Sitting Quietly

Cool-down Song

This is a beautiful song, based on the traditional folk tune ‘Ye Banks and Braes’, and can be sung to a key worker group, whole nursery or single child. The main aim of the song is to help children to calm down and gather their thoughts after a busy day at nursery.

Similar to lullabies, cool-down songs are great for restoring peace and calm after an exciting session or day in the nursery. They also provide a good opportunity to let children listen rather than actively participate, and to have some quiet time to themselves to reflect on the day, and process their experiences.



Personal, Social and Emotional Development

– Managing Feelings & Behaviour

Communication and Language

– Listening & Attention

– Understanding


– A space big enough for the children to lie down

– A drawstring bag full of cuddly toys


Sitting quietly, sitting so quietly
Sitting here so comfortably

Sitting quietly, sitting so quietly
Sitting here so comfortably

We’ve sung some songs and danced some dances
We’ve played together and had some fun

But now we’re sitting, sitting so quietly
Sitting here so comfortably.

15-1 Sitting Quietly - Full Song

How to...
Step by step

1.Pass the drawstring bag round the circle and let each child pick a cuddly toy;

3.Start singing the song, but do not insist that the children join in, as this is free time for them to relax. If they want to join in, they will do so.

2.Encourage the children to sit or lie comfortably in the space with their toy;

Extension & Development

1.As an exercise in vocabulary, suggest that the children contribute alternative words to create an extra verse. For instance, instead of sitting, you could change the words to rocking, and they could rock their soft toys gently on their knees as you sing.


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 behvaiour 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 are encouraged to be peaceful and still;

Children are encouraged to understand that this is a cool-down activity and subsequently, they must respect each other’s space and need for quiet.

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 activity.

Children are actively encouraged to listen to the song and focus on feeling calm.

Communication and Language


1. Chilren follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.

2. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

The purpose of the exercise is explained and gently reiterated if their behaviour suggests they don’t understand.