Children’s Nursery Rhymes (Do You Still Use Them?)

Ten little pair of hands move to the rhythm of the words as the children recite their nursery rhymes for the day.  You witness the kid’s gleeful expressions while the teacher is a proud onlooker.  The kids level of confidence have increased with the mastery of the words and the actions too. 

Do parents, teachers, caregivers, educators still use nursery rhymes nowadays?  Is it still appealing and captivating?  In the advance age of technology and the like, does it still have the capacity to enchant and fascinate the beginning learners?   Do teachers who have been teaching for a long time still find value in teaching nursery rhymes?  Or have they reached the point that they themselves have found it dull, repetitive and oh goodness, the arrival of the dreaded Capital B for Boring!

Children's Nursery Rhymes
Children's Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes provide a lot of entertainment for children.  Even I still find myself still reciting the rhymes with delight.  Nursery rhymes is also a wonderful tool to teach children concepts and identify things around them like alphabets and numbers.  For example: To learn about the body parts, let’s sing– ‘my toes, my knees, my shoulder, my head!”  Or learning about numbers, let’s recite, “one two buckle my shoe...”  Or know about spatial concepts like “up above the world so high...”

I’ve discovered that children respond well to rhythm and music.  Studies have suggested that this enhances the child’s language acquisition skills and provide a base for reading later on.  It also helps the child develop his/her listening skils.  The nursery rhymes because of its short verses is easy to memorize and children can learn it quickly.  

Another thing we can use the rhymes or song is to persuade children to engage in a certain task like keeping their toys. “It’s time to keep the toys, it’s time to keep the toys, height ho the merry o, it’s time to keep to the toys.” I made the words up while singing to the tune of Farmer in the Dell. It is a joy to see the kids hurriedly keeping their toys as we sing the song together. Now that takes away the boringness of it all right? Keep on being creative.

Here is a list of 42 of our favorite children’s nursery rhymes. Let’s recite them together...ready?

Old King Cole
Was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe
And he called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.

Tom, Tom the piper’s son
Stole a pig and away did run;
The pig was eat
And Tom was beat,
And Tom went howling down the street.

Little Boy blue, come blow up your horn,
The sheep’s in the meadown, the cow’s in the corn.
And where is the boy who looks after the sheep?
He’s under the haystack fast asleep!

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.


The Queen of Hearts
She made some tarts,
All on a summer’s day;
The knave of Hearts
He stole the tarts,
And took them clean away.

Hey, diddle diddle.
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog lauged
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Pussy-cat, pussy-cat,
Where have you been?
I’ve been to London
To look at the queen.

Pussy-cat, pussy cat,
What did you do there?
I frightened a little mouse
Under the chair.


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the King’s horses,
And all the King’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty
Together again.

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,
Baker’s man!
Bake me a cake
As fast as you can.

Pat it, and prick it,
And mark it with T,
Put it in the oven
For Tommy and me.

Little Bo Beep has lost her sheep,
And doesn’t know where to find them,
Leave them alone,
And they’ll come home,
Wagging their tails
Behind them.

Peter, Peter, pumpkin-eater,
Had a wife and couldn’t keep her;
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
And there he kept her very well.

Rain, rain, go away,
Come again another day;
Little Johnny wants to play.

Little Jack Horner
Sat in a corner
Eating his christmas pie
He put in his thumb
And pulled out a plum
And said what a good boy am I

Three little kittens they found their mittens,
And they began to cry,
Oh! Mother dear,
Look here, look here,
Our mittens we have found.
What! Found your mittens, you good little kittens,
Then you shall have some pie.
Purr purr, purr.
Yes, you shall have some pie.
Purr, purr, purr.

Hickory, dickory, dock!
The mouse ran up the clock;
The clock struck one,
And down he run,
Hickory, dickory, dock!

Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot,
Nine days old.
Some like it hot,
Some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot,
Nine days old.

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey.
There came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

There was an old woman
Who lived in a shoe,
She had so many children
She didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth
Without any bread
She whipped them all soundly
And put them to bed.

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone
But when she got there
The cupboard was bare
And so the poor dog had none.


Rub a dub dub

Three men in a tub

And who do you think they be?

The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker;

Turn them out,

Knaves all three.

Singing Rhymes

Baa, baa, black sheep

Have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir

Three bags full.

