Activity 4: Rhymes and Songs

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Words are made up of sounds. When children become aware of the separate sounds in words and syllables, they are on their way to becoming readers and writers. Reciting and playing with nursery rhymes, finger plays, and songs gives children opportunities to develop this skill.

Words & Language: Activity 4

Benefits for Your Child:

  • Increases awareness of sounds in words
  • Responds to the rhythm of spoken language
  • Begins to recognize parts of words
  • Listens with intent

Words are made up of sounds. When children become aware of the separate sounds in words and syllables, they are on their way to becoming readers and writers. Reciting and playing with nursery rhymes, finger plays, and songs gives children opportunities to develop this skill which is called phonological awareness.

Kindergarten Connection tooltip

There is a direct relationship between the number of rhymes a child knows when entering kindergarten and success as a reader. In kindergarten, children will identify and create lists of rhyming words.

Activity: Rhymes and Songs

singingHickory, Dickory, Dock
Hickory, Dickory, Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down.
Hickory, Dickory, Dock.

Jack be Nimble, Jack be Quick
Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over
The candlestick.

Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill
Jack and Jill went up the hill,
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down,
And broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.

One, Two Buckle My Shoe
One, two buckle my shoe.
Three, four shut the door.
Five, six pick up sticks.
Seven, eight lay them straight.
Nine, ten a big fat hen.

  • Rehearse nursery rhymes with your child.
  • Make props and act out nursery rhymes.
  • Sing part of the phrase, and then allow your child to fill in the next word.
  • Sing or recite the rhyme as your child claps along with the rhythm.
  • Insert your child’s name into the rhyme.

More Ideas:

  • If your child is ready for a challenge, change part of the rhyme and match the rhyming word. “Humpty Dumpty sat in a car. Humpty Dumpty had to go far.”
  • Clap along or provide rhythm instruments such as spoons, pans, or a small box to shake.

Tips:

  • Rhymes do not have to make sense. You can even use nonsense words.

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Books: Rhymes & Songs

Finger Plays for Nursery and Kindergarten by Emilie Poulsson. Fun, funny, and educational.

The Big Book of Nursery Rhymes and Children's Songs by Amsco Publications. A treasury of 169 all-time favorite rhymes and songs for children.

Complete Book List