Babies Early Childhood Leader's Guide Music Education Parenting Rosh Hashanah Songleading Young Children

10 Rosh HaShanah Songs for Early Childhood

Rosh HaShanah for Early Childhood Spotify Playlist

Are you ready to rock Rosh HaShanah? I’ll help you prepare to elevate to rock-star status with these tips and tools.  If you want to encourage your kiddos to make meaning and music this during this sweet season, read on! 

1) L’Shana Tova – Josh Shriber

I like to have a few thematic echo songs in my backpocket for all occasions. Once we’ve established that this is a “taking turns” song, I might use this to “bookend” the lesson or service- I like to end programs with a tune that is thematic and familiar. Remember to be playful when you call “l’shana tova” for the learners to echo- start with your normal voice but present it with diverse musical styles as the learners build confidence in their role to imitate you and respond.

Toot Toot by Lisa Baydush  became a fast favorite when I heard it because it is so immediately engaging. Children use their hands  to pretend they are holding up a shofar and practice “tooting” fast and slow on the first verse, high and low in the second. This creates a great opportunity to build musical vocabulary as you playfully lead shifts in dynamics and pitch.

3) Five Little Apples – Miss Emily

This Rosh HaShanah songs written for babies and toddlers is simple song takes a familiar frame and favorite activity (counting) and adds familiar New Year’s items and ideas: apples and sharing. Apples are typically easy enough to acquire- I highly recommend procuring 5 (maybe 6 in case some kid snags a bite of one) to use as props. This song uses names quite intentionally- it is a fun game for the kids and gives the community the opportunity to learn about one another (if you don’t know the names of your students yet, consider supplying name tags until you do). 

4) I Can Bake a Honey Cake- Rachel Buchman

This is a sweet song that can use props from your play kitchen! If you are able, providing honey sticks to kids to taste while you sing about the sweetness of honey is a great way to upgrade this experience! 

5) Happy Birthday/Yom Huledet 

After singing the song, I like to find a ‘remix’ of this classic tune and make a dance party our of it. Children have many opportunities to develop their concept of birthdays in their first few years- so it is a really helpful connection to make for our youngest learners. I’ll ask the kids how old the world is, and literally sing “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear world…happy birthday to you!” and then play a fun Happy Birthday Remix song as I encourage the kids to get up and celebrate the happy occasion

6) The World is a Circle- Craig Taubman

I distribute scarves and lead this song as a large movement activity- this works in groups of participants from about 5 kids with at least one other grown up (multiple models of participation is the ultimate behavior management strategy) to groups of 100. If you are working with a large group, ask helpers to distribute the scarves and make sure that your sound system can emit a volume that works when your learners are moving across a large space.

Movement Prompts & Lyrics:

start by walking in one direction,  moving around the perimeter of your room in a line that is a large circle as a group

The world is a circle, a never ending circle,

Pause at ‘never ending circle’ then each person in the circle spins their own body on ‘round and round’

A never ending circle going round and round.

Feet stay planted, stretch high/throw scarf on words ‘goes up’, catch and stretch to floor on words ‘go down’

The sun goes up and the moon goes down,

Each person spins again

And the world goes around and around and round.

The perimeter circle moves as a whole, spinning on words ‘round and round’ 

I am a part of the circle,

A part of the circle going round and round.

I am a part of the circle, A part of the circle going round and round.

7) Tap Your Heart- Eliana Light 

I believe this brilliant song is an excellent choice for all ages- which makes it especially lovely to share with kids and grown-ups together. When I lead this, I know that I’m inviting grown-ups who are likely familiar with this tune to reconsider their own understanding of it and relationship to it. I strive to spark spiritual reflection across generational divides. 

8) Shananananananana Tova (TTO Hal’l’l’l’l’luah)

I re-purposed the melody to one of my favorite tunes- Hal’l’l’l’l’luah to make it work for the High Holy season:

Shananananananananana Tova, Shanananananana tova! (x2)

Wave hello to someone far away from you, wave hello and say “Happy New Year….

Shananananananananana Tova, Shanananananana tova! (x2)

Give a high five to someone sitting near you-  give a high five and show them your smile…

9) Shana Tova! New Year Fingerplay- Miss Emily 

This song is perfect for tickles and cuddles!

Lyrics for Fingerplay:

Shana Tova, It’s a new year
Let’s have a year thats sweet
Let’s spread the sweetness all around From your head to your feet!

Shana tova to your _________ (literally anything can fill in this blank!)

Shana tova to your  shoulders, Shana tova to your toes
Shana tova to your tummy, Shana tova to your nose!

Shana tova to your polkies, shana tova to your hips
Shana tova to your ears, shana tova tova to your lips!

10) Shofar Blast- Elllen Allard

This has become the classic Rosh HaShanah song of this generation, it is a brilliant tune! As we conclude the song, I repeat the final “happy happy happy new year” a few times. For the last chorus,  I’ll prompt “Grand finale- sing to me!” then sing that last part again…

”happy happy happy new year” this time turn to a friend and tell them…

“happy happy happy new year” sing it so loud the neighbors hear….

“Happy happy happy new year!”

Sing sweet songs your kids will love

This list of Rosh HaShanah songs for babies, toddlers, and kids is by no means exhaustive, just a collection of a few of my tried and true favorites. Whatever way you choose to share Rosh HaShanah in early childhood, I hope you and your munchkins enjoy.

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