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Seven Health Poems for Preschoolers

written by: Kara Bietz • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 9/25/2012

There are so many lessons in the broad topic of health that teachers would like preschoolers to learn, that it may sometimes feel overwhelming for both the children and the teachers! Read on for some fun poems, songs and chants about health to keep preschoolers thinking about healthy practices.

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    Poems about Hand Washing

    Hand washing is one of the most important things a child can do to protect themselves from germs, bacteria and illness. Most preschoolers understand the need for hand washing, but will often need some reminders of when to wash their hands, as well as some help remembering all of the steps to proper hand washing. Try some of these fun rhymes to help children wash well:

    Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands (This is a great song to sing to remind children how long they should scrub and wash their hands. Sing through the song twice for an effective hand washing.)

    (Sung to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

    Wash, wash, wash your hands

    Be sure to use the soap!

    Rub and scrub and scrub and rub

    Germs go down the drain. HEY!

    Wash Wash Wash Your Hands

    (Sung to the tune of Skip to My Lou)

    Wash wash wash your hands

    Wash wash wash your hands

    Wash wash wash your hands

    Wash with soap and water.

    Rinse rinse rinse your hands

    Rinse rinse rinse your hands

    Rinse rinse rinse your hands

    Rinse them under water.

    Dry dry dry your hands

    Dry dry dry your hands

    Dry dry dry your hands

    Dry off all the water.

    Try this simple poem when you are dismissing the children from circle time to wash their hands for a snack or another activity.

    Lauren, Lauren, if you can?

    Go and wash your little hands.

    Songs don't need to be long or difficult in order for children to remember them. They don't even have to rhyme! Remember that the key is to make the ditty catchy and fun to recite. Your students will soon be reminding each other to wash their hands during the day.

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    Exercise and Sports

    Add this simple exercise chant to your circle time activities to keep those bodies moving. You may choose to add movement or dancing or make up a simple game to go along with them.

    Run in place (Chanted to the tune of Frere Jacques)

    Bend and stretch

    Bend and stretch

    Run in place

    Run in place

    Touch your toes

    Touch your toes

    Jumping jacks

    Jumping jacks

    For a fun group activity, begin chanting the above poem at a very slow tempo until children understand what comes next, and how to do each movement correctly. As the children are able to complete each exercise easily, speed up the tempo of the song and see if children can keep up with the movements. This game can get very silly (and very fun) quickly!

    Can You Run? (Chanted similar to Where is Thumbkin) This is a simple chant and respond poem that can be modified to include any number of exercises or sports movements.

    Can you run? Can you run? (teacher asks and demonstrates the movement)

    Yes we can! Yes we can! (children respond and copy the movement)

    Can you bend? Can you bend? (teacher asks and demonstrates the movement)

    Yes we can! Yes we can! (children respond and copy the movement)

    This poem can continue and include any movement or exercise you would like to include such as mimicking throwing a ball, yoga poses or stretches.

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    Healthy Food & Teeth

    To expand your healthy living theme, consider adding other poems about health, movement, sleeping and healthy eating to your preschool curriculum.

    Carrots by Judith Natelli McLaughlin

    Carrots orange, long and bright

    Make my snowman’s nose tonight

    Carrots shredded thin and fair

    Make lovely, layered orange hair

    Carrots crunchy, cold and sweet

    Make my favorite snack to eat

    Ten Red Apples (Add simple movements to this poem and discuss healthy fruits and vegetables)

    Ten red apples high in the tree,

    Hidden away where no one can see.

    When the wind blows, rocking to and fro,

    Down to the ground those apples will go!

    The Toothbrushing Song (Have children mimic brushing their teeth for this fun song, sung to the tune of Shake My Sillies Out)

    I'm gonna brush, brush, brush the germs out

    Brush, brush, brush the germs out.

    Brush brush brush the germs out,

    And show my nice bright smile!

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    Add some rhyme time to your curriculum unit on healthy living! Preschoolers adore songs, rhymes and chants and will eagerly join in with these simple health poems. Expand your preschooler's understanding of healthy practices by kicking it up a notch and adding movements, music and exercise.

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    Author's own classroom experience

    Silberg, Jackie. 500 Five Minute Games. Gryphon House (1995).

    Carrots Poem by Judith Natelli McLaughlin: