Simple rhymes and verses are often used in nursery school and Waldorf classrooms to gather the attention of children for activity changes, before snack and at lunchtime.  We use them at home in similar circumstances and also during our circle and story time to acknowledge seasonal happenings or daily events.

We’ve been collecting these for years.  I’ve tried to acknowledge the authors when I’ve known them.  Many, however, are old nursery rhymes from unknown sources.  If you’re aware of authorship which I have not noted, feel free to let me know! 


Spring Verses

Spring is coming, Spring is coming
Birdies build your nests
Weave together straw and feather
Each one doing her best
Spring is coming, Spring is coming
Flowers are coming too
Pansies, lilies, daffodillies
All are coming through
Spring is coming, Spring is coming
All around is fair
Shiver, quiver on the river
Joy is everywhere

The rain is raining all around
It falls on field and tree
It rains on the umbrella here
And on the ships at sea
                                  -R.L. Stevenson

Pitter, patter falls the rain
On the roof and window paine
Softly, softly it comes down
Makes a stream that runs around
Flowers lift their heads and say
"A nice cool drink for us today"

One misty moisty morning when cloudy was the weather
I met with an old man a-clothe-ed all in leather
He was clothe-ed all in leather with a cap beneath his chin
Singing how d'ya' do, and how d'ya' do and how d'ya'do again

A branch of May I have brought you,
And at your door I stand;
It is but a sprout, but it's well budded out,
The work of Nature's hand.
                                      -from A Child's Seasonal Treasury

Let us take our baskets early
   To the meadows green,
While the wild-flowers still are pearly
   With the dewdrops' sheen. 

Fill them full of blossoms rosy,
   Violets sweet and gay
Cowslips, every pretty posy
   Welcoming the May. 

Then our lovely loads we'll carry
   Down the village street,
On each door, with laughter merry,
   Hang a basket sweet. 

Hey-a-day-day! It is spring now,
   Lazy folks, awake!
See the pretty things we bring now
   For the May-day's sake!
                      -Evaleen Stein

But I must gather knots of flowers,
And buds and garlands gay,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother,
I'm to be Queen o' the May. 
                                         - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Whitsun Verses

White bird is flying in the sky
Brings us a golden ray from on high
White bird has something wise to say
Just flown out of the sun today
Little white bird what news, I pray?

Here's a pure white shining feather
Keep it white in every weather
Keep it white for Whitsunday.
                                            -J. Marcus

In the Whitsun garden, white the flowers grow,
Earth is listening, glistening, listening, warming breezes blow.
                                           -N. Foster

Being aligns with being in widths of space.
Being follows being in rounds of time.
When you, O Man, remain in widths of space, in rounds of time,,
Then you are in realms that fade and pass away.
Yet mightily your soul rises above them,
When you divine or knowingly behold the Eternal,
Beyond the widths of space, beyond the rounds of time.
                                           -Rudolf Steiner

Summer Verses

The little darling, Spring, has run away;
The sunshine grew too hot for her to stay.
She kissed her sister, Summer, and she said:
"When I am gone, you must be queen instead."
Now reigns the Lady Summer, round whose feet
A thousand fairies flock with blossoms sweet.
                                -Cicely Mary Barker

When the leaves are green, are green
The King will want you for his Queen
When the leaves are brown are brown
The King will give you a golden crown
I'm busy, busy, busy said the little bee
I shan't be home for dinner and I shan't be home for tea
It takes me hours, so many hours
To visit all the beautiful flowers

Once I saw a little snail
Upon the garden wall
I tapped upon the little door
No answer came at all
But as I turned to go away
A snail crept out to see
Who tapped upon her little door
And waved her horns at me

Autumn Verses

The little winds they whisper, they whisper as they pass
They tell their tiny secrets to the flowers and the grass
The big winds go a-buffeting and flustering about
The little winds they whisper, but the big winds SHOUT!

Let's go walking through the woods
This windy Autumn day
Through the leaves, all red and gold
We'll dance and sing and play

Golden light is turning grey,
Mists begin to rule the day.
Bare the trees, their branches lift;
Clouds of dead leaves earthward drift.
Through the field the farmer goes,
Seeds of ripened corn he sows
Trusts the earth will hold it warm,
Shelter it from cold and harm.
For he knows that warmth and light
Live there, hidden from our sight;
And beneath a sheltering wing,
Deep below, new life will spring!

