The Grand Old Duke Of York is a fun nursery rhyme for children. It is especially great for little ones who love to move a lot. As our boys are getting older, it’s fun to watch them play together. They are now 3 and 1, and they love to run around and chase each other.
There’s a little hill they love to run up and back down, and so I taught them this song. It has actions that go along with running up and down a hill.
Here are the words:
The Grand Old Duke of York
Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill, (pretend to march up very tall)
and he marched them down again. (march back down to ground)
When they were up they were up, (stand up)
and when they were down they were down, (crouch down)
and when they were only half-way up, (stop halfway)
They were neither up nor down. (quickly stand up, then crouch down)
This song gives children the chance to march, which is a favorite for young children. We practice our marching skills by marching around the room and having different leaders.
Here are some other ideas for the song:
- draw a picture of the soldiers marching up and down the hill
- sing the song with movements
- add a homemade percussion instrument, like these drums
- use different voices (whisper, talking,singing, calling)
- different dynamics (quiet, loud and in between)
- varying tempos (slow, fast and in between)
As a challenge, try humming the song for your child. See if they can figure out the correct motions. Most of the melody gives clues (the pitch goes up on the word “Up” and down on the word “down”, but not the entire melody. You can also sing the first few words of each line and see if they can finish the line.
Babies can also benefit from learning this song. Younger babies can be held as you sing the song, then you can stand up higher while holding them and then squat a little lower for the ups and downs of the song. For older babies, this song is great as a baby bounce. To do that, you can place them on your knees and gently bounce them to the beat. Then you can hold their hands to stand them up and lower them back down during the ups and downs of the song. Baby bounces are a wonderful way to bond with your baby.
If you are looking for more marching music, here are few music selections to try:
- March of The Toy Soldiers from the Nutcracker.
- Parade of the Wooden Soldiers
- Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa
- Seventy Six Trombones from The Music Man
Do you have any marching activities you like to use?
I’m linking up with Family Fun Fridays