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Can anyone suggest some good number rhymes to use with reception, I know the usual one two buckle my shoe, and five little speckled frogs, but would like some inspiration for some new and more exciting rhymes! :)


Any ideas!





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You probably know and use these - but here goes, 1 elephant went out to play, 5 currant buns in the bakers shop, 5 little ducks went swimming one day, there's one about leaves falling but I can't remember it!! My class last year loved the pirate song - When I was one I ate a scone the day I went to sea. Sorry Sarah - Brain failure has set in. I'll add some more if needed tomorrow, but I'm sure you'll get lots of replies on this one.


Good luck

Harricroft. :D

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Hi there Sarah


How about


5 Little Firemen Standing in a Row, 1,2,3,4,5 they go.....

Alice the camel has 5 Humps,

5 Little Spiders I Once Knew, hanging from the ceiling like spiders do....

5 Little monkeys jumping on the bed......

5 Little peas in a pea pod pressed......

5 Fat sausages......

5 Little ducks that I once knew, big ducks, little ducks and fat ducks too.........

5 Little leaves so bright and gay......

5 Little mice came out to play........

5 Little fishes swimming out to sea.....


There are lots more ..........


Sue J

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Hi Sarah welcome to the site. Thats a good post, I sometimes forget how many rhymes I actually do know. Sue J .... great list. :D

One I found only last year...

5 little caterpillars sitting on a leaf,

1 little caterpillar fell asleep

When he woke up he found he could fly

Now there's 4 little caterpillars and 1 butterfly....... :D

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There's also 5 little lollipops fixed on a stick, shall I have a lick of one, lick,lick,lick.

Children seem to really enjoy thinking about and discussing their favourite flavoured lollipos and miming actions. At the end we mime full tummies and perhaps sore tummies!



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Hi again Sarah,


I've just remebered a couple of websites which have lots of number rhymes which I have found useful, as well as other activity ideas. Try www.under5s.co.uk and [edit: removed link].

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Hi Lisa -

You seem to be having a problem with your posts which is making them appear more than once. I've just deleted the last couple of identical versions of this one - hope that's ok! (Let me know if this happens regularly and I'll see if it's a problem at the forum end :) )


Also, the 'preschool dot org' site you mentioned seems now to be a commercial business portal with some rather suspect pop up ads when it's accessed. I've taken the liberty of removing that link from your post.


I can, however, vouch for the underfives site, which has some great stuff on it! :)

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Hi Sarah & welcome. Its so easy to get stuck on the favourite few number rhymes and there are some super ideas here that I've not heard before. I love the caterpillar/ butterfly one-great for number bonds!

I'd like to know more of the words to the spider one too.

My own addition would be


5 little men in a flying saucer

Flew round the world one day

They looked left and right but

didnt like the sight so 1 man flew away!


Good for directional language too. Actions fairly obvious?!


Also dont forget 10 in a bed, you can count down in 2s for that too.


All these rhymes start at 5, or mostly and count down. I'm always looking for ones that count up. Any ideas any one. I'm afraid I always use 1, 2,3, 4, 5, once I caught a fish alive but surely there are others?


A good source of maths songs is "Tom Thumbs Musical Maths" pub by AC Black.

and a Kaleidoscope publication which I think is called "One more and less" but I find the tunes quite difficult to remember!

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To be sung to the tune of: What shall we do with a drunken sailor


I am a greedy crocodile

sparkling teeth and charming smile

come too near and in a while

you will be my dinner


1,2,3,4,5 1,2,3,4,5 1,2,3 snap snap

now i've had my dinner


you can then repeat with 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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I just have to say that the song I'm a greedy crocodile JUST HAS to be sung every day - the children absolutely adore it. They take turns in being the croc , roaming round the circle gently snapping until they get to the bit 1,2,3,4,5 etc ...now I've had my dinner, when they snap toward a child and then that child is the croc. Honestly,they would sing it all the time. :o


Sue J

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One of our favourites is five hairy monsters.


Five hairy monsters went to school one day

Boo said the teacher and one ran away

Bong went the school bell and the children went to play

With 4 hairy monsters at school today.


There are always plenty of volunteers to be a hairy monster.


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Hi Susan

Here are the words for 5 Little Spiders...

(tune - 5 Little Ducks that I once knew)


5 little spiders I once knew

Hanging from the ceiling like spiders do,

One felt sleepy and climbed his web,

Said Goodnight and went off to bed.

Off to bed, off to bed, said good night and went off to bed.


4 little spiders, etc.........


Sue J

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Unfortunately Susan whenever we sing 5 Little Ducks that I Once Knew, the tune stays with me all day, I have even woken up the next morning and started humming it!!!!!! :o

In fact I will probably be humming it for the rest of the day!! :(

Wish you hadn't asked for the words - not really, only too pleased to have helped. xD


Sue J

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Thank you to everyone for your ideas! I would love to know all the words to one elephant went out to play and the pirate song.


This is my first year teaching reception as I've previously taught years 1,2 or 3, and I didn't realise how different it would be.... I am enjoying the challenge, but there is so much to learn, the logistics of organising a day, making independent activities worthwhile, sustaining concentration... not to say the poor children who spend all day (literally) crying because they want their mummies..


This is a great site, and the advice and support from the other users is fantastic, real people who are out there doing it too! :o


So, thanks a lot everyone, I know that we're all out there to help eachother!



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Guest Tracey F

You can use speckled frogs to count up as well as down :D


1 little speckled frog

Sat on a speckled log

Eating some most delicious bugs, yum, yum!

He called to a friendly frog

To jump up on to the log

Then there were 2 green speckled frogs, glub, glub!



Once the children have got the hang of it we go up AND down and sometimes have 2 jumping on and off the log etc. I also substitute a child's name for 'friendly' as in he called for an 'Alice frog'



Then there's this one that goes up...



I have a litle chiming clock I love to hear it ring

And everyday at 1 o'clock it goes ting


2 o'clock ting, ting etc.... all the way to 12 if you can bear it - and preferably with a chime bar or a triangle!

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The words to the elephant song:


One elephant went out to play,

Upon a spider's web one day,

He thought it such tremendous fun,

That he called for another elephant to come.


Two elephants ..... etc.


You can go up as far as you like, then when you have got to the desired number


The web went crack, [I](it almost broke its back,) not sure if that's right

And all the elephants went running back.


The children stand in a circle with one 'elephant' in the middle, hand out in front like a trunk and a tail out at the back. The next elephant links its trunk with the first elephants tail. Does that make any sense at all!!!


The pirate song is quite long so I won't put it here if someone might be able to put a link in. If they don't just ask again and I'll type it in. I started teaching my new children the song this week and they love it because of the actions.




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Another "counting up" one is Ten little indians.


1 littlle 2 little 3 little indians

4 little 5 little 6 little indians

7 little 8 little 9 little indians

10 little indian boys and girls ( the "littles" allow time for children to put fingers up!)


Several verses one of which is "they all went to sleep in a cone shaped teepee"

our pre-school children simply love it when we 'forget' what indians sleep in - yesterday it was tea-pot resulting in squeals of delight and all willing to correct us.


There must be more that count up but I am still thinking!

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Thank you tinyone for the song I am a greedy crocodile.


We did it today and the children loved it, and now I can't get it out of my head and have been singing it all afternoon.

I think it will become a Pre-School favourite.

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My children love' 10 naughty monkeys jumping on the bed.' I ask them to guess how many monkeys are left each time and even the younger ones are guessing correctly when we get to the lower numbers. Also '10 little men in a flying saucer sailed round the world one day. They looked left and right and didn't like the sight and one man flew away'. Again lots of action and visual counting.

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