Monday, May 23, 2011

Nursery Rhymes for Fun!

Nursery Rhymes have been around for generations, and are still valuable for so many reasons! Repeating familiar words, with the rhythm associated with these poems, introduces and reinforces identification of rhyming words, good listening, beginning and repeating sounds, new vocabulary - all sorts of literacy skills!

See if you can recall one or two, then model for your children how a writer writes down the words. You can do this seated at a table, with paper and pencil, by acting it out and helping your children realize the process of beginning to write. Invite your child to join you, gather the tools you need, and practice sitting properly and gripping your pencil. Then, talk through thinking of the words, sounding them out and writing them down. "How do I start? Let's see ...  'Little Miss Muffett...' I hear an L at the beginning..."

Your children may join in the "game" at any time, so make sure you have more supplies on hand! Have a book or two on hand to refer to - there are many collections out there - and have fun with it!

When you want to "play" with the rhymes, make some props!!

Make a Spider: Find a large button with four holes for attaching to fabric. Instead of attaching to something, take two chenille sticks (pipe cleaners) and cut them in half. Push the pipe cleaners through two of the holes each, so that all the ends are dangling on the same side. This will be the bottom of your spider, so flip it over to the other side and attach two googly eyes, and, you have a SPIDER!! Use it with "Little Miss Muffett" and other spider poems!

Web Construction: Draw a web on construction paper and have your child try to "match" it by dipping lengths of yarn in white glue and laying it on top of the lines you have drawn. This is definitely messy fun, but great practice for those little hands! Now, you have someplace for your spider to hang out :)

Paper Garden: Make a scrap paper garden, cutting or tearing paper for stems and leaves. Add cupcake-paper flowers to illustrate "Mary, Mary"!

Act it out: Think of some other rhymes and act them out - practice safe tumbling to "Jack and Jill," fall (safely) off a chair for "Humpty Dumpty," walk in a garden for "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary," etc.

Adding an action or art extension to anything makes it easier for the children to recall!

Have fun!

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