Old McDonald Had a Farm is an ideal song to share as positive touch activity with children. The simple words are perfect for combining with Story Massage strokes. And the simplicity and repetition make it a fun way of teaching English as a foreign language.
On a recent trip to work with child refugees, Mary Atkinson, co-founder of Story Massage, introduced Old McDonald Had a Farm during the first Story Massage session. “I led the first verse,” she says, “Then the children were invited to take turns to call out the name of the next animal on the farm. It worked really well for the children and the volunteers who all spoke different languages.” You can read more about Mary’s work at the camp here: Story Massage at a Refugee Camp.
Old McDonald Had a Farm – Story Massage
Go on give it a go….
Old MCDONALD had a farm (The Circle)
E-I-E-I-O (The Circle)
And on his farm he had a ……. (The Calm)
…..Lamb (The Bounce)
With a baa baa here (The Bounce)
And a baa baa there (The Bounce)
Here a baa, there a baa (The Bounce)
Everywhere a baa baa (The Bounce)
Old McDonald had a farm (The Circle)
E-I-E-I-O (The Circle)
Choosing the Strokes for Animals
Some suggestions for different animals are below. “We great fun working out the best strokes,” says Mary, “For example, we choose the Downwards Fan for the Chicken because it seems like laying eggs, and the Squeeze for the cow because of the milking action!”
- Duck (The Fan)
- Cat (The Sideways Wave)
- Pig (The Drum)
- Horse (The Walk)
- Dog (The Claw)
- Cow (The Squeeze)
- Chicken (The Downwards Fan)
More about the Story Massage Programme
The Story Massage Programme combines the fun and reassurance of story with the benefits of positive, respectful touch. It is enjoyed by all ages and abilities. Ten simple massage strokes form the basis of the programme. These strokes have a name, such as The Circle or The Sprinkle, and an easy to recognise symbol making it accessible for all.
The online training is ideal for therapists, teachers, SEN staff, support staff, Early Years practitioners, those working with people with additional needs, Baby Massage Instructors, Relax Kids Coaches… everyone with an interest in sharing sensory stories and positive touch activities with children and adults. All the information is here: Story Massage Online Training.