15 Most Popular Action And Movement Songs For Toddlers

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Action and movement songs for toddlers are ideal for children who struggle to sit still. Such toddlers seek rescue in activities that help them use their abundant energy. If you are looking for ways to channel your child’s energy into something positive, then this post is for you.

Playing groovy and catchy songs would grasp their attention, keep them entertained, and promote their motor skills as they dance to them. So, go ahead and play these songs right away. These songs are also educational, thus enabling your preschooler and toddler to make the most of their time.

What Is An Action Song?

Action songs are nursery rhymes or songs that involve both singing and movements. Children can play and dance to their tunes while learning new words.  These songs aid in the overall development of a child.

Benefits Of Action And Movement Song For Toddlers And Pre-schoolers

Action songs not only uplift a child’s mood, but also contribute to their development. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of action and movement songs for toddlers and pre-schoolers (1) (2). 

1. Helps in motor development

Action songs that involve the use of hands and fingers help in enhancing motor skills. Jumping and moving to the tunes can help in strengthening the arms, legs, and calf muscles. 

2. Makes them aware of movements and balancing

Action songs often have certain jumping movements and sometimes require balancing the body weight on one foot. Seeing you perform these steps and movements, your child may try them too. While doing these actions, children will try to hold their bodies steady or fall several times, thus becoming aware of their body movement and balance. Regular practice of these movements may improve their balance.

3. Teaches coordination

Many action songs require the child to use both sides of their body, such as when clapping or putting one hand in the front and the other behind. These action songs can help your child learn bilateral coordination, such as joining hands and clapping. 

4. Teaches identification of patterns and sequences

Action songs generally have a sequence and repetitive lyrics. By dancing to these songs and singing along, children may identify patterns. 

5. Improves vocabulary

Action songs have interesting lyrics consisting of repetitive words. While singing along, children may pick new words and concepts. The presence of rhyme in these songs also helps children identify different sounds (phonemes).

6. Enhances listening skills

Children enjoy listening to action songs and dancing to them. These songs may also improve their listening skills.

7. Learn various emotions

Action songs also depict various emotions. When children sing and act out these songs, they may slowly start understanding emotions and expressions too.

8. Keeps them physically active

Action songs involve a lot of physical movements such as jumping, bending, and twisting. Grooving to these songs is a good exercise for children.

15 Best Movement And Action Songs For Toddlers

Action songs make learning a lot more enjoyable for children. Here are a few action songs that you can groove to with your toddler.

1. Head Shoulder Knees And Toes

Lyrics:

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes

Knees and toes

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes

Knees and toes

And eyes, and ears, and mouth, and nose

Head, shoulders, knees, and toes

Knees and toes

2. Baby Shark

Lyrics

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Baby shark!

(Repeat for mommy, daddy, grandma, and grandpa)

Let’s go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Let’s go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Let’s go hunt, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Let’s go hunt!

Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Run away, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Run away!

Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo doo

Safe at last!

It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo

It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo

It’s the end, doo doo doo doo doo doo

It’s the end!

3. Hokey Pokey

 Lyrics

You put your right arm in

you put your right arm out

you put your right arm in

and shake it all about

do the hokey pokey

and turn around

that’s what it’s all about

(Repeat with left arm, right foot and left foot)

Woah the hokey pokey

Woah the hokey pokey

Woah the hokey pokey

That’s what it is all about

4. Sleeping Bunnies

Lyrics

See the little bunnies sleeping till it’s nearly noon

Shall we wake them with a merry tune?

They’re so still, are they ill?

No! Wake up bunnies!

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop

Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop

5. Itsy Bitsy Spider

Lyrics

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout.

