Even in this crazy world, I think we can all agree that one of the most important things in early childhood is developing a sense of steady beat. Music teachers have hundreds of ways to support this, but I’ve often seen students get stuck in a very “square” feel, and I think it’s because we focus so much on the beat itself that we can forget to play with syncopation. Enter “Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar”.

All: Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
Teacher: [Child’s name] stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
Child: Who me? 
All: Yes, you.
Child: Couldn’t be.
All: Then who?

I’m sure a lot of you are doing this already, but I was a latecomer to this. If you aren’t familiar with the chant, you can hear Elmo and Abby chant it with Cookie Monster

The pandemic drove me to do more chants, and it has now entered my repertoire. I don’t know why this wasn’t standard for me before, but I had no idea what I was missing! My kids want to play this week after week after week. We’ve mixed it up by adding body percussion patterns and movements. And I’ve gotten some of my quieter students to sing by assigning each student a food. For some reason, they really love revealing what food they had at the end of the game!

Integrate music, literacy, and personal/social education with one fun chant! #earlychildhood #playislearning #homeschooling #playandlearn #EFL #ELL #musiced Share on X

Classroom teachers and ELL/EFL teachers can draw on the chant as well to work on language and fluency. There are a ton of personal and social learning opportunities built in as well, and if you use the cards and poster, you can sort the foods into groups, work with syllables, letters, and phonics, or any number of other things!

I’m looking for new chants now! What are your favorites?

The Game My Kids Want All Year
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