MusicallyMontessori100 Songs: 20 Favorites For Smooth Transitions and More!


Magical Movement Company Transition songs
Musically Montessori 20 favorite children's songs for transitions (Photo from Dollar Photo Club)

A seasoned teacher will be the first to agree that young children listen to what is said so much more attentively when what is said is actually SUNG!

In daily life with children, there are so many chunks of time spent waiting, or preparing for the next activity. And, then there are the routines that require a bit more focus on the part of the child.

Musically Montessori transition time songs
Looking for fun transition songs for little kids? (Photo from Dollar Photo Club)

All of these times are made more meaningful and interesting if a little song is part of the mix!

I have found it invaluable to have a stash of quick and engaging songs & rhythmic activities to fill in these gaps throughout the day.

Children's songs for transitions
Children singing a transition song (Photo by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company)

Here are the next 20 songs in my series "A Hundred Songs": Favorites of the Children in the Montessori Music Room."  

You can find the first 3 sets of favorite songs in my past posts by clicking here: 

The First 20 Favorites and How to Teach Them

And here:

The Next 20 Favorites: Don't Forget the Traditional Ones

And here:

The Next 20: Especially for Learning Music Concepts

 100 Favorite Songs Categorized


Each of the songs has a link to hear the song, or even see it in action. Most can be downloaded at the link as well!

Preschool songs for transitions
Preschool songs for transition times (Photo from  Dollar Photo Club)
  1. "We're Waiting" A simple song that I use for all kinds of transitions or times when children must wait their turn. Watch my little YouTube video for a rendition of this song.
  2. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe Use hand motions for the actions in the song. I start with saying this rhyme slowly, then speed it up for a second round. By then, everyone has gotten ready for circle time.
  3. Miss Mary Mack This traditional clapping rhythm/ song is silly but fun. The rhyming words at the end of each phrase quickly engage the children. 
  4. Here's A Little Blue Bird I play this as a circle game as I dismiss children from circle one by one to go to the next activity (*see below)
  5. Rolly, Rolly-Poly A sweet little song/rhyme  for even the very youngest toddlers. Helps children get their bodies under control for a group time. (ex: children move their hands to the words of the song and finally they:  "fold them in your lap, lap, lap.")
  6. Punchinello This copying song is a fun circle game and as the child who is Punchinello shows his/her action, then s/he leaves the circle to go to the next activity.
  7. There Were 10 in the Bed Another great song for gradually having children leave the circle to go to the next activity.
  8. If You're Happy & You Know It This song quickly gets a child engaged with the actions sung in the song. I like to add sign language at the end to "say": I love you. (I Sing: "If you're happy & you know it, sign I Love You" while signing the phrase in American Sign Language.)
  9. Movement on the Line with Sanford Jones Wonderful instrumental music that is perfect for transitioning from outdoor play into the classroom and the circle. (*see below)
  10. Can You Make A Circle Fun game for a group to move from all around the room into a circle formation at the count of...! (you choose the number)
*HERE'S A LITTLE BLUE BIRD: A child is chosen to be the "bird" and flies around the circle, then s/he chooses a partner to "hop in the garden". At the end of the song the first child leaves the circle and the partner becomes the "bird". Continue until all children have left the circle to go to the next activity.
Musically Montessori Walking on the Line with Sanford Jones
"Walking on the Line" cd by Sanford Jones available at Montessori Services

*MOVEMENT ON THE LINE WITH SANFORD JONES: Sorry, but there isn't a link to hear the music! This is one of those "must-have" cd s for the Montessori classroom. It consists of a series of simple piano pieces with distinctive rhythmic patterns for walking, running, skipping, galloping, gliding, and "processing" (like walking in a wedding). These are modeled after Maria Maccheroni's music for movement on the line used in the first Montessori Children's House in Rome. See my past post for more on this: Musically Montessori #2.


  1. Little Bird, Little Bird This song can be acted out with a child designated as the bird and then s/he flies away at the end of the song (dismiss children, one by one, from circle this way)
  2. Take Me Riding in the Car, Car A classic song from Woody Guthrie with fun hand motions to go along. Engages children right away.
  3. Floating Down the River/ Jump Josie This song is another circle game with child in the middle of the group, then s/he calls in another & they jump together, etc., according to the words of the song.
  4. I'm A Little Acorn Brown/ Little Pile of Tin A silly favorite with hand motions that engage children easily (*See below for "Pile of Tin" words)
  5. As I Was Walking Down the Street A circle game with on child walking in the middle (or around the outside) of the circle, then choosing a friend to skip along with.
  6. When I First Came to This Land Watch this video for the hand actions and (*see below for alternate verses)
  7. Jumping Land Engaging song with actions that children can act out
  8. Old King Glory on the Mountain As you can see in this video, there is an inner circle group and then the child/ adult goes around and on the words 1,2, 3...the child taps children in the inner circle to join the outer circle. Eventually, there is one outer circle! 
  9. Everyone Born in January Skip Around  This is a video featuring one of my Orff-Schulwerk teachers, Doug Goodkin. I have the children skip around inside the circle as their birth month is sung. With preschoolers, you may have to check to find out what month each child was born in...usually four yr olds will know this, but not necessarily!
  10. Tide-o This can be a circle game with the  children playing wrist bells. Nice game for wintry days. Also works as a way to dismiss each child from circle to the next activity.
*ACORN BROWN/ PILE OF TIN: Here are the alternate words with the same melody: 
"I'm a little pile of tin
No one knows what shape I'm in
Everybody laughs at me
That's because I'm an old model T
(CHORUS below: repeat twice)
Honk, Honk, (squeeze nose) 
Rattle, rattle (shake head)
Crash (move head forward quickly then stop!)
Beep, Beep!" (press hand forward as if beeping on car horn)
*WHEN I FIRST CAME TO THIS LAND: As you can see in the video, this song has interesting hand motions to go with the verses. I have CHANGED THE WORDS of the verses TO THE FOLLOWING:
"When I first came to this land
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a shack...& I called my shack 'Break My Back'
~other verses:
So I got myself a farm & I called my farm 'Muscle in My Arm'
So I got myself a cow & I called my cow 'Lots of Milk Now' (thumbs up)
So I got myself a pig & I called my pig 'Dance a Little Jig' (tap feet as if dancing)
So I got myself a wife & I called my wife 'Joy of My Life' (cross arms over heart)
So I got myself a child & I called my child "Free & Wild' (throw hands up in the air)

Watch for my NEXT Hundred Songs Post: THE FINAL 20!  FUN FAVORITES FOR EVERYONE with some fun activities, little videos, and links to the songs. 

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Want to learn how to teach a new song to your child/ren? Or, how to allow children to "move" in a large group without too much chaos? And, what about playing rhythm instruments in a way that doesn't give you a headache! 

I invite you to check out my Musically Montessori eCourses HERE

Musically Montessori eCourses with Carolyn
Musically Montessori eCourses with Carolyn from Magical Movement Company

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you have found some fun activities for your group!

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