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 Playsongs Bounce and RhymeTime 2

This second collection of songs and rhymes, devised for libraries, is another of our sample sessions, which may be useful to librarians or indeed to anyone engaged in delivering baby music. 

Please enjoy all or any part of this sample session, which ~ with lots of repetition (which we can't overemphasise!) ~ fits roughly into 30-40 minutes. Better to do fewer items slower, and repeat them often. Babies need time to absorb the patterns of actions and sounds, and they love repetition. So don't worry about getting through all these items in one session.

The session follows an arc of energy and activity from low/slow/intimate through to higher/faster/rowdier and back to a low/slow wind down.

Welcoming the group

It's time to say Hello

The clock says tick tock,
The clock says tick tock,
The clock says tick tock,
It's time to say HELLO!

.

Hello, babies,
Hello, toddlers,
Hello, everyone,
It's time to say HELLO!

The clock says tick tock,
The clock says tick tock,
The clock says tick tock,
It's time to CLAP YOUR HANDS.

Clap clap clap clap,
Clap clap clap clap,
Clap clap clap clap,
It's time to TAP YOUR KNEES.

Tap tap tap tap…

It's time to BEEP YOUR NOSE.

 

Beep beep beep beep…
It's time to TICKLE YOUR TOES.

Tickle tickle tickle tickle…
It's time to BE A MOUSE.

Squeak squeak squeak squeak…
It's time to HAVE A HUG!

Words and melody: Mavis de Mierre
© the Estate of Mavis de Mierre

Invite the grown ups to perform the actions for their babies - tapping their knees, beeping their noses, tickling toes, and so on. Repeat the song with as many variants of the actions as you like: tap, pat, stroke, tickle different parts of baby from head to toe to promote engagement between baby and their grown up right from the start. Toddlers might start to do the actions themselves. Have an eye to who's getting the hang of it, and repeat the same action till more are managing to join in.

Peekaboo play

Where do you think our baby's hiding?

Where do you think our baby's hiding?
Where do you think our baby's hiding?
Where do you think our baby's hiding?
Where can the baby be?

Peekaboo! I can see you,
Peekaboo! I can see you,
Peekaboo! I can see you,
Hiding in your (blanket, cradle, pushchair...)

Words: Sheena Roberts
Melody: adapted from traditional by Sheena Roberts
© Playsongs Publications Ltd.

Peekaboo! This is a game best played with a little baby blanket or soft cloth to cover baby's face or yours. Peak out or lift the cloth on each line of the song to give a little baby the reassurance of their grown up still being there. In a group setting, hide your face behind your hands, peeking out at the ends of each line and exaggerate the gesture on each 'Peekaboo'. Change the last line to 'You can see me too', to make it work better in the group setting. Invite the grown ups to turn their babies to face them (sitting on the floor facing baby works well) so they can play the game together. Repeat several times.

Finger and toe ticklers

This little pig

This little pig had a rub a dub dub,
This little pig had a scrub a scrub scrub,
This little pig-a-wig ran upstairs,
This little pig-a-wig called out BEARS!
Down came the jar with a loud slam! slam!
And this little pig ate all the jam.

Words traditional

Invite the grownups to cradle or sit baby on one lap, while they cup one of baby's hands and touch or tweak each fingertip in turn, starting with the thumb and ending with the little finger, which you pretend to gobble up - mmmmm! 

Repeat lots.

Five Quacky Duckies

Duckie Daddle,
Duckie Doodle,
Duckie Diddle in the middle,
Duckie Doddle's very small
And Duckie Dawdle's last of all.
Quack quack quack quack quack ~ quaaaaaaaaack!

Words: Kaye Umansky ©Kaye Umansky
Playsongs Publications Ltd

This is a bit of toe-play fun for bathtime at home. In the group setting, ask the grownups to cup one of baby's feet (shoe off) and rub or tweak each ducky toe as it's named starting with the big toe, Ducky Daddle. On the quacks, quickly tweak each toe in reverse order, ending with a raucous QUAAACK and a waggle of Ducky Daddle. Repeat lots.

