Pumpkin, Pumpkin

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      Pumpkin Pumpkin.mp3

What’s big and orange and grows on the ground?
Why, pumpkins, of course!  It’s that time of year when they start popping up everywhere, including classrooms.  Many schools hold pumpkin-decorating contests, which I always loved as a child.  Our students love decorating pumpkins, both actual and on paper.  

Pumpkins have many uses during the fall season, many of which can be incorporated into classroom activities.  The song I wrote, "Pumpkin, Pumpkin", features several of them:

  •    Pumpkin picking
  •    Carving Jack-O’-Lanterns
  •    Making pumpkin pie
  •    Roasting pumpkin seeds

I use this song both as a precursor to those activities, and just for fun while students are drawing or decorating pumpkins.  What are your favorite pumpkin songs?  

Listen to "Pumpkin, Pumpkin" in the audio player, below.
See my Listen & Learn: Fall collection 
     and SongsForTeaching’s Songs About the Seasons and Halloween Songs.

Bill Harley’s “Wash Your Hands” Song: Free Download

Wash Your Hands
©Bill Harley, All rights reserved
Reprints with permission only.

To download this song,

      Click Here

When you’re sitting in class, there’s a tickle in your nose
Then you let out a sneeze, it finally explodes
You look down at your hand, it’s all covered with that goo
Don’t wipe it anywhere, you know what to do
You gotta wash your hands (lávate las manos)
Wash your hands (lávate las manos)
Wash your hands (lávate las manos)
Wash your hands (lávate las manos)
Everyone’s got germs but you keep them to yourself
Keep the colds and the flu up there on the shelf
If you want to stay healthy, there’s a little trick
Do it everyday and you don’t get sick
When your stomach is growling and it’s time to eat
Your body is hungry from your head down to your feet
Don’t eat just yet, you gotta stop, you gotta think
Before you eat your food, put your hands in the sink
Those sneaky little germs don’t want you to wash
They want everything dirty, oh yeah, my gosh
They love it when your hands are grimy and sticky
Then they grow and multiply, they’re icky icky icky!
Put your hand in your mouth and then on the door
Someone grabs the doorknob and walks across the floor
Their hand gives a pencil to someone who’s their friend
The pencil in the mouth, you know the circle never ends
And now – washing hands by the number
1 use soap and water
2 you make it bubble up
3 you rub them while you sing the alphabet (abc, etc)
4 rinse them off
5 dry them too
The germs go down the drain and everything’s cool!
It’s just a simple thing it’s hard to believe
But if everybody did it how wonderful it’d be
We could stop the flu from spreading ‘cross the land
If everybody everywhere would wash their hands

Wash Your Hands: Free Song from Bill Harley

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Bill Harley wrote his "Wash Your Hands" song to remind kids that hand washing will help to prevent the spread of the flu. The four important things to remember are:
       1)      Get vaccinated
       2)      Cover your cough
       3)      Wash your hands
       4)      Stay home when you’re sick

Many thanks to one of the funniest and loveable contributors to the world of children’s music, Bill Harley, for this song. 
You can download it for free by clicking

Changing Tempo to Keep Children’s Attention

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      The Leaves on the Trees.mp3

One surefire way to keep a child’s attention during a song is to constantly change the tempo of that song.  Whether I am gradually speeding/slowing down or doing so abruptly, even the most easily distracted students will perk up and listen.  

Songs that abruptly change tempo are unpredicatable, and that element of surprise is what attracts my students’ ears.  Often I will make up such songs on the spot as the children are playing a rhythm instrument; not only do they have to listen carefully, but they also need to adjust the tempo at which they are playing to match my singing and playing.  

But my favorites are tunes made up of a single chorus that is sung gradually faster each time it is repeated.  The words and melody should both be simple so that the song can be easily memorized.  I’ve written several songs like this, but the most recent (and relevant to the season!) is called "The Leaves on the Trees".  

My students love, love, love this "speeding up" song, and no matter how fast I play, they always yell, "Faster!".  I give them shakers to play along, though any handheld rhythmic instrument would work nicely.  

Listen to "The Leaves on the Trees" in the audio player, below.
See my Listen & Learn: Fall collection
     and all of SongsForTeaching’s Songs About the Seasons.