Games & Play / Singing Together

Song Guide Based on “El Barquito Chiquitito”

Explore math while singing and moving to the music.

Topic:

Activity Summary

Little ones can succeed if they just keep trying!

Song Lyrics

Había una vez un barquito chiquito,
Había una vez un barquito chiquito,
Que no sabía, que no podía
Que no podía navegar

Pasaron una, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete semanas;
Pasaron una, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete semanas;
Y aquel barquito, y aquel barquito,
Y aquel barquito navegó

Y si historia parece corta,
volveremos, volveremos, a empezar

English Translation:

Once there was a tiny boat.
Once there was a tiny boat.
That didn’t know, that couldn’t,
That couldn’t sail.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven weeks passed.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven weeks passed.
And that little boat, that little boat,
That little boat sailed.

And if this story seems short,
Let’s go back, let’s go back, and start again…

Listen to the song on YouTube.

About the Math

This song can help children learn about measurement and numbers. Your child can learn how to:

Describe things using size words.

  • Size words like chico (small) and grande (big).
  • In Spanish, adding -ito or -ita to word endings shows they are small:
    • el barco (boat) -> el barquito (tiny boat)
    • chico (small) -> chiquito (a little smaller) -> chiquitito (tiny)

Use numbers to describe time passing.

  • It takes seven weeks for the boat to learn to sail.
  • Count: una(o), dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

Math Sing and Play

Act out the song and practice counting. Here are some ideas:

  • Cup your hands together to make a boat. During the first verse, show the boat struggling to sail. In the second verse, when the boat learns to sail, make the boat sway back and forth as if sailing on ocean waves.
  • Use a calendar to reinforce counting. Show your child how long a week looks on a calendar. Count the days in one week, pointing at each day as you do. Then point and run your finger along seven weeks, counting each week as you do.

Activity After the Song

You can keep the learning going by making bathtub boat toys.

  • Find a clean sponge. This will be the boat. You can leave it as is or cut it into a boat shape.
  • Cut a shape (for example, triangle or square) out of cloth to make the sail. Ask your child what shape they made and how they know it is that shape.
  • Use a straw or stick as the mast. Tape the sail to the mast.
  • Poke a small hole in the sponge. Pull the mast through the hole, leaving a bit sticking out of the bottom.
  • Your boat should float. Encourage your child to act out the song while playing with the boat.