Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

What joy it is to watch your little child jump and hop in tune to music! Apart from being a lovely sight to behold, action songs benefit a preschooler in many ways.

By Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj  • 8 min read

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

Be it babies, toddlers or preschoolers, young children are easily drawn towards music. And, when it is a music and movement combo, nothing can stop them from swaying to the beat and rhythm. This is where children’s action songs come in. They entertain as well as educate your little ones. Moreover, belting out action songs for preschoolers with your tiny tots will strengthen your bond with them. It can be a great fun activity for the two of you. So, here we go with a list of top ten children’s action songs. Go ahead, team up with your child and sing aloud these action songs for kids along with actions.

Action songs for preschoolers

Humpty dumpty

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;

All the king's horses and all the king's men

Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Teddy bear teddy bear

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around,

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground,

Teddy bear, teddy bear, reach up high,

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky,

Teddy bear, teddy bear, bend down low,

Teddy bear, teddy bear, touch your toes,

Teddy bear, teddy bear, go to bed,

Teddy bear, teddy bear, rest your head,

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn out the lights,

Teddy bear, teddy bear, say "good night".

Miss Polly had a dolly

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick

So she called for the doctor to be quick, quick, quick

The doctor came with his bag and his hat

And he knocked at the door with a rat-a-tat-tat.

He looked at the dolly and he shook his head

And he said "Miss Polly, put her straight to bed"

He wrote out a paper for a pill, pill, pill,

"I'll be back in the morning with the bill, bill, bill."

Hop a little, jump a little

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

Hop a little, jump a little

One, two, three;

Run a little, skip a little

Tap on knee;

Bend a little, stretch a little,

Nod your head;

Yawn a little, sleep a little,

In your bed.

Row, row, row, your boat

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

Row, row, row your boat,

Gently down the stream;

Merrily merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream.

Incy, wincy spider

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

Incy wincy spider climbed up the waterspout,

Down came the rain and washed the spider out,

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,

So Incy wincy spider climbed up the spout again.

One, two, three, four, five; once I caught a fish alive

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

One, two, three, four, five,

Once I caught a fish alive.

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,

Then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?

This little finger on the right.

One, two, three, four, five,

Once I caught a crab alive.

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,

Then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?

This little finger on the right.

One, two, three, four, five,

Once I caught an eel alive.

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,

Then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?

This little finger on the right.

Here we go round the mulberry bush

Here we go round the mulberry bush

The mulberry bush (2)

Here we go round the mulberry bush

On a cold and frosty morning.

We rub our hands to keep us warm

Keep us warm (2)

We rub our hands to keep us warm

On a cold and frosty morning.

We stamp up and down to keep us warm

Keep us warm (2)

We stamp up and down to keep us warm

On a cold and frosty morning.

Here we go round the mulberry bush

The mulberry bush (2)

Here we go round the mulberry bush

On a cold and frosty morning.

One, two, buckle my shoe

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

One, two, buckle my shoe

Three, four, shut the door

Five, six, pick up sticks

Seven, eight, lay them straight

Nine, ten, a good, fat hen.

Eleven, twelve, dig and delve

Thirteen, fourteen, maids a-courting

Fifteen, sixteen, maids in the kitchen

Seventeen, eighteen, maids are waiting

Nineteen, twenty, my plate's empty.

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed

Action Songs For Preschoolers (3-5 years): Benefits And Importance

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,

One fell off and bumped his head.

Mother called the doctor and the doctor said:

'No more jumping on the bed!'

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed,

One fell off and bumped his head.

Mother called the doctor and the doctor said:

'No more jumping on the bed!'

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed,

One fell off and bumped his head.

Mother called the doctor and the doctor said:

'No more jumping on the bed!'

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed,

One fell off and bumped his head.

Mother called the doctor and the doctor said:

'No more jumping on the bed!'

One little monkey jumping on the bed,

He fell off and bumped his head.

Mother called the doctor and the doctor said:

'No more jumping on the bed!'

Benefits of action songs for preschoolers

Action songs for kids, apart from being fun, aid your child’s overall development too. Let’s look at a few benefits of action songs for preschoolers:

  1. Develop fine and gross motor skills: Children’s action songs such as ‘Ten little Indians…,’ ‘Five little ducks…,’ and ‘Incy, Wincy Spider…,’ involve dexterous finger movements. Such finger play (opening and closing the fingers, wiggling and wagging them) aids fine motor skills development in your tiny tot. Similarly, when your little one mimics the actions and sings aloud, ‘Row, row, row your boat…,’ or chants, ‘I am a little tea-pot…,’she develops better muscular control, balance, and co-ordination.
  2. Offer early introduction to music and dance: Children love music – who doesn’t? While your child was exposed to lullabies and rhymes earlier, now is the time for him to graduate to musical pieces involving beat and rhythm. Action songs for preschoolers serve the purpose. Using this medium, you can teach him almost anything.
  3. Aid memory and recall: While observing the actions, your little one learns to retain what she observes in her memory and recall it when she needs to mime or mimic them. Thus, her first steps in memory and recall begin in preschool through action songs for kids.
  4. Enhance comprehension and vocabulary acquisition: When your preschooler listens to the lyrics of the song and watches the associated actions, his comprehension powers improve. He understands the words and associates the words to the actions. Apart from his comprehension power, his vocabulary kit also begins to expand. When he sings, ‘Do the Boogie, Woogie, put your right hand in, put your right hand out…,’ or ‘Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around…,’ he learns to associate the positions ‘in’ and ‘out’, and the movement ‘turn around’ with the respective words.
  5. Help follow instructions: When your little ones see and do the actions shown to them while performing children’s action songs, it enables them to listen to and follow instructions. This is one of the early lessons they need to learn in communication. Also, children learn by copying and imitating. Action songs tap just that ability of theirs.
  6. Allow self-expression: Action songs for kids enable your little ones to express themselves using gestures, facial expressions and body language. Also, they help them exhibit their emotions. For example, when they sing, ‘If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…,’ they learn to express joy and happiness.
  7. Boost self-confidence: As action songs for preschoolers require them to be up and moving about, it instils confidence in them. It helps them overcome shyness and boosts their self-esteem.
  8. Groom social skills: Singing along in a group helps preschoolers to mingle with peers, learn from them and even teach them. The laughter and chatter that punctuate the singing ensure that children function happily as a group. Also, while performing the songs, children learn to respect each other’s space – this is a key lesson in the development of their social skills.

The next time you want to shake a leg with your tiny tot through action songs, remember that apart from bringing a lot of fun and excitement to the activity, you will also help him develop in many other ways. So, go on and enjoy bonding with your little one through the good-old children’s action songs!

About the author:

Written by Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj, PhD (Eng & Edu), on 14 August 2017; last updated on 30 October 2020.

The author is an educationist, language specialist and writer. In a career spanning over two decades, she has taught from preschool to B-School and trained teachers, master trainers and software professionals. She is also a former member of curriculum and syllabus development committees (Govt of Tamil Nadu). Her passion for the written word matches her enthusiasm for entertaining little kids by breaking out into nursery rhymes.

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