One for the master,

And one for the dame,

And one for the little boy

Who lives down the lane.


Mary had a little lamb,

Its fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went

The lamb was sure to go.


It followed her to school one day—

That was against the rule.

It made the children laugh and play

To see a lamb at school.


Sing a song of sixpence,

A pocketfull of rye;

Four-and-twenty blackbirds,

Baked in a pie.


When the pie was opened,

The birds began to sing;

Was not that a dainty dish

To set before the King?


The King was in his counting-house,

Counting out his money;

The queen was in the parlour,

Eating bread and honey.


The maid was in the garden,

Hanging out the clothes,

When along came a blackbird

And pecked off her nose.


Jack and Jill

Went up the hill,

To fetch a pail of water;

Jack fell down,

And broke his crown,

And Jill came tumbling after.


This little pig went to market,

This little pig stayed at home,

This little pig had roast beef,

And this little pig had none.

And this little pig went wee-wee-wee

All the way home.


The eensy weensy spider

Went up the water spout

Down came the rain

And washed the spider out

Out came the sun

And dried up all the rain

But the eeny weensy spider

Went up the spout again.




Pop goes the weasel!

Up and down the City Road,

In and out the Eagle,

That’s the way the money goes,

Pop goes the weasel!


Half a pound of tuppeny rice,

Half a pound of treacle,

Mix it up and make it nice,

Pop goes the weasel.


Mary, Mary quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells

And pretty maids all in a row.


Twinkle, twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.


Row row row your boat

Gently Down the Stream

Merrily merrily merrily merrily

Life is a but a dream


One little two

Little three little indians

Four little five

Little six little indians

Seven little eight

Little nine little indians

Ten little indian boys


I have two hands

The left and the right

Hold them up high

So clean and bright

Clap them softly

One two three

Clean little hands are good to see!


My toes, my knees, my shoulders, my head.

My toes, my knees, my shoulders, my head.

My toes, my knees, my shoulders, my head.

Let’s all clap hands together.


Let's Count...

Can we count some more?
Can we count some more?
I need to do that again. But this is fun!
I need to do that again. But this is fun!
Where are the other rabbits?
Where are the other rabbits?

Counting Rhymes

One two buckle my shoe

Three four knock at the door

Five six pick up sticks

Seven eight lay them straight

Nine ten a big fat hen


One, two, three four five

Once I caught a fish alive

Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,

Then I let it go again.


Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?

The little finger on the right.


One potato, two potato, three potato, four.

Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more.


One little rabbit, wondering what to do,

One more came along and then there were two.

Two little rabbits, sitting down to tea,

One more came along, then there were three.

Three little rabbits, knocking at the door,

One more came along, then there were four.

Four little rabbits, going for a drive.

One more came along, then there were five.

Five little rabbits, getting up to tricks,

One more came along, then there were six.


Five little ducks went swimming one day,

Over the pond and far away.

Mommy duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack!”

But only four little ducks came back.

Four little ducks went swimming one day...

(continue by repeating the above)

But no little ducks came swimming back.

No little ducks went swimming one day,

Over the pond and far away.

Mommy duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack!”

And five little ducks came swimming back!


In a Nutshell

Children's nursery rhymes is still one of the best tools in teaching children many things. I truly hope you will never get tired of reciting, singing, dancing with them.  The benefits you get is so much that one could ever hope for. 

Do you still use nursery rhymes with your kids?

  • Absolutely
  • Sometimes
  • Not anymore
See results without voting

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Comments 42 comments

Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Thank you for these -- I'm bookmarking this page. I can't pick up a young kid without breaking into song or silly rhymes, and while I remember a lot of them, you've reminded me of some more. Tying shoes, changing clothes -- even diapers -- goes along more easily with a song or a rhyme to keep the kid occupied.


Haunty profile image

Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

Absolutely. I wanted to say the same thing. What best way to engage a handful of kids than nursery rhymes. :)


Beth100 profile image

Beth100 7 years ago from Canada

Michelle -- I find that rhymes and songs are a source of positive entertainment for children. When I am teaching my youngest, all of his older siblings join in -- great way to lift the spirits and bring family together!


Philipo profile image

Philipo 7 years ago from Nigeria

Thank you for reminding us of the good old days.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Teresa, I am breaking into a smile. I can easily imagine you singing or reciting the nursery rhymes with children...that's so cute. :-) Thanks for bookmarking this!


