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Rhyme Time!

Lets sing rhymes and action songs! Rhyme time is a fantastic way to support your child’s all-round development. Its easy, its free, and your children absolutely love it! So, how do simple songs and rhymes support development?...

Language and literacy skills are supported: Nursery rhymes are a child’s first experience with words

Communication skills are developed: it helps them learn new vocabulary or numeracy

Physical development is enhanced: Using actions linked to words in rhymes encourages motor skills which improves rhythm and movement

Cognitive skills are developed: rhymes improve memory, concentration, special awareness, and thinking skills

Personal social and emotional development is supported: Music helps children develop improved self-control, positive self-esteem and confidence

For Babies Like many of our activities you can do this anytime, anywhere and you can incorporate it into your babies daily routine, singing rhymes when feeding, bathing, nappy changing, or you can sit and have a rhyme session with your child. You may think you need to introduce lots of different songs however, you are better to learn and sing a couple of rhymes as the repetition of these will support your child’s development. Once you have introduced the rhyme you can sing softer, louder, slower faster, remember to use facial expressions and really engage with your child when singing.

Here's one of our very own practitioners to give you some examples of rhymes we sing at nursery. Rachel works in the baby room at our Oakwood nursery.


As with babies, repetition supports development and this is why so many of the rhymes have the same sounds and words throughout. This age is great for singing action rhymes such as Tommy Thumb, The Grand Old Duke of York and Heads, Shoulders Knees and Toes. It is also a great way of using up some of that access energy toddlers have.

Our in-house musician Charlie has recorded a special version of Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes for children to enjoy at home... lots of the children love seeing Charlie and his guitar so we hope these videos will help keep them entertained!

Children love to copy the actions, and this is wonderful for their co-ordination and physical skills. You can adapt the rhyme, why not sing the rhyme again but only do the action for a certain word instead of singing. For example: when singing Grand Old Duke of York only do the marching action don’t sing the word each time.

Ask your children what rhymes and songs they like; they will probably have some favourites from nursery.

For Preschoolers

Your pre-schoolers will have a wealth of rhymes and songs they already know from nursery and will enjoy teaching you the words and actions if you don't know them already. As well as supporting language skills and physical development this is also a great opportunity to develop number awareness as many songs incorporate counting skills. Your children could introduce props and begin to act out the rhyme. They may use their toys to represent characters in the rhymes using teddies for the ‘monkeys’ jumping on the bed.

Click the link below for some popular English nursery rhymes to learn...

Why not incorporate this with the ‘Lets Make Sounds’ or ‘Lets Make Music’ activities we did last week? Don't forget to include us in your activities by sending us a photo or short video clip to include in our Facebook collection at the end of the week!


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