Monday, May 11, 2020


When my grandson completed kindergarten I asked him if he had ever played “The Farmer in the Dell.” He didn’t know what I was talking about! “The Farmer in the Dell,” “London Bridge,” “Mulberry Bush,” "The Wheels on the Bus" and so many other songs and games are part of what I refer to as our “early childhood heritage.” If children don’t experience these things in pre-K or kindergarten, then they’ll probably never get to do them! And that’s sooooo sad!

The crazier our world gets, the more we need to remember our roots and traditions. Think of these old songs and circle games as COMFORT FOOD!


Children can experience so many things about the game of life through these “Oldies but Goodies.” Three of our leading educational theorists give insight into why games are so powerful in early childhood. Piaget observed that the more actively involved children are with people and things in their world, the more quickly they will assimilate new learning. Dewey emphasized that educational experiences are intricately interwoven with social experiences. Vygotsky also stressed the importance of social interaction to the child’s ability to construct meaning. Songs and games can provide the bridge to lead them from where they are to a higher level.

As early childhood educators, we have always been committed to the WHOLE child. What better way to facilitate social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development than with a game or song? It might look like children are “just playing” as you sing, but there’s so much more learning going on. Something as simple as “The Farmer in the Dell” can:
Build community and strengthen relationships
Foster self-confidence
Develop motor skills
Enhance oral language
Reinforce self-regulation and the executive function 

Here's a new video Alex May, my webmaster, created for "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush."
Watch Mulberry Bush Video

Here's a link where you can get a free download of several "oldies but goodies."
Click to Download

The Farmer in the Dell
The farmer in the dell, (Class holds hands and forms a circle.
The farmer in the dell, One child is chosen to be the “farmer”
Heigh – ho – the derry-o, and stand in the middle.)
The farmer in the dell.
The farmer takes a wife… (“Farmer” chooses a “wife” to stand in middle.)
The wife takes a child… (“Wife” chooses a “child” to stand in the middle.)
The child takes a nurse… (“Child” chooses a “nurse” to stand in the middle.)
The nurse takes a dog… (“Nurse” chooses a “dog” to stand in the middle.)
The dog takes a cat… (“Dog” chooses a “cat.”)
The cat takes a rat… (“Cat” chooses a “rat.”)
The rat takes the cheese… (“Rat” chooses the “cheese.”)
The cheese stands alone… (“Cheese” stays in the middle while the others get
back in the circle. The “cheese” becomes the
new “farmer” and the game continues.)

NOTE!  If I were in charge of the world this would be required to teach in all pre-K and K classes!!!