21 Action Songs & Rhymes that Celebrate Spring and Summer (2022)

Nursery rhymes, fingerplays, and action songs have long had a home in quality early learning programs. As well as encouraging the development of movement skills, their value to early language skills is well documented. Nursery rhymes are the poetry of childhood and provide a fabulous introduction to rhythm, pitch, and rhyme within the English language.

21 Action Songs & Rhymes that Celebrate Spring and Summer (1)

Any of the action songs and rhymes below will make a fabulous addition to your Spring themed circle times. The collection includes rhymes about spending time in the garden, at the farm, or down by the lake, with others specific to weather watching and backyard bugs.

Remember to sing like no one is watching and enjoy!

21 Action Songs & Rhymes that Celebrate Spring and Summer

In the Garden

Planting Flowers
(Sung to: Fere Jacques)

Planting flowers, planting flowers, (pretend to plant flowers into the ground)
In the ground, in the ground,
Water them and they will grow, (pretend to water plants with a watering can)
Water them and they will grow,
All around, all around.

Five Flowers Tall
(Sung to: Five Little Ducks)

Five flowers tall in the flower shop, (hold up hand with five fingers standing tall)
Blooming brightly, with the petals at the top.
Along came _____ (name a child) with a dollar one day,
Bought a _____ (child names a color) flower and took it away. (put one finger down)

Repeat for the remaining four fingers.

See the Sunflowers
(Sung to: Down by the Station)

Out in the garden, early in the springtime,
See the little sunflowers standing in a row.
See the happy farmer giving them some water,
Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp, weed and hoe!

Out in the garden, later in the summer,
See the giant sunflowers standing in a row.
See the happy farmer giving them some water,
Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp, watch them grow!

One Potato, Two Potato
As you sing, form hands into fists and stack them one on top of the other, taking the bottom fist and stacking it onto the top fist.

One potato, two potato
Three potato, four,
Five potato, six potato,
Seven potato, more!

I Take My Shovel and I Dig Dig Dig
I take my shovel and I dig, dig, dig, (pretend to be holding a shovel and digging in time with the lyrics)
Dig, dig, dig,
Dig, dig, dig.
I take my shovel and I dig, dig, dig,
I dig, dig all day long.

Backyard Bugs

How Does a Caterpillar Go?
How does a caterpillar go?
Dear me, does anybody know?
How does a caterpillar go?
A wriggle, wriggle all day long. (crawl index finger up opposite arm like a caterpillar)

How does a honeybee go?
Dear me, does anybody know?
How does a honeybee go?
A buzzing, buzzing all day long. (flap hands quickly like little bee wings)

How does a butterfly go?
Dear me, does anybody know?
How does a butterfly go?
A flutter, flutter all day long. (spread arms and move them up and down)

How does a busy spider go?
Dear me, does anybody know?
How does a busy spider go?
A spinning, spinning all day long. (place each thumb on opposite pinky finger and walk hands up and down)

One Little Bug
(Sung to: One Grey Elephant Balancing)

One little bug went out to play, (children sit in a circle, one child walks around the inside of the circle)
On a spider’s web one day.
He had ever so much fun,
He called for another bug to come. (first child chooses a send child to join them walking around inside the circle)

Two little bugs went out to play
(Repeat for bugs 2, 3 and 4)

Four little bugs went out to play,
On a spider’s web one day.
They got stuck, all in a bunch.
Along came spider, in time for lunch! (fifth child pretends to be the spider, coming to eat the bugs)

The Ants Go Marching
The ants go marching one by one (hold up one finger)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching one by one,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb (pretend to suck thumb)
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain.

The ants go marching two by two (hold up two fingers)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching two by two,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching two by two,
The little one stops to tie his shoe (pretend to tie shoe)
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain.

The ants go marching three by three (hold up three fingers)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching three by three,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching three by three,
The little one stops to climb a tree (pretend to climb a tree)
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain.

The ants go marching four by four (hold up four fingers)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching four by four,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching four by four,
The little one stops to shut the door (pretend to shut a door)
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain.

