Nursery Rhymes have so many benefits for your child – not only do they help language development but they are also great for introducing counting, animal sounds and are a great way to connect with your child. Here we share 10 of our favourite Nursery Rhymes.
Even the youngest of babies can enjoy nursery rhymes and you will quickly find that they start to connect with you as you sing with them. As babies with J and T, we used to either sing the nursery rhymes to them whilst on our laps or get down on the floor with them and sing them. Songs that involve some form of actions are J and T’s favourites now. So here are our 10 favourite Nursery Rhymes for Tots.
10 Nursery Rhymes to sing with babies
We like the traditional version of this nursery rhyme although there are modern versions where Humpty gets put back together again. Both J and T love the falling off our laps when it comes to the part.
Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Growing up my brother had a Humpty Dumpty knitted toy that my mum had knitted him. It was a real favourite of his and then when J came along she knitted one for him the pattern is really similar to this one. However, if you don’t know how to knit or have someone that can knit one for you this crochet Humpty Dumptywould be perfect to give to a new baby or 1st birthday gift.
Row, Row, Row your Boat
We have a full 6 verse version of this popular nursery rhyme going in our house, yes I didn’t realise either that there were so many verses to it, but it has to be one of our favourites – until recently it was always sung by me to J or T, but in the last week the two of them have started to do rowing to each other and J will sing it to T with his on mix up of all the verses
Row, row, row, your boat gentle down the stream, merrily merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
Row, row, row, your boat gentle down the stream, if you see a crocodile don’t forget to scream!
Row, row, row, your boat gentle down the river, if you see a polar bear don’t forget to shiver!
Row, row, row, your boat gentle down the creak, if you see a little mouse don’t forget to squeak!
Row row row your boat gentle to the shore, if you see a lion don’t forget to roar!
Rock, rock, rock, your boat gentle to and fro, merrily merrily merrily merrily into the water you go!
Have fun with this hand puppet boat and all of the characters from this version above plus some surprises that you can search for the rhymes for or make them up as you go along.
Wheels on the Bus
Another great action nursery rhyme, we tend to mix up the verses and have our own take on a few but this is T’s favourite – one of the first communications we had would be her sitting on my lap and grabbing my hands and moving them.
The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round all day long!
The children on the bus go up and down…
The doors on the bus go open and shut…
The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish
Bring the actions to life for children with this hand puppet bus and add in the actions as you sing the rhyme. This would be a perfect 1st birthday gift that the child can then treasure and play with.
Grand Old Duke of York
J has just started to march to this one, when both were tiny I would sit them on my lap facing me and sing this with them lifting them into the air when the Duke marched them up and bring them back down. Now J is older we’re starting to get him to march and stand up and kneel down at the right times.
The grand old duke of york had 10 thousand men, he marched them up to the top of the hill and he marched them down again.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
I had sung this with J and T to try and get them to sleep every night since they were babies whilst nursing them, with J I can now stroke his hair at bedtime and sing this and he will drift off. We also sing this during the day with actions and this week T has started to put her hands together to form a diamond, she has always loved the up move in it.
Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder where you are? Up above the world so high like a diamond in the sky, twinkle twinkle little star how I wonder where you are?
Have you discovered Quiet Books with your children – these often handmade felt or fabric books are ideal for taking with you when you go out having around the house to quiet time or in the car to keep children occupied. If Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a favourite song of your child’s then this beautiful quiet book with 6 activity pieces is perfect and you can play and sing the rhyme at the same time.
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Or a zoo when you let a 2 and a half year old choose the animals in the song especially now that T knows and will reply to the phrase “What noise does a Lion make” with “RARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR”, we frequently have crocodiles, monkeys, gorillas and even dinosaurs at Old MacDonald’s farm but it’s such a great rhyme and J and T love it for practising their animal noises.
Old MacDonald had a farm eye eye io, and on that farm, he had a cow eye eye io, with a moo, moo here and a moo, moo there, here a moo there a moo everywhere a moo, moo. Old MacDonald had a farm eye eye io!
Story Stones are a favorite of ours – these Old MacDonald Story Stones can be used not just with the book but also when singing the rhyme it will help children to identify the animals and you can encourage them to make the different noises.
Related Article – Nativity Story Stones to make for Christmas Time
Incy Wincy Spider (Itty Bitty Spider)
As young babies, I would lie J or T on my lap or on the floor in front of me and sing this song to them as I had my hand crawl up their legs and stomach and then pitter patter with my fingers for the rain. They would giggle away as the spider ran up their legs again at the end. Now we move our hands together to make the spider climbing up the spout.
Incy wincy spider climbed up the water spout, down came the rain and washed the spider out, out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain and incy wincy spider climbed up the spout again!
We had an Incy Wincy finger puppet set just like this one when my kids were little and it was great fun running the spider up the spout.
One, Two, Three, Four, Five
This has some great hand actions in it and really helps with counting. It sends T into hysterics when instead of biting her little finger the fish may bite her nose, toe or ear.
One two three four five once I caught a fish alive, six seven eight nine ten then I let him go again, why did you let him go because he bit my finger so, which finger did he bite. This little finger on my right!
Is this your child’s favourite of the nursery rhymes, it was one of my growing up I think because instead of my finger being bitten I was tickled. This wall decor would be perfect for your child if that was the case – the first three lines of the verse which you could place in a reading nook or over a crib for your child.
Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
This was J’s favourite as a baby, early toddler and one of the reasons why I think he counted backwards from 5 before he could count forwards as we used to sing this all the time, he loved being sent into space so much it was always met with either hand grabs for more or me being told MORE, MORE, MORE
Zoom zoom zoom we’re going to the moon, zoom zoom zoom we’ll get there very soon, five, four, three, two, one, blast off, if you want to join my trip hop aboard my rocket ship, zoom zoom zoom were going to the moon.
This rocket soft puzzle would be perfect for putting in your changing bag and taking with your to keep your toddler occupied and why not add a lacing card as well for some fine motor skill building. Both are handmade and would be perfect for waiting room visits or to keep kids occupied in resturants.
Hey Diddle, Diddle
Rainy Day Dad sings this with J and T and will change the words to include our dog, the kids names and all sorts of strange and wonderful variations of it – J encourages him with more, more more.
Hey diddle diddle the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon, the little dog laughed to see such fun and the dish ran away with the spoon.
When my children were little one of the things that calmed them in their cots and cribs were mobiles and this Hey Diddle Diddle Themed handmade Mobile is gorgeous and would be the perfect gift for a new baby as from experience everyone buys clothes for a baby shower this would be something really different.
What are your favourite Nursery Rhyme to sing with your Tots?
More Songs and Nursery Rhyme Inspiration for Babies and Toddlers
Activity Plans for Babies
Although I’ve provided some fantastic ideas for you I know how crazy life with a baby can be and even more so when you are doing life with a baby and a toddler so having a routine or rhythm to your day can help and if you can get someone else to do the hard work for you – well even better.
A fellow blogger Jamie from Hands on As We Grow one of my favorite blogs has put together exactly what you need and how I wish she had done it when I was at that stage. There is an activity plan “Discover” just for babies (1 year and under) how cool is that as that was my most challenging age to come up with activities for. Then as they turn 1 and head on to become a toddler there is a second activity plan which is “Play” activities that create memories that you can do with your kids.
Not sure on these then why not try out the FREE 7 Day Challenge and see what’s it’s all about.