I often affectionately call my kids “monkey” or “silly monkey” and it’s a moniker that fits giggling toddlers perfectly. Perhaps that’s why toddlers all seem to love the lyrics to Five Little Monkeys! In addition to learning numbers through this counting rhyme, there’s no doubt a thrill to the slightly naughty lyrics. Today, Veronika and I had fun with monkey games in a few ways.
We started out just saying this favorite rhyme:
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed.
One fell off and bumped her head.
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”
Repeat four times, counting down one monkey each time until no monkeys are jumping on the bed.
To make the game tactile, I pulled out a set of stacking monkeys. Veronika is still too young to balance them with any dexterity, but she loved playing with them while I chanted the song.
And knocking them down off the bed with each verse. “Bonk!” she said.
I found another monkey rhyme with slightly strange lyrics, but a similar idea of teaching young kids to count down:
Five little monkeys walked along the shore.
One went a-sailing and then there were four.
Four little monkeys climbed up a tree.
One of them tumbled down and then there were three.
Three little monkeys found a pot of glue.
One got stuck in it and then there were two.
Two little monkeys found a currant bun.
One ran away with it and then there was one.
One little monkey cried all afternoon,
So they put him in a plane and flew him to the moon.
The lyrics to this were complicated, but Veronika continued playing with the stacking monkeys all the while, and loved making a monkey “ee ee, oo oo, aah aah” sound.
We found cartoon versions of both to watch online to end the fun.
Do you have a favorite rhyme about silly monkeys? Please share in the comments!