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Favourite Nursery Rhyme Activities and Play Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers

We love Nursery Rhymes here on Rainy Day Mum, they are some of the first songs we sang with our babies as newborns, part of our bedtime routines and as they grew they helped develop maths skills and language. Today we are sharing our favourite Nursery Rhyme Play Ideas and Activities for you to go with some classic nursery rhymes and songs for toddlers and preschoolers. So here we go Nursery Rhyme Play and Small World Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers. If you are looking for lyrics for these Nursery Rhymes scroll to the bottom and find them in our selection of songs and rhymes for Tots.

Nursery Rhyme Activities and ideas for play with toddlers and preschoolers
Nursery Rhyme Themed Activities and ideas for play with toddlers and preschoolers

Nursery Rhyme Play Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

We’ve collected together our favourite ideas for playing with these fun rhymes from mother goose that you and your toddlers and preschoolers will love.

Click on the blue underlined links to go to the full instructions and materials needed plus ideas for playing with your tots.

Five Little Speckled Frogs

One of our favourite rhymes here on Rainy Day Mum is Five Little Speckled Frogs. It’s great for counting, actions and has our favourite animals in as well. Check out these different Play Ideas and Toddler Activities based on this fun Nursery Rhyme.

Create your own puppets to use in circle time or with your child for the popular children's rhyme Five Little Speckled Frogs. These easy to make puppets are perfect for playing with and helping your child recognise numbers and count aloud as they sing the rhyme.
Five Little Speckled Frog Puppets for Props to Sing along with the song

We have a fun craft that you can make and then use to play with your toddlers as you sing the rhyme. Included is the words to Five Little Speckled Frogs as well as the Frog Puppet Template so head on over and make your own speckled frog puppets for playing and singing together with your little ones.

Five Little Monkey Activities for Play with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Another fun counting and action rhyme (whose child doesn’t love jumping on the bed!) is Five Little Monkeys.

Get creative and make these 5 little monkey puppets to use when singing the popular children's rhyme Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. Template to create these easy craft foam puppets included to download.
Five Little Monkey props to sing along with the song

Another puppet to sing and play with your toddlers is our set of Five little monkeys. Like the frogs above these come with a printable puppet template and the words to the rhyme that you and your children can sing along to. Just head on over and get making these Five Little Monkey Puppets for playtime with your tots.

Another version of the Five Little Monkey Rhyme has the monkey’s swinging in a tree and this Five Little Monkeys Fine Motor Play from School Time Snippets is a fun toddler or preschool activity to do at home inspired by that version of the rhyme.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm Activities for Toddlers

Old MacDonald Had a Farm is a simple nursery rhyme to inspire many activities. It’s one of our favourite Farm Rhymes and Songs and we have adapted it to go with Dinosaurs, Zoo Animals and even under the sea! Check out these ideas to play with this fun nursery rhyme.

farm small world play
Old MacDonald Themed Small World Play for Toddlers and Preschoolers

With some toddler farm toys, we easily set up Old MacDonald’s farm in our lounger and my two children played with this for what seemed like hours. See how we set up our Farm Small World Play to go with the Nursery Rhyme.

Five Little Men in their Flying Saucers Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Another fun song for toddlers is Five Little Men in their Flying Saucers. We loved singing this and I remember as a child playing this at preschool where we used hula hoops to be our flying saucers. See our fun activities for playing below.

Make your own resources for singing this popular counting rhyme for toddlers and preschoolers with this step-by-step guide to creating your own Five Little Men in Their Flying Saucers Puppets. Ideal for Circle Time or Sing Along with your children.
Five Little Men in their Flying Saucer Puppets for Circle Time

Another puppet craft to play with inspired by a nursery rhyme. This time no template as they are SO easy to make. Go ahead and create your own Five Little Men in their Flying Saucer Puppets and then play with them and your tot together.

playing with craft made by child inspired by the book aliens love panta claus
Flying sauce craft for toddlers

Our little ones loved creating this Flying Saucer to play with. Combing a craft and then playing with it is so much fun so go ahead and find out the materials you need and how to make your playable flying saucer.

