Play Along in Here

Percussion Song

To begin with, Play Along in Here is best taught in a quiet space as it requires quite a high level of concentration, understanding of rules, turn-taking and waiting.  The long list of extension activities within the song allows you to sing it again and again, whilst frequently changing and adapting it to keep interest.

Percussion songs are great team games, involving everyone and allowing children to develop at their own pace. There are also many benefits that feed into PSE development, including waiting, turn taking and choice making.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

– Managing feelings and behaviour

Communication and Language

– Listening and attention

– Speaking


– A colourful piece of cloth

– Drawstring bag

– Three different types of percussion instruments; tappers, scrapers and bells.


We all like to play
along in here,
We all like to play
along in here,

We all like to play along,
keep the beat and
sing this song,
We all like to play
along in here.

4-1 Play Along in Here - Full Song

How to...
Step by step

1.Sit the children in a circle and spread the cloth on the oor in the middle. Because the cloth creates a focused space, it will help the children to understand they cannot grab the instruments as soon as they come out of the bag;

3.Allow every child to pick an instrument, one at a time. To promote fairness, be careful to ensure that once they have an instrument they don’t play it until everyone else has chosen theirs;

5.When they are used to this start singing the song as they are playing, and after a while they will begin to join in.

2.Take the instruments out of the bag according to their type, for example all the scrapers rst. State clearly what they are, encouraging the children to repeat the names after you;

4.Once everyone has picked, begin playing together by chanting “ready, steady, off we go” to the group. They are likely to be very excited by the instruments initially, so allow the group to play them however they wish to begin with. After a while get the children to stop, then play together in a variety of ways, including fast, slow, holding them high and holding them low;

Extension & Development

1.When the children are familiar with distinguishing the different types of instruments, split them into instrument groups and take it in turns to play,
based on the type of instrument they have e.g. tappers, scrapers, bells;

4-2 Play Along in Here - Shaker

4.Let the children take it in turns to be the leader, allowing them to lead these activities in the session;

2.As their confidence grows you can progress the children from playing in small groups, to taking solos;

4-3 Play Along in Here - Solo

5.When the children are experienced in the activity, experiment with leaving the instruments in the main nursery space to encourage peer-led exercises.

3.Over time the children will get so good at these exercises they will be able to identify the individual instruments just by the sound they make. Get them to put their hands over their eyes, or play the instruments in the bag, and ask them to guess which type is being played;


Early Learning Goals

Activity Contribution to Goals

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Managing feelings and behaviour

1. Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others’ behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable;

2. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules;

3. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.

Children have to wait for their turn, and the reason why this is important is discussed;

Children understand they must respect and try out other people’s ideas, and the same respect will be shown to them.

Communication and Language

Listening and attention

1. Children listen attentively in a range of situations;

2. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions;

3. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activities.

Children get the opportunity to pre-empt the lyrics as they follow a repetitive structure;

The whole group is encouraged to respond to the ideas that individual children have volunteered.

Communication and Language


1. Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs;

2. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future;

3. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.

Children are encouraged to voice their ideas, and develop them over time.