OK, OK, I'm not going to win prizes anytime soon, but I love rhymes and have even been known to have written a rhyming book about a haggis called Mac (make mental note, do something about it!!)
Rhyming is so so important for language and literacy development. When children hear you making up silly rhymes, they have a go at doing the same and have a phase at rhyming everything (particularly if it rhymes with poo.....or was that just my kids?!)
But we are losing the art of singing nursery rhymes to the allure of the iPad and YouTube. But there is NOTHING your little one wants more than to hear you sing to them. Remember to sing it slow enough so they can join in. Or leave off the last word of each line, for them to fill in the gaps. And repeat repeat repeat!!
Kids love hearing the good old-fashioned rhymes and love them even more when there are visual prompts to help them, so here are my favourite ideas for encouraging rhymes at pre-school.
I visited an early learning setting this week and saw some fantastic drawstring bags with different nursery rhymes on them.
The bags themselves come empty, but the kids had great fun telling the staff what should be in them (though there was a challenge as to how to put rain in the 'incy wincy spider' bag!!)
Staff then send the bags such as this Baa baa black sheep bag home to the children.
I love these little puppets to help cue the children into the right number for the five little Ducks rhyme.
Five Little Ducks Went swimming one day
Over the hills and far away
Mummy duck said quack quack quack quack
But only 4 little ducks came back
More puppets, but this time individual hand puppets.
Children love a visual prompt when it comes to rhyming as it helps their understanding and their attention skills.
There was an old lady - This was my favourite book when I was little -
I loved the holes in the pages that got bigger and bigger!
I like the idea of kids dressing up as each of the animals - these masks would be great for this!
One of the nurseries I visit has wall art like this all around the room - they are really colourful and attractive - this one is for Little Bo Peep
I love all of these books by Annie Kubler as they have the signs to accompany them. This one is Dingle dangle scarecrow
Thank goodness my kids have grown out of the obligatory nursery rhyme CD that went in the car every time we went anywhere! But if you're going to get one, this one has all the classics and it does make the car journey go quicker - for them, at least!
You don't have to just have song time at your nursery.
You can sing the song whilst playing this
Humpty Dumpty interactive game...
I love these magnetic animals....OK so it's a bit dubious as to whether you'd find a tiger on Old Macdonald's farm but it's always good to stray from the original lyrics!!
And lastly, these puppets are a great visual prompt for children to choose the nursery rhyme they want to sing before they have the words, especially if they are non-verbal!