Just harvested carrots and onions behind title: The Preschool Harvest Song

 

Ah, autumn. The time when leaves turn beautiful fall shades, children return to school, and gardens must be harvested before frost hits. It’s also the perfect time to talk about harvest with your preschoolers.

Using harvest as your preschool theme is excellent for discussing concepts such as healthy eating and for learning to categorize fruits and veggies. Not to mention all the discussion about colours and shapes that can be had.

Whether you’re using “harvest” as your fun theme or not, here’s a fantastic new song to sing with your children. I’ve been asked to sing it over and over again, and I suspect that you will be too.

 

Tips for singing the Preschool Harvest Song

  • Take a moment to explain what the word “harvest” means, as most children will be unfamiliar with it. I like to say that harvest is when farmers go to pick all the yummy food they grew so that people can eat it.
  • Invite your children to participate by choosing which food to sing about next. I’ve created a list of optional verses for you to choose from, but feel free to come up with more of your own. Depending on the attention span of your children, I recommend only singing 3 to 5 verses each time you sing the song.
  • Try adding visuals, whether you bring real examples of the food, make pictures of them, or cut pictures of them out of flyers. Visuals help young children understand and follow the song, especially if they are still learning English.

 

As this is an original song, please be sure to include my name as the songwriter any time you share this song.

Preschool Harvest Song

Song by: S. J. Little

Tune: Are You Sleeping

 

We are growing, we are growing,

Long orange carrots, long orange carrots.

Now we’ll harvest them to eat, now we’ll harvest them to eat.

Yummy, yummy, good! Yummy, yummy good!

Actions:

We are growing – pat field around you in several places

Long orange carrots – move fingers along outside of long carrot shape

Now we’ll harvest them to eat – start with arms wide then bring in towards self as though gathering armload

Yummy, yummy, good! – pretend to eat

 

Optional Verses:Hand holding freshly harvested carrots

  • Bright red tomatoes
  • Lots of potatoes
  • Juicy red apples
  • Tall yellow corn
  • Rich green spinach

 

What food items did you sing about with your children?

Looking for more original and engaging preschool songs? Check out the Flamingo Song and the Taxi Song both by S. J. Little.

Toy taxi with title: The Taxi Song

Have you ever focused on taxis as your preschool theme? Perhaps you focused on cab drivers as part of your theme of community helpers, or occupations? Or maybe it was a book that spurred your child’s interest in taxis. Regardless of the reason, it can be tricky to find good songs on this topic. That’s why I created this new preschool song about taxis.

 

Tips for singing the Taxi Song

I like to start this song by pretending to look for a taxi, then pointing and exclaiming, “I see a taxi!” At this point, I launch into the song. After singing the song once, I will pause and say, “I think we should go somewhere else now. I know, let’s go to the airport. That means we need to look for another taxi. Oh, there one is!”

Depending on your children’s age and the size of your group, you may be able to let your children choose the destinations.

*As this is an original song, please be sure to include my name as the songwriter any time you share this song.

The Taxi Song

By: S. J. Little

Tune: The Wheels on the Bus

 

Taxi, taxi, wait for me, wait for me, wait for me.

Taxi, taxi, wait for me. I need to go to town.

 

Variations

“Town” can be changed to other destinations based on your children’s interests.

My favourite destinations include:

Other destinations could be:

  • The hospital
  • Downtown
  • Market
  • School

 

Actions

The actions for the taxi song are simple and fun.

  • Taxi, taxi, wait for me – wave your arms above your head as though trying to catch the attention of a taxi driver
  • I need to go to town – point to self, then point in the direction of “town”

Other original preschool songs by S. J. Little

If you liked this song, don’t forget to check out my other original songs, including:

Flamingos behind the title: Flamingo Preschool Song

 

Not long ago, I created this brand new preschool song. It fits well with themes such as: Summer, Birds, Zoo, and Pink. The actions include standing on one foot which is a valuable skill for preschoolers to practice as they strengthen their gross motor muscles.

Did you know?

  • Flamingos sleep while standing on one leg.
  • Flamingos get their pink colour from their diet of shrimp and algae.

As this is an original song, please be sure to include my name as the songwriter any time you share this song.

 

The Flamingo Song

Words by: S. J. Little

Tune: Are You Sleeping

 

Flamingos flapping, flamingos flapping,

Big pink wings, big pink wings.

Flying through the sky, flying through the sky.

Time to land! Time to land!

 

Flamingos standing, flamingos standing,

On one foot, on one foot,

Sleeping while they’re standing, sleeping while they’re standing,

Time to wake! Time to wake!

