Here are the lyrics and a possible melody for the ‘Seasons’ Circle Song’ activity for young children. I’ve found that it works well as a pleasant, lively, and sociable introduction to a seasonally-based nature program. This singing, moving, circle formation helps establish positive connections and expectations. Please encourage the youngsters to both sing and have fun impersonating the creatures being described during these brief songs.
This game and its visual complement, a “Seasons Clock,” are also described on the following two pages: “The Seasons’ Clock”and ‘The Natural Start Alliance Conference:- An Introduction and the Activities Collection Draft.’
Here are the melodies and the lyrics for the entire year – with sound effects!
“Circle of the Seasons” Games
- Just imagination and good will!
- (For Winter, you could optionally add Paper Snowflakes – Having such paper snowflakes available so that the children can toss them about during the phrase about blizzards definitely makes this Winter Game more fun. You can use round cupcake liners or round paper lace doilies, if time is short. Alternately, you can personally cut out more realistic snowflakes prior to class or recruit assistance from an older group of students. In programs with very young children with caregivers, I’ve pre-folded the paper squares into sixths or had the adults do this. The crafting of the snowflakes (through strategic trimming) then becomes an art component to the project.)
Overview: I’ve found that this activity can be highly useful for beginning seasonally-based classes. It can help establish a friendly, cooperative, and playful atmosphere. At the same time, it sparks interest in specific creatures and weather phenomena. Psychologically and physically, it gathers youngsters into a team by offering them an occasion for coordinated movement, dramatization and singing. It can be a pleasant preliminary to sedentary, instructional, and sometimes, verbally-saturated ‘circle time.’
Basic Lyrics for the four seasonal “Circle of the Seasons” Activity
Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, (Join hands and circle round.) The year goes round and round-oh. (Drop hands in preparation for the next phrase.) In Spring, the leaves sprout from the trees, (Lift up arms with hands in fists; stretch out fingers and pretend that they’re budding leaves. In Fall, come tumbling down-oh. (Slowly bend from the waist, lowering hands to the ground with a fluttering motion of the fingers in imitation of falling leaves.)
Spring showers help the plants to grow. (Join hands and circle round.) Soon flowers are blooming brightly. (Keep circling.) In nests in trees, the little birds grow. (Keep circling.) Hopping frogs are singing nightly. (Drop hands and everyone hops up and down. Add frog calls.)
Long summer days help plants grow strong. (Circle. Mosquitoes flit past woods and lawns. (Drop hands and stretch out arms behind back to make pretend wings, move forward in imitation of an obnoxious flying insect; make a whiny, buzzing sound for fun.) Birds try to catch them for their young. (Flap and dive rhythmically like a bird pursuing insects.) Turtles bask in the blazing sun. (Hold still, stretch arms out from your sides, tilt head back, and smile as if you were a turtle on a log, soaking up the sunshine.
Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, (Same gestures and movements as described earlier.) The year goes round and round-oh, In Spring, the leaves sprout from the trees. In Fall, come tumbling down-oh.
Autumn nights are long and chill. The leaves turn red, the crickets still. (Drop hands and ‘chirp’ The geese and grackles fly away. (Pretend to flap your ‘wings’ like a goose as you travel around the circle; add honk and hink sounds – the sounds of the male and female birds respectively.) Little chipmunks gather nuts all day. (Crouch and pretend to collect imaginary acorns by repeatedly stretching out curved hands and drawing them back quickly.)
Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, (Same as described earlier.) The year goes round and round-oh In Spring, the leaves sprout from the trees. In Fall, come tumbling down-oh.
Winter sun is seldom seen. Snow falls on fields that once were green The turtle and the woodchuck doze. (Tilt head, close eyes, and lift pressed hands to hands in imitation of sleep; snoring optional.) Coyotes cross the frozen snows. (Tiptoe around the circle, one after another, placing feet carefully in the footsteps of the alpha ‘coyote.’) Maples rest and larvae curl (Close eyes and bend head, and hunch back a bit to signify dormancy.)
Underground while blizzards swirl. (Pick up precut paper snowflakes from the center of the circle and toss them up like confetti to make a fine blizzard – This is usually a highlight of the activity for the youngsters,) The phoebe’s flown to southern climes, (Flap ‘wings’ in a pretend migration around the circle.) But Winter suits the porcupines. (With elbows held close to the waist, put hands up by the chest with both hands and fingers sticking out at right angles to imitate the quills of a porcupine; smile confidently.)
Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall, (Same as above.) The year goes round and round-oh In Spring, the leaves sprout from the trees. In Fall, come tumbling down-oh.
The warm spring sun melts winter snows. (Drop hands and stand swaying – imitating plants sprouting or waking up.) A million plants begin to grow. Buds unfold, the leaves unfurl. (Lift arms up gradually, stretching out fists to imitate leaves. Pussy willows bloom, and catkins twirl. (With arms lifted overhead and hands press together, spin around quickly.)
Drowsy bees begin to fly. (Stretch out ‘wings’ and pretend to fly in a swooping motion with a loud buzzing sound like a princess bumblebee who’s searching for a nesting place.) Hawks soar in the bright blue sky. (Continue ‘flying’ in a smooth, soaring fashion. Add a “kee-er, kee-er” cry in imitation of a Red-tailed Hawk’s call. Grey tree frogs trill and robins sing. (Make a high-pitched trill.) Rabbits hop and leap in Spring! (Hop and leap repeatedly.)
The Seasons’ Clock take-home visual aid which I usually pair with this activity is especially well suited for five- and six-year-olds, although the Seasons Circle Songs can be fun for three-year-olds. I invite you to check ‘The Season’s Clock’ page on this website to see photographs of that completed project, instructions for constructing it, and suggestions for how it might be used. You’ll know best whether either of these activities would be worthwhile for your youngsters. (I’d also like to mention that with a child and parent (or caregiver) program or a class-room setting featuring older buddies, the paper clock assembly, although a bit complicated, works beautifully!)