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The Grand Old Duke of York

What you need

Lots and lots of energy.


Children can relate to the words and phrases used while watching the video. As they observe Katy & Paige singing the rhyme, they will improve their phonetics and pronunciation of words. The activity also helps to boost confidence in a fun and interactive way!

The experience

Get ready for some marching! This is a lovely rhyme to teach the concept of up and down. Firstly, in an open space, invite your child to sing to the song while following Katy and Paige’s movements. 


Lyrics and movements: 


Oh the Grand old duke of York
He had ten thousand men (hold up ten fingers)
He marched them up to the top of the hill (point up, march while standing tall)
And he marched them down again (point down) 

And when they were up they were up (stand tall)
And when they were down they were down (crouch way down)
And when they were only halfway up (rise halfway up)
They were neither up nor down (open arms and shrug)


Extend the learning: why not talk to your child about opposite words. Opposite words are words that mean something totally different from one another. To illustrate the meaning further, you may need to offer other opposites for children to act out to help them grasp the meaning such as open eyes/closed eyes, walk fast/walk slow, stand up/sit down.