The ants go marching five by five (hold up five fingers)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching five by five,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching five by five,
The little one stops to take a dive (pretend to dive)
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain.

The ants go marching six by six (hold up six fingers)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching six by six,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching six by six,
The little one stops to pick up sticks (pretend to pick up sticks)
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain.

The ants go marching seven by seven (hold up seven fingers)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching seven by seven,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching seven by seven,
The little one stops to pray to heaven (hold hands as if praying)
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain.

The ants go marching eight by eight (hold up eight fingers)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching eight by eight,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching eight by eight,
The little one stops to shut the gate (pretend to shut a gate)
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain.

The ants go marching nine by nine (hold up nine fingers)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching nine by nine,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching nine by nine,
The little one stops to check the time (pretend to check wristwatch)
And they all go marching down to the ground to get out of the rain.

The ants go marching ten by ten (hold up ten fingers)
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching ten by ten,
Hoorah! Hoorah!
The ants go marching ten by ten,
The little one stops to shout
“THE END!!”

Little Miss Muffet
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey.
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Itsy, Bitsy Spider
The itsy, bitsy spider,
Climbed up the water spout. (place each thumb on opposite pinky finger and walk hands up and down)
Down came the rain, (wriggle fingers as hands move down to represent rain)
And washed the spider out.
Out came the sunshine, (raise hands, fingers spread like the sun)
And dried up all the rain.
And the itsy, bitsy spider,
Climbed up the spout again. (place each thumb on opposite pinky finger and walk hands up and down)

Here is the Beehive
Here is the beehive, (make a fist)
Where are the bees?
Hiding inside where nobody sees.
Watch them come creeping out of the hive,
One, two, three, four, five. (release one finger at a time from the fist/hive)
BUZZ-ZZZ (wiggle fingers all around)

Weather Watching

Bright Sun
(sung to “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)

Bright sun shining down,
Shining on the ground,
What a lovely face you have,
Yellow, big and round.

Rain
Rain on the rooftops,
Rain on the trees,
Rain on the green grass,
But not on me!

Related: Grab a copy of this great, printable Weather Song for your preschool classroom.

Out on the Lake

Six Little Ducks
Six little ducks that I once knew,
Fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too,
But the one little duck with the feather on his back,
He led the others with his quack, quack, quack,
Quack, quack, quack-quack, quack, quack,
He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.

Down to the river they would go,
Wibble wobble, wibble wobble to and fro,
But the one little duck with the feather on his back,
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack,
Quack, quack, quack-quack, quack, quack,
He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.

Home from the river they would come,
Wibble wobble, wibble wobble, ho-hum-hum,
But the one little duck with the feather on his back,
He led the others with a quack, quack, quack,
Quack, quack, quack-quack, quack, quack,
He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.

Six little ducks that I once knew,
Fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too,
But the one little duck with the feather on his back,
He led the others with his quack, quack, quack,
Quack, quack, quack-quack, quack, quack,
He led the others with his quack, quack, quack.

Five Little Ducks
Five little ducks went swimming one day, (hold up five fingers)
Over the hills and far away. (hold arm across body and tuck fingers behind shoulder on the opposite side of the body)
Mother duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,” (use other hand to make a mother duck beak and open and close hand to quack)
But only four little ducks came back. (bring first hand back to the front with four fingers showing)

Four little ducks went swimming one day (hold up four fingers)
Continue until no little ducks came back, then;

Old Mother Duck went out one day, (tuck mother duck hand behind shoulder)
Over the hills and far away,
Mother Duck said “Quack, quack, quack, quack”
And all of those five little ducks came back. (return both hands to the front)

Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Children sit in pairs, facing each other and join hands for this action song. As they sing, the children rock back and forward as they continue to hold hands with their partner.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
If you see a crocodile,
Don’t forget to SCREAM! (the last word sung loudly)

Five Little Speckled Frogs
Five green and speckled frogs, (hold up five fingers)
Sat on a speckled log,
Eating the most delicious bugs,
Yum, yum! (rub tummy with other hand)
One jumped into the pool, (tuck one finger down)
Where it was nice and cool,
Then there were four green speckled frogs,
Glub, glub!

Four green and speckled frogs…
(Continue until there are no speckled frogs on the log)

Farmyard Fun Action Songs

Cows in the Barn
(action song sung to “The Wheels on the Bus”)

The cows in the barn go moo, moo, moo,
Moo, moo, moo,
Moo, moo, moo.
The cows in the barn go moo, moo, moo,
Moo, moo all day long.

Repeat with other animals and animal noises.

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Children stand in a circle, holding hands, and skip around the circle for the chorus, stopping to perform the action of each verse and then joining hands again to skip as singing the chorus of the action song.

Chorus:
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush, the mulberry bush,
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
So early in the morning.

This is the way we bale the hay,
Bale the hay, bale the hay,
This is the way we bale the hay,
So early in the morning.

This is the way we feed the chicks,
Feed the chicks, feed the chicks,
This is the way we feed the chicks,
So early in the morning.

This is the way we groom the horse,
Groom the horse, groom the horse,
This is the way we groom the horse,
So early in the morning.

Oh, this is the way we milk the cows,
Milk the cows, milk the cows,
This is the way we milk the cows,
So early in the morning.

Here we go round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush, the mulberry bush,
Here we go round the mulberry bush,
So early in the morning.

Five Little Bunnies
Five little bunnies, (hold up five fingers)
Knocked on the door, (use hand to pretend to knock)
One hopped away,
And then there were four. (hold up four fingers)

Four little bunnies, (hold up five fingers)
Climbed up a tree, (use hands to pretend to be climbing)
One hopped away,
And then there were three. (hold up three fingers)

Three little bunnies, (hold up three fingers)
Looking at you, (look at a friend)
One hopped away,
And then there were two. (hold up two fingers)

Two little bunnies, (hold up two fingers)
Having lots of fun, (swing hand with two fingers from side to side)
One hopped away,
And then there was one. (hold up one finger)

One little bunny, (hold up one finger)
Sat in the sun, (hold two hands together with fingers spread like a sun)
One hopped away,
And then there were none. (hold up hand with all fingers tucked into fist)

Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow
The children stand in a circle with one child – the farmer – standing in the center of the circle. On the chorus, the players in the circle hold hands and skip the circle while singing. For each verse of the action song, the farmer pretends to do the actions described and then points to another child to come to the center as the farmer for the next verse.

Chorus:
Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,
Oats, peas, beans, and barley grow,
Can you or I or anyone know
How oats, peas, beans, and barley grow?

Verse 1:
First the farmer sows his seed,
Stands erect and takes his ease,
He stamps his foot and claps his hands,
And turns around to view his lands.

Repeat chorus

Verse 2:
Next the farmer waters the seed,
Stands erect and takes his ease,
He stamps his foot and claps his hands,
And turns around to view his lands.

Repeat chorus

Verse 3:
Next the farmer hoes the weeds,
Stands erect and takes his ease,
He stamps his foot and claps his hands,
And turns around to view his lands.

Repeat chorus

Verse 4:
Last the farmer harvests his seed,
Stands erect and takes his ease,
He stamps his foot and claps his hands,
And turns around to view his lands.

If you are looking for other fun ways to get kids moving this Spring, over at Childhood 101 I have a printable Walk Through the Garden yoga for kids routine available as a free download, plus action songs and more.

21 Action Songs & Rhymes that Celebrate Spring and Summer (3)Contributing Author:

Christie Burnett is the teacher, author, and blogger behind the playful online space known asChildhood 101. Christie’s passion for play and creativity led her to start her award-winning blog shortly after the birth of her first daughter. Nowadays she can typically be found juggling the demands of family life with time tapping away at her keyboard, at least when she hasn’t just dropped it all to join her daughters in whatever their latest game or project might be! Connect with Christie on her blogor viaFacebook.

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