Snip, snap crocodile T a-q

Poems + action and other rhymes for children

The blind men and the elephant

The clucking hen

The cold old house

The early morning

The fairies

The fairies lullaby

The lark is up to meet the sun

The leaves had a wonderful frolic

The leaves’ party

The Leprechaun; or Fairy Shoemaker

The little plant

The little tune

The Moon’s the North Wind’s cookie

The Owl and the Pussycat

The prickly little hedgehog

The night will never stay by Eleanor Farjeon

Yellow the bracken


Have fun with this collection; it’s a great way to:

• increase verbal skills, expand vocabulary and horizons

• interact with a partner or larger groups and understand turn taking

• learn to follow or synchronize actions with each other

• learn to start and stop and discover the value of rules

• use children’s natural response to rhythm and rhyme

• sharpen listening skills

• improve memory

• continue the tradition of children’s verse from this and other countries

• be creative, there are many opportunities change words or actions, add verses, use different

voices or change roles

• above all to have lots of tremendous fun – even the most timid child will follow the rhyme

and with the group soon begin to join in.


The rhymes and poems below are part of ‘Away we go!’

compiled and illustrated by Dany Rosevear

Last updated: 11/30/2020 11:05 AM

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To watch and listen to the rhyme click on the title at:

© Dany Rosevear 2012 All rights reserved


You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

·       you must give the original author credit

·       you may not use this work for commercial purposes

·       for any re-use or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work

·       any of these can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder


Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.



The blind men and the elephant 🔊



A poem based on a Hindu fable by John Godfrey Saxe in 1872.





























It was six men of Hindostan,

To learning much inclined,

Who went to see the elephant,

(Though all of them were blind)

That each by observation

Might satisfy his mind.


The first approached the Elephant,

And happening to fall

Against his broad and sturdy side,

At once began to bawl:

"Bless me,it seems the Elephant

Is very like a wall!"


The second, feeling of the tusk,

Cried, "Ho! what have we here

So very round and smooth and sharp?

To me 'tis mighty clear

This wonder of an Elephant

Is very like a spear!"


The third approached the animal,

And happening to take

The squirming trunk within his hands,

Thus boldly up and spake:

"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant

Is very like a snake."


The fourth stretched out his eager hand,

And felt about the knee,

"What most this mighty beast is like

Is mighty plain," quoth he;

"'Tis clear enough the Elephant

Is very like a tree"


The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear

Said, "Even the blindest man

Can tell what this resembles most;

Deny the fact who can,

This marvel of an Elephant

Is very like a fan."


The sixth no sooner had begun

About the beast to grope,

Than, seizing on the swinging tail

That fell within his scope,

"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant

Is very like a rope."


And so these men of Hindostan

Disputed loud and long,

Each in his own opinion

Exceeding stiff and strong,

Though each was partly in the right,

And all were in the wrong.



The clucking hen 🔊



How many chicks are hatched?

From Aunt Effie's ‘Rhymes For Little Children’ by Jane Euphemia Saxby published 1860.

Melody adapted from a traditional tune (The Fox, Time and Tune BBC Schools, Spring 1955) by Dany Rosevear.




















“Will you take a walk with me,

My little wife, to-day?

There’s barley in the barley field,

And hay-seed in the hay.”


“Thank you;” said the clucking hen;

“I’ve something else to do;

I’m busy sitting on my eggs,

I cannot walk with you.”


“Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck,”

Said the clucking hen;

“My little chicks will soon be hatched,

I’ll think about it then.”


The clucking hen sat on her nest,

She made it in the hay;

And warm and snug beneath her breast,

A dozen white eggs lay.


Crack, crack, went all the eggs,

Out dropped the chickens small!

“Cluck,” said the clucking hen,

“Now I have you all.”


“Come along, my little chicks,

 I’ll take a walk with YOU.”

“Hallo!” said the barn-door cock,





The early morning 🔊



A poem by Hilaire Belloc.

Music by Dany Rosevear.




























The moon on the one hand, the dawn on the other:

The moon is my sister, the dawn is my brother.

The moon on my left, and the dawn on my right.

My brother, good morning: my sister, good night.



The fairies 🔊



A favourite of mine from my childhood. By the Irish poet William Allingham 1824–89. With thoughts of young children I have only included two verses; for the whole sad story of young Bridget who was taken away by the little men visit:

Music by Dany Rosevear.














































Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen,

We daren't go a-hunting For fear of little men;

Wee folk, good folk, Trooping all together;

Green jacket, red cap, And white owl's feather!


Down along the rocky shore Some make their home,

They live on crispy pancakes Of yellow tide-foam;

Some in the reeds Of the black mountain lake,

With frogs for their watch-dogs, All night awake.



The fairies’ lullaby 🔊



From ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ by William Shakespeare 1564-1616.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

































You spotted snakes, with double tongue,

Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen,

Newts and blind-worms, do no wrong,

Come not near our fairy queen.


Philomel, with melody

Sing in our sweet lullaby;

Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby;

Never harm, nor spell nor charm,

Come our lovely lady nigh;

So, good-night, with lullaby.


Weaving spiders, come not here;

Hence, you long-legged spinners, hence!

Beetles black, approach not near;

Worm nor snail do no offence.


Philomel, with melody

Sing in our sweet lullaby;

Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby;

Never harm, nor spell nor charm,

Come our lovely lady nigh;

So, good-night, with lullaby.




The cold old house O



This anonymous rhyme came from BBC Radio’s wonderful Poetry Corner, Spring 1973; Tune by Dany Rosevear.






















I know a house, and a cold old house,

A cold old house by the sea.

If I were a mouse in that cold old house,

What a cold, cold mouse I’d be!




The lark is up to meet the sun 🔊



Wise words from the past. A poem by Jane Taylor, 1783-1824, from William Holmes McGuffey’s ‘McGuffey's Eclectic Primer’ published 1848.

Music by Dany Rosevear.


































The lark is up to meet the sun,

The bee is on the wing,

The ant her labor has begun,

The woods with music ring.


Shall birds and bees and ants be wise,

While I my moments waste?

Oh, let me with the morning rise,

And to my duties haste.


Why should I sleep till beams of morn

Their light and glory shed?

Immortal beings were not born

To waste their time in bed.



The leaves had a wonderful frolic 🔊



A poem for Autumn. ‘The leaves’ is yet another anonymous classic.

Melody by Dany Rosevear.


























The leaves had a wonderful frolic,

They danced to the wind's loud song,

They whirled, and they floated, and scampered,

They circled and flew along.


The moon saw the little leaves dancing,

Each looked like a small brown bird.

The man in the moon smiled and listened,

And this is the song he heard:


The North Wind is calling, is calling,

And we must whirl round and round,

And then, when our dancing is ended

We'll make a warm quilt for the ground.




The leaves’ party 🔊



An Autumn / Fall into Winter poem. Written by Alice C. D. Riley, music by By Jessie L. Gaynor. From ‘Discovering music together’ Book 3, by Charles Leonhard, Beatrice Perham Krone et al published 1967 by Follett Educational.





























The leaves had a party one Autumn day,

and invited the North Wind bold;

they put on their dresses of crimson and brown,

with their borders splashed with gold.


At first they danced to a merry tune,

but the North Wind whirled them round;

and tossed them roughly to and fro,

till they fell upon the ground.


And when kind old Dame Winter came,

she pitied the tired leaves so;

she laid them gently on the grass,

and covered them over with snow.





The Leprechaun; or Fairy Shoemaker 🔊



The song below are the words of the leprechaun from a poem by William Allingham; find the full poem here.

Music by Dany Rosevear.






























Tip-tap, rip-rap,


Scarlet leather, sewn together,

This will make a shoe.

Left, right, pull it tight;

Summer days are warm;

Underground in Winter.

Laughing at the storm!


Big boots a-hunting,

Sandals in the hall,

White for a wedding-feast.

Pink for a ball.

This way, that way.

So we make a shoe;

Getting rich every stitch,



Rip-rap, tip-tap,


(A grasshopper on my cap!

Away the moth flew!)

Buskins for a Fairy Prince,

Brogues for his son, —

Pay me well, pay me well.

When the job is done!




The little plant O



A poem by Kate Louise Brown 1924-1964. Music by Dany Rosevear.


1. Put finger in fist. 2. Put hands to cheek. 3. Stretch arms, make shape of the sun, finger peeps through fist. 4. Stretch, make raindrops with fingers. 5. Put hand to ear, make finger grow higher in fist. 6. Look thrilled.






































In the heart of a seed,

Buried deep, so deep,

A dear little plant lay fast asleep.

“Wake!” said the sunshine “And creep to the light,”

“Wake!” said the voice of the raindrops bright.

The little plant heard and it rose to see

What a wonderful outside world might be.




The little tune 🔊



A lesser known poem by Rose Fyleman.

Music by Dany Rosevear.


Verse 1. Play a violin or other instrument, draw sun. make hill with hands, hands move and stop, cup hands and open. Verse 2. Play as before, thumb and forefinger make moon shape, put hand to brow, with each hand make rabbit ears, put hand to ears.































He played his little tune

One summer afternoon,

And on the grassy hill

The very breeze was still,

While every buttercup

Looked up – looked up.


He played his little tune

Beneath the yellow moon;

So sweet it was , so light,

That (oh, the darling sight)

The bunnies all drew near

To hear – to hear.



The Moon’s the North Wind’s cookie 🔊




A lovely poem to sing as a lullaby as it conjures up delightful pictures in the mind.

A poem by Vachel Nicholas Lindsay (1879-1931) Music from Burl Ives CD ‘Folk Lullabies’.






























The Moon's the North Wind's cookie.

He bites it, day by day,

Until there's but a rim of scraps

That crumble all away.


The South Wind is a baker.

He kneads clouds in his den,

And bakes a crisp new moon that…greedy






The Owl and the Pussycat 🔊



An old classic nonsense poem by Edward Lear set to music by Victor Hely-Hutchinson. There are several other tunes but this is the version I was familiar with as a child from the singing of Elton Hayes on Children’s Favourites on BBC radio in the 1950s.











































The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea

In a beautiful pea-green boat,

They took some honey, and plenty of money,

Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

The Owl looked up to the stars above,

And sang to a small guitar,

"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,

What a beautiful Pussy you are,

You are,

You are!

What a beautiful Pussy you are!"


Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!

How charmingly sweet you sing!

O let us be married! too long we have tarried:

But what shall we do for a ring?"

They sailed away, for a year and a day,

To the land where the Bong-Tree grows

And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood

With a ring at the end of his nose,

His nose,

His nose,

With a ring at the end of his nose.


"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling

Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."

So they took it away, and were married next day

By the Turkey who lives on the hill.

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,

Which they ate with a runcible spoon;

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,

They danced by the light of the moon,

The moon,

The moon,

They danced by the light of the moon.



The prickly little hedgehog O



A poem for Autumn.

Music by Dany Rosevear.


Line 1-3. Interlink fingers and raise to make spikes, point little fingers outwards to make snout. 4. Put hands to cheek. 5-6. As for first two lines 7. Wag finger. 8. Make hands into a ball.















The prickly little hedgehog,

Goes slowly on his way.

He comes out in the evening,

And often sleeps by day.

He’s a gentle little fellow,

Who does no harm at all.

But if you try to hurt him,

He’ll curl up in a ball.




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