During this past school year, I had so much fun being the music docent in my daughter’s kindergarten class. We had a great time singing together, listening to some orchestra music, learning the names of instruments, and dancing. Since many of the songs listed in our kindergarten music curriculum were familiar songs that most of the kids already knew, I needed some fun ways to make these songs interesting. We made up our own hand movements, sang them faster and slower, and added in our own rhythms with shakers and bells. But, their *most* favorite thing of all was changing the words, especially if we could use their names! Here are some of the songs we enjoyed “personalizing”:
Mary Had a Little Lamb: Natalie had a little cat, little cat, little cat. Natalie had a little cat, with fur as black as night.
Old MacDonald Had a Farm: We changed habitats for this one – Old MacDonald had a jungle/ocean/forest/etc.
If You’re Happy and You Know It: Sing about all different emotions – I loved seeing what the kids could come up with for a movement or facial expression for each emotion!
The Bear Went Over the Mountain: In the traditional version, all the bear sees is the other side of the mountain. In our version, he saw pink dragons, giant trash cans, rainbow flowers, and piles of donuts! A friendly pink dragon, a friendly pink dragon, a friendly pink dragon was all that he could see.
We also listened to some songs that were fun spin-offs of songs we knew, or lended themselves well to our creative lyric-writing:
Cluck, Cluck Red Hen by Raffi (think Baa, Baa Black Sheep)
Old MacDonald Had a Band by Raffi
Laurie’s Got a Pig on Her Head – Laurie Berkner
I Love My Rooster – Laurie Berkner
Aikendrum by Raffi
And, for really nice versions of many children’s classics, try Kids’ Club – Family Songbook. I downloaded it from iTunes and we have been enjoying it!
What songs do you like to sing with your kids?