How to play travel games that are family fun: sing a round

By | April 8, 2021


A round is a short song where two or more people, or groups, sing the same melody but start in different places. As each person sings, their melody coincides with another part of the song and harmony is produced. Although it is technical to sing a round, it is not a game, it is challenging and can be played in teams where each team takes part. The challenge is to listen to the other singers but not mix with your own part. When a round is sung properly, you will be amazed at the harmonious sounds that come from your family.


A simple round to start with is row, row, row your boat
Row, Row, Row your boat,
Gently turn down the power
Smooth, smooth, smooth, smooth
Life is just a dream.


To sing this round, start by dividing it into two groups. The first group sings the first line, ‘Row, Row, Row your boat’. When the first group begins the second line, group two begins to sing, ‘Row, Row, Row your boat’. Each group should sing the song three times. When the round sings correctly, group one passes and group two (or the last group if you do three or more groups) sings, ‘Life is just a dream’ Another fun round to try is ‘Kookaburra’, a song about an Australian bird whose conversation sounds like laughter.

In this round, each person or group begins after the first person or group sings, ‘old gum tree’.

Kookabura sits on the old rubber tree,
He is the good happy king of the bush.
Laugh Kookabura, laugh Kookabura
Gay your life must pass.

Kookabura sits on the old rubber tree,
Eats all the chewing gum he can see.
Stop Kookabura, stop Kookabura
Save some chewing gum for me!

Tips and warnings

  • After you have sung the round a few times, let the last group that started the song and get the first group to start coming in last. This gives everyone the chance to be challenged a little more and develop a new sense of harmony.
  • Laugh a lot! Turn your own silly words into familiar songs: Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Kookaburra, etc.
  • Are you planning a long trip for the holidays or the holidays? Help time go faster by playing ready-made games together. Singing together while driving is a great way to have fun and it does not take batteries. This is the third article in this Travel Games series.