Boy running with guitar

Last July, I posted “7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers”. So many people enjoyed those songs that I decided to follow it up with this post.Girl with hat smiling

If you haven’t visited my first Christian Songs for Preschoolers post, I would encourage you to check it out here. In that post, I talked about the value of these songs and useful ways to sing them.

For now, I will suffice to say that these songs have been chosen because they are easy to sing (no need for a CD player or music major), and they teach valuable truths about God. In fact, singing these Christian songs not only teaches children these truths, but they provide me with much needed reminders too. Enjoy!

 

Please note: The sample videos I have included were chosen for the clarity of the song and actions. I am not associated with any of them and have not done extensive research into the groups who posted them. Also, while I tried to find videos similar to how I prefer to sing these songs, some actions and/or words may vary from the versions I have recommended for you.

1. Our God is an Awesome God

You may already know this song, as it is the chorus of a much longer song by the same name. It is essential that we remind ourselves that our God is truly an awesome God, especially now as I write this during a pandemic! This song could be sung several times in a row getting a little faster each time.

 

Our God is an awesome God,

He reigns from heaven above,

With wisdom, power, and love,

Our God is an awesome God.

Actions:

God – point up

Awesome – thumbs up

Reigns – wiggle fingers like rain coming down

Heaven – point up

Wisdom – point to mind

Power – show muscles

Love – hug self

2. Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You SeeLittle boy doing actions

With internet access so readily available, let’s start teaching our children, when they are young, the wisdom of being careful of what we expose ourselves to. I appreciate how this song reminds us that it is out of love for us that God asks us to be careful. He knows it is for our good. Depending on the age of your children, you can do simple actions by only pointing to the body part named, or you can point to the body part and then do the second action for the last part of the line.

 

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see.

For the Father up above is looking down in love,

So be careful little eyes what you see.

 

Other Verses:

  • Ears what you hear
  • Hands what you do
  • Feet where you go
  • Mouth what you say
  • Heart whom you trust
  • Mind what you think

Actions:

Eyes, ears, etc. – point to body part

See – hold hand over eyes as though looking far away

Hear – cup hands behind ears

Do – move hands around, perhaps pretend to build something

Go – walk in place

Say – cup hands around mouth, as though yelling

Trust – open hands flat in front of self, as though giving or receiving a gift

Think – tap chin, as though pondering something

3. God is so Good

A classic song, this one is so gentle and sweet to sing. This might be a good song for just before bed or some other slower part of the day.

 

God is so good,

God is so good,

God is so good,

He’s so good to me.

 

Other Verses:

God cares for me…

God loves me so…

God answers prayer…

I praise His name…

Actions:

God/He/His – point up

So good – move arms in large circle, starting at top and moving down

Me/I – point to self

Cares – hug self

Loves – cross arms over heart and rock side to side

Prayer – clasp hands in prayer

4. Ho-Ho-Ho-Hosanna

I once was in a choir that used this song as a warm-up during practices. Its repetitive rhythm makes it fun to sing, while its words make it a valuable reminder. Let us never forget the joy of what Jesus did for us!

 

Ho, ho, ho, hosanna,

Ha, ha, hallelujah,

He, He, He, He saved me,

I’ve got the joy of the Lord!

Actions:

Ho/hosanna – cup hands around mouth

Ha/hallelujah – put hands on tummy and lean back as though laughing

He/Lord – point up

Me – hug self

5. Jesus Loves Me

Chances are, you sang this song as a child. While it is a little more complicated than some of the others in this list, the truths it reminds us of are worth it. Also, don’t limit it to being a child’s song. I know I often need the reminders it offers.

 

Jesus loves me this I know,

For the Bible tells me so,

Little ones to Him belong,

They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me,

The Bible tells me so.

Actions:

Jesus – (for younger children) point up

          – (for older children) sign language for Jesus – touch middle finger from one hand to palm of other hand and vice versa 

Loves – hug self

Me – point to self

Know – point to brain

Bible – hold hands like book and open

Little ones –  pretend to pat young children on the head

Him/He – point up

Weak – slump and hang arms limply

Strong – show muscles

Yes – sign language for yes – make fist and move it up and down

6. I Say L (L-O-V-E)

This song will be better for children who are starting to grasp the concept that letters can be put together to form words. The actions are complicated to learn, but your more advanced preschoolers will enjoy the challenge. Also, this song has three sets of actions. You can choose to use one or all three depending on your children and goals. There are the full-body actions which are great for getting wiggles out. Then there are also the finger actions and the hand actions which can be done sitting. Some children will find the finger actions more challenging, if they have not yet developed strong fine motor muscles and hand-eye coordination.

