Think for a moment about the children’s songs you know. Songs you grew up with, sang in school or sing with your children. Think of at least five of them which you can sing right now.
OK? All finished?
Chances are some of these ten songs are on your list.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Old MacDonald Had A Farm
Five Little Ducks
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Mary Had A Little Lamb
Row Row Row Your Boat
The Wheels On The Bus
You Are My Sunshine
Did you notice 50% of these children’s songs have animals in them?
In a quick scan of my mental kids songs catalog, at least half of them involve animals. More if row boats meet polar bears or alligators, or if there’s a cat on the bus.
WHY ARE SO MANY KIDS SONGS ABOUT ANIMALS?
Because children can relate to animals easily. They imitate the sounds. They notice the shapes. They are frequently cuddly or small. Children can be mindful of animals, as well as amused by them. They offer a great platform for early learning.
Animal song Example 1: The Itsy Bitsy Spider
A popular song with a simple plot.
The spider climbs up. Rain comes. The spider gets knocked down. The spider waits for more optimal conditions. The sun comes. The spider climbs again. (See: Bravery, Patience, Persistence)
Animal Song Example 2: Five Little Ducks
The ducks leave their mother one by one until none are left. The mother is sad. The ducks return. The mother is happy. (See: Compassion, Independence, Family)
Animal Song Example 3: Old MacDonald
There were animals, and each one made a sound. MOO. QUACK. BUH-GAWK. SSSSS. WOOF.
(See: Order, Association, Vocal Acrobatics)
Perhaps you have sung these songs through and through? Fortunately, these chestnuts are not the only game in town.
Here are 4 more animal songs to add to your list:
1. Hopping With The Kangaroo by Johnny Richardson
Children love to jump on the percussive taps in the chorus. I add the words, “Hop, Hop!”
2. Subway Train by The Pop-Ups
Their song "Subway Train" is a hit in our sing-along classes. We add animal yoga poses for each animal and train. Read our our blog post on this one!
3. I Bought Me A Cat (traditional)
There are so many versions of this song! Aaron Copland, Pete Seeger, and tons more. Here’s ours!
4. Cancion De Los Animales Mexicanos by Yo Re Mi
This song is a favorite Yo Re Mi original, with yoga poses for every animals. ¡Vamonos!
Know any fun animal songs of your own? Please let us know about your favorites Tag @YoReMiKids and #YoReMiKids when posting on social media.
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About the author: Dan Costello is a professional musician, music educator and Children's Yoga Instructor specializing in early and elementary education. A music teacher for ten years, Dan has developed music education curriculum which combines movement-based activities, joyful sing-alongs, and songwriting. Dan plays piano, guitar, clarinet, drums, ukulele, and just about anything he can find. He plays in bands and writes songs for children and adults. His favorite songs are the ones we sing together.
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