Got more than one child at home and love to do crafts but finding it tricky? Check out our top tips for crafting with 2 or more kids under 4! We did it and so can you!

Incy Wincy Spider Activities for Toddlers

If you are in the USA you probably know this rhyme as Itsy Bitsy Spider but here in the UK we call it Incy Wincy Spider it’s a favourite of mine. We love this playable Incy Wincy Spider that climbs up and down the spout from Red Ted Art. It’s easy to make and your toddlers will love playing with it as you sing along to the rhyme.

Five Little Ducks Rhyme Activities for Toddlers

Another of our favourite counting rhymes for our kids is Five Little Ducks. We love doing activities inspired by this and have a fun set of puppets for you to make and use as you sing and play with your toddlers inspired by this song.

Create your own storytelling and rhyme time props with this easy to make five little ducks craft foam puppets. Perfect for some springtime nursery rhyme and circle time fun for toddlers and preschoolers.
Five Little Duck Puppets

Again this is an easy puppet to make so no template needed but we have included the Five Little Ducks Song Lyrics as well as how to make your own five little duck props to play with as you sing this toddler and preschool song.

Looking for an alternative then we love this Five Little Ducks Hand and Finger Puppets to make yourself from Danya Banya. So easy and your tots will love to play with them after you’ve made them.

MeMeTales Five Little Ducklings play idea
Five Little Duck Simple Sensory Bin For Toddlers

We used some of our homemade edible playdough to create a very simple Five Little Ducks Small World Play on our table top.

A favourite craft of my daughter from the Red Ted Art Craft Book when she was 2 was creating these Five Little Ducks from Stones and then using them to play with on a large piece of blue paper. She started off calling them chickens! But we eventually got her to sing the rhyme as she played and I would often find her playing out the Nursery Rhyme using her own five little ducks.

Humpty Dumpty Nursery Rhyme Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Yet another classic rhyme that the kids loved when they were little was Humpty Dumpty. Check out these fun Humpty Dumpty Storytime and Sensory Bin Activity from My Storytime Corner.

Toddler Humpty Dumpty Craft
Humpty Dumpty Craft for Toddlers

We made our own Humpty Dumpty and Wall and set it up with some of our farm horses to play out the rhyme when we sang and read from our favourite Humpty Dumpty Book. See how to create your own Humpty Dumpty and Wall with Toddlers in our easy craft.

More Nursery Rhyme Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Inspired by these activities to play with your toddlers and preschoolers alongside these classic nursery rhymes then why not get creative too.

Fun and easy mother Goose and other Nursery Rhyme crafts for toddlers and you to make together with Humpty Dumpty, Hey Diddle Diddle and more…
Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Themed Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
10 simple farm animal crafts ideal for spring to do with toddlers and preschoolers. These fun crafts are easy to do and set up and come with step-by-step instructions on getting creative with the little ones. Ideal for making at home or in your classroom.
Old MacDonald Themed Activities for Toddlers

These Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes Crafts are Ideal to Make and Play with your Toddlers and Preschoolers at home.

If your little one loves the Song Old MacDonald then check out these Farm Animal Crafts for Toddlers that you can make together.

incy wincy spider activities
Incy Wincy Spider Themed Activities

Love the Nursery Rhyme Incy Wincy Spider then check out these Incy Wincy Spider Themed Activities and Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Even More Nursery Rhyme Activities from some of our Friends

Nursery Rhymes for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Nursery rhyme books for babies,
Nursery Rhyme Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Full words for 10 classic rhymes to count with ideal for singing with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Helping them to learn to count whilst having fun.
Counting Rhymes for Kids
Fun, classic Children's rhymes and songs to get kids moving perfect for rainy days, snowy days and those days where the children just have so much energy. With words and movement suggestions these are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Action Songs for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Nursery Rhyme Books for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers

Rhymes to Count with for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Songs and Nursery Rhymes with Actions


  1. Catherine Waithiru says:

    Lovely, very useful indeed!

  2. Lovely Post! If only everyone had the same approach as you. Working for The Handy Squad I do all the handyman jobs others don’t want to giving them more time to spend with their families. Keep up the good work! Luke

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