 

I say L

I say L-O

L-O-V

L-O-V-E

Everybody needs God’s love,

Everybody needs God’s love,

Everybody needs God’s love,

Everybody needs God’s love.

Actions:

Rather than repeating the L-O-V-E actions after singing “Everybody needs God’s love,” I recommend having the children give themselves a hug. You can also hold “love” rather than making the “ch” sounds portrayed in the video.

This song has three sets of actions: full-body, hand, and finger

Full-body actions:

L – hold right arm up and left arm horizontal

O – connect hands above head, creating circle

V – extend both arms above head at angles

E – use one arm as top of E and the other arm as middle of E, then lift leg to create bottom of E

 

Hand actions: (using both hands)

L – with wrists touching, hold right hand straight up and left hand horizontal

O – with wrists touching, cup hands to make circle

V – with wrists touching, hold hands vertically forming a V

E – keep hands connected as they are for V, but turn horizontal. Curl fingers slightly for top and bottom of E and connect thumbs for middle of E

 

Finger actions: (using one hand only)

L – use pointer finger and thumb to make L

O – connect fingers and thumb to make circle

V – make peace sign

E – fully extend thumb, pointer finger and middle finger while tilting so that the thumb is on the bottom

7. Isn’t He Wonderful

Yet another well-loved classic, this catchy tune will stick in your head. Try singing it quiet or loud, while matching the size of your actions to the volume of your voice.

 

Isn’t He wonderful, wonderful, wonderful,

Isn’t Jesus my Lord wonderful.

Eyes have seen, ears have heard,

It’s recorded in God’s Word.

Isn’t Jesus my Lord wonderful.

Actions:

Note: The actions portrayed in the video are different from the ones I recommend below. 

He/Jesus my Lord – point up (or clap rhythm as in video)

Wonderful – move arms in large circle starting in middle

Eyes – point to eyes

Ears – point to ears

God’s Word – hold hands as book and open

I hope you enjoyed these additional Christian songs for preschoolers!

Child wearing winter clothing: coat, mittens, hat.

 

This is one of my favourite winter preschool songs. My preschoolers enjoy its full-body actions and snowy day application. I recommend it for children ages 2-4.

It’s cold outside today, it’s cold outside today,

Brr, brr, it’s cold outside, it’s cold outside today.

 

I put my coat on, I put my coat on,

Brr, brr, it’s cold outside, I put my coat on.

 

I put my snowpants on, I put my snowpants on,

Brr, brr, it’s cold outside, I put my snowpants on.

 

Boy in winter gear sledding

Additional verses:

  • I put my boots on
  • I put my mittens on
  • I put my scarf on
  • I put my hat on

Actions:

  • As you sing “I put my ____ on” move as though putting that item on.
  • When you sing “It’s cold outside today” and “Brr, brr, it’s cold outside” hug yourself tight and rub your hands on your arms as though cold.

 

This song can be sung sitting or standing. I like to sing it standing up because the actions then become full-body. Pretending to put on boots and snowpants provides a good opportunity to encourage children to reach for their feet and stand on one foot. Many of the actions encourage hand-eye coordination and body awareness.

 

Tips:

  • Encourage the children to guess, based on your actions, which item they will put on next.
  • Keep this song for especially cold days when the children arrive bundled up. This gives the song real-life application.
  • Use this song as a high excitement song to help burn some of the pent up energy which often exists on days too cold to go outside.

What is your favourite winter preschool song?

Preschool Christmas Song - Christmas tree

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” has been my favourite preschool Christmas song to teach my class for several years. Why? There are many reasons.

  • The words and tune are simple and repetitive, enabling children to catch on faster.
  • Children aged 2-4 years old enjoy this song.
  • The actions are full-body motions to get kids moving.
  • The simple actions enable younger children and children with developmental delays to join in.
  • It is a good song for giving the children bells to ring.

Another reason this song is a go-to for me is that it can be used in Christian or secular programs. When I worked in a Christian preschool, we sang this song along with songs about baby Jesus. It fit well. At the same time, in some Lite Bright Christmas Treesecular programs, this song is acceptable. It does not teach about Jesus or Santa Claus, leaving parents the freedom to choose what they teach their children about Christmas. In secular settings, I sing this song alongside Jingle Bells, which is another song traditionally sung around Christmas time, but without any mention of Jesus or Santa.

I wish you a wonderful Christmas, filled with deep joy that leaves you singing a cheery song like this one!

