Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Piggyback Songs for Halloween and Games to Enhance Them

As Halloween approaches, create new songs that are sung to familiar tunes. Music can help children develop cognitive skills and concepts.

Children who have mastered traditional songs often change the words to meet their needs. The tunes form the framework for creativity. Composing new verses to the traditional tunes are called "piggyback" songs. Once children learn a melody, several songs can be created and used to express thoughts and symbolism.

One Little Goblin (Tune: "Mary Had a Little Lamb")

One little goblin hopping up and down,
Hopping up and down, hopping up and down.
One little goblin hopping up and down,
For this is Halloween.

Second verse: Two little skeletons walking down the street...
Third verse: Three little witches flying through the air...
Fourth verse: Four ballerinas dancing to and fro...
New verses can be sung to this song; think about bats, ghosts, black cats, jack-o-lanterns, and costume characters. Children's great imaginations make them eager to create impromptu lyrics.

The Great Pumpkin (Tune: "Did You Ever See a Lassie?")

I am the Great Pumpkin, Great Pumpkin, Great Pumpkin,
I am the Great Pumpkin, come dance with me.
For your friends are my friends, and my friends are your friends.
I am the Great Pumpkin, come dance with me.

Pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns are notorious with Halloween. This song encourages dramatic movement as children dance and promote friendship while singing.

The Witch on Halloween (Tune: "Farmer in the Dell")

"Farmer in the Dell" originated in Germany around 1826 and was brought to the United States by immigrants. The tune is the same as another popular song for children known as "A Hunting We Will Go." Tweaking the lyrics creates a fun Halloween song and game for children.

The witch on Halloween, the witch on Halloween,
Heigh ho, let's trick or treat, the witch on Halloween.

Second verse: The witch chooses a goblin...
Third verse: The goblin chooses a bat...
Fourth verse: The bat chooses a cat...
Fifth verse: The cat chooses a ghost...
Sixth verse: The ghost says, "Boo!"...
Seventh verse: They all screech and scream...

To play this game, children stand in a circle, holding hands, and move clockwise while singing the first verse. A witch is chosen to stand in the center of the circle. At the end of the second verse, the witch picks a goblin to join her in the center of the circle. The game and song continues until all characters have been chosen.

Note: Traditional songs -- authors unknown

Tickle your child's senses this Halloween with songs, games, crafts, and more. Scroll down this blog for oodles of ideas.

Photo courtesy of Reverent on

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Pumpkin Crafts for Kids: Harvest and Halloween Ideas

Pumpkins are fun! Their size, color, smell and taste make them perfect for children's observations and explorations. Pumpkins are a type of squash that symbolize both the bright orange color and lead us into the spirit of the fall season. This is the best time to experience the numerous possibilities of using pumpkins during your "together time" activities. Your kids may consider pumpkins only with Halloween and jack-o-lanterns; however, you can de-emphasize the holiday connection and use this variety of pumpkin-related activities for fall and harvest.

Pumpkin Sun Catcher-

Place a piece of adhesive paper down on the table sticky side up. You may need to tape this in place. Encourage your child to tear and place pieces of red tissue paper on one side and pieces of yellow tissue paper on the opposite side. When finished, fold the paper in half and see what happens when the red and yellow paper overlap. Cut a pumpkin shape from this now "orange" paper and hang in a sunny window. Buy adhesive paper here. 

Popcorn Painting-

Here's a new experience in painting! Place a cup of unpopped popcorn into a knee high stocking and tie the nylon stocking in a knot. Holding the top end of the stocking, dip the bottom (corn) into poster paint and then "bounce" it onto paper. This makes a neat design and so complimentary to the season. Cut the paper into a pumpkin shape and you now have a unique painting.

Pumpkin Mosaic - 

Give your child a paper plate and orange construction paper. Let him tear pieces of the orange paper (little ones really like to tear paper) and glue them onto the plate. Help him brush on the glue and after he is finished you make want to brush on a final layer to keep the pieces flat. Make a leaf shape from green or brown paper and glue this on top to complete the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Prints - 

Buy pumpkin cookie cutters and let your child dip these into tempera (poster paint) and then press them onto paper. This makes really cool prints and good for eye/hand coordination. As a variation, buy a small fresh pumpkin and cut this in half. Invite your youngster to dip the pumpkin half into orange paint and make a print. Buy cutters here. 

So, whether you use pumpkin projects for harvest or Halloween -- just have fun and do these activities with your children. It's the bonding time that really counts!

Monday, October 3, 2016

5 Halloween YouTube Songs to Sing

Happy Halloween! It's time to sing some festive songs together. Below are some YouTube songs that you can share with the children.

Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on the Gate

10 Little Monsters

The Halloween Song

Witches' Brew

Shake Dem Halloween Bones

Hope you enjoy these video/songs.

Have a fun and safe Halloween. See you next week.