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Songs About Turtles for Kids

by Laura Roberts, studioD

Did you know that the largest turtle weighs 1 ton? This fascinating reptile has been capturing the imagination of children for hundreds of years. Entertain your young ones with music about the green-shelled reptile. Pay homage to the slow and steady storybook character with a selection of songs and hand motions.

Preschool Songs

Engage your preschooler with a choice of age-appropriate silly songs about turtles. In the classic “I Have a Little Turtle,” your child can sing about a pet turtle’s habitat before noting that the turtle snapped up the minnow, flea and mosquito, but “he didn’t catch me!” The repetition and rhythm of “Snapping Turtle” caters to preschool-age children from its opening lines, “He snaps in the morning, he snaps at night.” The darling short song called “Tidy Turtle” endears children with its imagery of the turtle, who “folds himself up carefully, and puts himself away.”

Songs with Hand Motions

Sneak in some practice with coordination by singing a song with hand motions. Little ones will wiggle and giggle their way through turtle songs while following the song's body movements. In the traditional “Tiny Tim,” children chant a song about Tim the turtle who loves to swim in the bathtub. From the swimming noises to the hiccup at the end, tiny singers will revel in the silly slant rhyming. Children will enjoy more chances to practice crawling turtle motions with “Little Turtle” and “Here is My Turtle.”

Adapted Songs

Adapt an existing favorite children’s song with new lyrics focusing on the turtle. Adjust “I’m a Little Teapot” to be something like “I’m a little turtle, short and cute.” Or sing the classic counting game song of “Ten Little Indians,” tweaking the words to be “One little, two little, three little tortoises” instead. Launch into a rousing new version of “Oh My Darling, Clementine“ with tweaked words, such as “Turtles like to swim in water -- swim in oceans or in seas. With their houses on their backs, they can wander worry-free.”

Songs Playlist

Listen to the upbeat ode to the tortoise who won the race with “Tortoise and the Hare” by Moody Blues. Bop along with the Laurie Berkner Band featured on Nickelodeon, and her Celtic acoustic version of the story with “Fast and Slow.” Hidden behind the children’s lyrics is a message to slow down or "you may find you're missing the world you go past.” Older children will enjoy the rhythm, rapping and percussion in “Turtle Power” by Partners In Kryme.

About the Author

As a literature and grammar teacher, Laura Roberts began editing in 2002, gradually expanding her nonfiction writing to include new curriculum units. In 2008, Roberts began publishing her “Ask the Savvy Bride” column connected with her e-commerce wedding store. She holds a bachelor's in English education from Robert Morris University.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images