The Old Grey Cats Are Sleeping

January 26th, 2010 by Dionna | 2 Comments
Posted in Eclectic Learning, Infants, Preschoolers, Toddlers

In my quest to create weekly activity schedules for Kieran, I have checked several books out from our local library for inspiration. The one I am reading today is called Musical Games, Fingerplays and Rhythmic Activities for Early Childhood.

As the name implies, the book is full of over 100 singing activities, active musical games, camp and folk songs, follow the leader and echo games, finger game and active chants, and games for auditory and listening skills. The book also gives helpful bits on what skills each song is helping children build, if that is something that interests you.

While the authors created the book for classroom use, most of the songs can be altered slightly so that they are also fun activities for a parent and child pair.

Here is a song that Kieran and I will do together. I will post it as written in the book (for a group setting), along with my suggestion on how to alter it so that you and your toddler can enjoy it together.

The Old Grey Cats Are Sleeping, p. 50-51

Concentration and listening for signals
Practice in acting out a simple story which changes from very quiet to boisterous
Motor skills such as running and chasing

*Half the children can pretend to be the cats, half will be mice. During the first verse the cats yawn, stretch and curl up to sleep on the rug. The mice wait at one side of the room for the cats to get to sleep.
*The mice sing: “The little mice are creeping, creeping,” etc. As they sing, the mice come out and tiptoe around the room.
*The mice pretend to eat, singing: “The little mice are nibbling, nibbling,” etc.
*The cats begin to stir, yawn, stretch, wake up, and watch the mice. The cats (or everyone) sing: “The old grey cats are waking, waking,” etc.
*Now everyone runs lightly, the cats chasing the mice back “home,” singing very fast: “The little mice are running, running,” etc.
*Comments: Everyone gets a good part in this act-out song. And you can be sure everyone will squeal and giggle when the cats wake up and chase the mice. In this activity, preschoolers will practice the important skill of expressing themselves through action and gesture, an important part of language and communication.

Alterations for a Parent/Child Pair
*If it’s just you and your child, take turns being the cat and mouse. Remember to change the words to the singular (the old grey cat is sleeping).
*Both of you can pretend to be cats (or mice), and you can imagine that there are mice creeping out to eat (or cats chasing you).

Sheet Music


What songs/musical activities do you and your child enjoy?

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2 Responses to:
"The Old Grey Cats Are Sleeping"

  1. Acacia

    One of Everett’s favorite songs when he was little was a hand game song called “Open, Shut Them” we learned from the library. We would sing it over and over. He now loves the counting song “one little, two little, three little ___” we fill it in with anything appropriate for the season. For example, during the fall we sing about apples and pretend we are picking them off the tree. He likes to make up his own songs about what we are doing and asks me to make up songs too. it’s really cute.

    • Dionna   CodeNameMama

      Kieran’s been singing “Where is Thumbkin” lately. Today I taught him “Two little birds sat on a hill, one named Jack and one named Jill . . .” He loved it!

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