Kopf Schulter Knie und Fuß

In this video you can watch me teach my daughter the song “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß”, which is the English version of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”. It is an excellent children’s song to learn a few basic body parts in any language. While I could have chosen to sing it with the German word “Zehe”, I have found that most other people sing it this way. I also find that the word for foot is more helpful to learn than toe. Below is a transcript of the video along with additional German body vocabulary learning opportunities.

You can get a worksheet and answer key to go with this lesson here.

Kopf Schulter Knie und Fuß (featuring Sophia & Herr Antrim)


Herr Antrim: Heute singen Sophia und ich ein Lied für euch und zwar “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß”. Du kennst dieses Lied schon auf Englisch, aber heute wirst du es auf Deutsch lernen, ja?
Herr Antrim: Today Sophia and I are singing a song for you all and it is “Head, Shoulder(s), Knees and Toes (Foot)”. You already know this song in English, but today you will learn it in German, yes?

If you are looking for a worksheet to help you practice the German body part vocabulary from this video and beyond, click here and download it from my shop.

Wortschatz – Vocabulary

der Kopf (plural – die Köpfe)

die Schulter (die Schultern)

das Knie (die Knie)

der Fuß (die Füße)

das Auge (die Augen)

das Ohr (die Ohren)

die Nase (die Nasen)

der Mund (die Münder)

Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß Lyrics: German vs English

German Version:
Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß
Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß
Augen, Ohren, Nase, Mund
Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß, Knie und Fuß

Literal Translation:
Head, shoulder, knees and foot, knees and foot
Head, shoulder, knees and foot, knees and foot
Eyes, ears, nose, mouth
Head, shoulder, knees and foot, knees and foot

English Version:
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Additional German Body Parts Vocabulary

das Haar (die Haare)

die Stirn (die Stirnen)

das Kinn (die Kinne)

die Lippe (die Lippen)

der Zahn (die Zähne)

die Wange (die Wangen)

der Hals (die Hälse)
neck, throat

der Arm (die Arme)

der Ellenbogen (die Ellenbogen)

das Handgelenk (die Handgelenke)

die Hand (die Hände)

der Finger (die Finger)

die Brust (die Brüste)

der Bauch (die Bäuche)

die Hüfte (die Hüften)

das Po (die Pos)

das Bein (die Beine)

der Zeh (die Zehen)

Obviously there are other body part words to be learned, but I have covered them in the post from a long time ago when I redid the Mr. Potato Head with the German Body Parts video and wrote a blog about it. You can see that here.

German Body Parts Vocabulary Example Sentences

I thought it would be good if we also talked about some verbs in this post. Below I have a few example sentences that use German body part vocabulary with some verbs that you might need with each of the body parts.

Ich nicke mit meinem Kopf.
I nod with my head.

to nod

der Kopf, die Köpfe

Kämmst du dir jeden Morgen die Haare?
Do you comb your hair every morning?

sich die Haare kämmen
to comb one’s hair

das Haar, die Haare

Hans sieht so viele schöne Sachen mit seinen Augen.
Hans sees so many beautiful things with his eyes.

to see

das Auge, die Augen

Sophia hört mit ihren Ohren.
Sophia hears with her ears.

to hear

das Ohr, die Ohren

Der Hund riecht etwas mit seiner Nase.
The dog smells something with its nose.

to smell

die Nase, die Nasen

der Keks, die Kekse

der Mund, die Münder

to place, put

to lay

die Zunge, die Zungen

to chew

der Zahn, die Zähne

Der Vater runzelt die Stirn
The father furrows his brow.

to furrow, frown

die Stirn, die Stirnen

Ich massiere die Schultern.
I massage the shoulders.

to massage

die Schulter, die Schultern

Mit einem Arm kann man etwas werfen.
With an arm one can throw something.

der Arm, die Arme

to throw

Ich halte den Apfel in meiner Hand.
I am holding the apple in my hand.

der Apfel, die Äpfel

die Hand, die Hände

Der Lehrer zeigt die Regeln mit dem Finger.
The teacher shows the rules with the finger.

der Lehrer, die Lehrer
teacher (male)

to show

die Regel, die Regeln

der Finger, die Finger

Ich benutze meine Beine um zu laufen.
I use my legs to run.

das Bein, die Beine

to run

Mit dem Knie kann man sich beugen.
One can bow with the knee.

das Knie, die Knie

sich beugen
to bow

Der Fußballer kickt den Ball mit dem Fuß.
The soccer player kicks the ball with the foot.

der Fußballer, die Fußballer
soccer player

der Ball, die Bälle

to kick

der Fuß, die Füße

Die Kinder liegen auf ihren Rücken und beobachten die Sterne.
The children are lying on their backs and are watching the stars.

das Kind, die Kinder

to lie

der Rücken, die Rücken

to observe

der Stern, die Sterne

Why the Lyrics of “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß” are not the same as “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”

Lyrics usually vary a bit when translated from language to another language in order to fit the syllables or to fit some sort of cultural norm. The movements to this song definitely help. In the German version, there are a few changes, which I have outlined below.

Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß
Head, shoulder, knee(s), and foot?

In the very first line of the song, there are several changes from the English version. The most obvious is that the word “toes” has been replaced by the German equivalent of “foot”. This is a strange choice of wording, since the German word for “toe” (Zeh) would have fit in the song just as well as “Fuß” does.

The second change that occurs is the change from “shoulders” to the German equivalent of “shoulder” (Schulter). This change is a bit easier to defend, as it would need an “n” in the plural, which might make it a bit more difficult to sing, but in my opinion, there is really no reason for this change either.

The last change isn’t necessarily a change, but a weird thing that happens because of the German language. The singular form of “knee” is “Knie” and the plural form “knees” translates as “Knie”. This means that we don’t actually know if the “Knie” in the song is singular “knee” or plural “knees”. I would like to make the assumption that it is plural, since the original song is plural, but that assumption doesn’t hold true for the other parts of this line, so why would this part be plural when all of the others are singular?

Augen, Ohren, Nase, Mund
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose?

This line is the most confusing change to English speakers. They are used to doing the motions with the mouth first and nose second, but in the German version “Nase” comes before “Mund”. This means that when I teach this in class, the students almost always do things in the “wrong” order the first time around.

Again, there isn’t a very good reason behind this change, but there is at least one explanation I can offer. In the English version “nose” and “toes” rhyme, which is why “mouth” has to come before “nose”, but in the German version none of the words rhyme with “Fuß”. The closest thing that the song translator could come up with is to switch “Nase” and “Mund” to have a partial rhyme between “Mund” and “Fuß”. They both have the same vowel sound, but they don’t really rhyme in the traditional sense.

Older Versions of “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß” with Herr Antrim

Kopf, Schulter, Knie, & Fuß - Lied - Deutsch lernen

This version of the song “Kopf, Schulter, Knie und Fuß” is simply me singing on my own. It is an update to the version of the song that you can see below.

Kopf Schulter Knie und Fuß mit Bewegungen (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes with Motions- German)

The next couple of videos are of my children when they were little babies. They teach you the parts of the body in German, too. Luke’s video is first, as it is newer and is the same song as the one in the title of this post. Sophia’s video is second and is a song that I made up on my own. It takes the tune of “Mein Hut der hat drei Ecken” and changes it into a song about body parts vocabulary in German. Enjoy.

Kopf Schulter Knie Fuß featuring Baby Luke
German Body Parts with Sophia (Deutsche Körperteile mit Sophia) - Deutsch lernen
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