The Open The Dovecote Ring Game is a simple song and circle dance activity that’s great for building confidence and making friends.
You could of course play this game at any time of year, but it’s a perfect activity for Whitsun, or Pentecost. This is when Christians around the world celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit on the eighth Sunday after Easter.
The name Whitsun is short for White Sunday as it has always been the tradition to wear white on this holiday, perhaps to symbolise the coming of the Holy Spirit, but also to celebrate the coming of the new summer season when the countryside itself dresses in white blossom.
However, the dove is a universal symbol peace and this game is a wonderful way to embrace and celebrate that.
Open The Dovecote Ring Game
The Dovecote now we o-pe-n wide and set all the white doves free,
They fly around on ev- ery side, up t-o the hi-gh-est tree.
Then they come back at e-ven-ing and clo-se their ey-es and sing;
coo-oo-, coo-oo-, coo-oo-, coo-oo-
How To Play The Ring Game
- Divide the group in two.
- Half the group hold hands and stand in a circle forming the ‘dovecote’.
- The other half will be the doves, so tie some long white ribbons or crepe paper streamers to the childrens’ wrists for their pretend ‘dove wings’ (see below for instructions)
- Then the ‘doves’ crouch down in the middle of the circle ‘asleep’.
- As the first line of the song is sung, the children making the circle release their hands and stretch up their arms in the air, taking a step backwards if there is room.
- The doves wake up and fly around the outside of the circle and love to flap their white ribbon wings.
- In the second part of the song, the doves fly back into the centre to go back to sleep, and the dovecote closes up again.
- The children enjoy having a go at being both the doves and the dovecote.
Open The Dovecote Ring Game Sheet Music free sheet music
To make some dove wing streamers
You will need: (per child)
- 40cm white ribbon 1cm wide.
- White crêpe paper.
- White thread.
- Cut the ribbon in half, and use a 20cm length for each ‘wing’.
- Cut the crêpe paper into narrow strips of slightly differing lengths (about 1cm x 30-40cm)
- Take half a dozen paper strips, and secure them to the centre of each ribbon with a couple of secure stitches held at the middle.
- Then tie the ribbons around the childrens’ wrists to make fluttering white dove wings!
For more bird themed musical activities, check out my All About Birds lesson plan over in our shop!