Games & Play / Singing Together

Song Guide Based on “Un Elefante se Balanceaba”

Explore math while singing and moving to the music.

Activity Summary

We know spiders build strong webs. But are they strong enough to hold an elephant?

Song Lyrics

Un elefante se balanceaba*
sobre la tela de una araña.
Como veía que resistía,
fue a llamar a otro elefante.

Dos elefantes se balanceaban,
sobre la tela de una araña.
Como veían que resistían,
fueron a llamar a otro elefante.

Tres elefantes se balanceaban…
Cuatro elefantes se balanceaban…
Cinco elefantes se balanceaban…

*Mexican families may sing “columpiaba” instead of “balanceaba.” Both mean “to sway or swing.”

English Translation:

An elephant was swinging
on a spider web.
Since it saw the web was strong,
it went to call another elephant

Two elephants were swinging
on a spider web.
Since they saw the web was strong,
they went to call another elephant

Three elephants were swinging…
Four elephants were swinging…
Five elephants were swinging…

Listen to the song on YouTube.

About the Math

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

  • Count and add one more.
    • Count forward to show the number of elephants: un(o), dos, tres, cuatro, cinco. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
    • One more elephant is added to the spider web each time.
  • Describe how objects move in space.
    • Balancear and columpiar mean to swing or sway or rock. 

Math Sing and Play

Sing the song with your child until they know it. Then emphasize the math in the song.

  • Act out the song with your hands. Use fingers to show different numbers of elephants. Start by holding up one finger to show one elephant, then add a finger every round. Swing your hand back and forth to show the elephants  swinging on the spider web.
  • Pretend to be elephants. Put down a blanket or pick   a spot to be the spider web. One person can be the first elephant and call another elephant over. Keep adding as many elephants as there are people.
  • Continue the song, counting even higher. Add one elephant each time: seis (6) elefantes, siete (7) elefantes, … as high as you can count!

Activity After the Song

You can keep the learning going by making spider web art.

  • Take a circular paper plate or cut out a circle from cardboard. Cut 10-15 small slits around the edge of the plate or cardboard.
  • Draw a spider on the plate. Be sure to give it eight legs!
  • Cut a long piece of yarn or string and tape one end to the back of the plate.
  • Weave the yarn across and around the slits to make the spider web.  Then tape the other end of the yarn to the back of the plate.