Actions

  • Flamingos flapping – flap your arms
  • Big pink wings – flap your arms bigger
  • Flying through the sky – tilt your body while flapping your arms to suggest soaring through the sky
  • Time to land! – Stomp and emphasize the word “land”

 

  • Flamingos standing – stand on one foot
  • On one foot – stand on one foot and hold up one finger
  • Sleeping while they’re standing – pretend to sleep while still standing on one foot
  • Time to wake! – startle awake and emphasize the word “wake”

I hope you and your children enjoy this original flamingo song. If you do, don’t forget to join my email list to stay tuned for more unique preschool songs.

Looking for more animal songs? Check out If You Want To Be A… (Preschool Animal Song)

A preschooler reading a book

 

I have collected a list of books that teach preschoolers they’re special because I know children face incredible pressure from all sides. Some types of pressure encourage them to grow and thrive, but other types of pressure urge them to try to be like someone else. These stories remind preschoolers that they don’t need to change who they are. They are special just the way they were made.

3 Books to Teach Preschoolers They’re Special

Still A Gorilla by Kim Norman

Still A Gorilla

Written by Kim Norman, Illustrated by Chad Geran

Not only does this story have an important lesson, it’s fun and engaging too. My children loved answering my questions along the way. “Does he look like a walrus?” “Do you think he makes a good crocodile?” Your children will doubtless enjoy the author and illustrator’s humorous portrayal of the gorilla’s attempts to be like the other animals at the zoo.

Elephants Can't Jump by Jeanne WillisElephants Can’t Jump

Written by Jeanne Willis, Illustrated by Adrian Reynolds

Did you know elephants can’t jump? In this picture book, the elephant longs to be able to join in his friends’ fun, but he can’t. Why? Because elephants can’t jump. His friends make fun of him until one day his natural elephant strength saves them all from trouble.

The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric CarleThe Mixed-Up Chameleon

Written and Illustrated by Eric Carle

When the chameleon visits a zoo, he finds himself longing for the strengths of each animal he sees. His wish comes true! He gets flamingo wings, a giraffe neck, a turtle shell, and much more. Eventually, he starts getting hungry. A fly comes by. The chameleon tries to catch it, but finds that he has gotten so mixed up wishing to be like all the other animals that he can no longer do what he used to be so good at – catch flies.

 

Have Older Children?

Check out:

I Wish That I Had Duck Feet by Dr. SeussI Wish I Had Duck Feet Written by Dr. Seuss, Illustrated by B. Tobey

Or for a Christian book:

You Are Special by Max LucadoYou are Special Written by Max Lucado, Illustrated by Sergio Martinez

 

What other books do you know that help teach preschoolers that they don’t need to try to be like someone else – they’re special just the way they were made?

Looking for more great books for your preschooler? Check out these 7 Fantastic Animal Guessing Books for Preschoolers

Children jumping and title "3 No-Prep Outdoor Game to Play with Your Preschooler"

 

As the weather gets warmer, it’s valuable to get kids outside and moving. That’s what these classic 3 games are all about. Best of all, they are no-prep outdoor games so you can play them just about any time and anywhere.

You may already be familiar with some of these games. Perhaps you played them as a child. I know I did. Whatever the case, if you’re looking for more games to play with your preschooler, keep reading.

Tips for No-Prep Outdoor Games

Before we get into the games themselves, I have a few tips for you.

  • Keep a close eye on the children’s interest level. Try to end the game just before the children begin feeling bored. This way, they will remember it as a fun game. If you wait until they are extremely tired and bored, they are less likely to enjoy the game again in the future.
  • Choose a playing space based on the age and stamina of your children. For older children choose a larger playing area, for younger children, a smaller space will do. You could use a field, your backyard, a multipurpose room, or a patio (with good railings). Get creative.
  • Have fun! If you are enjoying the game your child is far more likely to have fun playing.

What Time is it, Mr. Wolf

Even if you don’t know this game, there’s a good chance your children might. This game can be used in a variety of settings, including swimming lessons and skating lessons.

Number of Children:

  • Large group
  • Small group
  • One-on-one with an adult

Child Development:

  • Counting
  • Gross motor movements (running and stepping)
  • Turn-taking (waiting for their turn to be the wolf)
  • Following instructions

How to Play:

Select one person to be the “wolf”. Have them stand on the opposite side of the playing space. Have the other players line up side by side on the starting line.

Together, all the players (except the wolf) call, “What time is it, Mr. Wolf?”

The wolf calls back a number between 1 and 12, or “Lunchtime!”

If the wolf says, “It’s 3 o’clock,” all the players take three steps toward the wolf.

Then all the players ask again, “What time is it, Mr. Wolf?”

Whenever the wolf chooses, he can reply, “Lunchtime!” When he does, the wolf chases all the players back to the starting line.

