Late Autumn Circle

Blog Image - LateAutumnCircleTime.png

This circle play takes us on an imaginary walk through a village in late autumn.  This is a long circle, and you could shorten it by ending after the animal verses or by skipping them and going straight to the villagers songs.  Movement suggestions are indicated in parentheses. Several of these verses (those marked with *) have been set to (copyrighted) music and I've listed resources at the end for those of you who want to find the tunes.  I recorded the traditional songs for you right here on the blog.

In the dark cold days there shines a light

To make my heart so pure and bright!

(light a candle)


Let's walk through the village on this cold autumn day

And see all the things that we pass on our way!

(begin walking in a circle)


*These are the brown leaves tumbling down

(fingers flutter down to touch ground)

And this is the tall tree bare and brown

(reach up high, arms are branches)

This is the squirrel with eyes so bright

(crouch down with hand in front like paws)

Hunting for nuts with all her might

(dig around for nuts)

This is the hole where day by day

(cup hands to make hole)

Nut after nut she stores away

(put nuts into hole and then cover it up)

When winter comes with its cold and storm

(hug self and shiver)

She'll sleep curled up all snug and warm

(curl up into a ball)



Outside the animals prepare all the day

For they know that King Winter is coming this way.

(stand up)



Whisky, frisky, hippity, hop,

Up he goes to the tree top!

(swing hand back and forth up to the treetop)

Whirly, twirly, round and round,

Down he scampers to the ground.

(move hand back down in circular motion)

Furly, curly, what a tail!

Tall as a feather, broad as a sail!

(use forearm and hand to make a tall tail)

Where's his supper?  In the shell.

(cup hands to show nutshell)

Snappity, crackity, out it fell!

(use hands to show cracking nutshell and nut dropping out)

(nibble nuts like little squirrels!)

{Traditional fingerplay}


(clap hands on lap to the beat of the following verse)

Intry mintry cutry corn

Apple seed and apple thorn

Wier brier limber lock

Twelve geese in a flock

One flew east, one flew west

(run left, run right!)

One flew over the cuckoo's nest

(take a flying leap!)

{Mother Goose}


*A wise old owl, he lived in an oak,

(use fingers, first two circle eyes, next three stand up like ears, to make an owl face)

The more he saw, the less he spoke,

(finger to lips)

The less he spoke, the more that he heard,

(hand to cup ear as if listening)

Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

(make owl face again)

{Mother Goose}


(crawl around like bears for this verse)

The loud winds are calling

The ripe nuts are falling

The squirrel now gathers his store

The bears homeward creeping

Will soon all be sleeping

So snugly till winter is o'er



Inside the villagers get ready too

For with winter coming there is much work to do

The carpenter, the blacksmith, the cobbler, and the mothers

They stay warm by the fire and take care of each other



(this one is easy to act out)

*The carpenter's hammer goes tap, tap, tap

Tapping the wood with a tap, tap, tap

A nail goes here with a tap, tap, tap

And a nail goes there, with a rap, rap, rap

And the saw goes see saw see,

And the saw goes see saw see,

As we saw the wood from a big oak tree

We saw and measure and hammer and sand

While we build a chair for me!



(swing your hammer!)

I am a blacksmith good and true

Best of work I always do

Day after day my hammers go

Clanging clanging clanging so

With a rikker-de-tikker-de tikker-de-tik!

With a rikker-de-tikker-de tikker-de-tik!

I am a blacksmith good and true

Best of work I always do

Can you work with a hammer like me?

Clanging clanging clanging so

With a rikker-de-tikker-de tikker-de-tik!

With a rikker-de-tikker-de tikker-de-tik!



(practice standing on one foot at a time while wiggling the other toes)

Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe!

Have it done by half past two

My little toe is peeking through!

Please dear cobbler, mend my shoe!



And the mothers rock their babies to sleep as softly they sing....

(rock a baby in your arms)


Autumn goodbye,

Autumn goodbye,

You may no longer stay,

Winter is on its way

Autumn goodbye,

Autumn goodbye

(blow out candle)


The End.  Happy circle-making everyone!


See Sing A Song of Seasons (by Mary Thienes-Shunemann) for The Squirrel

See Lavender's Blue Dilly Dilly (by Mary Thienes-Shunemann) for The Wise Old Owl  **one of my favorite books and songs**

See This is the Way We Wash-a-Day (by Mary Thienes-Shunemann) for The Carpenter

See  Autumn Wynstones for an alternate Blacksmith song


Circle Time Through the Years

Favorite Circle Time Resources

Circle Time in the Kindergarten Homeschool

Lavender’s Blue Circle Archives

Circlekelly ehrman