The Old Grey Cat offers a wonderful opportunity for some role play with story telling combined.
The simple repetitive melody is quick and easy to pick up. Have a listen to the video at the bottom of the post and you can also print the free sheet music too.
Once the they’re familiar with the tune, children can concentrate on telling the story and acting out the characters.
- Start off sitting in a circle and use the pictures below as you sing the song and tell the story.
- As you sing you can introduce some simple actions the children will be keen to copy you.
- Rest your head on folded hands for sleeping.
- Mime creeping up on tip toes and hold hands like little mouse paws.
- Pretend to nibble the cheese with your hands with rapid, tiny bites, lip smacking!
- Pretend to prowl slowly like a stealthy cat, low to the ground with long elongated crawling motion.
- Scamper on the spot ever so fast like little mice running away!
This song is all about contrasts of sounds and movement and it’s an excellent way to introduce the concepts of loud and soft and changing tempos.
(Rest your head on folded hands for sleeping) (QUIET& STILL)
Children love pretending to sleep, so encourage them to curl up and be very still and quiet.
If you demonstrate by doing a little mouse creeping on tip-toe impersonation first, the children will happily follow suit! Be sure to explain that you’ve got to be very quiet incase you wake up the cat!
(Pretend to nibble with rapid, tiny bites, the cheese in your hands.) (FAST)
Another thing little children love doing is pretending to eat! (think of pretend tea parties) It’s something that they’re all familiar with and will love adding in the little noshing and lip-smacking sound effects for authenticity!
(Rest your head on folded hands for sleeping.) (SOFT & Slow)
After all that nibbling here’s another chance to calm the tempo down and sing softly and gently while the little mice take a nap.
(Pretend to prowl slowly like a stealthy cat.) (SOFT & SLOW)
Now the Old grey cat wakes up again and starts to hunt for the mice. The kids love prowling like a cat getting ready to pounce, quiet and slow but full of the anticipation that there’s going to be a chase!
(Scamper ever so fast like little mice running away!) (VERY FAST)
Depending on the amount of space you have available you can have the children either scampering on the spot or allow them a moment of mousey mayhem!
If you’re short of space the whole song can be sung in the seated position and the actions can be played out by ‘creeping’ your fingers slowly along your legs, or making them ‘scamper’ quickly up and down.
Once the children have learnt the song and understand the contrasting tempos and dynamics, it’s fun to play it on percussion instruments together encouraging them to observe the contrasting dynamics.
It’s also a great song to choose for a performance, perhaps at the end of term. You could have half the group acting out the actions and the other half paying percussion instruments – choose the instruments that are best for showing off the contrasting dynamics.
The kids below gave such a lovely performance I bet it melted everyone’s hearts!