What To Do When the Sixth Grand-baby Finally Likes Your Singing Voice

nursery-rhymes-for-little-totsWhen I had my first child it was my joy to rock her to sleep and sing to her. It was horribly sad when one day when she was 14 or 15 months old, she pushed me away and said, “no sing, no rock, crib.”  (I have to admit it was more like, “no sig, no yok, kib.”). I, of course, continued to sing and dance with her, but stopped rocking her to sleep. When she was old enough to comment on my singing, she asked me not to. Our younger daughter verbalized her dislike of my voice even earlier than my first. Of course, our older children want to please us while our younger children voice likes and dislikes almost immediately.

My grandchildren are like my children. When the family gets together and there is ever a discussion about my singing, as I sing when I feel like it and forget that no one likes my voice, they cannot believe I forgot that no one likes my voice. I forget very often as I like singing when I am with my grandchildren and children and family. But, the request to stop singing comes very early now.

Knowing how my entire family feels, with the youngest baby, I will sing until he is also old enough to complain. And it turns out that he loves my singing. Even his mother who hates my singing admits that he loves my singing.  On FaceTime, he starts clapping or touching his head, his non verbal way of wanting to hear, “If You Are Happy and You Know It.”  He smiles and dances and wants more!

Here’s the challenge. His older brother is eight years old.  It is eight years since I sang the baby songs.  I have forgotten the songs I sang when our children were babies and toddlers and even the songs for when our grandchildren were babies and toddlers. I didn’t know if I was succeeding with “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” and “Old MacDonald Had a Farm.” My daughter suggested “Itsy-bitsy Spider.” I can’t believe I forgot that one.  I remembered a song from my old days as a summer day camp counselor, “Open Shut Them.”

So, for grandmas like me, whose children decide to have a child seven years after the next youngest or grandmas who are just beginning the most joyful time your life as a new grandma, here are songs that you can sing to get started.  There is even a song I made up so feel free to make up your own songs. If you don’t know the song or just cannot remember, I’ve given you the YouTube link so you can learn or really, refresh your recollection.


See a previous blog post which includes cd and video recommendations, “Dancing and Singing with Grandchildren and Teaching and Moving Body Parts.“

On You Tube Kids, I found “All Babies Channel – 3D Nursery Rhymes For Babies,” with links for lots of songs for babies and toddlers, even the ‘Baby Shark Dance,” all the new rage.  I also love “Super Simple Songs” videos.  Most of all, I love the Sesame Street sing alongs.  When you hit the link to the songs below, the list on the right will remind you of your favorites.

“If You Are Happy and You Know It.” 

“Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” 

“Itsy, Bitsy Spider” – stick with the first verse.

“The Wheels on the Bus”

“Old MacDonald”

And, this Grandma’s favorite.

“Open Shut Them” No one had the words as I learned them, but you can find the melody.

Open shut them, Open shut them. (open and close your hands)

Give a little clap.

Open shut them, Open shut them. (open and close your hands)

Creep them, creep them (like itsy, bitsy spider, creep your fingers up)

Right up to your chin. (Touch your chin)

Open wide your little mouth.

But do not put them in. (Quickly put your hands behind your back).

You will now have links to so many more songs that you forgot.  Find your favorites, or make them up.

Sing and dance and play, and sing and dance and play some more with the grand babies.  After all, it is only when we are grandparents that it is okay to be silly again.







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