Here’s an outline for an intriguing music lesson for your older children in child care.  It’s called Uh-oh! Part 12 from Singing Just for Fun and it’s full of humorous songs and activities designed to encourage problem-solving when faced with tricky situations.  In our experience we’ve found that the activities work best in this order:

Body Percussion  When I Was One

Warm up body and brain with this action song.  You can do this activity with or without tapping sticks but it’s more fun with. Children of the grand old age of three or four or even five like to feel superior to younger children whom they regard as “babies”.  This song plays on the notion of “age status”.

Fingerplay  Where is Thumbkin

You can do this one with finger puppets, two per child – one for each hand.  There is a little interlude between verses just long enough to swap the puppets from one finger to the next (hopefully!)

Memory Song (numbers)  The Ants Go Marching

When I first recorded this there were ten verses.  I soon learnt my lesson.  We revised the track and now there are only five, not too much marching!

Rhythm Instruments  We’re Going On a Bear Hunt

Children love this song.  Works really well with actions and even better with instruments (bells, finger cymbals, shakers, guiros).

Melody and Harmony Instruments Diddle Diddle Dumpling

Who wouldn’t love the duffer who fell asleep in his clothes!

Drama and Movement   Monkeys on the Bed

Because it’s so naughty!

Games and Dances  Can You Dance?

Try silly instructions. Ask them to do what you sing, not what you do.  Not for the faint-hearted, some will “get it”, other will do what you do and still enjoy the song.

Story Song  The Three Billy-goats Gruff

This is one of my favourite stories and I’m also a wee bit biased towards this song because I wrote it.  It’s a “long sing” but worth learning to hear the big sigh of relief from the group when all three brothers make it to the “fresh green grass on the other side”.  You can use the lyric chart or make a flip book with illustrations to guide you.  I’ve also seen it done with felt cutouts on a flannel-board.  I especially like the traditional ending:

Snip, snap, snout,

This tale’s told out.

Want to save yourself hours of preparation time? Click on any of the links to go to the store and buy the activities.  Each song title comes complete with

  • a written activity – including a simple score with chords and the song lyrics on a chart
  • one or more quality backing tracks so you can sing live
  • one or more vocal tracks so you can teach yourself the song

Leave a comment about this lesson plan so we can share.  Remember to play music with your children every day because there’s nothing else like it.