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to be irritated by people's inability to sing a decent version of sleeping bunnies?

(223 Posts)
ajamore Wed 23-Sep-09 12:04:14

This is standard fare at the toddler groups I have been going to for some years now. It seems to me that the success of this song is the gentle "ssshhhh! shushes while the little ones are lying on the floor, followed by (and I believe this is an absolute ESSENTIAL element) the suspenseful "ohhhhh" (getting louder and louder) that then erupts into an enthusiastic clambering upright of the children and a jolly "hop little bunnies, hop hop hop etc.."


"See the sleeping bunnies sleeping till it's nearly noon, come and let us wake them gently with our merry tune"

Oh how still: Ssshhhhh, Shhhhhh (finger to lips action by all mothers/fathers/nannies/childminders etc.)

Are they ill? (always find that bit a bit disturbing to be honest): Shhhh Shhhhh

Wake up soon, Wake up soon

BIT OF A PAUSE then a very slowly building Ohhhhhhhhh and then,

Hop little bunnies hop hop hop; Hop little bunnies hop, hop, hop; Hop little bunnies hop hop hop; Hop then stop.

I am fed up of being at groups where it is all rushed and there are no shushes after the "oh how still, are they ill" bits but then there are a few uncoordinated shushes after the "wake up soon, wake up soon" bit if you're lucky. There are awkward glances from all the mothers/fathers/nannies/childminders etc. with this misappropriation of the shushing part because everbody is looking to someone else to come in with the "Hop little bunnies, hop hop hop" and the children are confused too. The shushes have their place in this song but NOT in this bit!!

I would like to know what the Mumsnet consensus is on this VERY important issue.

Thank you.

ninja Wed 23-Sep-09 12:08:20

see the LITTLE bunnies - ersonally hate the repetition of word sleeping, just sounds wrong (but I'll get over it...... hmm)

MrsJamin Wed 23-Sep-09 12:10:16

I'm glad someone has highlighted this issue, finally. Everyone sings a different version of this so only one mum can sing it at a time. It's very awkward to be singing a different version to someone else.
You can always say "they're not ill" too, a little kinder, perhaps? The word "gently" doesn't scan either, so I would contest that bit too.
I've never heard of an ohhhhh bit so it can't be essential. wink
this will really irritate you.

plantsitter Wed 23-Sep-09 12:10:47

YANBU to be irritated. But you are wrong. It should go 'wake up soon. Wake up..... NOW! Hop little bunnies etc' thereby giving everyone a very clear indication of when the hopping starts.

I hope that clears things up for you. wink

BornToFolk Wed 23-Sep-09 12:20:11

This is DS's number one favourite activity at the moment. I don't do shushing, or the oohhhhhh bit though. We do "see the bunnies sleeping until noon, shall we wake them with a merry tune? oh so still, are they ill?"......pause for as long as I can, relishing the fact that DS is lying quietly on the floor......"WAKE UP BUNNIES!" Then, "hop little bunnies" etc etc.

OP, do you not do the "WAKE UP BUNNIES!"? That's the best bit!

ajamore Wed 23-Sep-09 12:21:52

Mrs Jamin - sweet little video but WRONG - too rushed - where's the drama? Where's the suspense?!! Little girl was enjoying it though so on a one-to-one basis it's forgiveable but not in a group situation I fear. I DID however, like the dispensing of the word "gently" I think we can do without that to be honest.

Plantsitter - I don't like the Wake up soon, Wake up... NOW - not suspenseful enough and too dictatorial I fear.

Ninja - yes, I agree the use of the "little" is more sweet and less tautological.

Maybe if we get enough input we can come up with THE definitive version - like a Sleeping Bunnies manifesto. We have the power grin

ajamore Wed 23-Sep-09 12:28:13

BornToFolk - No, never heard the WAKE UP BUNNIES - just think in a group situation it's difficult to co-ordinate when you would shout this? How would that work - and do you have no sound going on at all while they are lying down? I can see the advantage of that as you could go away and put the kettle on and leave them lying in silence for quite some time before shouting WAKE UP BUNNIES!! But am HORRIFIED at the complete lack of shushing wink

ThingOne Wed 23-Sep-09 12:36:59

I'd never heard this song until I started going to toddler groups. Personally I'm just delighted if my son joins in at all!

BornToFolk Wed 23-Sep-09 12:38:58

Well, you need a leader to give some kind of signal about when to shout it. Works at our local Rhymetime.

Thinking about it, I think I do give a little shhh after "are they ill?", then total silence (with a little giggling from DS) until "WAKE UP BUNNIES!"

Tis brilliant at home, sometimes I can get DS to lie there for nearly a minute. grin

The only downside is his insistence on Mummy jumping too.

ajamore Wed 23-Sep-09 12:43:38

Ahh BornToFolk am mightily impressed that you can get your DS to lie there for a minute grin

FaintlyMacabre Wed 23-Sep-09 12:47:47

My DS is always the one who gets up immediately shouting 'POPOPOP!' The others just ignore him, though, and get up at the designated 'Wake Up Bunnies!'

