Of all the songs I have written about taking care of the Earth, there is one that stands out as being especially appropriate for preschoolers and kindergarteners. I have probably sung I Am an Earthkeeper more than any other song for young children, and I find that little ones like it as much as any other age group. Truth be told, I have performed this song for people of every age, and it just about always “ works.” But I especially love how young children respond to it.
Along with simple lyrics and a catchy, singable melody, Earthkeeper is well-adapted to American sign language.
Often, when I am performing it solo for young children, after singing the song’s refrain with my guitar, I will put the guitar down and sing the refrain again with sign language. I love watching youngsters’ faces as they see me using my hands as well as my voice to sing it. I also love to teach them some of the signs. It easy to learn the simple signs and children as young as 2 can make the sign for the earth or “care ” as included in the lyrics.
It is a great opportunity to incorporate some fine motor control exercise into music time. If I am with a very young group, I may skip singing the verse of the song, and just do the refrain along with the sign language, several times. The verse was designed this way…to be a stand alone simple song for the very youngest of children.
The song works perfectly as a segue into sharing things that we can do to take care of the Earth.
Depending on the ages of the group of children I am working with, the comments can be as simple of not throwing trash on the ground or as deep as discussing why it is good for the Earth when you “choose to walk, not drive.” This song…introduced to the young child will grow in meaning as the child grows.