Just in time for Halloween, here’s a cute kid’s version of the African-American spiritual song, Dry Bones (or Dem Bones). It’s really fun for this time of year plus a great way to learn or quiz the bones in the human body.
And, don’t you just love when you can dance around, make music and learn something new all at the same time?
LYRICS TO THE SKELETON BONES SONG
Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones Let’s shake them skelton bones
The toe bone’s connected to the foot bone The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone The ankle bone’s connected to the leg bone Let’s shake them skeleton bones
The leg bone’s connected to the knee bone The knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone The thigh bone bone’s connected to the hip bone Let’s shake them skeleton bones
The hip bone’s connected to the back bone The back bone’s connected to the neck bone The neck bone bone’s connected to the head bone And… shake them skeleton bones
Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones Them Bones, them skeleton dry bones Let’s shake them skeleton bones
Then backwards…From the head bone to the toe bone
Who Wrote The Dry Bones Song?
Do you remember the actual Dry Bones or Dem Bones song? Here’s more about the actual song that’s being parodied here.
One of my favorite children’s songs – Over In The Meadow – combines cute creatures and learning the skill of counting to ten. I first heard the song from a friend of mine who was a folksinger in Appalachia, but later found out that this popular rhyme may date back as far as the 1600’s in England. So it seems that some things are universal. Parents love to teach their children with music and no one can resist a baby animal!
The songs starts in a pond in the sun with one mother frog and her “little froggy one”. Then there are kittens, birds, worms, bees, dogs, owls, ducks, mice, and even ten spiders. And, best of all, each of the animal babies know how to listen to their elders! Since the song has an easy-to-follow formula, even the youngest kids get the idea of counting up one number each time and can easily follow or sing along.
Although the song was originally written with each animal and their mommy, I’ve added dads, grandmas and grandpas to the verses in my version. In my travels I had met many kids that did not always have traditional families or a mom at home as a caregiver, so I changed the song a bit to help these children feel that their family was special and important, too.
You can see my version of Over In The Meadow here:
Groundhog’s Day is on its way and it’s a great time to encourage being silly with your little ones! Do you remember tongue-twisters from when you were a child? Did you ever say “She sells seashells by the seashore” or wonder how many pecks of pickled peppers that peter piper could pick? Or collapse in giggles because it was really hard to say “rubber baby buggy bumpers” three times fast without totally messing it up?
Although it may not seem very serious, any time you speak or sing to your baby or child you’re increasing their intelligence and helping them develop language skills. As they listen and enjoy the sound of your voice they are developing their sense of what sounds right, even if they haven’t begun to speak on their own.
And, best if all, you are bonding. Although a tiny baby can’t pop up out of her crib and say “Gee mom, thanks, that really made me laugh!”. Or her toddler brother won’t declare: “Wow, that increased my vocabulary!”, children know when you are speaking to them and sense your delight in playing with words or in singing a simple song or a set of silly syllables! It stimulates their mind and the attention makes them feel wanted, included and loved.
So, if you’re stuck inside in the cold, you might want to pass the time by trying some tongue-twisters with your kids. Or you might want to try your hand at the Groundhog’s Day song. It asks the timeless question:
“How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck chuck could chuck wood?” and
“How much ground could a groundhog hog if a groundhog could hog ground?” and even
“How much sap could a sapsucker suck if a sapsucker could suck sap?”
If you master any of the groundhog’s day tongue-twisters, you might want to reenact Groundhog’s day in your own living room. Below is a link to an easy pop-up puppet activity. Color your own puppet and the woodchuck or groundhog will pop out of the cup to see its shadow – or not!
So whether you’re waiting for Spring or not concerned about the weather at all, take the time to speak or sing a silly rhyme with your child. Or try not to trip over a tongue-twister with them! Chances are good, they will love and remember the fun you’ve had with them for a long time to come!
Guest Post by Music Educator, Leslie Denning of Music With Miss Leslie
As an early childhood music educator, I’ve often gotten looks that range from shock to incredulity when I ask parents if they would be interested in music for their babies. I know that in their minds, they see a baby sitting down at the piano and learning to play. Impossible! they say. And they are right. However, that’s not what music education for babies is all about.
Research into early childhood music education has uncovered some interesting things about babies in music, such as:
Babies seem to remember and respond to music they hear in utero
Babies seem to be born with the ability to feel a beat
Music is one of the seven intelligences, which also includes linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligences
There is a lot more going on in a baby’s musical world than meets the eye.
Most mommies and daddies are ecstatic over their newborns and are anxious to do whatever they can to maximize their baby’s potential. There is an often bewildering array of educational toys, electronic devices, books, DVDs, and CDs aimed at helping parents help their children. However, sometimes the simplest things can be the most meaningful to children. Children are usually happier to play with a box, rather than what came in it. And what do you think your baby will value more: a Bose CD player or a loving mommy or daddy cradling him in their arms, looking into their eyes, and singing a song?
There a lot of products that are marketed to be played to babies, when what babies need is for parents to cuddle, play, and interact with them. One of the greatest satisfactions I have had as an early childhood music teacher is to see the joy that comes between parent and child when they make music together – simple music that reaches down to the child and reflects back to the parent. Taking the time to make music with your baby will give enormous benefits to both of you.
Guest post by Leslie Denning, better known as Miss Leslie, is a Missouri-certified music educator, Musikgarten-certified instructor, and owner of her own music studio in Dixon, MO, Second Street Music Academy http://secondstreetmusic.com where she teaches private piano, guitar, and voice lessons to children and adults. She also has an online store Music with Miss Leslie.net http://musicwithmissleslie.net which specializes in quality music merchandise for younger children. You may find out more about her, as well as find music education articles and activities, at Music with Miss Leslie.com http://musicwithmissleslie.com