26 Mar 2014

Traditional counting songs

In the early years, the MEP lesson plans call for 'counting songs'.  These interludes are there to prevent brain strain - remember that MEP in a classroom takes 45 minutes, and that's a long time for a small person.  But a well chosen song can have value for another reason too - to practice counting backwards and forwards.  Counting backwards is harder than you think.  If you consider yourself mildly proficient in a second language, try counting backwards from numbers other than ten.  It is pretty hard!  That's what it is like for our youngsters as well.

Here are some of our favourite counting songs.  There are lots of modern ones as well, but this is most of the traditional ones.  Hopefully you'll find something that you and your kiddos like!

For obvious reasons, the ones counting forward and backward are probably best.  Have fun!

(Also, singing counting songs in your foreign language is also great practice...even in the middle of maths!  That's probably another post.)



Once I Caught a Fish Alive

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
Once I caught a fish alive,
6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
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 the right.



Ten Green Bottles

Ten green bottles
Hanging on the wall
Ten green bottles
Hanging on the wall
And if one green bottle
Should accidentally fall
There'll be nine green bottles
Hanging on the wall

Nine green bottles
Hanging on the wall...and so on.

Finish with:

One green bottle
Hanging on the wall
One green bottle
Hanging on the wall
If that one green bottle
Should accidentally fall
There'll be no green bottles
Hanging on the wall.



There were 10 in the Bed

There were ten in a bed
And the little one said
'Roll over, roll over'
So they all rolled over
And one fell out

There were nine in a bed
And the little one said...etc

Finish with:

There was one in a bed
And the little one said
'Good night!'

There are many variations to this song. We love the one with the following sung between the verses, so if you have just sung the 'There were seven in bed' verse it would be:

Bumped his head,
And gave a shout.
Please remember,
To tie a knot in your pyjamas,
Single beds are only made for (then shouted) Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, six in the bed and...

(Anyone know a YouTube video for this variation?)



10 Little Indian Boys

1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Indians,
4 Little, 5 Little, 6 Little Indians,
7 Little, 8 L9ittle, 9 Little Indians,
10 Little Indian Boys!

Then count down again!



One, Two, Buckle my Shoe

One, two, buckle my shoe,
Three, four, open the door,
Five, six, pick up sticks,
Seven, eight, lay them straight
Nine, ten, the big fat hen,
Eleven, twelve, dig and delve,
Thirteen, fourteen, maids a-courting,
Fifteen, sixteen, maids in the kitchen,
Seventeen, eighteen, ladies waiting,
Nineteen, twenty, my plate's empty.




This Old Man

This old man, he played one,
He played knick-knack on my thumb;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick-knack on my shoe;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee...etc.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick-knack on my door...etc.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick-knack on my hive...etc.

This old man, he played six,
He played knick-knack on my sticks...etc.

This old man, he played seven,
He played knick-knack up in Heaven...etc.

This old man, he played eight,
He played knick-knack on my gate...etc.

This old man, he played nine,
He played knick-knack on my spine...etc.

This old man, he played ten,
He played knick-knack once again...etc.



Ten Little Ducks

Ten little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said
'Quack, quack, quack,'
But only nine little ducks came back.

Continues with:

Nine little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away...etc.

Finish:

No little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away
Mother duck said
'Quack, quack, quack,'
And all those ten little ducks came back.



One Bottle of Pop


This is a great song!!

One bottle of pop, two bottles of pop,
Three bottles of pop, four bottles of pop,
Five bottles of pop, six bottles of pop,
Seven, seven, bottles of pop, pop!

Fish and chips and vinegar, vinegar, vinegar
Fish and chips and vinegar,
Pepper, pepper, pepper, salt!

Don't throw your trash in my backyard,
My backyard, my backyard.
Don't throw your trash in my backyard,
My backyard's full!



Five Speckled Frogs

Five little speckled frogs
Sat on a great big log
Eating some moist delicious flies (Yum, yum, yum!)
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Now there are four speckled frogs! (Ribbit, ribbit!)



Five Little Monkeys

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!'.

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped her head...

Finish:

One little monkey jumping on the bed,
He fell off and bumped his head.
Mama called the Doctor and the Doctor said,
"Put those monkeys straight to bed!'.



One Man Went to Mow

One man went to mow, went to mow a meadow,
One man and his dog - Woof! - went to mow a meadow.

Two men went to mow, went to mow a meadow,
Two men, one man and his dog - Woof! - went to mow a meadow.

Three men went to mow, went to mow a meadow,
Three men, two men, one man and his dog - Woof! - went to mow a meadow.

Four men went to mow, went to mow a meadow,
Four men, three men, two men, one man and his dog - Woof! - went to mow a meadow.

Five men went to mow, went to mow a meadow,
Five men, four men, three men, two men, one man and his dog - Woof! - went to mow a meadow.

You can count as high as you like!

Enjoy!  Have I included your favourite counting song?  If not. leave me a link in the comments.  I'd love to listen.

PS There are as many variations to the lyrics of these songs as there are songs.  The lyrics here are my family's personal favourites.  They're the right ones, of course. Heh.

Here's a playlist for all these songs if you like them like that.

8 comments:

  1. yay, jeanne!! :)
    so. much. fun!

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  2. I learned the "little speckled frogs" in kindergarten. Also "one elephant went out to play, upon a spider's web one day, he had such amazing fun that he called on another elephant to come." (I think that predated the Sharon, Lois and Bram version.)

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  3. The "Ten Little Indians" one can have endless variations depending on your theme. My kids' favorite version was:
    One little, Two little, Three little bubbles
    ...
    Ten little bubbles go Pop! Pop! Pop!

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  4. Just thought of one! Hadn't thought of this one for a long time. We would sing it on the way home on the school bus, I'm really surprised our bus driver didn't kick us off, we would sing for the last 30 minutes of the ride, over and over again as loud as we could for many days in a row. "The Ants Go Marching..." Thanks for writing this post, many of them are ones that I've known for a long time, just hadn't thought to use them! May I gush and tell you how wonderful you are? :D

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  5. These are neat!!! We are learning "Over in the Meadow" which is sorta a counting song and my children all love it! :)

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  6. I found this post on a rainy morning when I was volunteering on the Breastfeeding Helpline. It was the perfect way to entertain my kids, I just let them have at it! This Old Man was our folksong last month, too, so they enjoyed hearing someone else's lyrics :)

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  7. "10 in the Bed" Is a sweet, sweet memory! Fun post.

    ReplyDelete

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