Celebrate Asian Heritage Month in May with interactive songs for children. With its 48 countries, Asia covers nearly 30 percent of the land area on Earth. While reminding your child of the diversity of cultures, ethnicities and languages that resonate through the Asian continent, reinforce the lesson with music that reflects the nation from which it originated. Through music, join children on the other side of the world who sing the same lyrics and melodies.
Asian Nursery Rhymes
Chant along to the Chinese rhyme "Red Dragonflies," which translates into the imagery: "They gently stop; on the rocks gently they stop; on the water gently they stop; in the breeze gently they stop." Sing a Filipino version of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" with the children's song: "My toes, my knees, my shoulders, my head." After repeating and patting the body parts, children end with "We stamp and clap our hands together."
Asian Songs With Motions
Act out a song with hand motions like the Chinese finger play "Three Horses." Children hold up their fingers while they sing, "Three horses are drinking, three horses are feeding, the two men are fighting, the old woman pleading, the baby is crying, but no one is heeding." Gesture along with the rice-cake making song from Japan called "Making Mochi on the Moon." The song starts, "One, two, three, four, the hare is making Mochi on the moon," and continues through the motions of kneading, pounding and clapping.
Spring Asian Songs
Celebrate the time of year when Asian Heritage Month falls with a song about spring, such as the Japanese "Soshunhu," which translates as "early spring." Children can warble through words that bring to mind warm weather: "The ice in the ponds melted and up sprouted the reeds, then bush warblers in the valley decided to sing their songs." Sing the Vietnamese song, "A Flock of White Birds," which translates into English as: "A flock of white birds takes up a V formation; Come meet me after school; Remember to come here! Where are you going, flock of white birds? Go home quick! Quick! Go home quick! Quick!"
Children of every culture thrill to belt out songs about animals. In Japan, you might find children laughing through the "Raccoon Drumming at Shojoji Temple" song with the lyrics, "At Shojoji Temple in the garden, there is moonlight tonight; come on everybody, my friends, play belly drums -- pom poko pom no pom." Children in Thailand enjoy singing the traditional ditty, "Elephant Song," beginning with the words "Elephant, elephant, elephant, elephant, elephant; have you ever seen an elephant or not?"
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