One of the most popular songs for the primary grades is "The Old Gray Cat". My kinders, first graders and second graders ADORE this song.
The old gray cat is sleeping sleeping sleeping
The old gray cat is sleeping in the house
The little mice are creeping, etc..
The little mice are nibbling, etc..
The little mice are sleeping, etc...
The old gray cat comes creeping, etc...
The little mice all scamper, etc...
The way we play this game in Mrs. Suess' room is to have one student be the cat, and they go to "sleep" in a special part of the room. Then the mice line up, and follow the actions of the song staying on their hands and knees. When the little mice all scamper, the chase begins. The cat must tag as many students as they can before the song is over. In Mrs. Suess' room, if you are tagged then you must go and sit out of the game for one round. I find it to be a good penalty for being caught, and it keeps them from wanting to be caught. I always pick the friend who gets back to the mice's starting spot the quickest and quietest to be the next cat.
Grizzly bear a grizzly bear is sleeping in a cave
grizzly bear a grizzly bear is sleeping in a cave
please be very quiet, very very quiet
if you wake him, if you shake him
he gets very MAD!
This is a suuuuuuuper simple game. Have the students sit in a circle with a "bear" in the middle. Then while you are singing the song silently pick one student to go and "shake" the bear. After the song is over, the bear has three guesses to guess who "shook" him/her. If the bear guesses correctly, I let them pick the next "waker shaker", if the bear doesn't guess correctly then I choose the next person.
Bell horses, bell horses, what's the time of day?
One oclock, two oclock, off and away
This is fantastic song for practicing la sol mi, but it is so ridiculously simple that I needed to add a game to it. My rule of thumb generally is, if there isn't an activity that goes with the song, don't sing it.
We usually start by singing this song by itself, and using a clock to change the times in the song and practice reading a regular clock. Then we sing the song with jingle bells, and then we play the game.
I have my kiddos gallop around our circle while the song is playing. Then once it is over they have to freeze. If I see them moving an inch (besides blinking and breathing) then they are out of the game. I usually get 3-4 people out each round. We keep going until there is only one person left. It's a game that they keep asking for over and over! I am usually happy to oblige, because it's so good to get them moving their bodies.
Skip to my Lou
For this song, I have the kids start by skipping around our carpet. Then I change the words to another action like lou, lou, march to my lou or lou, lou, jog to my lou. It's a great movement activity that gets them practicing different ways to move their bodies. I usually let my kiddos choose what movements they get to do. As you can probably guess, going round and round the circle is the funnest thing EVER. My kindergartners are not very different from my own little one who loves to go round the circle in our house.