Starfish Therapies

January 27, 2012

More Great Songs for Therapy

After my last post on fun songs to use in therapy my coworkers suddenly started remembering songs that they frequently use in therapy so I thought I’d share some more ideas.

If You’re Happy and You Know It

This is a great song because you get to insert your own action.  You could pick skills that you are working on such as: jump up and down, stand on one foot, stand on tip tiptoes, jumping jacks, etc.  I also use it when we are on the ball and I am trying to keep the kiddo from using their hands to stabilize so I will often insert actions like:  clap your hands, reach to the ceiling, touch your ears, touch your head, reach to the sides, wiggle your fingers, touch your shoulders, say hooray (and reaching arms up overhead).

Hokey Pokey

Just by following the words of the song the kiddos get to work on motor planning and balance (and single leg stance for left and right foot).  To spice it up a bit you can have them jump (or hop on one foot) at the end instead of clapping.  You can also use the words ‘Touch the ground, stand back up, touch the ground and shake it all about’ to work on squats.  You could have the kids pretend they are dogs or cats and they can put their ‘paws’ and ‘tails’ in to work on crawling and balance in quadraped.  You can also just change animals for every turn so if they are frogs they hop in and hop out, or butterflies tip toe in and tip toe out.

I’m a Little Tea Pot

This is another fun song to use on the ball.  You can work on postural control while singing the song and then when you get to the ‘tip me over’ part you tip the kiddo backwards so they have to do a sit-up to get back up.

Old MacDonald

Great song for getting repetition of activities in.  If you are using an animal puzzle or play animals it works even better and the kids get to work on animal recognition because they get to select the animal that is on Old MacDonald’s Farm!  Usually we use this type of song for working on things like walking on a balance beam or going up and down the stairs.  Activities where they need lots and lots of repetition for mastery but may not be that exciting to do over and over again.

Winnie the Pooh

I only use the first lines from this song when it says ‘When I up,down,touch the ground it puts me in the mood.  Up, down, touch the ground in the mood for _____‘.  This can be a fun one to get a kiddo ready to do something.  You can have them squat up and down and then change what they are in the mood for.  It could be jumping, walking, running, crawling, spinning, etc.  (You just have to be okay if the rhyming is off!)  And it works even better if you do a big dramatic pause before you give the action!

More of Our Own!

  • Mr. Helper (to the tune of Frere Jacques) – Mr. Helper, Mr. Helper, – Hold, Hold, Hold, – Hold, Hold, Hold, – Hold the paper steady, – Hold the paper steady, – Helping hand, Helping hand.  Great Song to use when trying to teach a kiddo to use their secondary hand for stabilization or to ‘help’ with the task.
  • This is the Way We Wash Our Hands – I’ve adapted this one to go with gross motor tasks such as This is the way we (climb the stairs, jump around, skip along, stomp our feet, crawl away, run around, cross the bridge [for balance beam walking], bend our knees [squatting], walk on our toes, walk on our heels, etc).  Also lets the kids work on changing tasks because they have to switch what they are doing as the words in the song change!


  1. Funny, I too thought of your first and last songs after your previous post. I think I have thought of every action under the sun to sing “This Is the Way We…..”

    Comment by Your Therapy Source — January 29, 2012 @ 12:19 am | Reply

  2. There came a girl from France, raffi? (hopping on one foot, hopping on the other, knees up, spinning) fav for around 18months

    Comment by Irene — January 15, 2013 @ 5:03 am | Reply

  3. […] had written two posts a while ago about when we used songs to motivate kids that you might find […]

    Pingback by It’s All About Motivation | Starfish Therapies — July 23, 2017 @ 12:30 am | Reply

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