Work Week Rhyme



Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday.

Parents and teachers – here is an opportunity for you to talk about the work mentioned in this rhyme. Many people don’t iron any more, and I certainly don’t know anyone who churns butter!

However, in my preschool we did make butter by putting cream and a pinch of salt in a jar and taking turns to shake the jar, mimicking the churning action. Our snack would then be bread with freshly made butter. Yum! Click here for instructions and a song to help butter-making go smoothly with a group of children:




Children at my preschool loved making butter. Even better was to spread it on a fresh piece of bread and eat it for snack. All you need is heavy cream, a pinch of salt and a clean jar. You will often see a mason jar recommended for making butter, but I prefer the tall narrow jars that some kinds of jam come in. Much easier for little hands to hold. Fill the jar(s) half full of cream, add a pinch of salt, make sure the lid is tight and shake. You will need to shake for several minutes. When the butter has formed, pour off the buttermilk, and your butter is ready to use.

With a group of children it works well to have several jars going round the circle. Young hands get tired very quickly! This way, they get to shake, pass the jar on and have a short wait for the next jar to come around.

This little song I composed can help to keep the shake time appropriate and also keep the jars moving round the circle. If you use just one jar you can sing “now pass it on to _____” inserting a name instead of “now pass it on again.”



Oh shake it, friend, oh shake it, friend,

Shake it very well,

Shake it, shake it, shake it, friend,

Now count right up to ten.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Now pass it on again.

Lambs and Laundry

My favorite group of friends – Fenton, Ralph, Madge and Paisley – feature in a story called “Laundry” in this week’s podcast called LAMBS AND LAUNDRY. From the title you might recognize that these friends are lambs, Herdwick lambs to be precise. This story is the second one I wrote in the series. There are four Herdwick lamb stories so far, and I have ideas for another story for a future podcast. In this story the lambs get tangled up with laundry, which leads to another adventure.

After our action-packed hello song, in keeping with the theme of the podcast we have a song I wrote called “Hanging Out the Washing.” I reminisce a little about days, particularly in England where the weather can be rather fickle, about pegging out washing on the washing line, only to have to bring it back in as the rain appears.

After the story we have a song based on a little rhyme I remember as a child when we would bash it out on the piano using only black keys. Do you recognize it?

Oh can you wash your father’s shirt,

Oh can you wash it clean?

Oh can you wash your father’s shirt

And hang it on the green?

I wrote a new melody and created new verses using different family members and different items of clothing. My young students enjoy this song, and eagerly create their own new verses.


Crispy Crow

This week’s podcast is all about Crispy Crow. He is a special part of the creation of Listen Together Podcast – like a mascot. He even features on many pages of the website. You can see him sitting on wires, or peering down from a branch of a tree, watching over things. I love how Sue (the web designer) incorporated him into the design. I especially love how little musical twigs fall out of the tree where the messy crow’s nest sits.

The story tells of Crispy Crow and how he learned to fly. I did lots of research about crows (and learned a lot too!) before writing this story and worked hard to keep it as true to life as possible.

We begin with a hello song, as usual, with lots of actions for you to join in. This is followed by a counting song about crows. After the story we have a song  called “I Am Flying” which is about Crispy Crow and how he encourages his brothers and sisters to join him, flying high in the sky.

A rhyme


A rhyme to enjoy together.

Wee Willie Winkie

Runs through the town,

Upstairs and down stairs

In his night-gown.

Tapping at the windows,

Crying through the locks,

Are all the children in their beds?

For it’s past eight o’clock?


I remember this nursery rhyme very well both from when I was a child and when my own children were little.

You can also say the rhyme with different “o’clock’s.”

With a group of children, We would take turns rolling a giant foam die and using that number for the “o’clock.”




A grandfather clock features in a song on our podcast called TIME. Long ago when grandfather clocks were very popular, they would usually stand in the hall of a big house and would be made of wood. The face of the clock would be glass so that you could see the numbers, and there would often be a glass panel showing the pendulum moving from side to side, making the tick tock sound. Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock goes the grandfather clock – just like Alex sings in the song!

This song has different times for different meals, like breakfast, lunch etc. You could use this opportunity to talk about what time you have lunch or supper in your family. You could look at the times on a clock. It is a very simple song where you can easily put in new times and new activities. I love songs where children can create their own verses.

Our story is about Flora (who we meet in other stories) waiting for her Aunt to visit. Flora has not seen her for a long time and is a little anxious. Will she recognize her aunt? Will her aunt know who she is? Sometimes, what we think of as a short amount of time seems like FOR EVER to youngsters.

When I ran my own preschool, we would always give a five minute warning whenever we were close to transitioning to a new activity – such as cleaning up for snack, or getting ready for outside play. Children have no concept that the transition is close, and it is very frustrating to have just started something new and then immediately be told to clean up! I wish I’d thought to be consistent with this with my own children when they were youngsters.

The second song is the well-known nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock. Alex goes on to sing times other than one o’clock, and I have inserted chimes in the song so that children can practice counting along with the chimes.

I hope you and your family enjoy this podcast.

A rhyme to enjoy

Here is a bouncing/rocking rhyme to enjoy with your baby, toddler or preschooler.


Tick, tock, tick, tock,

I’m a little cuckoo clock,

Tick, tock, tick, tock,

Now I’m striking one o’clock.


Some ideas for different ages:

  • You can say the rhyme, or sing along with the accompanying melody. Rock baby or toddler side to side on your lap as you “tick tock.”
  • Change the number from one, and lift baby in the air as you count.
  • With bigger children, hold hands facing each other and rock on feet side to side as you “tick tock.” Then jump in the air as you count the number.
  • This will also work with several children standing in a circle. (Just don’t hold hands.)


We have a new podcast called GREY CAT which features a story about Grey Cat and Scraggly Kitten. We get started with a hello song with Anneliese called “Everybody Sing with Me,” where you can sing, jump, clap and do lots of other actions. Next Jodi sings a song about Grey Cat and all the things she does. You can pretend to be a cat if you like. As with many of our songs, you will have a chance to think of something for Grey Cat to do in the song.

I sing our last song called “Miss Mary Mary Martha.” This is an echo song. This means I sing first, then you sing back to me, and at the end we all sing together. I sing about Miss Mary Mary Martha who has a lovely little kitty, and Mr. Michael Michael Murphy who has a lovely little doggie. I wonder if you can think of a name and a pet to put in the song? The kitty and the doggie have wonderful names too. I would love to hear from you – tell me your ideas.

Have fun being creative!