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Four Ways to Sing “Row Your Boat”

Does your kid love songs? Whether your child is learning to copy actions, starting to use some sounds, or is already talking, the “row your boat” song is great because it is so versatile!

Two toddler girls in striped shirts pretend to be in a cardboard boat. One with curly hair is using binoculars and waving. The other girl in pigtails is looking across the living room.
Kids love new ways to sing songs!

Here’s a few ways to sing this classic:


Get moving: Sit your child in your lap and put your arms out as if you are grabbing an oar. Then rock back and forth while moving your imaginary oar while singing. Encourage your child to move their arms as well as you sail in your imaginary boat.


Practice silly sounds: Using additional verses, you can practice silly sounds. Here are the new lyrics along with a song clip:

Row, row, row your boat, gently up the creek,

If you see a little mouse, don't forget to squeak!

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream,

If you see a crocodile, don't forget to scream!

Row, row, row your boat, gently to the shore,

If you see a lion, don't forget to ROAR!



Pause and wait: After your child knows this song well, pause right before the last word to see if your child tries to “fill in” the last word. Sometimes a pause and an expectant look encourages kids to join in the fun of singing. E.g., “Row row row your boat gently down the ________”.


Rock together: Sit facing your child on the floor and then hold hands. Lean back and forth gently to the beat as you sing the song. If your child is too wiggly, you can hold their arms instead for more stability or have your child sit in your lap.


Singing songs is a learning opportunity for kids to learn words and sounds, as well as connect with the people in their life. If you are interested in other songs that include actions, check out our previous blog (English and Spanish songs).


Happy singing!

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