What can help our children listen?
Speak and read with smiles that glisten?
There’s no need for hide and seek
It’s here, hooray – World Nursery Rhyme Week!
Yes, it’s back, this November from the 14th to 18th, parents, schools, libraries and early years settings around the world will be celebrating World Nursery Rhyme Week. The week will see 5 nursery rhymes promoted (one each day) with special videos and resources to help teach children some traditional and new rhymes which can help with listening skills, reading and singing. Anyone and everyone involved with children under 7 are invited to take part, including speech and language practitioners, librarians, grandparents and home educators, to join in the fun offered by teaching and learning nursery rhymes.
If you’ve followed our articles by Frances Turnbull in the magazine, then you will know the benefits that singing with young children can bring. It can help them develop speech and language, co-ordination, vocabulary, literacy and social skills, musical and movement skills, and nursery rhymes can also act as cautionary tales or to help explain emotional journeys and the world around them. So, all in all, nursery rhymes can be a fun and engaging way to offer different aspects of your curriculum. And World Nursery Rhyme Week gives you the tools, resources and opportunity to join together and share it with others around the world.
It was originally set up by Music Bugs, a music class company for babies and toddlers who run classes all over the country to help introduce “sensory, play-based music and singing classes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers”.
How to get involved
The first step is to register on the website at worldnurseryrhymeweek.com/registration/.
Everyone who registers will receive an onscreen confirmation message containing the main WNRW resource pack and also a separate Ambassador resource pack for those that wish to take part as Ambassadors. Details are also emailed to participants if they want to download things later. All the resources are free of charge.
Since this is a global campaign, participants are asked if they would like to help spread the word and become Nursery Rhyme Ambassadors when they register. The Ambassadors play a vital role in helping pass on resources and information about the week to others in their own circles. Ambassadors are sent a separate resource pack including new content and social media resources that can be used on their own websites, emails and communications. For more information on being an Ambassador, visit worldnurseryrhymeweek.com/nurseryrhymeambassador/. You can also use the hashtags #rhymeweek, #wnrw22, #moonbug, #singwithpiccolo and #musicbugs to help raise awareness too.
Join the Rhyme-a-Day Challenge
Each year, 5 rhymes are chosen to be part of the ‘Rhyme-a-Day Challenge’. There is one nursery rhyme for each day of the week and this year’s rhymes are:
- Monday - The Big Ship Sails
- Tuesday - 1,2,3,4,5
- Wednesday - Five Little Speckled Frogs
- Thursday - BINGO
- Friday – Twinkle, Twinkle
You will find videos and supporting activities on the website to help you teach the songs to the children, and then follow up with fun activities to continue their learning in other areas. If you want to extend the week into other times of the year, the official sponsor and video partner, Moonbug has a website and YouTube channel which features lots of nursery rhyme videos and songs that can be used in early years settings throughout the year. The other official sponsor, Sing with Piccolo has other related resources too.
What resources are available?
There are songs and videos available online, but also lots of ideas for games and extension activities including:
- Colouring sheets
- Activity sheets
- Arts and crafts ideas
- Ideas for games such as throwing games to get the ‘frogs’ (beanbags or paper frogs) to ‘jump’ into a makeshift pond (a waste-paper basket or box), or an alternative to “Duck, duck, goose” getting your children to pretend to be frogs
- Treasure hunt ideas
- Clapping games
- Make a paper boat
Other ways to encourage children to sing and recite nursery rhymes
Nursery rhymes are part of all our early foundational years. We hear them even before we know what they mean or understand the words used, and they have been used all over the world for centuries to calm and teach children about the world, relationships and social situations. We know they are important, so here are a few more ideas for you to use in your setting.
- Write your own nursery rhyme for your setting – why not write a rhyme that is bespoke for your setting, talking about either the location, the atmosphere, fun things you do, or something else that makes your setting stand out from the rest? You could write some short transition rhymes for times of the day that you need to pack away, playtime, lunchtime or circle time for example.
- Send the links home to parents and carers and ask them to sing the songs to their children on the relevant days too. Encourage everyone to get involved from grandparents and carers to siblings and lunchtime staff.
- Create a display of the children’s best loved nursery rhyme characters. This could be things they have drawn, or pictures they have cut out and stuck on a collage.
- Look on the Musicaliti website for more musical resources from our expert, Frances Turnbull and extend the challenge for every day.
- Create a nursery rhyme wheel spinner by making a chart with all your favourite nursery rhymes on it. You can make a spinner or throw a dice to decide on which nursery rhyme to sing that day.
- Have a dress-up day where the children can dress-up as their favourite character from a nursery rhyme.
- See the list of nursery rhymes on Wikipedia, and teach your children some of the less well-known rhymes such as “Solomon Grundy” or “The More We Get Together”.
- Nursery rhymes can help with speech and language issues so remember to involve any SALT (Speech and Language Therapist) professionals that you work with too.
Other ways to connect to World Nursery Rhyme Week
Facebook Planning Group: http://bit.ly/WNRWPlanningGroup