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World Nursery Rhyme Week

Everyone has a favourite nursery rhyme and every country has its’ own traditional songs & rhymes that are passed on down through the generations. So, in order to celebrate the many wonderful rhymes and songs the 16th-20th November is officially ‘World Nursery Rhyme Week’.

This initiative was launched in 2013 and ‘World Nursery Rhyme Week’ promotes the importance of nursery rhymes in early childhood development and education.

Children love to sing and be involved with action songs and nursery rhymes are a wonderful place to start. Singing together offers powerful social connections and also improves a child’s confidence and understanding of the world.

The importance of nursery rhymes for the under 7’s is huge and their significance in early childhood development and education cannot be under estimated. All aspects of learning these types of rhymes from a young age will improve cognitive development and ability. Whilst a child is having fun learning a nursery rhyme/song their literacy skills, vocabulary and language development are receiving a massive boost!

Many of the rhymes involve counting and this is a perfect way to introduce a child to the concept of numbers. They can also be introduced to the concept of adding things together, the function of numbers and how we can use our fingers (and toes!) initially to count off the numbers up to ten, thereby supporting all the early numeracy skills.

Learning nursery rhymes also provides for numerous other early developmental opportunities such as social and emotional skills, listening and auditory skills, memory and retention of information, awareness of themselves (and others) and motor/physical skills.

In addition to improving vocabulary and literacy skills, nursery rhymes also tap into repetition (which is good for the development of the brain), they teach how language works and how musical patterns, sounds and rhythm work together to create a certain sound or effect.

Songs and rhymes are such an excellent teaching tool for the under 7’s and help underpin many key early years development milestones.

The great part too is that everyone can get involved, not just school or nursery, but Maternity Nurses, Nannies, childminders, parents, grandparents, guardians, speech & language therapists, librarians all have a part to play – basically anyone who works with or has a child under the age of 7.

So, now we know how and why these nursery rhymes are so beneficial, let’s have a look at some well known titles.

Some of the most popular and well known UK nursery rhymes & songs include:

  1. Twinkle, twinkle little star
  2. Humpty dumpty sat on a wall
  3. Baa baa black sheep
  4. Hickory dickory dock
  5. Jack & Jill went up the hill
  6. Ring a ring o’ roses
  7. Round and round the garden
  8. Row, row, row your boat
  9. If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands
  10. The wheels on the bus
  11. This little piggy went to market

A couple of French songs you are probably already familiar with too are:

Frere Jacques’ and ‘Alouette’.

If you need a little refresher course on the tunes, words or actions for any of these nursery rhymes then all of them can easily be found on line. We will all probably have our own version of actions that go with a song – it doesn’t really matter how you teach it, it just has to be fun!

Here’s an example of one nursery rhyme that always makes little ones laugh or shriek with excitement!

Round and round the garden, like a Teddy Bear (draw a circle with your finger on the child’s palm)
One step, two step, (walk your finger up child’s arm)
Tickle you under there! (tickle them under the chin or arm)

Also you can visit the ‘World Nursery Rhyme Week’ website at for lots of resources that are available to download free of charge.

November 11, 2020

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