Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

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Lyrics

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
(Repeat, getting faster each time).

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Information About Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

The origins of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" are unknown but it has become a fun, interactive song and game for children to play and build their motor skills with while being able to learn body parts.

During slavery times when Black people were not allowed to learn to read, parents wanted their children to have knowledge so they taught them this song as a way of learning the parts of the body. This is one possible idea of the songs origin.

It is a repetitive song that can speed up as you sing along providing an upbeat and fun tune to make the movements with.

There are variations that add new body parts to the game to make it a bit more difficult or by changing the melody of the song, replacing or removing versus throughout.

Every time a body part is sung, the children then touch that area with both hands. So when it says "head" they put both hands on their heads, "shoulders" they do the same and so on.

The song is often used at schools and kindergartens with the children standing and following the action of the teacher.

One version of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" is sung to the melody of "London Bridge Is Falling Down".

Zita Newcome has compiled a great little book of classic children's activity songs that also describes all the motions associated with each song, including "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes". You can read the full review on the Amazon site:  Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes: And Other Action Rhymes..

Alternative Lyrics & Related Songs

This version adds the parts of the face

Head and shoulders
knees and toes
knees and toes.

Head and shoulders
knees and toes
knees and toes.

2 eyes, 2 ears
A mouth and a nose.

Head and shoulders
Knees and toes.

Another version that has other body parts

Heads shoulders hands elbows
Hands elbows
Hands shoulders hands elbow
Hands elbow
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Heads shoulder hands elbow
Hands elbow.

This song has been printed from the BusSongs.com website.

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