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Haunty, glad to know that the use of nursery rhymes is still existing. Yaaayy! :-) C'mon let's recite the counting rhymes. The bunny is watching us carefully. Hehehe


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Beth, you do that in the family? Wow, that's cool. Thanks for sharing your nursery rhyme experience with the family. :-)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Philipo, aaah yes the good old days... I guess being in a preschool always makes me feel like I'm still in the good old days. LOL :-) Thanks for remembering with me. :-)


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

My son always used to like this one, would sing it around the house-

I do not like thee Dr Fell

The reason why I could not tell

But this I know and know and know full well

I do not like thee Dr Fell

Don't know where he got it from, but his singing was cute lol


Triplet Mom profile image

Triplet Mom 7 years ago from West Coast

Wow what a great collection of nursery rhymes. Thank you.


Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 7 years ago from MA, USA

I couldn't agree with you more Michelle that nursery rhymes are the best tools in teaching children many things. Although my kids are older I do hear them recite rhymes to other children.

I still recite this one on occasion: "Rain Rain Go Away" LOL.


JohnAnderson 7 years ago

Very nice list, brings some memoires back, Thank you.


fishskinfreak2008 profile image

fishskinfreak2008 7 years ago from Fremont CA

Makes me think of "Humpty Dumpty" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb". Thumbs up


caitlinlea profile image

caitlinlea 7 years ago from Texas

Love this...thanks!! :-)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Hawkesdream, I am smiling as I read your comment. I can easily imagine your son singing that song...I even have a tune in my head and I don't know that rhyme! LOL :-)

Hi Triplet Mom, I bet you your triplets enjoy rhymes too :-)

Hi Dottie, you made me laugh out loud! Yes, it's funny how we still bring our childhood into adulthood. Come to think of it, that's one nursery rhyme that we do sing until now... "rain, rain go away..." LOL


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi John, more memories to treasure, yes!!! :-)

Hi fishskinfreak, ah so you love our humpty dumpty huh? and Mary had a little lamb, that's so cute! :-)

Hi caitlinlea, thanks too! :-)


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Not since there were tots making ruckus in the house. Sadly they've all grown up! Sigh! But this hub took me back, waaaay back to kindergarten and it made me remember the faces of my first Miss and first friend - so thanks for sharing :D


TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio

I'd forgotten some of these nursery rhymes--I'm so glad you wrote them here...I'm always trying to think of different ones to sing to my grandkids!

Our four year old grandson William got a new little brother five months ago...when we took him to the hospital to see the baby for the first time, we had him sit on the couch and I helped him hold little Wyatt. The first thing William did was start singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" to him--It was so sweet, and a tear-jerking moment for my daughter and I, lol....

Thanks again for this hub--I can't wait to use some of these!


Benz B profile image

Benz B 7 years ago

awesome hub. was a great read. nicely done.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

I am a total lover of nursery rhymes! My kids don't learn them at school, they learn them from me. I still have my old old book of them and it's one of the books they can't wait to read. Of course, I know the tunes that go to some of them as well and the games that we played to some of them like London Bridge. It always brings smiles and good feelings. Nursery rhymes have so much to offer in an educational sense. And it's so fun. That can't be beat. I still have all of them memorized and find myself singing or reciting them quite often. And when the kids do the same, I'm just delighted. What a great idea for a hub!!!! Thanks for doing this one, ripplemaker. Thumbs up!


Ashley Joy profile image

Ashley Joy 7 years ago

My kids love nursery rhymes and for the most part all of their friends do too. It would be a shame if these little gems were lost and became totally a thing of the past.


Serena L. 7 years ago

Our public elementary school uses the Waterford reading program which incorporates nursery rhymes to teach reading. It seems to work pretty well. When kids have memorized the words they are looking at, it's easier to make the connection.


cobraski profile image

cobraski 7 years ago from Maryland

Oh! do I remember...great hub.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 7 years ago

I remember the good old days--that's how I learned English, coming from a non-English speaking home.

I used them on my kids and they loved them. Thanks for sharing.


