Here are the lyrics and a possible melody for the ‘Seasons’ Circle Song’ activity for young children. I’ve found it works very well as a pleasant, lively, and sociable introduction for seasonally-based nature programs and general environmental education in the early years. The singing, moving, circle formation helps establish positive connections and expectations. The youngsters can be encouraged to enjoy imitating their fellow creatures. During the brief songs, they acknowledge and, in a way, celebrate these amazing beings who, in varied ways, help make this part of the world both beautiful and life-sustaining.
The game and its visual complement, a “Seasons Clock,” are also described on the following two pages of this website: “The Seasons’ Clock”and ‘A Draft of the Activities Collection Circling the Sun, Racing the Wind.”
Here are the suggested melodies and the text of the lyrics.
Seasons’ Circle Song” – (Basic Lyrics for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Songs and Accompanying Actions)
Chorus / Refrain (To be sung before each seasonal verse section – and possibly after – depending on the group)
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.)
Specific Verse for Each Season:
Spring (simplest option)
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.)
Spring (A more complicated but well-liked version that can also serve as a good prelude for spring gardening or plant studies.)
The warm spring sun melts winter snows. (Drop hands and stretch upward and sway – imitating plants sprouting or waking up.)
A million plants begin to grow. (Look around and smile at your neighbors!)
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 pressed together, spin around quickly. Expect dizziness!)
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 circle usually dissolves and it’s now a fine time to go outside to garden!)
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 and stretch arms out from your sides. Tilt head back, and smile as if you were a turtle on a log, soaking up the sunshine.)
Autumn nights are long and chill. (Circle. Shiver at the word ‘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 very quickly.)
Winter sun is seldom seen. (Circle.)
Snow falls on fields that once were green.
The turtle and the woodchuck doze. (Tilt head, close eyes, and lift pressed hands to head 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, bend chinto chest, and hunch over a little to signify dormancy.)
Underground while blizzards swirl. (Pick up precut paper snowflakes from the center of the circle and toss them up repeatedly – like confetti – to imitate the falling snow of a blizzard. This is often the 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.)
The Seasons’ Clock take-home Visual
The Seasons’ Clock take-home visual aid which I usually pair with this activity is especially well suited for five- and six-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 the activity and its extensions would be worthwhile for your youngsters. This is also a complementary project that lends itself well to team production, as in the case of assistance from older students in a buddy class or from adult caregivers in a parent and child programs.
Additionally for the Winter song, you can create Paper Snowflakes for tossing after the line in the song referencing “blizzards swirl.” As mentioned, students usually find this addition to the activity very enjoyable! After all who doesn’t like to create a blizzard – whether of leaves, paper snow flakes, rice or confetti? The snowflakes are crafted by folding squares of paper into six parts and trimming them. There are many internet sites to help with this. Gift wrapping tissue paper is especially well suited for this project. This is an excellent occasion for a team effort conducted with ‘buddies’ from an older class or parents and caregivers (when working with a child and adult class).
Having such paper snowflakes available definitely makes the Winter Season’s Song more fun. If time is short, you can even use flattened round cupcake liners or round paper lace doilies. Occasionally, for the very young, I’ve trimmed out the snowflakes myself prior to class or recruited assistance from an older group of students. In programs for three-year-olds with caregivers, I’ve pre-folded the paper squares into sixths and had the grownups trim them into snowflakes. For first graders and above, by prefolding the papers and providing a careful demonstration, it’s possible to turn the crafting of the snowflakes (through strategic trimming) into a visual arts project that builds skills even as it complements the Winter season’s song.