TheApprentice Wed 23-Sep-09 12:48:00

Now I don't do any sshhs or Aahhs but instead after "wake up soon' I very softly say "wake up little bunnies" and then they start jumping. Have had no complaints! So YABU!

This thread made me laugh though - DH and I used to say that we should take the entire toddler group down to a Britain's got Talent audition and do a rendition of Sleeping Bunnies, it would be bound to get to the final!

princessmel Wed 23-Sep-09 12:48:23

No ooooh's or shusssh's at any playgroup I've been too over 12 years. (nannying and then as a mummy)


I think anything goes. Most kids get the idea..

MadHairDay Wed 23-Sep-09 12:50:28

Ah but what about the next verse - see the little bunnies in their little beds, shall we try and wake them, little sleepy heads? They're so still, are they ill? Then it's definately WAKE UP BUNNIES.....Hop etc....haven't heard of the shhhs and ooohs here either tho they sound rather sweet. Seems there are different versions up and down the country

FaintlyMacabre Wed 23-Sep-09 12:53:36

Ooh, I've never heard of that version. We sometimes have sleepy ponies who go 'Trot trot trot' though.

I do find the whole thing very odd. In fact, I was going to start a thread entitled 'Sleepy Bunnies- wtf is that all about?' But I shall express my bewilderment here instead grin.

FlamingoDuBeke Wed 23-Sep-09 12:54:34


In our house:

1. It's 'see the little bunnies sleeping...'
2. It's 'shall we go and wake them up with a merry tune?'
3. There's no silly shhhhhhhhhhhing
4. You have to shout 'wake up little bunnies'

And then you have to do 'see the little pigs' 'see the little dogs' and usually something very silly like 'see the little slugs' too grin

And you also have to have a level of tolerance for the fact that every single nursery rhyme and song has lots of different versions and everyone likes their version the best but none of them are wrong.

Someone told me off for singing the 'wrong' words to the second, made up bit of 'ring o' roses', which really annoyed me.

hazeyjane Wed 23-Sep-09 12:56:55

We have never done the shshsh or the ohhhh, but one thing I have noticed is that people always start too high so we end up with a kind of operatic warbling of 'Hop little bunnies hop hop hop'.

My dd's could do it over and over again for hours.

FaintlyMacabre Wed 23-Sep-09 12:58:00

Oh yes, then there's all those versions of Row Row Row Your Boat as well. Polar bears and lions and octopuses/pi. It's a minefield!

And the other day at Toddler Group we were all singing Incey Wincey Spider to at least 4 different tunes.

AmazingMabel Wed 23-Sep-09 12:59:37

Am I the only person who does:

"Up little bunnies up up up
Hop little bunnies hop hop hop
Jump little bunnies jump jump jump
Stop little bunnies stop stop stop"

And in that order so the "hop" rhymes with "stop" at the end. ??

They sang it like that the first ever plygroup I went to, nowhere else hever has, the original mums in the original playgroup have moved on. Now it's only me, feeling like I'm getting it wrong.

hazeyjane Wed 23-Sep-09 13:04:02

Ok this is the one we do

See the little bunnies sleeping 'til it's nearly noon
Shall we wake them with a merry tune,
They're so still
Are they ill? (worrying, I agree)

Hop little bunnies hop hop hop
hop little bunnies hop then STOP! (everyone freezes)

repeat forever......

MrsJohnDeere Wed 23-Sep-09 13:04:50

No shushing, pauses, or ooooohing at the groups we go to.

Also slight variation on the words: see the little bunnies sleeping until noon, shall we wake them with a merry tune

StrictlyAvadaKedavra Wed 23-Sep-09 13:10:37

Look at the sleeping bunnies,
Sleeping in til noon...
Shall we go and wake them with a merry tune?

They're so still...





Hop little bunnies hop hop hop etc etc...

I can't imagine not having the wake up bunnies part - it's the best bit!!

RubysReturn Wed 23-Sep-09 13:12:43

Nothing is as irritating as Musical Mum showing off. imho

Just shut the hell up and sing Peter Rabbit instead!

hazeyjane Wed 23-Sep-09 13:20:38

Oh I don't know, I think the over enthusiastic HokeyCokey-er is something to behold, Rubysreturn.

I like enjoying the songs that my lo's enjoy.

BalloonSlayer Wed 23-Sep-09 13:22:51

This issue is nothing like as serious as the one concerning the bad grammar in "Ten Fat Sausages."

In every toddler group I have ever been to, they sing:

"Ten fat sausages sizzling in a pan.
One went pop and the other went bang"


It is totally incorrect to refer to "the other" until there are only two sausages left, in which case it is quite all right and indeed perfectly acceptable.

I seem to be the only person singing "and another went bang" for the first four stanzas.

I am deeply disappointed at the way standards have slipped.

Do you think I should complain to OFSTED. Get the toddler group closed down, or at least downgraded from Outstanding?

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