Yellow the bracken
Golden the sheaves
Rosy the apples
Crimson the leaves
Mist on the hillsides
Clouds grey and white
Autumn - good morning
Summer - goodnight

Autumn winds are sighing
Stealing through the foerst brown
As we softly pass the tree trunks
Little leaves come falling down
But a stronger gale is blowing -
Than the leaves themselves
Rise and dance about the forest
Just like little elves
Faster, faster see them whirling
Till the gale has passed
One by one the tired leaflets
Sink to rest at last
                                                -from Autumn by Wynstones Press

Hallowe'en Verses

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said, "Oh my, it's getting late."
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "But we don't care."
The fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run!"
The fifth one said, "Isn't Hallowe'en fun?"
Woosh went the wind, and out went the light
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

I am a pumpkin, big and round
Once upon a time I grew upon the ground
Now I have a mouth, two eyes and a nose
What are they for, do you suppose?
When I have a candle inside shining bright
I'll be a jack-o-lantern on Hallowe'en night

 One little, two little, three little witches
Jump over haystacks, leap over ditches
Slide down the moon without any hitches
Hi Ho Hallowe'en's here

(to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot")
Halloween is coming, soon we'll be
Dressed in funny clothes and then you'll see
Pumpkins in the window shining bright
Oh we'll have a good time on Hallowe'en night

Five little ghosteses
Eating butter toasteses
Greasing their fisteses
Up to their wristeses
Oh what beasteses
To have such feasteses!

Lantern Songs & Verses

I go outside with my lantern
My lantern goes outside with me
Above me shine the stars so bright
Down here on earth shine we
So shine my light in the still dark night
Rabimmel rabammel raboom
'Neath heaven's dome 'till we go home
Rabimmel rabammel raboom

The sunlight fast is dwindling,
My little lamp needs kindling
Its beam shines far in darkest night,
Dear Lantern, guard me with your light.

Father Sun, Father Sun, will you lend me pray
A little flaming lantern to light me on my way?
The fairie folk have vanished from the meadow and the glen
And we would fain go seeking till we find them once again
Oh, lend me now a lantern that I may bear a light
To find the hidden pathway in the darkness of the night

Thanksgiving Verses
Home is where the heart is
So let this heart beat strong
May everyone who enters here
Rest in knowing they belong

May the sound of joyful laughter
Echo sweetly through each room
From the moment sunrise floods the earth
To the rising of the moon

Then in the quiet moments
Of each evening may you hear
The whispers of the angels
Singing softly in your ear

Winter Verses

Oh, tiny little snowflake
So lightly floating by
A long, long way you've traveled
To visit from the sky
Come, rest upon my window
You've journeyed very far
You're such a pretty snowflake
A silvery winter star.
                             -Emilie Poulsson

Softly, softly, through the darkness
Snow is falling.
Meekly, meekly in the meadows
Lambs are calling.
Coldly, coldly all around me
Winds are blowing.
Brightly, brightly up above me
Stars are glowing.

This is the way the snow comes down,
Upon a winter day,
But soon the golden sun comes out,
And melts it all away.

Look Out! Look Out!
Jack Frost is about!
He's after our fingers and toes;
And, all through the night,
The gay little sprite
Is working where nobody knows.
He'll climb a tree,
So nimble is he,
His silvery powder he'll shake;
To windows he'll creep,
And while we're asleep,
Such wonderful pictures he'll make.
Across the grass,
He'll merrily pass,
And change all its greenness to white;
Then home he will go,
And laugh, "Ho, Ho, Ho!
What fun I have had in the night!"

                    - Cecily E. Pike

 See the little snowflakes
Falling from the sky,
On the hills and housetops,
Soft and thick they lie.
On the window ledges,
On the branches bare;
See how fast they gather,
Filling all the air!

