At Au Pair in America, our au pairs come from nearly 60 countries around the world. Many au pairs utilize songs to share their culture with host families. Singing children’s songs from around the world with host children is an excellent way to build language skills, embrace cultural exchange, and have lots of fun!
Here are 10 children’s songs from countries around the world:
1. Giro Giro Tondo – Italy
Similar to the English song “Ring Around the Rosie”, children play a circle game while singing. The song’s title means “Turn, turn around”.
2. Frère Jacques – France
The song, believed to date back to the 1780s, involves a monk oversleeping and needing to ring the bells for prayer. If the tune sounds familiar, the English version of the song (“Brother John”) is also quite popular.
3. Śpij laleczko– Poland
This pretty lullaby’s title translates to “Sleep, My Baby Doll”. The lyrics reference Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale Thumbelina (“Calineczka” in Polish).
4. Hulle Se Daar’s ‘n Man In Die Maan– South Africa
This is a short, sweet lullaby in Afrikaans. The song’s title means “They say there’s a man in the moon.”
5. The Rattlin’ Bog – Ireland
This Irish folk song is a fun, cumulative song (like the “12 Days of Christmas”). Each verse introduces something new found at the rattlin’ (splendid) bog, ending with a long list of flora and fauna.
6. Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree – Australia
This Aussie song is now well-known around the world and describes the laugh-like call of the Kookaburra bird. It was written in the 1930s by Melbourne music teacher Marion Sinclair for a contest.
7. Cai Cai Balão – Brazil
Translating to “Fall, fall little balloon,” the little balloon in this song refers to the paper lanterns used in the annual Brazilian June Festivals (Festas Juninas).
8. Backe, Backe Kuchen – Germany
The title of this song means “Bake, bake the cake” in German. The song is similar to the English nursery rhyme “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man” and details the steps involved in making a cake.
9. Zhao Pengyou – China (Mandarin)
This Mandarin song translates to “Looking for a friend”. Popular with young children, the song is about celebrating finding and making new friends.
10. De Colores – Mexico
This song is a cheerful celebration of the colors of springtime. It is associated with Mexican folklore, although no one knows for sure where or when the song originated.
Is your family interested in the benefits of cultural exchange? Learn more about hosting with Au Pair in America!