Nursery rhymes don't just teach children about funny eggs falling off walls or cows jumping over the moon, they help children learn phonemic awareness which is the sounds that make up a word. This is one of the fundamental skills needed in learning to read.
There are a few different ways that we have encouraged the learning of nursery rhymes in our home. My husband and I have sung nursery rhymes to our children since they were very little. We have sung the songs using funny singing voices (tones and pitch) and using different actions as we sing to engage their senses as they learn. We have also used puppets and other props such as our poster, to encourage the love of nursery rhymes in our children.
There is a down side to teaching your children nursery rhymes....you know when a song get stuck in your head and you find yourself singing it over and over? Well, that is what happened recently when we started singing the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. My children kept singing it for days (and so did I!). I went in search of some activities for them to do.
Firstly, we used this Humpty Dumpty tracing sheet that I found in our Preschool Handwriting Foundation Style (by Louise Dittberner) book. It can be very tricky for little people to keep on the lines as they trace but they have lots of fun to colouring in while working on pencil grip and fine motor skills.
I have since made my own Humpty Dumpty tracing sheet (pictured below) that you can download from here.
The second activity we did was a simple Humpty Dumpty craft. I drew a basic outline of an egg while my children practiced their fine motor skills by cutting up little bits of paper ready to collage Humpty. When we finished our Humpty craft, they were proudly hung on our wall and I think they look fantastic!
I have made a basic outline of Humpty Dumpty that you can download from here.
Another activity we did was to use these Humpty Dumpty sequencing cards to recall the events of how Humpty Dumpty fell from the wall. The idea of sequencing cards is to develop comprehension skills by using pictures to help visually recall the main events of the story, or in this case, the nursery rhyme. Sequencing cards also help develop oral language by using ordering words (such as first, beginning, then, middle, next, finally, end) to reinforce order of how the story develops from the beginning to the end.
We worked together on the sequencing cards as I modelled how we use them and talked about the events in the pictures. My children later returned to these sequencing cards during their play, to work through the story events for themselves. I found some different Humpty Dumpty sequencing cards that you are able to download from Enchanted Learning. I also found some more Humpty Dumpty sequencing cards from Sparkle Box which are easy to download and colour-in.
If you are after some more ideas on exploring the Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme, pop over to my pinterest board.