Discover the benefits of sharing nursery rhymes with children and take advantage of our free printable nursery rhymes.
A substantial part of my work is with young children. I have found printable nursery rhymes very beneficial. If they have enjoyed wordplay and stories at home, children are often somewhat familiar with the rhymes, they enjoy the rhyming and repetition and they welcome the opportunity to create a “book” of nursery rhmyes and “read” text. “Reading” along while repeating a familiar rhyme, is an opportunity to practice directional tracking by sliding a finger along the familiar words (from left to right, top to bottom).
For children who are new to English, learning nursery rhymes also introduces characters that they will encounter again and again and the rhythm of English.
Nursery rhymes introduce many literary devices: repetition (Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; Polly, Put the Kettle On), onomatopoeia (Baa Baa Black sheep; This Little Pig; Old King Cole; Ding, Dong, Bell), alliteration (Little Boy Blue; Sing a Song O’Sixpence; Goosie, Goosie, Gander; Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater; Wee Willie Winkie) and imagery (Humpty Dumpty, Little Miss Muffet).
Nursery rhymes also introduce rich vocabulary. Jack and Jill introduces fetch, pail, crown and tumbling. These are probably not words that are used in everyday conversation so, just by sharing and talking about nursery rhymes, a child’s vocabulary is expanded.
Another key benefit of enjoying nursery rhymes with young children is the boost it will give to their phonemic awareness. We want young children to notice that words are made up of sounds. Hearing rhyming (diddle/fiddle, star/far, horn/corn) and alliteration (Boy blue, Grey Geese, Simple Simon, Tommy Tucker)
Prior to creating my own printable nursery rhymes, I often visited Webbing Into Literacy and used A Rhyme a Week.
The Storytime Standouts printable nursery rhymes can used to create a nursery rhyme booklet and/or as learning activities.
You will find our selection of free printable alphabets here, rhymes, songs, fingerplays and chants here and all of our early learning printables for children here.
Hey Diddle Diddle
Traditional English nursery rhyme that includes repetition, rhyming and imagery.
Traditional English-language nursery rhyme. Usually includes an anthropomorphic (possessing human traits, emotions) egg.
Jack and Jill
Traditional English-language nursery rhyme. Includes alliteration and rhyming.
Little Boy Blue
Traditional English-language nursery rhyme featuring alliteration and rhyming.
Old Mother Hubbard
Traditional English-language nursery rhyme.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Classic Nursery Rhyme written by Jane Taylor
Sing a Song of Mother Goose illustrated by Barbara Reid
Nursery Rhyme Picture Book published by Scholastic Trade
If you are interested in nursery rhyme books, I can personally recommend Barbara Reid’s Sing a Song of Mother Goose. Ms. Reid is renowned for her marvelous plasticine artwork. Sing a Song of Mother Goose features beautiful, bold illustrations of fourteen well-known nursery rhymes. A lovely gift for a new baby, it is available as a board book, paperback and in a hardcover gift edition.