by Jean Warren

Rhymes are an important part of childhood.  Their rich language and their rhythms, soothed us and inspired us as we were growing up.  As a parent today, it it important to pass on this valuable resource to our children.  Take the time to share your favorite rhymes with your children and watch the learning begin.


Language Skills – Rhymes help children learn word endings and their controlled meter aids children in their beginning reading efforts.

Thinking Skills – Rhymes help our brains recall words and facts, thus leading to early success.

Music Skills -  Rhymes help children learn songs easier.

Literature – Nursery rhymes bring classic literature to children at an early age.

Creativity -  Rhymes enable children to start making up their own rhymes when they are preschoolers.

Self-esteem – Children gain pride and confidence in themselves when they learn how to anticipate the final words in a rhyme.


            THE GIFT OF RHYME
                                    By Jean Warren
            Share the wonder, share the time.
            Give your child the gift of rhyme.
            Give her words that hold a beat,
            Fun to remember, fun to repeat.

            Give her words that always flow,
            Whether said fast or spoken slow.
            Give her friends that entertain
            Give her words that never change.

            Share the wonder, share the time
            Give your child the gift of rhyme.
                                        (C) Warren Publishing House


A RICH HERITAGE (ages six months to six years)
Every home should have available a basic Nursery Rhyme book.  Even if nursery rhymes have lost their magic with you, remember they are new and exciting to your child.  Children do not een need to understand the rhymes to benefit from and to enjoy them.  What they respond to at first is the rhythm, beat and over all sound of the rhymes.  Some beginning rhymes for very young children would include:

            Baa-Baa Black Sheep
            This Little Piggy Went To Market
            Diddle, Diddle Dumpling

MOVING WITH RHYMES (ages six months to six years)
            Babies and Toddlers – sit with your child on your lap and help him move his arms and legs to the rhythm of the rhyme.  As long as you stick with the beat, it doesn’t really matter what movements are done.  Some rhymes talk about specific body parts and or movements.  Here you would help your child move as the rhyme suggests.  Example:  Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
            Preschoolers and Kindergarteners – will enjoy marching and using large body movements as you recite rhymes to the.  Preschoolers especially enjoy fingerplays where specific movements are encouraged.  Examples:  I’m A Little Teapot; Down By The Station; Eensy Weensy Spider.

SINGING RHYMES (ages birth to six years)
Most Nursery rhymes can also be sung.  Infants and toddlers love having rhymes sung to them and preschoolers love singing with you.  When words rhyme it is easier to remember a poem and when you can also sing the poem it even get that much easier.
Examples:  The Eensy Weensy Spider; Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star; Mary Had A Little Lamb.

(ages two to five years)
As you recite rhymes with your children, start to leave off the last word in two and four line stanzas.  Encourage your child to help you finish the poem.  Gradually, your child will learn to repeat the whole last line and eventually the whole poem as you continue to recite the poem with her.

EXTENDING RHYMES (ages three to six years)
As your children become more familiar with rhymes, they can become the basis for extended learning.  Help your child think of verses to add to such rhymes as; The Wheels On The Bus.  Encourage your child to freely change the words in a rhyme as long as the rhyming words stay the same or they substitute other rhyming words.  Example:  Change “Eensy Weesy Spider” into “Eensy Weensy Kitty”.

            Eensy, weensy kitty
            Climbed up the old oak tree.
            Down came the rain
            But it didn’t hit kitty.

            Out came the sun
            And dried up all the rain.
            And the eensy, weensy kitty
            Climbed down the tree again.
                                  Jean Warren


Eventually, your child will attempt to make up her own rhymes.  Encourage her efforts and show her that she can use this new skill to send rhyming messages to friends and family.