Song of the Month

January 2005
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CLICK HERE to print the words. PDF)
CLICK HERE for the sheet music  (PDF)
DOWNLOAD as an MP3  (How to do it)

When Ducks Get Up in the Morning

This song, along with many others suitable for this age group, is also available on the "Plant a Little Seed" CD

This is perhaps my favorite song to use with infants through preschoolers! I always include it song in my early childhood music workshops, and often hear back from teachers who have found new ways to use it. I have recorded it just the way I sing it; accompanied only by the sound of hands slapping my thighs.

Over the twenty some years I have been singing with young children, I have often tried to analyze why this little gem is always such a hit. This is what I think:

  • It has a strong beat which even babies will bounce to as you sing. Donít underestimate the value of this! Language begins with rhythm, and that translates to early literacy skills!

  • Unlike Old Macdonaldís Farm, the animal sounds happen often, making it a more interactive a song to use with young children.

  • Because of the simplicity of this song, itís great to use with special needs or non-English-speaking children.

  • There are so many ways to use it (see the ideas below).

So as we begin this new year, I hope youíll add this time-honored favorite to your collection, and just have fun with it!

When Ducks Get Up in the Morning
(my version begins with "dogs")













Use a book with animal pictures; one animal to a page. Hold up the book and slap your thigh in rhythm as you sing. Keep a steady beat, and gauge how fast to sing by the ability of the children to join in. My favorite book is
 I Love Animals, by Flora McDonnell. This large and wonderful book has bright, beautiful pictures, and is available in hardcover, paperback, and big book format.

When Ducks get up in the morning, they always say good day
When ducks get up in the morning, they always say good day
Quack, quack, quack, quack, that is what they say, they say
Quack, quack, quack, quack, that is what they say.

Repeat with other animals.


1.Cut out animals shapes and hand out to the children. Have them place the animals on a flannel board as you sing.

2.Simple performance for parents: Make each child a crown with an animal shape on the front. As you sing each animal, have the children with those animals stand.

3.Put plastic animals in a small bag or box, and sing about each as you pull it out.

If you need animal patterns for any of the above props, visit