We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Let’s All Do A Little Clapping)

By: Unknown

 

We wish you a merry Christmas,

We wish you a merry Christmas,

We wish you a merry Christmas,

And a happy New Year!

 

Let’s all do a little clapping,

Let’s all do a little clapping,

Let’s all do a little clapping,

To bring Christmas cheer!

 

Let’s all do a little stomping,

Let’s all do a little stomping,

Let’s all do a little stomping,

To bring Christmas cheer!

 

Additional verses:

Let’s all do a little jumping…

Let’s all do a little turning…

Let’s all do a little dancing…

What is your favourite preschool Christmas song?
7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers by S. J. Little - these songs instill timeless truths about who God is to help build a strong foundation for your child's faith.

 

Recently, I’ve had a couple of people ask me about simple Christian songs to sing with preschoolers. Songs that don’t need a CD player, or a major in music, to sing.7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers - Read Your Bible Pray Every Day - S. J. Little

Having taught Sunday school for many years and having been a teacher at two Christian preschools, I have gathered a number of solid Christian songs with great actions for engaging children.

These songs work excellent for transitions, such as moving from play time to story time, or if your children have to wait. Children 1-6 years old are likely to appreciate these songs. Some of them are best sung standing up, providing an opportunity to get some wiggles out, while others help calm and settle the class.

Beyond that, these songs are excellent teaching tools for hiding timeless truths in children’s hearts. While I don’t remember the stories I was taught in Sunday school when I was 4, I still remember the songs, several of which are on this list.

Please note: The sample videos I have included were chosen for the clarity of the song and actions. I am not associated with any of them and have not done extensive research into the groups who posted them. Also, while I tried to find videos similar to how I prefer to sing these songs, some actions and/or words may vary from the versions I have recommended for you.

 

1. Read Your Bible, Pray Every Day

(Tune: I Will Make You Fishers of Men)

A great energy outlet song. Children stand up and crouch down and stretch super high! While there are other verses for this song, I prefer to only use the words I have included below and then sing the song again faster, and faster!

 

Read your Bible, pray every day,

Pray every day, pray every day.

Read your Bible, pray every day,

And you’ll grow, grow, grow,

And you’ll grow, grow, grow,

And you’ll grow, grow, grow,

Read your Bible, pray every day,

And you’ll grow, grow, grow,

Actions:

Read your Bible – Hold hands together, then open like book

Pray every day – clasp hands in praying posture

Grow – Start very low, then become a little taller each time you say “grow”. For the last time you say “grow” stretch on tippy toes with arms extended above head.

2. Happy All The Time (In-right, Out-right)

Another excellent stand up song. I heard this song in grade 10, when helping with a kid’s program, and knew I’d heard it before. I finally remembered I’d learned it in Sunday school when I was 4 years old. It was one of my favourites.

 

I’m in-right, out-right, up-right, down-right,

Happy all the time.

I’m in-right, out-right, up-right, down-right,

Happy all the time.

Since Jesus Christ came in, and cleansed my heart from sin,

I’m in-right, out-right, up-right, down-right,

Happy all the time.

Actions:

In-right, out-right, up-right, down-right – Point in each direction as you say it.

Happy all the time – Clap on every other beat (happy all the time)

Jesus Christ came in – Point to sky, then point to self

Cleansed my heart from sin – motion with both hands as though swatting something away

3. My God is so Big

This classic song includes simple truths children can begin to grasp, yet such profound truths that even as an adult I cannot fully wrap my mind around them. Depending on how you sing it, this song can be an active, shake-some-wiggles-out song or a quieter sit down song.

 

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,

There’s nothing my God cannot do.

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,

There’s nothing my God cannot do.

 

The mountains are His, the rivers are His,

The stars are His handy work too.

 

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty,

There’s nothing my God cannot do.

(optional) For you!

Actions:

God – point up

Big – spread arms wide (optional: do a star jump, then jump back in when doing “strong”)

Strong – make muscles with both arms up

Mighty – make muscles with one arm up and one arm down

Nothing my God cannot do – wag finger to say “no”

Mountains – touch fingers together above head making triangular point

Rivers – move hands back and forth wiggling fingers

Stars – alternate opening and closing hands

For you – point to someone

4. God Made Me

I saw another preschool teacher using this song and enjoyed it so much I wanted to do it with my own class. This is a quieter song with powerful truths simply told.

 

God made me, God made me,

In my Bible book, it says that,

God made me.

 

God loves me, God loves me,

In my Bible book, it says that,

God loves me.

