It’s hard to believe that next week is Veteran’s Day. It seems like the school year is flying by (probably because I’m not teaching this year). The school I taught at the last couple years always had our big performance for Veteran’s Day. We did a collection of folk songs from across the United States, as well as patriotic songs. For many of my students, it was the first time hearing those songs. I really enjoyed being able to introduce them, because I think it’s important to learn about heritage.
Today, I want to share my favorite patriotic songs for preschoolers. These songs are favorites with the younger kiddos, and not hard to learn.
This song is so fun to teach! There are so many different movements to go along with this song. This is a perfect song for marching! Marching is a great skill for children. It helps them keep a steady beat, allows them to be active listeners, and is great for days you’re stuck inside. I like to discuss what marching looks like, and sometimes show examples so that everyone knows what is expected.
Adding instruments is a fun way to practice keeping a steady beat. You can use rhythm sticks or drums, or students’ choice. You could even make a shaker instrument using dry macaroni. If you have a group, you can take turns by having only certain instruments play at a time.
You can also add motions to the song. Children can come up with movements to act out each part of the song: riding into town, sticking a feather in their hat and calling out “macaroni”.
Props are a great addition to this song! Scarves are really popular for this age group. Also, check out craft stores to see if they have colorful feathers. By using props, children are able to practice crossing the midline. That is a very important skill for preschoolers!
You can go into the meaning of the song if you like, but I think exposure to songs like this are good even without an explanation. The tune for Yankee Doodle is used in many different cartoons, and they will recognize it when they hear it in pop culture.
Grand Old Flag
Grand Old Flag is another favorite with the younger kiddos. The lyrics are a little complicated for preschool, but it is a great song to listen to and practice marching. This song is a great opportunity to talk about the flag. You can print off a flag coloring page for them after talking about what a flag is. There is a cute story called F is For Flag that you could read before listening to the song.
During our school Veteran’s Day program, we passed out mini flags for students to wave as we sang this song. You can get mini flags to practice waving, or you can wave ribbons, like the ones in this tutorial from Buggy and Buddy. You can use red, white and blue ribbons to go along with the flag theme.
I hope you’re able to use some of these activities! Need more patriotic music ideas? Here are some ways to introduce the Star Spangled Banner to children.
I’d love to hear any other activities you use to teach patriotic music to your preschool aged children!