The Strange Family verse is used traditionally in first grade Waldorf classrooms to introduce the rhythms of walking in number patterns. It’s a fun introduction to skip counting – enjoy!
There was a family strange indeed;
Each member had a peculiar speed.
They could walk for half a day,
Counting footsteps all the way.
I am proper, neat and prim
My walk is straight, my clothes are trim
So I count my steps and you will see
That every one’s the same for me.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve.
Walk steadily along, one step per number.
But my two steps are not the same!
For I must lean upon my cane.
Although I’m bent and weak and old
I can still count with numbers bold.
One TWO three FOUR five SIX seven EIGHT nine TEN eleven TWELVE.
Walk slowly with an imaginary cane, emphasizing with your voice and your stamp every other beat. But MY two STEPS are NOT the SAME….
I’m a lad,
Light and gay
And I’d much
I can run
With my ball
While the num-
Bers I call.
One two THREE four five SIX seven eight NINE ten eleven TWELVE.
Walk with a quick and light step emphasizing every third beat. I’m a LAD light and GAY…
My step is strong
I’ll do no wrong
With all my might
I’ll guard what’s right
I’ll always know
How far to go
One two three FOUR five six seven EIGHT nine ten eleven TWELVE.
Walk with a sure strong step emphasizing every fourth beat by stamping or hopping both feet together: My step is STRONG….
Like a mouse I go
Looking to the left
Looking to the right
Watching to and fro
Danger’s not in sight
Lightly I arrive
I am number five
One two three four FIVE six seven eight nine TEN.
Scurry on tiptoe like a mouse and do a little leap on the fifth beat: Like a mouse I GO walking on tip-TOE….
One two three four five six
I can do a lot of tricks
I’ve a friend – number three
He’s a helper to me
He has taught me to play
But I have my own way
One two three four five SIX seven eight nine ten eleven TWELVE.
Walk with a quick and light step as in for number three but this time stamp on every sixth beat: I can do a lot of TRICKS….
A giant am I, sauntering by
To numbers so high I quickly will fly!
Ten twenty thirty forty fifty sixty seventy eighty ninety one hundred!
Take giant steps and count by tens!