with rich experiences.

      Make playtime active

      Include activities from your child’s daily routine, such as feeding the dog or setting the table for a meal. These will help develop better communication and social skills with you and others. During playtime, encourage physical activity by encouraging outdoor and creative activities. Explore how to use everyday objects to move around and have fun.

      Vary the space

      Playing in different rooms of the house builds a toddler’s spatial awareness. It also helps children understand that objects still exist even when they are out of sight. This is the same for toddlers playing in various indoor and outdoor locations.

      Changing rooms (such as outside), bedrooms and kitchens is like providing language activities via real life stimuli. Find out what interests your toddler most about different places, such as water in the bathtub, books in the corner of the living room, a laundry basket from the laundry room, or the sandbox outside. Their favorite places are wonderful environments to add music to inspire higher level creative play. By the way, kids often enjoy playing with their outdoor toys inside too!

      Use materials you have on hand

      Encourage your toddler to play with everyday objects such as pots, pans, food containers, or big empty boxes. Have you ever noticed that kids will play with a box all day and leave all the best toys untouched. Playing with everyday objects can increase physical activity as well as language ability. I would recommend placing several household items and some stuffed animals in the sensory bin (mentioned earlier) that you create for your child.

      Involve your child in household tasks

      Accompany simple activities like setting the table for dinner with language and songs about the meal, encouraging imitation. For example, if you sing a song like “Apples and Bananas” then you can be silly and change the lyrics to the foods you are serving. This makes the chore of setting the table super fun!

      When parents present chores as “play” and incorporate music to heighten the experience, kids develop a natural love for helpful behavior. I think this is a long-term “win-win.”

      Playtime for Toddlers

      How can I make playtime better for my toddler? This is an important time to teach your child valuable skills through play. If you provide them with the right toys and allow them to let their imagination run wild, you can create a stimulating world of learning that all children deserve!

      I hope you find a few helpful tips in this article. Let me know in a comment what ideas have helped you or inspire you to make some simple changes in your parenting!

      And if you’d like to be guided through a music class for toddlers that I have created go ahead and click the link below! Watching my music class will help you with ideas on how you can have fun and incorporate music into your toddler’s playtime.

      10 Songs That Get My Kids Cleaning

      Why Play Music While You are Cleaning?

      songs that get my kids cleaning

      Today I want to share 10 songs that get my kids cleaning with me! Why play music while you are cleaning? Kids love music! And who doesn’t love a little bit of peace and quiet? Using music to clean up is one of my favorite strategies for getting the house in order without fighting with the kids. I simply ask that they help me pick up as we go along, so by the end we’re all done!

      These songs are available on Amazon, so I’ve included some links to them to make things easier for you. But I also included Youtube links so you can build a free playlist from Youtube.

      10 songs that get my kids cleaning with me

      Besides this list of songs that get my kids cleaning, I also have another blog post that encourage movement. And a blog post that has songs perfect for getting the wiggles out on a rainy day! These songs would also work as cleaning songs!


      List of 10 Cleaning Songs That Energize Parents and Kids!

      This isn’t just your normal songs featuring kids singing for kids. These are songs even parents can groove to – some oldies, bluegrass, caribbean, italian, and more! I love creating some diversity for parents and kids that allows them to explore songs from other cultures! I hope these songs energize you! They will definitely make time to clean more fun. Now let’s clean up everybody!

      1)       “ABC” by Jackson 5 * (Amazon) (Youtube)

      ABC as easy as 1-2-3! Michael Jackson is such an energizer and kids will love to repeat ABC and 1-2-3 with this song! I guess it is kind of an oldie these days but an iconic Michael Jackson song. This is a lively and fun clean up song!

      2)            “The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens (Amazon) (YouTube)

      How many remakes of this song have been recorded over the years? Kids today will recognize this song from The Lion King, but it is so fun to actually get to hear the original! Once I start listening to this song I’m humming it all day long. It’s definitely one of my favorite clean up songs.

      3)            “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin (Amazon) (Youtube)

      A song to whistle along to. Kind of like Snow White’s philosophy on cleaning… whistle while you work! The philosophy of don’t worry, be happy can be applied to so many of life’s situations. So lets just whistle a little tidy up song!

