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Originally recorded as Live Broadcast November 2022

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Developing children’s ability to connect and interact with others has never been more important.

So many of our little ones had their social interactions reduced to immediate family over the last few years so we need to plug that gap.

I’m talking about physical contact, I’m talking about eye contact and I’m talking about that amazing feeling of connection and community that comes from singing and playing together.

In Early Years, babies and small children can be bounced on the knee by a parent or carer. Play tickling games, counting games on the body, lots of eye contact and smiles.

There are a multitude of songs you can use and I can highly recommend Lucinda Geoghegan’s books. Her Singing Games and Rhymes Series is invaluable.

For older children, this song is so versatile.

Bluebells Cockle Shells s m ss m
Eevy Ivy Over ss md r s
Bluebells Cockle Shells s m ss m
Eevy Ivy Over ss md r d

This song has multiple lyrics, rhythms, melodies and games! I’ve heard at least three completely different and many slight variations. Whichever you choose, just be consistent.

In the classroom I use a game taught to me by Lucinda. The children are in a circle but in pairs. They hold hands with their partner and swing their arms but at the end they twist, let go and face a new partner.

This is great for interpersonal interaction.

  • The children are facing a partner, which encourages eye contact.
  • They have to make physical contact with their partner to hold hands.
  • They have to cooperate with their partner to swing their arms successfully.
  • They have to turn to leave their partners and then cooperate with a new partner.
  • Finally they are singing as a group, creating a community and connecting through song.

Have you used this song? Or maybe there’s another one you can recommend.