Face toucher

Cheeky Cheeky Chin

Eye, nose, cheeky cheeky chin
Eye, nose, cheeky cheeky chin
Eye, nose, cheeky cheeky chin
Cheeky cheeky chin, nose, eye.

Words and melody traditional

Invite the group to get close up face to face with their baby ~ they might cradle a little baby on one shoulder, or lie baby on their back on the floor and bend over them. Demonstrate slowly, touching each part of your own face as you sing or say it. Repeat, inviting the group to join you, touching their baby's features in the same way. When well established, some may like to take their baby's hand and touch it to their own face as they sing or say the words. 

Ticklers

Teddybear Teddybear

Teddybear, teddybear, touch the ground,
Teddybear, teddybear, turn around,
Teddybear, teddybear, walk down the street,
Teddybear, teddybear, tickle your feet.

Words: traditional, adapted by Playsongs
Melody: traditional

For those in the group who can, this is best done sitting on the floor with legs apart, and with baby sitting between them, facing outwards. Bigger toddlers can do the actions on their own or can have fun helping their own teddybears to do them.

Pat hands on the floor in front on 'touch the ground', circle hands around each other on 'turn around', march fingers down each of baby's legs on 'down the street' to tickle their feet on the last line.

This is an old playground skipping song, and it's fun to keep the character of the skipping with a strong beat to the words and actions.

Other endings can be added: 'climb up the stair … tickle you under there'; 'climb your clothes … tickle your nose'

Mousey Brown

Up the tall white
candlestick
went
Little Mousey Brown.
He blew the candle
out ~
PUFF!
And then he ran
right
down.

Words: traditional
 

This is a tickle-puff rhyme. Toddlers might like to stand to be the candle, which little Mousey Brown, their grownups' fingertips, climb. Babies can be cuddled in laps. Tickle baby's hair with a 'FFFFFF' then run fingertips back down to toes.

Slowly Slowly

Slowly slowly, very slowly
Creeps the garden snail,
Slowly slowly, very slowly
Up the wooden rail.


Quickly quickly, very quickly
Runs the little mouse,
Quickly quickly, very quickly
Round about the house.

Words: traditional
Melody (Slowly walks my grandad) by A W I Chitty, © Paxton Music Ltd.

The magic of this rhyme/song is in the contrast between the soothing, slow trace of the garden snail, the grownup's fingertip, moving softly from toes to face, followed by the exciting, speedy tickling of the mouse running all around. Repeat several times to allow the group to join in with more of the words. To begin with, repeat each verse on its own to familiarise them.

Leg walker

One Two Three a-leary

One two three a-leary,
Four five six a-leary,
Seven eight nine a-learly,
Ten a-learly OVER ball.

One two three a-leary…
…BOUNCE the ball.


One two three a-leary…
…JUGGLE the ball.

One two three a-leary…
…DROP the ball.

Invite everyone to sit with baby on their knee facing outwards. The grown up takes one of baby's ankles in each hand, and crosses one ankle over the other on the beat of the rhyme.
On OVER, the grown up leans backwards, lifting baby's ankles high up in the air, while supporting baby's body against their chest. Roll back to an upright position and start again for lots of repeats.

 

When it's well-established, try some different actions: bounce on knee, lift baby from one knee to the other for 'juggle', part knees and slide baby to the floor on 'drop'.

Knee bouncer

Achinaee

Achina-ee, when I was wee
I used to sit on my granny’s knee,
Her apron tore and I fell on the floor,
Achina-ee-na-ee.

Words: traditional
Music: Playsongs Publications Ltd

 

Invite everyone to hold their baby securely on their knee, facing outwards for this vigorous knee bouncer. 'Drop' baby between knees on the third line, then lift back up for more bouncing. It's fun to start at a slower pace and build up the tempo with each repeat.

Ankle rider

One to make ready

One to make ready,
Two to make steady,
Three to prepare
And AWAY goes the mare.

