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Tepuk Amai-amai, Belalang Kupu-kupu….wait, what’s next?

April 27, 2016

Tepuk amai-amai

Belalang kupu-kupu

Tepuk [Baby’s Name] pandai

Malam-malam upah susu 

Having a child of my own has clocked me back in time. I have been revisiting all those nursery rhymes and lullabies that I once admired.

But one problem.

Most of them are in English. (Even so, I have forgotten a lot of the lyrics.) It’s important that my baby becomes bilingual when she’s able to communicate and hence exposure to our local nursery rhymes is just as important.

Here are some of the popular Malay nursery rhymes (besides the above lullaby):

Bangau Oh Bangau

Bangun Pagi

Burung Kakak Tua

Nenek Si Bongkok Tiga

Be it English or Malay, if you scrutinise some of the lyrics, they’re actually pretty scary. For example, there’s Nenek Si Bongkok Tiga. Generally, anything with hunches depicts something or someone scary. Like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Scary, but they turn out to be kind.

Then there’s the English nursery rhyme of Five Little Ducks. They swim with their mother duckling and one by one, they begin to disappear. But like any other fairytale, it has a happy ending when all 5 ducks reunite. There’s also Rock-a-Bye Baby where the baby is in a cradle in the treetop, and the bough breaks causing the cradle to fall with the baby.


Okay, so nursery rhymes are not supposed to be realistic. They’re just supposed…to rhyme? And make the baby go to sleep, of course.

Besides singing nursery rhymes and lullabies to our baby, there are also children’s storybooks! We’ve saved up a lot of the books from back when my sister and I were young. They’re colourful, playful and full of amazing illustrations.


I’ve pulled out some books and have been reading them to my little girl. This reminds me when I was back in primary school. As a classroom weekly activity, we would go to the library for story time. There’s a comfortable carpeted corner in the library, decorated with books (of course), stuffed animals and artwork. There’s a rocking chair for the librarian to sit on while she reads and takes us on incredible imaginary adventures with the book of the week. I loved how she used different voices and expressions for different characters.


I have to say, my little girl does like the entertainment. Being a little over 2 months now, she’s able to identify different colours and our voice and face. Good early mind stimulation!


My current favourite for the baby



Pop-up books are cool too:

IMG_1479 IMG_1480

Speaking of nursery rhymes and children’s songs, have you heard of a segment in The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon called Wheel of Musical Impressions? Playing head to head, Jimmy and his guest are tasked to sing whatever song that appears on the screen. The catch — the song must be delivered in the style of a certain singer. Watch this one with Demi Lovato where the category involved was children’s songs; they totally nailed it!

Wheel of Musical Impressions with Demi Lovato

To end this entry, here’s a modified rendition of ‘Wheels on the Bus’ by yours truly! :

The wheels on the bus go round and round, 

round and round, round and round.

The wheels on the bus go round and round,

all the way to town.

The wheels on the truck go clunk and clunk,

clunk and clunk, clunk and clunk.

The wheels on the truck go clunk and clunk,

all the way to the farm. 

The wheels on the Ferrari go vroom and vroom,

vroom and vroom, vroom and vroom. 

The wheels on the Ferrari go vroom and vroom, 

all the way to the mall. 

The wheels on the hybrid car go whoosh and whoosh,

whoosh and whoosh, whoosh and whoosh.

The wheels on the hybrid car go whoosh and whoosh,

all the way to the park. 

Mengikut peredaran masa, katakan. It doesn’t rhyme, but helps when I can’t recall the lyrics! 😉

Happy keeping your babies entertained!

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