Hush Little Baby – An Activity For The Classic Lullaby

by Melanie on April 28, 2014

Hush Little Baby

Hush Little Baby has been in my son’s top 3 favorite lullabies ever since we checked this book out at the library:

hush little baby book

Hush Little Baby by Brian Pinkney – I highly recommend this book!

I sing it to him almost every night, usually as the very last song before he drifts off. So in the last couple weeks of my pregnancy, I gathered up all the items mentioned in the lullaby to make the song come to life.

Those items included:

Hush Little Baby

  • A mockingbird (This bird whistle was the only item I actually had to buy and it was a dollar. Everything else, we already had around the house.)
  • A diamond ring (It’s not real!)
  • A looking glass
  • A spinning top

Hush Little Baby

  • A dog named Pearl
  • A horse and cart (I made the cart out of a cut-up oatmeal box, tape, construction paper, a permanent marker, and a shoestring)
  • A fire truck

I put each item in a labeled box (so we can practice naming letters and sounding out words- something he loves to do) and sat in the schoolroom nursing the baby as he discovered it.

Hush Little Baby

“Oooh! What’s this, Mom?”

I explained that it was all the items from Hush Little Baby and asked him if he wanted to sing the song interactively to his sister. The answer was an eager YES!

Hush Little Baby

Getting started by grabbing the mockingbird.

I will post on here the words to Hush Little Baby that we use. There are several different versions of Hush Little Baby lyrics, but these were the ones we learned first, so they stuck with us.

Hush Little Baby Lyrics

Hush little baby, don’t say a word!

Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.


Hush Little Baby

As we sang the lyrics, Rocket gave each item to his sister! Here, she was curled up in my baby carrier when he gave her the bird whistle.

And if that mocking bird won’t sing,

Papa’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.


Hush Little Baby

If that diamond ring turns brass,

Papa’s gonna buy you a looking glass.


Hush Little Baby

After she fell asleep, I laid her, still tucked inside the baby carrier, on top of a pillow.

If that looking glass should drop,

Papa’s gonna buy you a spinning top.


Hush Little Baby

I spun the top on a tray for him.

If that spinning top won’t twirl,

Papa’s gonna buy you a dog named Pearl.


Hush Little Baby

A plastic German Shepherd was our “dog named Pearl”.

If that dog named Pearl won’t bark,

Papa’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.


Hush Little Baby

Rocket had fun playing with this horse and cart!

If that horse and cart get stuck,

Papa’s gonna buy you a fire truck.


Hush Little Baby

We actually had 3 fire trucks to choose from for this activity. I used the smallest one so that it would fit in the box.

If that fire truck won’t go,

You’re still the sweetest baby papa knows. 

Hush little baby, don’t you cry.

Mama’s gonna sing you a lullaby!


The photos on this page were taken during one session of the song exactly 1 week after Songbird was born. We have repeated the activity several times, at Rocket’s request, and he has also had fun playing with the toys on their own without the lullaby. It has been a nice activity for involving the baby (even though she is usually asleep) and encouraging Rocket to share with her early on using a familiar and well-loved song!

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