\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

cant see a bare babies foot , without taking all the piggies to market...... lovely hub.... Brenda


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Cris, ahh yes we do miss the noise don't we when the tots are not around?  Your first Miss huh? Hahaha You still remember her?  Wow, she must have been pretty special :-)

Hi TamCor, that is a very cute story of William.  Kids do know when to say the right things do they?  Or in this situation, to sing the right song.. LOL  And here's a hug to Little Wyatt, the new addition to the family.  Hugs... :-)

Hi BenzB, thanks :-)

Hi Frieda, you love nursery rhymes LOL I can gather that from your very enthusiastic comment. :-)  Thanks for dropping by.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Ashley Joy, I too wish the same thing that the schools and home will use it continually. :-)

Hi Serena, you got me curious there about the Waterford reading program.  Glad to know your kids seem to benefit from the program :-)

Hi Cobraski, glad you haven't forgotten the nursery rhymes. :-)

Hi angiwu, yes this does help learn a new language. :-) 

Hi Brenda, hmmm now that you mentioned it, I wonder where all the piggies went, I remember putting it there...they must have run away LOL Thanks for dropping by.  :-)


Charia Samher profile image

Charia Samher 7 years ago

Singing nursery rhymes is a fun way of learning. I know some of these by heart not because I still remember them back then but because I teach them to baby Sam. =P


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

So baby Sam is now introduced into the world of nursery rhymes...I'm sure she is enjoying it since Mommy Charia is having fun with it too. :-)


Charia Samher profile image

Charia Samher 7 years ago

Hahaha I'm her Mommy Sol. Charia Samher is Sam's real name. I didn't mean to mislead you. Sorry. =P


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Oh it's not you? Hahaha no problem. Hello Mommy Sol then. We've always been calling you Charia since that is your name posted on your avatar. LOL


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Now this is where I hear Teacher Michelle sing with delight. Oh this is one nostalgic hub -- for me anyway. Brings me back to my nursery classroom with me singing my heart out. Gee I could even hear my classmates singing along too. Thanks Teacher Michelle:)


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

iIhope they are still being taught-- I think they are a part of our cultural heritage. Even serious literature for adults makes allusions to these well known rhymes, they are part of our cultural education and help us relate to earlier times with themes that are still universal.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I really hope these wonderful rhymes are as popular today as they were when I was a child. I tend to doubt it, tho. I recently did the party games for a baby shower. One of the games was to finish the nursery rhyme. I thought it would be a no brainer for everyone. Surprisingly, the women who did the best were the 60+ crowd (and me, of course:-). Great hub! MM


Charia Samher profile image

Charia Samher 7 years ago

Sorry I just really love my daughter's name. =) Oh maybe next time I'll have my name signed whenever I leave for some comments; that is if I wanted them to know my real name.(hehe) Just like this---->

Sol

but then maybe they'll come across it the way that you did. I'm a little shy.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi dayzeebee, I followed your suggestion and we used the nursery rhymes and nursery songs as dictated. Increase volume! Decrease volume! And that goes for the tempo and volume too. There are many things one can do with nursery rhymes. Thanks for reciting and singing with me. And I love you being here. :-)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Rochelle, I sure hope so too. You can be happy to note in our preschool, we really included it as part of the curriculum to make sure we don't lose this precious part of our cultural heritage. :-) Thanks for dropping by.

Hi Mighty Mom, thank you for sharing that experience. Goes to show that somehow somewhere some people have lost touch with nursery rhymes. Way to go for the 60+ crowd LOL and thumbs up for you! :-)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines Author

Hi Sol, no probs! You are a dear and yes eventually people can know your real name. :-) Is it okay for me to call you Sol instead of Charia? :-)


Charia Samher profile image

Charia Samher 7 years ago

Yes of course teacher Michelle. Thanks. You are so nice! =)


fruitrhymes profile image

fruitrhymes 6 years ago from Cape Town

Agree 100%. We all love nursery rhymes no matter how old (or young) we are. Allo me to share one about Apples, maybe it can help some of us (or our kids) eat more of this wonderful Nature's healing gift.

Apples - yellow, red and green,

we bob for apples at Halloween.

Apple juice and apple pie,

applesauce is fun to try.

Crunchy apples - have a bite!

A slice of apple is pure delight.


Brinafr3sh profile image

Brinafr3sh 5 years ago from West Coast, United States

Yes I did sing nursery rhymes to them. They liked the "Barney" songs, in the 1990's.


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 2 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

Oh yea, love these, thanks for the memories.

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