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Zing Nederlands met ons! Slaap kindje slaap

To sing Dutch, is to learn Dutch! In a series of six we will explain six of the most popular Dutch traditional nursery rhymes. If you have young children, this is your chance to sing Dutch with them. Happy faces guaranteed! But if you’re not a parent this is also a good opportunity to practise your pronunciation, learn new Dutch words and dive into Dutch culture! This week it’s time to say night night with ‘Slaap kindje slaap, as it’s the last song in our series. Sleep tight!

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Drie kleine kleutertjes
Papegaaitje leef je nog?
Ik zag twee beren
In de maneschijn
Poesje mauw


Image: Lemniscaat

Slaap kindje slaap

Do you sometimes have trouble sleeping? Wouldn’t it be great if someone would sing you a lullaby? Every mum and dad knows it’s the fastest way to make a child sleepy. ‘Slaap kindje slaap’ has been the go to song for Dutch parents for centuries. The oldest version of the song is found in a handwritten book from 1850, but the song is probably much older and passed on by oral tradition.

‘Slaap kindje slaap’ tells a tale of milk and sheep with little white feet. Perfect ingredients for a good night sleep! Like most traditionals, there are regional variations to the song. This version is the best known.

Use the you tube player to listen to the song. Below you can find the lyrics and our translation. We hope you will enjoy practising Dutch with this song. We also hope, if you have small children, you will try singing this song instead of your usual lullaby. If you do, please let us know if you tried and how this worked out for you (and your child of course). Send an email to or leave a comment on facebook!


Slaap kindje slaap


Slaap, kindje, slaap

Daar buiten loopt een schaap

Een schaap met witte voetjes

Die drinkt zijn melk zo zoetjes.

Slaap, kindje, slaap

daar buiten loopt een schaap



Sleep, baby, sleep

Outside there is a sheep

A sheep with little white feet

Drinking milk so sweet

Sleep, baby, sleep

Outside there is a sheep








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