Bubblegum, Bubblegum in a Dish

Bubblegum, Bubblegum in a Dish is one of those magical pieces that works so well for students of all ages. Children everywhere seem to know this chant and use it for jump rope, choosing peers to be “it,” and so much more!

I like using this one as an activity that my kids can do on their own if I have to step aside and talk to another student or an adult. One student stands at the front of the class to play a steady beat on the tubano while they and the rest of the class recite the chant. The student playing the drum gets to hit the drum 1-10 times. They look for a classmate who has the same number of fingers held up and chooses that student to be the next one to play the steady beat. Students can do this on their own FOREVER.

Suggested Grade Levels: Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade


I could not find any information specifically about the origins of this speech piece, but I would assume that it was created in the United States. The reason I think this comes from the United States is because the pink bubblegum we are familiar with was created here! In lieu of historical information on the chant (because there is not much there), I thought it would be fun to include some fun facts on the American history of bubblegum!

Fun facts:
–Chewing gum dates back to ancient Greek times when people would chew on resin from the mastic tree.
–Bubblegum is different than chewing gum! You could not blow bubbles with chewing gum very well.
–Bubblegum was invented in 1928 by Walter Diemer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
–Bubblegum is pink because that was the only color of dye available at the Fleer Chewing Gum Company where the sweet treat was created.

Children stand in a circle with their feet pointing inward. One child points to their feet to the steady beat while reciting the chant. At the end, the last child to be pointed to will say a number and all of the kids must count. Once they finish counting, the child who’s foot is last to be tapped must pull it away. They will continue repeating this until all feet except for one is left. The child with one foot left in the center of the circle is now “it.”

Classroom Applications:
–GREAT rhythmic speech piece
–Easily transferrable to body percussion
–Wonderful independent activity for an entire class (see the introductory section for more details)
–Great for counting (especially good for younger kids)
–Steady beat opportunity
–Advanced rhythms for older students (sixteenth/eighth notes)

Bubblegum, Bubblegum done with young children
Older children playing Bubblegum, Bubblegum


–Haggartfamily. (2015, May 29). Bubble gum bubble gum in a dish [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppUrNC12AQ8

–KCLS. (2015, November 13). Bubble gum, bubble gum, in a dish [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYB_DdLW0lk

–Rosenburg, J. (2019, July 31). The invention and history of bubblegum. Thought Co. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-invention-of-bubble-gum-1779256

–Thompson, B. (n.d.) Bubblegum in a dish. Beth’s Notes. https://www.bethsnotesplus.com/2017/08/bubblegum-in-a-dish.html

Why is bubblegum pink? (n.d.). BBC History Revealed. https://www.historyrevealed.com/eras/modern/why-is-bubble-gum-pink/

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