Thursday, May 13, 2010

Adapting Familiar Songs

Are you tired of the same old songs? Or do you want to work on a particular objective and can't find the right song to do it?
Over the years, I have had a LOT of fun adding new words and verses to traditional or well known songs. One of my favorite children's fingerplay/rhyme songs is 5 Little Monkeys. Many of the kids I work with like this song, but frequently lose interest after the 2nd or 3rd monkey! Plus, I really wanted a song that I could do some sequencing activities with. So - I changed it around - added a familiar melody and verses to make it "3 Little Monkeys". Now there are hand motions to go with each of the verses and the old standard is new again!
Here are the words to my version of the "3 Little Monkeys". The music is available to download below the words!
3 Little Monkeys
(Adapted from 5 Little Monkeys - Additional words by Pamela Ott)
3 little monkeys jumpin' on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head!
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
"No more monkeys jumpin' on the bed!"
Two little monkeys sittin' in a tree,
One fell out and skinned his knee.
Momma called the doctor, quick as can be,
And he said "No more monkeys sittin' in a tree!"
One little monkey swimmin' in the river
Got so cold he began to shiver!
Mama called the doctor who's chin began to quiver
He said "No more monkeys swimmin' in the river"!
Three sick monkeys, all of them little
Lying there in the hospital.
Lulah and Johnnie and sister Fred say,
Never again will we swim in the river,
Or sit in a tree, or jump on the bed,
We don't want to bump our head,
So no more jumpin' on the bed!
Listen and download "3 Little Monkeys" here!

<a href="">3 Little Monkeys by Pamela Ott</a>


  1. That is sooo fun. I love your blog. I sing a lot, and I think it's started rubbing off on my two-year-old, he is always singing. I love music. Following you now.

  2. glad i found your blog from MBC

  3. I looking forward to exploring your blog. Following from MBC!!! You can find me at

  4. How fun!
    Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.

    Have a nice day!

  5. Stopping by to follow from MBC!

    What a great place you have here, and I love your blog name. :)

  6. What a cool song! I could picture the grandbebes hopping around and dancing to it while I listened!

    Thanks for being a follower!! I made you part of my Photo Tag here:

  7. Great rhyme. For more cool activities for kids check out my site at

  8. That's adorable! Also from MBC

  9. Stopping by to follow from MBC!

    *** michelle ***

  10. My kindergartners used to love "Five Little Monkeys" and then we would think of all sorts of variations-driving in the bus, sitting at their desks, watching some TV, eating apple pie. It was one of their favorite circle time activities.

  11. You have a great website! Thank you so much for following me. I'm following back! :)