Down came the rain, and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun, and dried up all the rain,

and the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again”

Repeat (twice)

6. Clap Your Hands

Lyrics

Clap clap clap your hands, clap your hands together

Clap clap clap your hands, clap your hands together

(Repeat with pat your knees, stomp your feet, blink your eyes, and wiggle your ears)

7. Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush

 Lyrics

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 wash our face

Wash our face

Wash our face

This is the way we wash our face

So early in the morning

(Repeat the entire verse with comb our hair, brush our teeth, and put on our clothes) 

8. If You’re Happy And You Know It

Lyrics

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands

(clap clap)

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands

(clap clap)

If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands

(clap clap)

(Repeat the entire verse with different actions such as stomp your feet, shout hurray, wink your eyes, laugh out loud, jump for joy, and shake your head) 

9. The Wheels On The Bus

Lyrics

The wheels on the bus go round and round

Round and round

Round and round

The wheels on the bus go round and round

All through the town

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish

Swish, swish, swish

Swish, swish, swish

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish

All through the town

The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep

Beep, beep, beep

Beep, beep, beep

The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep

All through the town

The doors on the bus go open and shut

Open and shut

Open and shut

The doors on the bus go open and shut

All through the town

10. Miss Polly Had A Dolly

Lyrics

Miss Polly had a dolly who was sick, sick, sick.

So she phoned for the doctor to be quick, quick, quick.

The doctor came with his bag and his hat

And he knocked at the door with a rat-a-tat-tat.

He looked at the dolly and he shook his head

And he said, “Miss Polly, put her straight to bed!”

He wrote on a paper for a pill, pill, pill

“I’ll be back in the morning, yes I will, will, will.

11. Teddy Bear Teddy Bear

Lyrics

Teddy bear teddy bear turn around,

Teddy bear teddy bear, touch the ground 

Teddy bear teddy bear touch your nose,

Teddy bear teddy bear, point to your toes

Teddy bear teddy bear wear your shoes

Teddy bear teddy bear go to school          

12. Five Little Monkeys

Lyrics

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed

One fell off and bumped his head

Mama called the doctor and the doctor said

“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

Jumping on the bed, jumping on the bed, jumping on the bed, and falling off the bed (twice)

(Repeat the lyrics with four, three, two, and one monkey/s)

13. Old Mcdonald Had A Farm

Lyrics

Old MacDonald had a farm

Ee i ee i o

And on his farm he had some cows

Ee i ee i oh

With a moo-moo here

And a moo-moo there

Here a moo, there a moo

Everywhere a moo-moo

Old MacDonald had a farm

Ee i ee i o

(Repeat with ducks (quack quack sound), chicks (chick chick sound), sheep (baba baba sound), dogs (woof woof sound),

14. Hop A Little, Jump A Little

Lyrics

Hop a little, jump a little

One, two, three;

Run a little, skip a little

Tap on knee;

Bend a little, stretch a little,

Nod your head;

Yawn a little, sleep a little,

In your bed.

15. Ringa Ringa Roses

 Lyrics

Ring A Ring O’ Roses

A Pocket full of posies

Atishoo! Atishoo!

We all fall down

Toddlers have lots of energy, and their curious minds are constantly looking for new things to discover. Including these action and movement songs for toddlers in their daily routine will help them become engaged, and you can notice how rapidly they learn and grow. These songs will also help them develop motor skills and coordination, improve their listening and linguistic skills, and keep them physically active. So play or sing these songs for your little one and let them choose their favorite. Also, don’t forget to have fun with them and create memories along the journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When can babies do action songs?

Babies as young as 6–12 months can respond to action songs by clapping their hands and wiggling their fingers and toes while you dance and sing for them. As they reach toddlerhood, they may imitate your actions and join in the dance (3).

2. How does music influence movement in toddlers?

Good music influences toddlers to move with the rhythm. Singing and chanting also help to make routine activities, such as gathering them for a group activity, more fun and encourage them to follow instructions (2).

Key Pointers

  • Action songs help toddlers and preschoolers be active, learn motor activities, balance, and promote development.
  • These songs can teach coordination, patterns, and sequences, enhance listening skills, and improve vocabulary in preschoolers.
  • Baby shark, hokey pokey, sleeping bunnies, itsy bitsy spider, and clap your hands are popular action songs for preschoolers.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Shivali Karande

Shivali holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and a master’s in management from Chetana's R.K Institute of Management and Research Mumbai. After working for nearly five years in the market research sector, she discovered her passion for writing and started freelancing. Her knowledge about medicines and biology, coupled with her experience in research, helps her write well-researched, informative, and evidence-based... more

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