Upon his snow white steed
With wind an lightning speed
St Nicholas leaves the sky
And comes riding by.
The little hare hops nigh
And lifts his nose up high.
The stag, with pointing horn,
Jumps over bush and thorn.
And all the creatures dear
Are drawing quickly near.
Before St. Nicholas bow
Their little heads so low.  
But we will learn a tune
Of sun and star and moon,
And sing our happy lay
Sing on St Nicholas day.  
Advent Verses

Above the manger stood a star
A star all wondrous white
And all about His lowly bed
There welled a flood of light.
It bathed the stable in its glow
It shone round Mary's head
And on the kneeling shepherds' cloaks
Its radiant beams were shed.
Star of the world, through time and space
It flames in glory bright
to make man's pilgrimage through the years
A pathway of light.

Advent, Advent, a candle burns
Advent, Advent, a candle burns
First one then two then three then four
Than stand the Light Child at my door
The first light of Advent is the light of stones
Stones that live in crystals
In seashells and in bones
The second light of Advent is the light of plants
Plants that reach up to the sun
And in the breezes dance
The third light of Advent is the light of beasts
The light of hope that we may see
In greatest and in least
The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind
The light of love, the light of thought
To give and to understand

In the first candle of Advent shines
The light of crystals in the mine,
The rocks, the jewels and the stones,
The seashells and our bones.
Now the stones are on the earth,
Waiting for the Christ Child’s birth.

In the second candle of Advent shine
The plants and the berries on the vine,
The green grass and the lovely tree,
And all the flowers that we see.
Now the plants are on the earth,
Waiting for the Christ Child’s birth.

In the third candle of Advent shine
The wondrous beasts of every kind,
Beasts who tread upon the earth
And give their stable for the birth.
Now the beasts are on the earth,
Waiting for the Christ Child’s birth.

In the fourth candle of Advent shine
Our open hearts, both yours and mine.
We can now fill our hearts with love
And shining light from heaven above.
Now we are on the earth,
Waiting for the Christ Child’s birth.

A gift of light
I thankfully hold
And pass to my neighbor
Its shining gold
That everyone may
Feel its glow,
Receiving and giving
May love and grow.
When all our brothers
Have lit their light
No more shall continue
The darkness of night:
But joyful all men
The message shall hear:
"The Christ draws near!"

Winds through the olive trees,
Softly did blow
Round litle Bethlehem,
Long, long ago.
Sheep on the hillside lay
whiter than snow,
Shepherds were watching them
Long, long ago.
Then from the happy skies
Angels bent low,
Singing thier songs of joy
Long, long ago.
For in a manger bed
Cradled we know,
Christ came to Bethlehem
Long, long ago.

Over stars is Mary wandering;
In her mantle's flowing folds,
Radiant threads of starlight woven
For her little child she holds.
Throngs of stars behold her passing,
All the sky is filled with light
With her hands she weaves and gathers
Blessings for the Christmas night.

The Christmas tree, against the night
Beyond the window bars,
Stood bright with flames of candlelight
Before a sky of stars.
I stood and stared, till suddenly
It seemed to me that I
Saw stars alight upon the tree
And candles in the sky!
                          -Isabel Wyatt
Why do the bells of Christmas ring?
Why do the little children sing?
Once a lovely shining star
Seen by shepherds from afar
Gently moved until its light
Made a manger's cradle bright.
There a little baby lay
Pillowed soft upon the hay
And its mother sang and smiled
This is Christ, the holy child.
Therefore bells of Christmas ring
Therefore little children sing.
                   -E. Field

Birthday Verses

When I have snuggled into bed,
With pillows soft beneath my head,
And mommy switches off the light,
I'll still be three years old tonight.
But from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold
Tomorrow, I'll be four years old.
    Four kisses when I wake.
    Four candles on my cake.


Painting Verses

Now I take the brush so gently
In my hand with loving care
Watch the color flow so softly
On the paper clean and clear

Peter Paintbrush dances always on his toes
Never on his bottom and never on his nose
Always on his tippy, tippy, tippy, tippy toes
(Brush the child's hand with the bristles as you sing this and gently swipe one finger on each "tippy".  Peter on his "bottom" means the brush is crushed into the page bending the bristles too much.  Peter's "nose" is the metal gusset that holds the bristles to the brush handle.  So, we don't want Peter dancing on either of those!)

