Frosty weather, snowy weather,
When the wind blows, we all go together.
Three steps back and 1,2,3.
A traditional Irish rhyme, found in many collections, like Ruth Crawford Seeger’s American Folksongs for Children and recordings by the Clancy Family.
2020 has been a year of surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant. Enough about the unpleasant, let’s focus on the pleasant!
When I began to research the origins of this little rhyme, or song, as I had learned it, I discovered that it was from Ireland and that it was a circle game, just by adding the last line, Three steps back and 1,2,3.
I thought it was perfect for school and the playground, to remind and reinforce the current need for social distancing. Social distancing is built right into this one.
To begin, ask your listeners to make a big circle, without holding hands, of course. Help everyone visualize what the recommended 2 meters apart looks like with chalk or tape marks on the ground.
Once you are in position, start the rhyme and with each verse, the children step farther and farther back. Start the game in a whisper, getting louder and louder as the children get farther and farther away on each verse.
What better way to learn than through play.
Here are additional verses I found on Mama Lisa’s website. Simply substitute a new first line each time you sing:
Frosty weather, snowy weather
Windy weather, chilly weather
Icy weather, slippery weather
Sunny weather, melting weather
And remember to make up your own variations, too.
For more rhymes, songs and stories, please enjoy Sally’s two new videos posted here: StoryTime with Mr. Bear and PartyTime with Mr. Bear, created to share at the Ottawa Children’s Storytelling Festival and the Ottawa Public Library, in November 2020. All original material was created by Sally and her daughters, Anna Jaeger and Erika Jaeger. Kindly filmed and edited by Liam Jaeger.