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Three Toddler Activities: Learning with Nursery Rhymes

written by: Keren Perles • edited by: Amanda Grove • updated: 3/2/2012

Many nursery rhymes have been children's favorites for centuries. These activities are great for toddlers and includes some exciting ideas of ways to build learning into your child's routine.

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    Introducing a Nursery Rhyme

    You can use several different techniques when introducing your infant or toddler to a nursery rhyme. You can recite the nursery rhyme with or without singing it to a tune. You can play a tape of nursery rhymes for your child, dancing with her as you listen. Alternatively, there are excellent books you can buy or get from the library that bring nursery rhymes to life! Read them to your child and discuss the pictures with her, or have her point to parts of the pictures that she can identify. You can even act out the nursery rhyme with an older toddler. But remember: the main part of nursery rhymes that infants and toddlers love is enjoying their rhythms and tunes.

    Here are some fun infant and toddler activities you can do with these specific nursery rhymes:

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    Humpty Dumpty

    Cut out an oval shape from thick paper and draw a face on it to represent Humpty Dumpty. Then cut it into two or three pieces, depending on your child’s level. Help him fit the pieces together and take them apart again. Try some fun egg crafts, or boil and paint some eggs and have an outdoor egg hunt.

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    Little Miss Muffet

    This nursery rhyme is a lot of fun to act out with older infants and toddlers. Let your child be Little Miss Muffet, while you play the spider. Set your child down, while you creep away behind a corner or a piece of furniture, and say the first two lines of the nursery rhyme. When you get to “Along came a spider," creep up behind your child and tickle her, to “frighten" her away.

    You can also try these spider crafts, which are great for either Little Miss Muffet or Incy Wincy Spider.

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    One Two, Buckle My Shoe

    This is a great nursery rhyme to use when your toddler is learning to count! Use index cards with numbers on them and show them to your child as you say each line. You can also make up your own creative lines that your child will relate to, such as “One two, I hug you! Three four, you hug me more. Five six, mix mix mix (give child a spoon and empty bowl). Seven eight, bang your plate. Nine ten, do it again!"

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    Related Lesson Plans

    Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

    Nursery Rhyme Series – For older children

    Fairy Tales Lesson Plan