 

Other verses:

God helps me

God keeps me

Actions:

God – point up

Me – point to self

Bible – hold hands together and open like a book

Made – stack fists on top of each other (resembling sign language “make”)

Loves – make heart with hands

Helps –  cup hands as though receiving something

Keeps – hug self

5. He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands 

Another timeless classic. What a beautiful reminder that God is in control. Pick and choose which verses you want to use, or make up your own.

 

He’s got the whole world in His hands,

He’s got the whole wide world in His hands,

He’s got the whole wide world in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands,

He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands,

He’s got the itty bitty baby in His hands,

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

Actions:

Whole World – start with both hands at top, bring down tracing a large circle

In His hands – cup hands in front of self

Itty bitty baby – pretend to hold baby and rock from side to side

 

There are endless other verses including:

The wind and the rain… (Sweep hands from side to side, then move hands up and wiggle fingers while moving hands down)

The sun and the moon…   (hold arms above head in circle, then twist arms into crescent)

You and me, brother…   (point to boys)

You and me, sister…   (point to girls)

The Mommies and the Daddies…   (point to parents)

Everybody here…  (motion to everyone)

6. The B-I-B-L-E

One teacher I knew always sang this song with the kids before reading a Bible story. It showed that this isn’t just another storybook.

 

The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me.

I stand alone on the Word of God,

The B-I-B-L-E

Bible!

Actions:

B-I-B-L-E – open hands like book (could also nod the beat)

Yes – nod head and do sign language “yes”

For me – point to self

I stand alone on the Word of God – stomp

7. I’m in the Lord’s Army 

Little boys love this action song, as do little girls. I remember this being one of my favourites when I was young. I encourage you to explain to your children what it means to be in the Lord’s army. Our life has purpose.

 

7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers - I'm in the Lord's Army - S. J. Little

I may never march in the Infantry,

Ride in the cavalry,

Shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy,  

But I’m in the Lord’s Army. Yes, sir!

 

I’m in the Lord’s Army. Yes, sir!

I’m in the Lord’s Army. Yes, sir!

 

I may never march in the Infantry,

Ride in the cavalry,

Shoot the artillery.

I may never fly o’er the enemy,

But I’m in the Lord’s Army. Yes, sir!

Actions:

March – march in place

Ride – pretend to ride a horse

Shoot – start with one hand at hip and other up high, clap, put hands in opposite positions

Fly – move arms wide and lean side to side as though flying

I’m – point to self

Lord’s army – point up

Yes, sir! – stand straight and salute

 

If you doubt whether kids enjoy this sing, watch this cute video.

Bonus:

He Died Upon the Cross by Colin Buchanan

This is one of my favourite preschool kids songs, however, it doesn’t sound as good without instruments. Thankfully the song can be bought online as an mp3 file. I highly recommend you buy it and sing it with your children as this song captures the very core of Christianity as seen in 1 Cor. 1:3-4.

The song is available for purchase here (you can choose to only purchase this song #33, or buy the whole CD) https://colinbuchanan.com.au/products/practise-being-godly-cd-mp3-album  (Note: prices on website are in Australian dollars. This is not an affiliate link, I just like the song so much!)

 

He died upon the cross.

He died upon the cross.

He died upon the cross,

For me, for me, for just for me.

 

One day when I was lost,

He died upon the cross.

He died upon the cross,

For me, for me, for just for me.

 

Additional verses: (Repeat “One day when I was lost” chorus after every verse)

They laid Him in the grave.

He rose up from the dead.

He’s coming back again.

 

Actions:

For – hold up four fingers

Me – point to self

Just – (optional for older kids) make “j” with pointer finger and thumb

One day when I was lost – point to self, then tilt head back and put back of hand to forehead as though tired and hopeless

He died upon the cross – point up, then spread arms wide like the cross and let head hang forward

They laid Him in the grave – move both arms downward as though laying something down

He rose up from the dead – move arms upward with hands outstretched

He’s coming back again – motion as though for someone to come closer

7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers - My God is so Big! - S. J. LittleDid you enjoy these 7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers? If so, be sure to check out my follow up post titled “Another 7 Simple Christian Songs for Preschoolers.

Teaching ABCs by S. J. Little with picture of alphabet puzzle

9 unique techniques to keep your class engaged in learning the alphabet

 

With spring comes wiggly children. Keeping the attention of a class full of preschoolers this time of year is challenging. Sometimes changing up your methods for teaching the ABCs can regain their enthusiasm for learning letters.

Below I have collected 9 unique techniques for teaching the ABCs at circle time.

