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Why read nursery rhymes with my child?

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Why should I read nursery rhymes with my child?  Why recite these silly verses together?  Rhyming with children helps them to develop and understanding of sounds and words — and they are fun!!  Here is a compilation of some of our favorite resources for how to incorporated learning these rhymes at home and at play!

nursery rhyme teaching resources!

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Quick! Think of a nursery rhyme that you know by heart. Now think of another. And another!

Nursery rhymes help develop phonological awareness in young children. These poems promote memorization skills, word and sound blending and segmentation, and they help your child to understand the structure of the English language. Not to mention that they build brain power!!

Nursery rhymes are an amazing way to teach a child about their language, and rhymes also enhance vocabulary. They teach both rhythm and syllables to young children through their fun sequencing.  Just think of one you know:

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.

They are easy to memorize because of their sequence, rhythm, and rhyming words.  We put a new nursery rhyme up on our wall each week and try to recite it each day. By the end of the week, we all have these wonderful rhymes memorized!

How to read nursery rhymes with your baby thru school aged child

  • Sing the song in a rhythmic pattern. Don’t worry about your singing voice, but instead, enjoy your time together.
  • Point to the pictures as you are reading: point to the hill, the pail of water, his “crown” …etc.
  • Delight your child by doing finger motions or body movements along with the song.  Utilizing fine and gross motor muscles help a child learn and remember, even before they begin to speak!
  • Focus on body parts whenever possible so your child can learn them as you rhyme and sing.
  • As your child grows, you can answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the nursery rhymes through discussion and research. You could even research the meanings behind some of the rhymes together — if it’s not too morbid because sadly some of them do come from very depressing and troubled states of mind.
  • Focus on one nursery rhyme to teach a certain concept, such as Hickory Dickory Dock for time or discussing history references such as the candlestick in Jack Be Nimble or British history in London Bridges — the possibilities are endless!

why read nursery rhymes with my child? preschool teaching resources!!

Nursery rhyme books

Very First Nursery Rhymes

Baby’s Noisy Nursery Rhymes

Richard Scarry’s Best Mother Goose Ever 

The Real Mother Goose by Blanche Fisher Wright

My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie and Rosemary Wells

Nursery Rhyme Flip Chart

Padded Nursery Rhyme Board Books

The Big Sticker Book of Nursery Rhymes

Humpty Who: A Crash Course in 80 Nursery Rhymes {with cd}

The Big Nursery Rhyme Songbook {with cd}

365 Illustrated Stories and Rhymes

I see the moon, and the moon sees me by Helen Craig

Tomie de Paola’s Mother Goose by Tomie de Paola

I Saw Esau by Iona Opie & Maurice Sendak

Mother Goose Coloring Book


Nursery rhyme cds

Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes and Lullabies

Heidi Songs Nursery Rhymes

Humpty Who?: A Crash Course

The Merry Goes ‘Round by Jewel

Classic Nursery Rhymes by Susie Tallman


Nursery rhyme teaching resources, printables, and posts

An Alphabetical List of Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhyme Resources & Activities from Pre-K Pages

Mother Goose Activities and Printables  from A to Z Teacher Stuff

Free Nursery Rhyme Coloring Pages from PreKinders

Classic Nursery Rhyme Crafts & Activities for Kids from Sugar Aunts

40 Nursery Rhyme Crafts from Red Ted Art

10 reasons why kids need to know nursery rhymes from The Measured Mom

Nursery Rhyme Free Printables from K to 3 Resources

Christian Nursery Rhymes {free printable} from This Reading Mama

Teaching Reading & Writing with Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhyme Flip Chart

Nursery Rhyme Posters


What are your favorite ways to read and play with nursery rhymes at home and at school? Why read nursery rhymes to your child?  Let me know what you think!

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  1. Thank you for wonderful ideas and links using nursery rhymes. I will have fun incorporating them as I play with my 2 and 3 year old grandchildren.

  2. Thank you for the nice compilation of resources. I love reciting and reading rhymes with my children. Their favorite book is illustrated by Englbriet (hope I spelled that correctly). The illustrations are so engaging and not garish. Hope this helps.

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