Coloring Verses

Vivid swirling radiant hues
Reds and yellows, greens and blues
From heart and mind down through my hand
On the page the colors land
Light and shadow then appear
Forming pictures bright and clear
              -dionne nicole

Beeswax Verses

A gift for us from our friends the bees
To warm in our hands as we press and squeeze
Wax so sweet with honey scent
What can you and I invent?   
                  -dionne nicole

A candle's but a simple thing,
it starts with just a bit of string,
But dipped or rolled with patient hand,
it gathers wax upon the strand.
Until complete and snowy white,
it gives at last a lovely light.
Life seems so like that bit of string,
each deed we do a simple thing.
Yet day by day on life's strand,
we work with patient heart and hand.
It gathers joy, makes dark days bright,
and gives at last a lovely light.

Gardening Verses

Give thanks to the Mother Earth.
Give thanks to the Father Sun.
Give thanks to the plants in the garden
Where Mother and Father are one.

In my garden there is a seed,
I am the one who put it there.
Who will help it now to grow?
Earth and sun and rain and air.
In my garden there is a flower,
From a seed it came to birth.
Who then helped it to grow so tall?
Air and rain and sun and earth.

Begin this one by holding up a grass stalk that looks like a tiny tree.
"Here is a tree in Summer."
Run your free hand up the "trunk" of the tree effectively removing all of the "leaves".
"Here is a tree in Winter..."
Sprinkle the removed "leaves" down over the tree.
"And here is the silver rain."

Baking Verses

The farmer gave her golden grain
For us to grind and grind
Now it's flour brown and white
Soft and very fine.
Add the water, yeast and honey
Mix it with our hands
When it's soft and not too runny
Let it stand and stand.
Shape the dough into a loaf
And put it in to cook
When it's crusty, crisp and brown
Then we'll have a look...

Sweeping Verses

To and fro, to and fro
Sweeping with my broom I go
All the fallen leaves I sweep
In a big and tidy heap


Waking Verses
Good morning dear earth
Good morning dear sun
Good morning dear stones
And the flowers every one
Good morning dear beasts
And the birds in the trees
Good morning to you
And good morning to me

The Golden Sun is shining
Up in the sky so blue
Good morning, happy morning
Good morning Sun to you

The moon on the one hand,
The sun on the other,
The moon is my sister,
The sun is my brother,
 The moon at my left,
The sun at my right,
My brother good morning,
My sister good night.
(This is a nice one to accompany with simple hand gestures.)
                                                            -Hilare Belloc  (from A Child's Seasonal Treasury complied by Betty Jones)

Bedtime Verses

The lady moon up yonder
Is like a silver boat
Upon the dark blue ocean 
All silently afloat
And when the fairies waken
They climb the moonbeams white
And far across the heavens go
Sailing in the night

When I go to sleep at night
An angel watches over me
And fills me with a golden light
And takes me to the stars so bright
And blesses me each morning

Four corners to my bead
Four angels around my head
One to watch and two to pray
And one to keep all fear away
                 -Jenny Dent

Activity Verses
Candle Fairy burning bright
Come and share with us your light
May we always learn to share
With the children everywhere.
Candle Fairy burning bright,
Come and share with us your light.
                              -Rudolf Steiner

Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday

Cleaning Verses
In a little mousie hole,
There lived a little mousie,
Who wore a checkered apron
And kept a tidy housie.
With her wee small broom,
She swept and swept her room,
And every little shelf,
She tidied by herself.
                                            -Wendalyn von Meyenfeldt

Meal Verses

Blessings on the blossom
Blessing on the root
Blessings on the leaf and plant
Blessings on the fruit

For trees so tall
And skies so blue
For family and food
We thank you
Blessings on our dinner
And bless the hands of those who made it

Earth we thank you for this food
For rest and home and all things good
For wind and rain and sun above
But most of all for those we love

Miscellaneous Verses

Bless all those that I love.
Bless all those that love me.
Bless all those that love
those that I love and all those
that love those that love me.

Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather.
Whether we like it or not.

We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems...
                                 -Arthur O'Shaughnessy

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