  1. Letter posters

Many teachers use a set of posters with one poster per letter. Typically these include the letter and pictures of one or more items starting with that letter. Each week the poster for the letter of that week will be displayed. Then during circle time the teacher points to the poster and asks the children if anyone knows what letter it is and what the objects are.

  1. Singing

Many songs exist for helping children learn about letters. One that I’ve used is:

Letter “A” says a (tune: Farmer in the Dell)

Letter “A” says a,

Letter “A” says a,

Every letter makes a sound,

Letter “A” says a.

If you use the same song every week the children will be able to focus on the letter and sound rather than the tune of the song, however, changing it up may keep their attention better.

  1. Air tracing

For children who learn best through large body movements, this technique is wonderful. As you tell the class the letter, use your whole arm to trace the letter in the air in front of you. Encourage the children to copy you. You could also have them trace it in the ground with their finger (or foot). Alternatively, have them shape their whole body into the letter. For example, for letter t they can stand straight with their arms perpendicular to their sides. Get creative and have some fun.

  1. Letter box

Items to put in a letter box for letter "P" - pig, police, pencil, pineapple, pink heart, purple P

Prior to class fill a small box with four or five items beginning with the letter of the week. Look through your toy bins, puzzles and playdough cookie cutters. I also like to include the letter itself whether on a puzzle piece, or block, or magnet.

At circle time, I show the children the box and have them chant with me while tapping the beat:

Open up the box

Open up the box

Open, open, open, open

Open up the box.

I then bring out one item at a time, asking if they know what each is and discussing how each relates to the letter. This adds excitement and mystery to learning about the letter.

  1. Mystery item

A little different from the letter box, this activity works best when at least a handful of children in the class already have a good sense of the alphabet.

Toy dog peeking out of boxPrior to class, find an item starting with the letter of the week. Place that item in a box as the mystery item. Show the children the box telling them that something is hiding inside it. Inform them that the item starts with the letter of the week. Review with them what sound the letter makes.

Ask the children to guess what item may be inside the box. Be gentle and encouraging with those who guess items starting with the wrong sound, otherwise, they may not be willing to guess next time. For any guesses that are the right sound, you could answer, “maybe…” Then ask for a few more guesses before revealing the item.

  1. Popsicle stick letters

This is another good one for hands-on learners, however, this technique only works with certain letters.

When the letter of the week is one with no curves, you could try this technique. Prior to class, determine how many popsicle sticks you will need to make the letter. Also, ensure you have enough for every child to make their own letter.

At circle time, use the sticks to show the children how to make the letter.Popsicle sticks can be used to form letters Then hand out enough popsicle sticks to every child. (You could make this a game by handing too many or too few sticks to some of the children and having them count to tell you if they have the wrong number.)

Once every child has the correct number of sticks, show them again how to form the letter by placing the popsicle sticks on the ground in the correct shape.

Be encouraging as this is very tricky for children the first few times they do it. You may have to show several of them one on one. You could also encourage more advanced children to help those who are struggling. Once you’ve done this a few times the children will catch on better.

  1. Draw on a whiteboard/chalkboard

Another hands-on way to learn letters and develop writing skills is to have each child write the letter at circle time. This can be done one at a time or all at once depending on the materials available to you.

One at a time:

On the bulletin board, securely attach a larger writing surface whether a chalkboard, whiteboard, or large laminated poster to be used as a whiteboard.

One at a time, invite each child to come up and try writing the letter of the week on the board. Be sure to write it first so they have something to copy. Be encouraging as not only are they being courageous to try writing the letter, they are also practicing being comfortable in front of a crowd which does not come easily for some children.The letters ABC written on a whiteboard

All at once:

Pass out individual whiteboards or chalkboards to each child. On your own whiteboard or chalkboard demonstrate writing the letter, then encourage each child to try it on their boards. Some children may need one on one help with this.

  1. While taking attendance

Some teachers take attendance during circle time by calling the children one at a time. Rather than just having the children say “here” why not use this time to help them learn their letter?

Before taking attendance, discuss the letter of the week with the children and mention some things that start with that letter.

Next, instruct the children that when you call their name, you want them to say something that starts with the letter of the week. Ideally, have some visual reminder of words starting with that letter. Most likely several of the children will say the same thing. That’s okay.

  1. Alphabet Videos

Something I have not tried but believe could work well is using videos. Youtube has a wide range of short films, often including songs, about learning letters. These could be integrated into the circle time routine.

What other strategies have you found effective for teaching the ABCs at circle time?