      4)    “A Whistle in the Desert” by Raffi Wartanian (Amazon) (Youtube)

      This is an upbeat guitar instrumental song with percussion. There is a dance-like quality to this song with a mixed meter feel. This is an interesting addition in this list of songs for kids and you can make a game of the different sections of this song!

      5)   “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” (Amazon) (I really like this version on YouTube)

      Bluegrass finger-picking banjo is fast, fast, fast! This will help get any clean up done with lightening speed! You can hear different instruments play besides the banjo so that is fun. Because it is a video song you can even see the instruments! Use the birds singing at the beginning as you “get ready” and then “GO!” when the music starts! Everyone will know it’s time to clean when this song plays.

      6)            “Dueling Banjos” (Amazon) (I love this version on YouTube)

      This is actually a duel between guitar and banjo. It of course speeds up and really takes off. Great for getting some serious cleaning done. If you listen to this cleaning song carefully you will hear the guitar lead the melody and the banjo echo! It’s lie they are having a conversation!

      7)            “Coconut Shuffle” (Amazon) (Youtube)

      Caribbean Steel Drum Band really lightens the mood! Caribbean music always makes me smile! Enjoy a little pineapple or orange juice when the job is done! Great “theme” song for kids!

      8)            “Una Giraffa di Stoffa” (Amazon) (Youtube)

      This Italian song is about a stuffed giraffe. Enjoy this dance-like song as you hear beautiful Italian lyrics. I love listening to the rolled r’s that English doesn’t have. Challenge each other to roll some r’s when the job is done! This challenge may end up with fits of laughter.

      9)           “Celebration” (Kool and the Gang) (Amazon) (Kids version on Youtube)

      This is a well-known song most adults know! But the YouTube video features kids from around the world. It’s fun to watch this video and see the kids play instruments and sing and then use it in your cleaning playlist! Fun song for kids and I especially love the video!

      10)            “Best Day of My Life” by Kidz Bop Kids (Amazon) (Youtube)

      What a great positive affirmation! I love positive energy when it comes to cleaning time. Your kids will be “ooh”-ing along with this one! What out. They may not want to stop cleaning.

      BONUS: “Happy” Kidz Bop Kids version (Amazon) (Youtube)

      This amazing and uplifting clapping song is sure to change the mood!

      Which Cleaning Songs are Your Favorite?

      You won’t find better music for cleaning up, and best of all you can create a playlist off YouTube for free! Or you can get some songs from Amazon and build out your playlist on your phone or device for a few bucks which has really helped me out!

      I hope you enjoy my songs for picking up toys, and best of all I hope they help make your cleaning go a little more smoothly! Be sure to share this page with anyone else who has kids and may need a few ideas for super fun music. Let me know which of these songs is your kids’ favorite.

      Leave me a comment below!

      *Affiliate links may be included so if you make a purchase, I may receive credit as an Amazon affiliate at no additional cost to you.

      Get your FREE Music Mini-Class

      Your toddler or preschooler will love this Music Mini-Class.  Join me and Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheepdog as we sing, dance and play together!

      online toddlers music class

      Music and Movement Songs for Toddlers on a Rainy Day

      In another blog post I list my top 10 favorite music and movement songs for toddlers that I have curated for my in-person early childhood music classes. Today I am sharing a list of songs that you can use on a rainy day to help with giggles and get the wiggles out!

      Rainy days are often long days for parents. Children love to be outdoors and play. So parents can PLAN for these rainy days by collecting special musical instruments or other toys that only come out on rainy days. Children then look forward to these special rainy day activities!

      I always look for musical instruments I don’t already have at garage sales or consignment shops. But if you don’t have access to these I will leave a list below of some instruments I find most families do not have that you may interested in adding to your “Rainy Day Basket”. I also have a free 20 minute toddler online music class that would perfect for a rainy day!

      Music and Movement Songs for Toddlers

      Here is the list of music links.

      If You’re Happy and You Know It

      Skip to My Lou

      Bananaphone

      15 minutes of Laurie Berkner

      Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

      Robin in the Rain

      Move and Freeze

      Skidamarink

      You Are My Sunshine

      Jungle Boogie Dance

      Shoo Lie Loo

      Apples and Bananas

      Pat-A-Cake

      The Tickle Bug

      Do you have some favorites that I can add to my collection? Leave the title and the artist in the comments!

