I love “Once There Was a Snowman” for Nursery age children because it has a lot of the qualities in a song that this age child loves and needs.
- Not many words, and words that repeat
- Melody that repeats and has a small range of notes
- Lively rhythm
- Words describe something concrete that the child can see, touch, hear, or smell
Here are a couple of fun ideas to teach the song;
As you sing, build a paper (or felt) snowman. On the words “In the sun he melted,…,” I begin to take OFF the round circles of the snowman so that he “melts.” I found that if I add a hat and a scarf of different colors, I can build the snowman two or three times and hold the children’s interest. Of course after seeing the paper/felt snowman be built, we become snowmen ourselves. We start in a little ball on the floor and grow to be as tall as we can while we sing. Then we melt down back into a little ball as we sing the “small, small, small” words of the song.
A fun idea that is interactive for the children is Draw the Song. Take in a small whiteboard and while you sing the first part of the song, draw a snowman. When you come to the part where the snowman melts, have a child erase the snowman from the whiteboard as you sing. If you have a lot of children, you might consider two erasers.
With this activity, you are also teaching patience and rewards. “You will get the eraser next, Johnny. Wait on your carpet square!” “I like the way Jill is waiting for her turn to have the eraser. She is sitting right on her carpet square until it is her turn.” “Such good waiting!” There is so much more than music being taught in Nursery singing time!
How big is this snowman? I’m trying to figure out what an appropriate size would be. I’m assuming the face and buttons are glued on? Do you use just one snowman for the whole group or multiples so more kids can be involved?
We only have 10 children in our Nursery right now, so I only use one snowman. The whole thing is out of felt or paper and the nose and eyes are not glued on so that I (or the children) can put them on (and take them off as he melts) while we sing. The head is about the size of a dinner plate, his middle a bigger circle than that, and the bottom circle bigger than the middle circle. Thanks for asking!