Words: traditional
 

 

With little babies, invite their grown ups to sit holding their little baby securely under the arms, facing inwards. Lift a little off the knee on 'One', a little higher on 'Two', higher still on 'Three' and swoop right up on 'AWAY'.

Bigger babies and toddlers can try this as an ankle ride. Ask the grownups (if they're able and comfortable to do it) to sit with legs crossed, one foot firmly on the floor. Next they place their little one astride their free ankle, holding hands. On the beat of the rhyme they swing their ankle up and down, up and down. On 'AWAY' they jump baby up and into their lap for a cuddle.

Explain that this rhyme is a lift for a toddler or little child, when walking along between two grown ups, one on each side. On AWAY, the grown ups swing the child right up into the air. Great for making good progress on a tiring walk.

Lift

Buzzy Buzzy Bumblebees

Buzzy buzzy bumble bees,
Flying UP in the breeze,
Heads down, bums up,
Supping from a flower cup!

Words: Sheena Roberts
Music: Playsongs Publications Ltd

 

This can be done sitting or standing. The lift is from the floor to above the head, so it may be easier for some to play it sitting down, lifting only from the knee to above the head. Crouch down, holding babies securely. Bounce a little on the first line, 'Fly' babies up above heads. Tip babies' heads to theirs - bottoms up - and gently touch faces together on the last line. Repeat as long as there's energy for it! You could invite the grownups to 'buzz' their baby bumblebees into another place in the circle, buzzing hello to the others as they go.

Ring dancer

Here we go Baby Bounce ~ Looby Loo 

Here we go Baby Bounce,
Here we go Baby Bounce,
We bounce them in and bounce them out,

And bounce them all all about.

We swing the babies in HELLO!

We swing the babies out
.
We swing  them in and swing them out

And swing them all about.

 

'Turn'


Here we go Baby Bounce
…

Words: Sheena Roberts
Melody: Here we go Looby loo

 

With babes in arms, and holding hands with toddlers, everyone in the group forms a ring and bouncily steps around the circle in a clockwise direction, turning into the centre to 'bounce the baby in' and back to the circle to 'bounce the baby out'. Turn on the spot for the last line.

 

On the spot, swing baby's legs into the centre, then out, then turn on the spot, swinging baby.

 

Turn to face the other way for the repeat of the first verse.

Donkey Riding

Were you down on Brighton Beach?
  Donkey riding, donkey riding,
Were you down on Brighton Beach?

  Riding on a donkey.

Wey hey and away we go,
  Donkey riding, donkey riding,
Wey hey and away we go,
  Riding on a donkey.

Were you up on London Bridge…



 

Were you on a London bus…

 

Traditional shanty
 

This can be done sitting as a knee bouncer, or moving in a circle dance.

 

Teach the group the lines: 'Donkey riding, donkey riding' and 'Riding on a donkey' - they are the same throughout the song, and in a shanty are the group's response to the caller, who makes up the other lines.

 

With babes in arms, and holding hands with toddlers, everyone in the group forms a ring. Step heavily on the slow beat of the caller's lines, and donkey trot lightly on the group's responses. The aim is to feel the contrast between the slow beat stepping and the fast beat trotting.

 

Swing the little ones high in the air on 'Wey hey and away we go'.

 

 

Sound exploring

Here's a box and here's a lid

Here'a box, and here's a lid,
I wonder whatever inside it is hid?
Open the lid and see what's inside..............
Out jumps a teddy, hello hello hello,
Out jumps a teddy, hello hello hello.

Words and melody: Tamar Swade © Tamar Swade, from Playsongs
 

Hide a teddy toy or hand puppet inside a box, which is big enough to hold some instruments, like a little tambourine, or a shaker. Build the mystery and anticipation as you sing up to the big reveal: Out jumps a teddy. Use the song to explore sounds. It can be sounds of real instruments, which the teddy can play. Or if you have some other toy animals to hand, you might explore their sounds: 'Out jumps a squeaky mouse, squeak squeak squeak...' 'Out jumps a crocodile, snap snap snap...'

