Five Eggs and Five Eggs: This favorite traditional rhyme engages children through a variety ages. It can be presented in increasingly complex ways to meet the developmental stages as children grow through them. It can also provide older children fun ways to engage with their younger siblings, cousins, and friends. The basic rhyme and finger play is so classic and traditional, I can’t find the origin.
Five eggs, Five eggs, (hold up fingers of one hand, then the other)
That makes Ten, (hold up all fingers on both hands)
Sitting on top is the mother hen. (Curl both hands into egg shape, place one on top)
Crackle, Crackle, Crackle (tap egg hands together three times)
And what do I see? (open hands slowly – with anticipation and watching closely)
Ten fluffy chicks as fluffy as yellow as can be. (hold up all fingers and wiggle in front of face)
When enjoying as a finger play, it is sometimes fun to change the last verse up a bit – Ms. Debbie style.
Ten little chicks are running ’round me. (open fingers run around on floor and on child)
This rhyme is a wonderful selection on our Kindermusik Our Time Fiddle Dee Dee album, which we are enjoying with our toddlers in classes this session. Traditionally it is spoken, rather than having a melody, which makes it easy to use in so many ways.
- The only accessories needed are two hands.
- Extra accessories CAN be added.
- It encourages finger movements that match the words that aid in the process of learning.
- It includes math. Additional play can include more math.
- It includes the fact that eggs come from hens, who sit on them to keep them warm.
- It includes the fact that baby chicks can come from eggs when taken care of by mother hen.
- It includes the fact that baby chicks are yellow.
- It is a wonderful little story, easy to remember, and/or retell.
- The story includes a sequence of events. But be aware of the where you begin… which comes first, the egg or the hen?
That’s a lot for just around 30 words. It is best to start with the original verse and the first activity, to get the children familiar with the rhyme and all it includes.
Young babies simply thrive while listening to their partner’s expressive voice reciting the rhyme, and watching the finger play. Make sure to PAUSE and allow some silence after each repetition to let the child to add their own voice to the conversation. At some point, they will enjoy changing the ending with the little chicks running around on their body, especially as they get older and need more intense stimulation.
Toddlers still benefit from the language and finger play, and willLOVE to have some manipulatives to add hands-on explorations. Two baskets, plus ten plastic eggs filled with one fluffy pom pom each can make for delightful extended play and learning.
Although cute little baby chicks could be purchased, all the little pieces/parts can be a choking hazard, and children most often respond well to simple representations. It is easy to make your own pom poms. Wrap yarn around your fingers repeatedly, then cut it off, use an extra piece of yarn to tie the middle, making it very tight. Cut the ends where the yarn folds, and Ta-Da… pom-poms. Just make sure to make them large enough not to be a choking hazard, but small enough to fit in the egg easily. Multiple colors may be fun, but to reinforce the correct color of young chicks, just use yellow. For extra sensory fun, add vanilla or cinnamon aromas to the pom-poms.
Start with five filled eggs in each basket. Don’t try to keep to much of a structure with young toddlers, just let them freely explore putting eggs in and out of the basket, as well as putting the pom-poms in and out of the eggs. Parents will need to help close the eggs, as I have not found a source for eggs with easy close hinges.
As they become more able, engage them in increasingly complex work: put one pom pom in each egg, count one egg at a time, place five eggs in a basket. Use a nice round pillow, if desired, for the hen to sit on top. Before saying “crackle…”, count to ten using each finger to wait for the hen, then she can hop off and watch her eggs hatch into chicks.
Reciting and Storytelling – with and without with Props
Older 2 year olds up through 5, LOVE to recite rhymes. Research shows that children who can recite 8 rhymes by the time they are 3 years old have a much easier time learning to read.
Preschoolers, like to tell a story in their own words, adding a bit of their own words and flair. This rhyme includes an easy story that can be retold by children. Allow children to vary the words a bit to tell the story in their own words. It exercises the brain in unique creative ways.
Simply using the above manipulatives can be excellent props for telling the story in their own words making sure to follow the correct sequence.
At some point, you may want to create some visuals for fun by making these flannel board storyboard accessories. This page on Mel’s Desk, has several ideas for flannel depictions of baby’s rhymes with farm themes. http://melissa.depperfamily.net/blog/?p=925
How might your child tell the story after looking at this unique picture?
Feeling creative musically? Try singing these words to a melody you make up. Encourage your child to enjoy this activity as well. Record each one and have fun listening to all the melodies you create. I would love to see your video or hear your recording if you will upload it to the Music Connections Facebook page !
Please feel free to share in the comments any other ideas for using this rhyme, or sharing another rhyme for other families to enjoy during this season !
Related Posts in Music Connections for additional egg and Easter ideas: