5 Great Action Songs

5 Great Action Songs

Action songs are great.

They can make a song fun and enjoyable to sing and they can also help the children learn the words.  I sometimes make actions up to help children learn the words.  There are many action songs but I have chosen 5 which both the children and I enjoy.

1. Head Shoulders Knees and Toes.

This is a song I vividly remember singing as a child.  My favourite part was missing the words out.  If you've never done this you would hum instead of saying the body parts:

  • First verse singing all the way through 
  • Second miss out the word 'head replace it with a hum
  • Third miss out head, shoulders.  Replace them each with a hum
  • Fourth miss out head, shoulders, both knees.  Replace them each with a hum
  • Fifth miss out head, shoulders, knees, say and, miss out toes.  Replace them each with a hum

When I sing it with the under 5s we sing it at a fairly slow pace until it is well known.  I wouldn't attempt the missing the words out with children under 4.  When I taught Reception the majority of the children, once the song was well known, enjoyed attempting to miss the words out.

Here are the words if you don’t know them:

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes,

And eyes, and ears, and mouth and nose

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.



2 The Wheels on the Bus

The children always suggest fun verses for this song: Daddy reading, Grandma knitting…

The wheels on the bus go round and round,

round and round,

round and round.

The wheels on the bus go round and round,

all day long

Insert other events for additional verses: doors, open and shut; wipers, swish swish; children, up and down….


3 Row, row your boat

I usually do this song with a prop; instead of the children pretending to move an oar they hold onto some stretchy fabric and move that as we sing.

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

Rock, rock rock your boat

Gently to and fro

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Into the water we go. SPLASH!

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

If you see a crocodile

Don’t forget to scream ARGHHH!

4 Jelly on a plate

Square Jelly on a plate

We usually stand up to do this song.  The children love wobbling like a jelly and shaking the sweeties.

Jelly on a plate

Jelly on a plate

Wibble, wobble, wibble, wobble

Jelly on a plate

The tune, other verses and the actions can be seen on my online resource Early Years Music Ideas


5 The Rain Drops

I first heard The Rain Drops sung by my son when he was at Infant school; it has become one of my favourites.  Here’s a little snippet:

These songs and, the many more are available in my online resource

Simplero membership Early Years Music Ideas 2 to 5

 Early Years Music Ideas.  


Happy Music Making



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