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(See below for previous tips.)


A Little Soap and Water -- and Throw in Some Manners!

It is so very important! Especially in a classroom situation.

An Activity Tip by Michael Plunkett, Author of the Kimbo CD, "Shenanigans!"

I am a Special Needs Music Teacher, and good hygiene and manners have even more value with the kids I work with as they have a tendency to be sick more then typical kids. It may seem funny to make a song out of it, but the message is serious for all children. Wash your hands! You can’t do that too many times in a day. It does make a difference to you and everyone around you. It is a simple task that teachers and teacher assistants can even make a game out of.

Have a grown up fake a sneeze, and show the children how to properly cover their mouth to stop the spread of germs. Show the kids where the tissues are kept in the room, and give them a quick lesson in how to properly use and dispose of their used tissues. Then “show and tell” them the importance of using soap and water, just like the song says.

Have the kids try it, and even play the "Achoo" song from "Shenanigans" as part of the game.

Here's another good idea from "Shenanigans". Manners make us all better people.

To quote the "Achoo" song (see lyrics below), “What do you say when you get in the way?"

How many times has someone bumped into you and kept going without saying anything? To quote the song again, two simple words, “excuse me”, are important for kids to learn.

I still hold doors for people, whether they thank me or not, because that’s the way I was raised. My mother used to say, “Do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because you expect something”. I teach the same value to my children. Believe me, it works.

Try this little game for practice:
Have two kids walk toward each other, and choose one to instigate a little “bump”. Then have that child say the 2 important manners words, "excuse me". Before long they will all want to participate.

Proper hygiene and good manners are timeless lessons.

I love the Achoo song and what it says. It features hygiene, manners and a good toe-tappin’ beat...

Thanks for listening,

Mr. Mike


1. Fat Cat Boogie (Dance/Movement)

2. Izzy The Garden Snail (Building Relationships)

3. Hip Hop-o-potomus (Rhythm Sticks/Call & Response Activity)

4. Island Party (Rhythm/Social Interactions)

5. Veggie Rock (Nutrition)

6. Elephant Walk (Dance/Movement)

7. Achoo Song (Hygiene)

8. Scat Train (Creative Movement)

9. Daddy’s Lullaby (Rest time)

10. Goodbye Song (Closing)

Michael Plunkett has been teaching over 20 "Music Together" classes per week for over 10 years. These classes focus on the preschool child and their teachers/parents. Mr. Plunkett also brings enrichment programs to underprivileged elementary school children with The Recreational Arts Program. Currently, Michael is the Director of the music program in a local Special Needs School teaching 40 classes a week and over 500 students ranging in age from 3 to 21. Michael maintains a private lesson practice and plays five musical instruments.


Oh, what do you do when you achoo
And then it goes all over the place.
A little soap and water goes a long, long way
And make sure you cover your Face.

So that's what you do, (echo)
Yea, that's what you do, (echo)
Hey, that's what you do (echo)
When you achooooo...

What do you say when you get in the way
Of someone walkin' down the street?
A little bit of manners is the thing to do
Then you say, excuse me!!

Yea, that's what you say, (echo)
Well, that's what you say, (echo)
Yea, that's whot you say, (echo)
When you get in somebody's way.


Repeat 2nd verse

Yea, that's what you say, (echo)
Well, that's what you say, (echo)
Yea, that's what you say, (echo)
When you get in somebody's way.

What do you do (echo)
Yea, what do you do (echo)
Ahh, what do you do (echo)
When you achooooo......

Previous Tips

• Music Rocks   Activity Tips (7/08) - LeAnn Haggard

• Using Music and Movement To Encourage Healthier Children
   Activity Tips (5/08) - Bridgid Junot, UNM, CHILE Project

• Moving to Math
   Activity Tips (9/07) - Pam Schiller

•  Take a Movement Break and Switch On Your Brain - with RONNO!
   Activity Tips (10/06) - RONNO

•  Ways to Teach Children Through Music and Movement
   Activity Tips - RONNO

•  Alliteration
   Activity Tips (2/06) - Pam Schiller, Ph.D.

•  A Case for Laughing Giggling and Having Fun

   Activity Tips (11/05) - Pam Schiller, Ph.D.

•  Connecting Music and Literacy
   Activity Tips (8/05) - Pam Schiller, Ph.D.

•  The Learning Station: Teaching with Songs in Your Heart
   Activity Tips (7/04) - Laurie Monopoli

•  Bean Bag
   Activity Tips (3/04) - Christina Chapman

•  Activities to Integrate Music and Language Arts
   Activity Tips (8/03) - Cindy H. Clark, MMed, MT-BC



Activity Tips for Special Needs and Young Children