What floats a preschooler’s boat? Silliness. Here’s a silly song, One Two Three Flea that will have them roaring with laughter and wanting to learn the lyrics. Meanwhile you can give a big tick to ‘rhyming words’ in your program with their function of hooking children into predicting what comes next in a sentence.
One, two, three,
Mother caught a flea,
Put it in a teapot,
And made a cup of tea,
The flea jumped out,
Mother gave a shout,
And in came father,
With his shirt hanging out.
When I introduce this song, I show them a teapot and talk about putting tea in it and then adding boiling water. The danger element has them fascinated. Then I bring in the idea of the family dog scratching his flea bites under the kitchen table. If I’m feeling particularly silly myself I might mime that for them by getting on the floor, twitching one leg and snapping into my ‘fur’ chasing fleas. Next they need to imagine one flea jumping onto the table near the teapot and mother catching it, stuffing it into the teapot, putting on the lid and reaching for the kettle of boiling water. Aaaah! Poor flea! In my dramatisation the flea escapes through the spout (which incidentally is another rhyme with ‘out’ and ‘shout’ so why not use it?) Mother (that’s me too) shouts ‘Dad’ and then I slap both my hands hands hard and fast on my legs to make the sound of father running in. They love the fact that his shirt is hanging out so embroider that into the scene.
Once they know the story, show them a body percussion pattern and sing the song slowly at first so they can match the actions and then faster once they know it. It’s exciting, silly and simple enough that they can learn the whole song with those one syllable rhyming words ‘three, flea, tea’ and ‘out, shout and bonus word spout’ leading them on. You’ll find the whole activity including music tracks here.
This song is part of a pre school music lesson plan called Cooks in the Kitchen available from our webstore Musical Child with all the activities you need for a fun music session where things go absolutely bonkers. There are exploding sausages, Five Fat Sausages, a boy with a pumpkin instead of a head, Nicholas Ned, stolen tarts, The Queen of Hearts and a pie made with live blackbirds, Sing a Song of Sixpence.
Have fun and remember, there’s nothing quite like music!