Friday, 13 April 2012

Music and Singing: Creating a Song Box

Singing is a great activity to do with little ones, whether it be in the car, out on a walk, as part of a toddler group or just at home on a rainy day.  I love the way singing together can be great family teamwork.  It can calm a crying baby, amuse a bored toddler and entertain a preschooler all at the same time!  Plus it's great for building language and numeracy skills as well as teaching memory, rhythm and rhyme.

Although we do some singing pretty much every day we often get stuck in a rut and end up just singing a few songs on repeat!  So one of the things I've been thinking of doing is creating some Song Boxes for when we do singing together with prompts for lots of different songs (saves a tired Mummy having to think up what to sing and the girls love being able to choose an item from the box and thinking of a song that links to the item).  

Shoeshine beautifully decorated a shoe box a little while ago - just perfect for turning into a Song Box.  I simply added a label and then we started raiding our toy boxes and cupboards for things that linked to a song we know. 

We grouped our songs around a number of different themes, but to be honest the girls would probably have been just as happy with a random assortment box, it's probably just me that likes things more ordered! So the themes I used: Farm Animals, Water, Transport and Buildings, Space, Food, Jungle, My Body and Health.

Farm Animals Theme

Old MacDonald had a Farm
Baa Baa Black Sheep
Three Blind Mice
Incy Wincy Spider
There's a Spider on the Floor
Five Little Ducks
I'm a Dingle Dangle Scarecrow
Little Peter Rabbit's got a Fly upon his Nose
Little Rabbit Foo Foo

Water Theme

The Big Ship sails on the Ali-Ali-Oh
Row, Row, Row your Boat
Climb Aboard the Pirate Ship/ The Day I Went to Sea
5 Little Speckled Frogs, sat on a Speckled Log
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a Fish Alive
5 Puddle Ducks went Swimming One Day

Transport and Buildings Theme

Bouncing Up and Down on the Big Blue Tractor
Peter Hammers with One Hammer, One Hammer, One Hammer
Wheels on the Bus/Car
The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock
The Big Ship sails on the Alli-Alli-Oh
Row, Row, Row your Boat
Climb Aboard the Pirate Ship/ The Day I Went to Sea
Journey Home from Grandpa's (Barefoot Book)

 Space Theme

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom We're going to the Moon
5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer 

(I need a bit smaller rocket!)

Food Theme

I Like Bananas, Monkey Nuts and Grapes
Oranges and Lemons
5 Currant Buns in the the Baker's Shop
Polly Put the Kettle On 

Jungle Theme

Down in the Jungle
Nellie the Elephant
5 Little Monkeys Bouncing on the Bed
Walking Through the Jungle
We're All Going to the Zoo Tomorrow

My Body and Health Theme

Miss Polly had a Dolly who was Sick. Sick, Sick
Rock-a-bye Baby on the Treetops
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Roly-Poly, Roly-Poly
If you're Happy and You Know it Clap Your Hands
Lavender's Blue (not strictly fitting with the theme but very popular with Little Chick at the moment)

 I have most of the items together in a drawer now (some have been claimed back to play with!) and have a few in the box at any one time so that it can be got down from the shelf as one of the things we can play with (great for those times when you suddenly need to get them occupied quickly!)

We've also created a travel version in a little bag for long car journeys and this has been a great hit.   I'd also like to create a faith-based box for using in family worship.  The girls absolutely LOVE the excitement of diving into the box or bag and choosing an item and it's definitely increased our repertoire of songs.

What songs do your little ones enjoy?


  1. Wow! I just love love love this idea. I must admit that music is the one area that I feel I fail Aodhan, and truly appreciate this lovely idea. I will be featuring this next week on my Kids Weekly Coop post. Thanks so much for sharing. I am pinning this too!

    1. Ooh Thanks - am honoured to be featured - love the Kid's Co-op so many great ideas each week. Thanks for stopping by. Ellie

  2. This is such a fun, fun idea! I have such a hard time coming up with ideas for songs... this would probably help me out!

    1. Thank you, let me know how you get on with creating your own song box. Ellie

  3. What a great idea! I need something like this when my guy gets fussy in the car. I think he would also love to pull them and learn to associate the item with a song, too! Sharing this on my facebook page and pinning! :)

    1. Long car journeys are so hard for little ones, I'm always on the hunt for ideas too and this one has definitely worked for us. My 3 year old now finds it particularly funny to suggest the 'wrong' songs for the item she's picked out and is just full of giggles when we adapt the song to fit - the cow on the bus goes moo moo moo being one of them! Thanks for sharing on fb and pinning. Ellie

  4. Beautiful. This will help my little ones dictate what song they want even more clearly! Good job I love singing along too.

  5. Thanks for stopping by, hope you've had some singing fun. Ellie


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