If the wolf tags anyone before they reach the starting line, they become the wolf. For small groups of 8 children or less, just the person who was tagged first becomes the wolf and the first wolf becomes a player. For larger groups, every child who is tagged joins the wolf so that, as the game progresses, there are more and more wolves and less players.

For older children, have the wolf turn around so that they cannot see how close the players are getting. This is not necessary for preschool children and it can be tricky to keep them from peeking.

Red Light, Green Light

Fantastic for use while teaching transportation or safety themes, this game is well-loved and for good reason. While this game absolutely works without any prep, it can be improved by choosing something to use as the “red light” and the “green light”. In the past, I have used printed stop and go signs, blank red and green pieces of construction paper, red and green hula hoops, red and green cones, or whatever else I had on hand.

Number of Children:

  • Large group
  • Small group
  • One-on-one with an adult

Child Development:

  • Gross motor movements (running and stopping)
  • Ear-body coordination (hearing instructions and obeying them)
  • Listening skills (learning to respond to “stop” or “red light”)

How to Play:

Choose who will be the “caller”. The caller can be a child or a teacher/parent. Have the caller stand on one side of the playing space. Have all the children stand side by side on the opposite side of the playing area. 

When the caller says, “Green light!” all the players run toward the caller. When the caller says, “Red light!” all players must stop where they are. The caller continues to call “red light” and “green light” until all the players reach where the caller is standing. Then a new caller is selected and all the players return to the opposite side of the area.

For 8 or fewer children, allowing the children to be the caller works well. For bigger groups of preschool children, it may be best to only have the teacher be the caller. This is especially helpful if you are under tight time constraints. When the teacher is the caller they can control the game. For example, they can make it shorter if gym time is almost over.

For elementary aged children, this game becomes a challenge to not be caught moving when it’s a red light. If caught moving, they are sent back to the start line. For preschool children, remembering to follow the instructions is often exciting and engaging without being sent back to the beginning. However, if a child really isn’t responding to the red light, sending them back to the starting line will help them be more intentional to pay attention next time.

Extend the Fun:

  • Extend the fun by adding more colours. This works especially well if you have visuals to hold up for each colour. Some ideas include:
    • Orange = go slow
    • Blue = (stop and) turn around
    • Purple = hop
  • Are you doing a transportation or safety theme? Try making visuals representing the stop and walk crosswalk signals to help children learn what they mean.

Mother May I

I recommend this game for a small group of 3-5 children who are aged 3-5. This is due to how slow the game can be when each child moves separately. For larger groups, try having all the children take the steps together, much like What Time is it Mr. Wolf.

As an adult, this game may seem pointless, but many children love it. They enjoy having the power to make choices when they are the “mother”. Be careful to ensure that every child has a turn to be the mother.

If you are uncertain about using this game’s traditional name “Mother May I” try calling it something like “Monkey May I”.

Number of Children:

  • Small group

Child Development:

  • Variety of gross motor movements (large steps/small steps, and if extending the play: jumps and turns)
  • Turn-taking (waiting for their turn to ask to move and to be the mother)
  • Making choices (preschoolers love being able to choose and that’s why this game holds appeal for them)
  • Counting
  • Following instructions (if extending the play, following 2-step directions)
  • Good manners

How to Play:

Select one child to be the mother. The rest of the children line up on one side of the playing space while the mother stands on the opposite side.

For this game, each child has a turn to ask the mother what number of steps they can take. Typically, I limit the number to anything between 1-12. Have the first child ask, “Mother, may I take 3 steps?”

The mother gets to choose. They can say, “You may,” at which point the child who asked moves the prescribed number of steps. Alternatively, the mother can say, “No.” If the mother says, “No,” she must then tell the child how many steps they may take, for example, “You may take 2 steps.” The child who asked will then take only 2 steps forward.

Following that, it is the next child’s turn. Continue giving the children turns. The game ends when a child reaches the mother. Then choose another mother and have all the children go back to the starting line.

Again, I stress that when playing this game, it is very important to give every child a turn being the mother.

Extend the Fun:

Once the children have played several rounds, change things up by describing the type of step. “Mother, may I take 1 giant leap?” “Mother, may I take 12 tip-toe steps?”

Ideas include:

  • Tiny steps
  • Giant steps
  • Small hops
  • Big jumps
  • Backwards steps
  • Tip-toe steps

Final ThoughtsGirl running outside

Do you have older kids? For groups of children aged 4-10 I recommend the game: Farmer Farmer. It is similar to British Bulldog, but with a twist. 

What other no-prep outdoor games do you enjoy playing with your preschoolers?

Do your preschoolers still have energy? Great! Here are two other ideas to help you keep them moving: