Friday Favorites: {Aiken Drum, The Man on the Moon!}


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One of our favorite songs to work on pre-reading/pre-writing skills is a spin off of the old Scottish folk song “Aiken Drum”. In the original version, the verses each name different clothing items–hat, coat, buttons, and waistcoat. Each clothing item was “made” out of a food like cream cheese, roast beef, or crust pies. Here is a link to a free printable pdf.

To make it more conducive to our goal areas, we use body parts that are made out of shapes. You will want to gather a paddle drum and laminated shapes that are appropriate for the functioning level of your group. Give each child a different shape, and begin the song by singing the chorus. When you get to the verse, begin to draw “Aiken” either on a piece of paper or a white board. Everyone gets a turn to hit the paddledrum as you sing “and his name was Aiken drum” the first chorus. Then, the child who has the shape you pick each verse gets to hit the paddledrum on “drum”. Encourage them to sing along too!

As you name each body part and draw the shape, the child with that shape must identify and match them together. To make it more challenging, kids can choose a body part for their shape, and help draw it. In a seemingly simple music intervention, you can address objectives of matching shapes, drawing shapes, identifying colors of the shape visuals, joint attention, and turn taking.


There was a man who lived on the moon,

Lived on the moon, lived on the moon,

There was a man who lived on the moon

And his name was Aiken Drum.


His head was made of _____, ______, _____

His head was made of ____

And his name was Aiken Drum.

Continue to identify and add body parts with shapes.

Here’s an example of the silly man on the moon one of our Musical Playground groups made this week.

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We aren’t artists for a good reason…Happy Friday Everyone!


Monday Music & Movement: The Clown Juggles Shapes

royalty-free-clown-clipart-illustration-94054Image via

Some of the silliest sessions I have led had songs that centered around the theme of a circus. I’ll be sharing them through the Monday Music & Movement series with the category “Circus Songs” over the next month or so. It’s great to start off by asking your clients or children what they know about the circus already. By doing so you are not only encouraging peer interaction and speaking in turn, but you can also find out if any children have bad associations with the circus or clowns, etc.

“The Clown Juggles Shapes” is a piggyback song [new lyrics, old melody] that I came up with to address the academic goal of shape identification for pre-schoolers I worked with. You sing it to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell”. In addition to the academic skill, children will work on emotional/social skills during this song as it requires turn taking and cooperation.

The clown juggles shapes, the clown juggles shapes

My, my, how fast he goes, the clown juggles shapes

He’s looking for a __[name of shape]___,

He’s looking for a __[name of shape]___

If you have a __[name of shape]___ please put it in the air

Here are the visuals we use. You will want to laminate or contact paper the shapes for durability and place some sticky velcro on the back. We have a file folder that we laminated over and velcro squares for the shapes in an oval around the clown’s head. After children identify the shape they are holding, they can come up and place their shape on a velcro square.

When you’re first introducing the song, you might want to hold the shape that you’re naming in your hand so the children can visually match their shape with yours. After that, you can sing the name of the shape that you’re looking for and have the child identify without matching.

This therapeutic music intervention can be adapted for older children by adding different colors to the shapes and singing that the clown is looking for a “purple circle” or “green diamond”.

We hope you can try out this circus theme song with the children you work with or at home with little ones!