      Best Musical Instrument Sets for Toddlers

      Babies and toddlers put EVERYTHING in their mouths. Because so many toys come from China, toy safety is always a concern. One of my goals in creating this website is to share what I have learned from teaching babies, toddlers, and young children. Below I will share my favorite musical instrument sets for toddlers that are safe for children under age 3 years old. There are many quality brands that are tested and trusted by parents. Please shy away from the best “deal” on Amazon as those toys are often knock-offs and not safe for young children.

      The musical instrument sets below have been used in my early childhood music classes so I can personally attest that they are high quality. Children develop gross and fine motor skills at an individual rate, so abilities will vary in the first three years of growth. Please use your best judgement as to the age appropriateness of each musical set.

      What musical instrument can a baby play?

      Babies are becoming aware of their surroundings. Soft toys are perfect beginning musical toys. Also, toys that make a soft sound are ideal as loud sounding instruments can startle babies. I especially love small, light toys that can velcro to baby’s ankles or wrists so that the child can move and create the sound on their own. All baby toys should be washable.

      What musical instrument can a one year old play?

      One year olds can grasp and hold onto small items, but they are still developing the gross motor skills to play musical instruments. Shaker instruments like eggs and maracas are perfect beginning instruments for this age and you can see the delight on a child’s face as they make sounds with their instrument. Of course babies are equally happy to drop or throw their instrument to create a sound.

      What musical instrument can a two year old play?

      Two year olds are beginning to develop some fine motor skills for playing instruments. They still put everything in their mouths, so it is best to have child-friendly age appropriate instruments that are easy to clean. Two year olds love to play drums and xylophones and are very interested in many other percussion instruments. I also have another blog post about my favorite 20 musical instruments for preschoolers. Many of these individual music instruments would also be appropriate for toddlers. You can check out that blog post here.

      Quality toddler musical instrument sets

      The musical instrument sets below are appropriate for babies age 3 months and older. Any of these sets are a great first musical instrument set and appropriate for birthday presents, baby shower gifts, or Christmas presents. Check out 15 of my favorite songs that your toddler can sing, dance and play their musical instruments with here.

      (disclaimer: The links below include affiliate links which means if you purchase an item through these links I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I thank you for your support, as it provides income that supports this blog and helps me be able to create new musical products for parents and children.)

      Hohner Kids Single Tube Shaker

      This set I originally posted here is no longer available, but Hohner is a wonderful brand and I have also used this tube shaker. This link is for only one shaker that is perfect for the younger child.

      Melissa & Doug Band in a Box

      The band in a box is a wooden set and I love that these pieces won’t break. However, the drum head on the tambourine is very thin and was punctured right away. I ended up cutting that drum head off the tambourine and it hasn’t affected the play-ability of shaking the tambourine. Even with that mishap, this is a quality music set that kids love to play with.

      iPlay, iLearn Baby Musical Set

      This set is very engaging for babies. There are a variety of shapes and sounds. I owned pieces from this set and they are very durable. There are over 7,000 reviews for this item on Amazon and it is almost 5 stars. I would say this is a great starter musical set for baby.

      Lamaze Gardenbug Foot finder & Wrist Rattle Set

      These are the super soft instruments that keep babies busy for a long time as they discover sound and that they can make the sound by moving their leg or arm. I just love watching babies engaging with these rattles!!

      B. Toys Drumroll Please

      I own two of these musical sets. The kids all love to play with them. I love the colors and the varying textures that each item has. It is also convenient that the entire instrument set fits neatly inside the drum and that the lid is actually part of the instrument. I Highly recommend this set. It is more appropriate for the older toddler 18+ months.

      Playgro Baby Toy Jerry Giraffe

      I LOVE Playgro! A rattle like this has a lot to offer with several different kinds of sounds and textures. I own several different playgro baby toys. Children love the bright colors and the interesting parts to discover. These baby toys are washable too.

      If you have more recommendations that you have personally tested and would like to recommend, I would love to have you leave a comment!

      Get Your FREE Music Class!

      Your toddler or preschooler will love this Music Mini-Class. Join me and Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheepdog as we sing, dance, and play together!

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