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This year has been…. an adventure, to say the least. And it is continuing to be an adventure, as schools reopen and teachers are forced to change their curriculums once again. This time, we are focusing on activities that can be done without touching or being near students… For elementary music teachers, that means no touch singing games.
I know that some people are not going to be allowed to sing this year, but for those who can sing…. It’s still important for the musicality of our students!
This list includes no touch singing games– some of them are normally no touch, and some of them are slightly adapted so that they are now no touch singing games.
If you’re looking for more information, I have a FREE PDF Guide to teaching from 6 feet away! We go through 6 categories of activities for the elementary music classroom (including singing games not on this list!), each of which have 3-4 specific lesson associated with them. That means you’re getting over 18 ideas for lessons!
Annnnnd you’ll also get access to all of the free resources in the free resource library!
Grizzly Bear is one of my students’ favorite games! I use it with students K-2 (it has half notes, so I like to use it in second grade). There are many different versions of the game, but the version I typically use is no touch anyway!
- One student is in the middle of the room “sleeping”. They are the bear.
- Other students walk in a circle around the bear (if that’s not allowed, they can stay at their seats, so long as they are in a circle-ish shape). They sing the song.
- At the end of the song, the bear wakes up. I usually let them roar, because it’s fun.
- The other students freeze. If they move, then the bear “eats” them by clapping their hands in the students’ direction like a mouth (think: baby shark).
- Whoever is eaten is out! I usually have them sit out one round, then come back to the game.
While we’re talking about bears, let’s talk about the game Brown Bear. This goes with the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? You sing the book to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. You can read the full directions here.
Then, in the game, students each get an animal. I typically use stuffed animals, but for a no touch solution, you could use animal rhythm cards like these, print out pictures of animals, or have students draw a pictures of an animal.
- Everyone in the room sings “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?”.
- Then, the student with the brown bear sings “I see _______ looking at me”. They fill in the blank with an animal from around the room. So if a student is holding a lion, then the first student may put lion in the blank.
- Next, everyone sings to that animal. So in this example, the student holding the lion would sing “I see _______ looking at me”.
- This gets passed around until everyone is finished. With stuffed animals, I have students put them in the middle after their turn. With posters, you could have students put it face down on the floor or their desk.
You can purchase the lesson to go along with it by clicking here! This product includes printable lesson directions, a PowerPoint to go through the lesson with the students, and printable animal cards as a no touch solution to stuffed animals!
Another option: You could do this at the beginning of the year with student’s names!
One student hides an item (you can use their own item so you aren’t sharing germs!). Another student tried to find it. The students help by singing louder when they are close to the item and quieter when they are far away.
It’s kind of like hot and cold, but musical.
This is a good no touch singing game for upper elementary– I typically use it with fourth and fifth grade.
Pro tip: I usually have myself or a student “conducting” by moving a hand up when it should be louder and down when it should be quieter. This helps everyone stay together!
This song is so much fun! It is full of non-sense syllables. I like to use it with second and third grade.
Typically, on the first half of the song (mama lama….), students will keep the beat by tapping their legs, then tapping the hands of the people next to them.
Obviously, that would not qualify as a no touch singing game.
So instead, have students tap their legs and then clap. Similar action, but now it is no touch!
On the second half of the song, one student will go to the middle and they will pick a dance move for everyone to follow.
I like doing these sorts of activities at the beginning of the school year, because it allows students to get silly, and allows you to get a feel for the class as a whole. Each class has its own personality, and this will show you if they are silly or shy or rowdy… etc.
Doggie, Doggie, Where’s Your Bone?
This is a simple singing game for littles– it’s best with Kindergarten and first grade, but you can get away with using it with second grade too!
One student comes to the front of the classroom. They close their eyes. They are the doggie.
When the doggie is closing its eyes, pick someone to be the “thief”. It helps you give them a “bone” (I usually use a pen or popsicle stick), but for no touch singing games, you can just point to someone.
- Everyone sings the first and third phrase.
- The doggie sings line 2.
- The thief sings line 4.
Then, the doggie has to guess who the thief was!
If they start getting good, you can also have them use silly voices to make it more exciting!
Se Se Se
This song is a Japanese version of Rock, Paper, Scissors. It works well with upper elementary music students, especially third and fourth grade.
Typically, students are in a circle. For more social distancing, you can have students in two lines, and keep them 6 feet away!
On Se, Se, Se, students face their partner and pulse their hands on the beat.
Wehn they get to “no yoi yoi yoi”, students cross arms and change places with their partner. For a to touch version, you can have students switch places without touching, or just take this part out.
“O cha la ka” students typically clap their hands, then their partner’s hands on the beat. Obviously, that won’t work here. So instead, you can have students keep the beat on their legs or just clap the whole time.
On “hoi!” Students jump and show either rock, paper, or scissors.
Winner raises hands over their head, loser bows to partner, and if it’s a tie, both grunt.
Students find a new partner!
Alright firends! That is six different no touch singing games. I have a lot more on my list, but I don’t want you to have to sit here reading forever…. So I’ll save those for another day!
Which one was your favorite? Let me know your favorite– or your suggestions for no touch singing games!– in the comments section!