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Here you'll find songs for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that you can sing whenever you feel like it.

There are also more structured Playschool Activities that parents or teachers could do as a playtime activity.

And finally, there are the Playschool Lessons, which group a few Playschool Activities together and follow the themes that the kids are doing at my local playschool.

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Lesson: Trains

Lesson: Trains

The theme for the next two weeks is transport. This lesson will focus on trains particularly, because there are so many awesome train songs! Clearly trains are very musical!

Welcome Song

Sing the Rocking the Playroom Welcome Song.

Movement: Train Song by Charlie Hope

I've just discovered the music of Charlie Hope and I am so excited by it. Her songs are so musically interesting, but yet so appealing to kids, so the result is that the whole family can enjoy them.

Here are the lyrics for Charlie Hope's Train Song from the album "I'm Me":


 Suggestions for movements:

For the verses ("I hear the train..."), hold hands in fists with arms bent and forearms parallel to the ground, move in a circular motion, like the "wheels" of a steam engine.

For "Whooohoo", pretend to be pulling a train whistle just above your head.

Stomp feet, pull arm (like train whistle), clap hands, and nod head at the respective parts in the song, while dancing to the beat.

I hear the train… in the distance
Whooohoo
I hear the train… getting closer
Whooohoo, whooohoo

And I can stomp my feet to the beat of the train, one two
And I can pull my arm to the beat of the train, one two

Whooohoo, whooohoo

Chugger chuff, Chugger chuff


I hear the train… through the valley
Whooohoo
I hear the train… echo through the tunnel
Whooohoo, whooohoo

And I can stomp my feet to the beat of the train, one two
And I can pull my arm to the beat of the train, one two

Whooohoo, whooohoo

And I can clap my hands to the beat of the train, one two
And I can nod my head to the beat of the train one two

Whooohoo, whooohoo
Whooohoo, whooohoo

Chugger chuff, Chugger chuff, Chugger chuff, Chugger chuff

Rhythm: Train Song by Charlie Hope

Now it's time to play the shakers to the Train Song. Shakers are reminiscent of the sound of a steam train's chugging, so they'll work well with this song.

This song is in a 2/4 time signature, which means that we count 1-2, 1-2, 1-2. We'll shake on the on-beat first (count of 1), but then we'll also try to shake on the off-beat (count of 2), as this is quite prominent in the rhythm of the song.

Rhythm and Singing: Shosholoza

Shosholoza is such a popular song in South Africa that it has been described as our second national anthem! So I was surprised to learn that it actually has its origins in Zimbabwe. Nevertheless, it is a South African classic and the lyrics are about a train, so it's a great song for this lesson.

We've collected tins to use as drums, so we'll play the drums to the beat of the song.

There are many versions, but we'll use the Ladysmith Black Mambazo version and this version from Sacre on the Lions Tour 2009 album.

Singing: The Wheels on the Bus

I like to include a classic for the children to sing, so the bus will be our "rail replacement service" as we sing "The Wheels on the Bus". Some of the verses we'll sing include:

  • The driver on the bus says move back please
  • The children on the bus go up and down
  • The babies on the bus go waah, waah, waah
  • The mommies on the bus go shhh, shhh, shhh
  • The hooter on the bus goes toot, toot, toot

Let the children suggest new verses.

Singing: Puffer Train Medley

I know that the children sing Puffer Train in their ringtime, because it's one of the first songs that my son started singing at home (that he had learnt at school). So I'd love to hear all of the children singing this one together, as I know it's a hit!

* Note: I've had to make a few corrections on the advice of my 3-year-old. They apparently sing "Down by the Station" and "Puffer Train" in a bit of a medley, and some of the words I originally found have been corrected! :)

Down by the station early in the morning,
See the little puffer trains all in a row
See the engine driver pull his little handle
Toot toot, and off he goes

Puffer train, puffer train, noisy little puffer train
If you're going to the sea, 
Puffer train, oh please take me, 
Puffer train, puffer train, noisy little puffer train

Puffer train, puffer train, noisy little puffer train
If you're going to the fair, 
Puffer train please take me there, 
Puffer train, puffer train, noisy little puffer train

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