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