Celebrating Spring, birth and new growth with Bangers & Smash!

We’ve had a busy April and May at Bangers & Smash with a series of sessions on Spring, birth and new growth!

Spring and Easter

In the run-up to Easter, we’ve learned two songs about rabbits:

  • Little Peter Rabbit Had A Fly Upon His Nose

  • The Easter Bunny

Cathy has brought in a soft toy rabbit and and the children have enjoyed talking about how the Easter Bunny delivers eggs made of chocolate.

This has led to discussions about real eggs and the opportunity to learn a song about a chicken:

  • Hey, Little Hen

Cathy has put some egg shakers and a toy chicken in a basket and asked the children to choose an egg each to play during the song.

At Mother Goose – Greendale, we’ve taken this one step further with a visit to the new chickens in the Wildlife Garden and lots of talk about the baby chicks hatching in an incubator in the preschool classroom.

We’ve also danced to There Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens by Louis Jordan and marched round the room wearing brightly coloured scarves to The Easter Parade.

Gardens and growing

Moving on, Cathy has played a song by Canadian children’s songwriter, Raffi:

With lots of stretching actions, this beautiful song is a great introduction to things that grow – from babies and animals, flowers and plants to fingers and toes, sisters and brothers and even Mums and Dads!

Cathy has then introduced a nursery rhyme about gardens:

  • Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

We’ve chosen two instruments to represent Mary’s ‘silver bells and cockle shells’:

The children have taken it in turns to act out the song, walking round an imaginary garden, stopping to shake the instruments and, finally, touching all the children and staff on their heads during the line, ‘And pretty maids all in a row’.

A chajcha

A chajcha

Next, the soft toy rabbit has made a second appearance, this time as Gardening Bunny, complete with bucket, trowel and garden fork.

After showing the children how the bunny uses his tools to plant and water a seed, Cathy has invited individual children to come to the front and have a go. The room has become silent as each child has dug a (pretend) hole, popped a seed in, covered it with soil and poured on some water from the bucket, all with vocal sound effects.

Babies, toddlers and preschoolers have enjoyed this quiet, focussed activity which uses so many key skills – watching, listening and copying; exploring our voices; matching sounds to actions; using our imaginations; and, of course, using fine motor skills to wield the garden tools.

We’ve backed this up with another song about growing:

  • Push Little Seed

Where possible, Cathy has taken the children outside where they’ve been able to crouch down like little seeds under the ground before pushing up through the soil and lifting their faces and arms to the sun.

We’ve finished our sessions on gardens and growing with two circle songs, again, performed outside where possible:

  • Ring A Ring O’ Roses

  • In And Out The Dusty Bluebells

Discovering South America at Under the Willow

Meanwhile, at Under the Willow, we’ve started our new 12-week project on South America.

Our first sessions have been about:

  • flags, maps and landmarks

  • the Amazon rainforest

  • the Inca Trail and Machu Pichu

  • fabric and colour

Children have enjoyed:

  • finding South America on a map and learning to say hello in Spanish (hola) and Portuguese (olá)

  • learning a new hello song from Brazil, Dulce, Dulce

  • dancing to a cumbia version of La Bamba by Colombian group, La Sonora Dinamita

  • curling up on the floor and listening to Deep In The Forest by Heitor Villa-Lobos

  • listening to the sound of rain and making a rainstorm using body percussion and junk drums

  • learning Bangers & Smash original, Don’t Be Alarmed By A Llama, and taking it in turns to walk the Inca Trail with a toy llama while listening to Astrid Gilberto’s Lugar Bonito

  • taking it in turns to dress up in woven shawls while playing a Quechuan drum during the song, Sambalalay

Children and staff are looking forward to performing some of the above for parents and carers at Under the Willow’s South America Project Celebration on Wednesday 10 July 2019.

Music in the Wildlife Garden

Cathy (guitar/voice) and jazz legend, Steve Rose (keyboard), are delighted to have been invited to provide another Music in the Wildlife Garden session at the Mother Goose Nursery Wildlife Garden from 12 midday-4pm on Saturday 29 June.


This FREE session for families and members of the local community is part-sponsored by Southwark Council.

We'll be showcasing new songs about wildlife and gardening as well as making shakers and claves from recycled and natural materials – so do come along and bring your littl'uns!