Donkey Riding ~ soundmakers

Were you down on Brighton Beach? (tappers)
  Donkey riding, donkey riding, (jingles)
Were you down on Brighton Beach?
 (tappers)
  Riding on a donkey. (jingles)

Wey hey and away we go, (tappers)
  Donkey riding, donkey riding, (jingles)
Wey hey and away we go, (tappers)
  Riding on a donkey. (jingles)

Were you up on London Bridge…



 

Were you on a London bus…

 

Traditional shanty
 

Distribute jingles to all the babies on one side of the group, and distribute tapping sticks (claves), or wooden tappers to the other side. Keep a set of jingles and claves for yourself. Give everyone some play time.

 

Rehearse the stick group to tap their sticks on the donkey trot beat as you sing it together. Invite the jingle group to play along on the caller's lines, making up their own rhythms or even randomly jingling. There are no rights or wrongs. The contrast is in the sounds of the wooden tappers and the metal jingles.

Lead the song, using your set of jingles and claves.

I can hear my teddybear

I can hear my teddybear, walking down the street,
Tap tap tap tap, listen to his feet.

    (tap tap tap tap tap tap tap…)

 

   I can hear a pony jingling far away,
  Jingle jingle jingle jingle jingle far away.
      (jingle jingle jingle jingle…)

 

I can hear toddlers, running down the street,
Tappa tappa tappa tappa, listen to their feet.
  (tappa tappa tappa tappa…)

  

   I can hear a pony jingling very near…

I can hear a giant, stomping down the street,
Stomp stomp stomp stomp, listen to his feet.
  (stomp stomp stomp stomp…) 

   I can hear a pony jingling far away…

 

Words: adapted from I can hear Daniel by Leonora Davies
Melody: Leonora Davies

 

Still in the same instrument groups, lead the wooden claves in playing the tapping feet. Lead the jinglers in playing very quietly first time, loudly the second, and quietly again for the third time, as the pony approaches and departs.

Gathering in the instruments

Please give the instruments back to the teddy,
Thank you, thank you, very much.
Please give the instruments back to the teddy,
Thank you, thank you, very much,
Please give the instruments back to the teddy,
Thank you, thank you, very much. 

 

Say or sing these words ~ they fit to the tune of Twinkle twinkle little star ~ as you gather in the instruments. Babies and toddlers are often quite willing to give up their instruments to the teddy, or drop them into his box, rather than giving them to the leader.

 

Wind down

Mamma's gone to the mailboat

Group 1
Hush a bye, baby, bye,
Hush a bye, baby, bye…

Group 2

Mamma's gone to the mailboat,
Mamma's gone to the mailboat…

Leader

Bee-o baby, bye bye,
Bee-o baby, bye bye…

All

Bye,
Bye,
Bye,
Bye…

Traditional, arranged as a round by Playsongs Publications

This calming lullaby or croon is a good way to lower the energy and bring everyone's focus back to the ring. Invite the grown ups to cradle their babies and toddlers and gently rock them to and fro to the soothing beat of the song.

 

Explain that each part of the song is repeated over and over again until you all come together at the end to sing 'Bye'.

 

Ask one side of the ring to join you as you lead them in the their part. Make sure they are confidently repeating their line and that it's well-established then indicate for them to continue without you. Turn to the other side to bring them in with their line. Again sing along with them until they are well established. Then if you feel confident, add the solo line, or simply close by bringing everyone together to sing 'Bye bye bye' quieter and quieter into silence.

The Clock says Tick Tock

The clock says tick tock,
The clock says tick tock,
The clock says tick tock,
It's time to say goodbye.

Goodbye, Babies,
Goodbye, Toddlers,
Goodbye, Everyone,
It's time to say goodbye.

Thank you, Babies,
Thank you, Toddlers,
Thank you, Everyone,
It's time to wave goodbye.

As before, use a set of claves to play the tick tock beat as you sing, and as the grown ups continue to sway their little ones on their knees.

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