Norwegian Mirror Page

This little piggy.

Nursery rhymes, hand activity games and clapping games


Most children love nursery rhymes. Hand games, clapping games and nursery rhymes are fun to use, and children love the repetetive quality they have. At the same time they can contribute to learning and development in various ways. It helps the child to:
  • perceive rhythm in speech and music
  • learn new words and terms
  • distinguish structure, order and sequence
  • enhance attention
  • develop listening and mimicking abilities
  • give better motor skills and body perception
  • train memorizing skills
  • get a better perception of maths

Children have the ability to express themselves in various ways, they naturally sing, make noises, play, jump, danse, clap and mime, either alone or together with other children. They usually like nonsense rhymes. Follow the beat of a rhyme, and you can throw a ball on a wall in time with the syllables or you may jump-rope to rhyme chants or make up your own melody while you bounce.

We may also play and say Nursery Rhymes for the very small child, sitting in our lap, using rhymes to enhance body awareness. Counting rhymes for toes and fingers are also popular:

Several of the Norwegian nursery rhymes belong to the Nordic/Scandinavian region and were not written down until the18th century or even later. As such they have been part of the oral tradition, collected sporadically by folk music collectors like Ludvig Mathias Lindeman in the late 1800s. When the publishing of children's books began to move from polemic (moralistic) and educational towards entertainment, several authors wrote poems and rhymes specifically for children's enjoyment with the "child-reader" in mind.

In the 19th century printed collections of English Nursery Rhymes began to spread to other countries and they also were translated into Norwegian, for instance the popular Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes (Gåsemorboka). In Norsk Billedbok for Barn by Elling Holst og Eivind Nielsen (1888), we find some of the earliest printed veres and songs for children. Here we find songs like Ride, ride ranke, Ro, ro til fiskeskjær og Bake kake søte.

Songs and rhymes were also adopted and adapted from Swedish and Danish. The song leaflets from Sweden called "Sing with us mommy" by Alice Tegnèr (1892-1934) provided children's songs that were translated into Norwegian. Inspiration also came from Germany's Achim von Arnim's Des Knaben Wunderhorn (1806–1808).

Behind the links below you find primarily lyrics and sound clips. You may also find sheet music for some of the Nursery Rhymes that we use in song. This site is made for learning purposes, and the sound clips may vary in quality. They are made for learning purposes only. On my site musikkrom you will find some of these children's songs, and in addition a large collection of canons and rounds (kanon) from all over the world.

Akkari makkar

Alle mine fingre vil være dyr

Ane Liane (clapping game)

Anne Marlene (clapping game)

Anne Ranne Rei
(clapping game)

Apekatten Bonga

A ram sam sam

Atte katte Noa

Baka kaka søte

Bake, bake liten kake

Bake kake søte

Bamse bamse ta i bakken (jump rope)

Bisselilu, sullelilu

Bissam bissam barnet

Bim bam

Brick wall waterfall

Den som er liten

Det kom en rev

Det var en gang en mus

Det var en sikk sakk mann

Det satt to fugler på en stein

Dinkeli dunkeli døye

Dokka skal danse

Du og jeg og vi to

Eenie meenie (counting-out game)

Eisika deisika (clapping game)

En liten krabbe

En sommertur til Bom Bom Bom/ En sjømann dro til ABC (clapping game)

Epler og pærer

Et du sild

Fem små griser

Fem små ender eller var det seks?

Fem små kattepuser


Five little monkeys

Five little hot dogs

Go bananas


Hoppetau - regler

Hvem banker

I min mammas hus


Klokka (jump rope)


Lemonade(clapping game)

Lillegutt kan tromme

Lille skillingsbolle/Baby, Baby Dumpling

Lirum larum

Mannen i månen

Min far han er barber (clapping game)

Min far han er en fisker(clapping game)

Miss Mary Mack(clapping game)

Miss Suzie (clapping game)

Når min hest

Ola Dilt, Ola Dalt

Ola i bakken /jump rope chant


Peter Piper and Candace Carter

Ride, ride Ranke Ride on mom's/dad's/grandma's knee (Rita Rita Runkin)

Ride, ride ranke til møllerens hus

Rideturen Ride on mom's/dad's/grandma's knee

Ro, ro på fjorden

Ro ro til Siraland

Rundt og rundt i hagen

Tellevers (counting game)

Ten little Indians

This little piggy/ Denne lille grisen - (counting game)

Ti små barn (fingers)

Till till tuten

Tippe tippe tue

Titil, tåtill

Trå fimpen

Tommeltott tommeltott, hvor er du? (Tommelfinger, tommelfinger, hvor er du?) Thumbkin

Tommeltott falt i vannet

Tommeltott kommer

So ro liten ting

Sko Blakken

Sko hesten

Sko sko hest

Snegle snegle

Springe etter vatten

Så rugger vi, så ror vi

Virre, virre, vapp, min mor

Where is thumbkin

Å panni clapping game

Å minni mai