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  • Writer's pictureSheena at Playsongs

Father and Mother and Uncle Tom

This is such a popular knee-rider with little ones. They may ask for it over and over again, so you'll get plenty of indoor exercise and they'll get plenty of fun.

Sit your baby or toddler on your knee. (For babies younger than about 6 months, you can adapt the actions to suit a baby that needs to be fully supported in your arms.)

Sway baby from side to side to the lazy start of the rhyme. Sway baby right over to one side as Father falls off, sway baby right over to the other side as Mother falls off, then jog baby on your knee faster and faster and faster as Uncle Tom rides on and on and on and on and on…

Father and Mother and Uncle Tom Got up on the pony and rode along, Father fell off! And Mother fell off!

And Uncle Tom rode on and on and on and on

and on and on and on…

Make a hobby horse for a bigger toddler or a small child so they can gallop around the room like Uncle Tom. When I was little, we made them out of a walking stick with a big sock fastened over the curved end. We stuffed the sock with paper and fastened paper ears on.

Siblings can take part in a hobby horse gymkhana if there is space enough not to endanger life and limb (shorter sticks and lots of padding?). Shape silver cups out of foil and of course have lots of carrots for treats. Prizes for fastest pony (time trials if space limited), best-behaved, best turn out, highest jumper, loudest neigh, quietest hooves?

Movie credits: Kevin Graal (voice); Stephen Chadwick (sound); Playsongs (producer)


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