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Little Boy Blue from Mother Goose

Updated on March 3, 2016

Little Boy Blue: A Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme for Sleepyheads

Looking for a nursery rhyme for a little sleepyhead at your house? Little Boy Blue is a nursery rhyme from the Mother Goose collection that you can say as you tickle your little sleepyhead snuggling under the "haystack" of covers. What a nice way to be woken up!

This hub includes some background information on why using Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes with your little one is so important.

I have also included a favorite Mother Goose book and a gift idea you may enjoy. Have fun browsing!

Little Boy Blue

Come blow your horn

The sheep's in the meadow

The cow's in the corn!

Where is the little boy

Tending the sheep?

Under the hay stack,

Fast asleep.

Shall I wake him?

No, not I

For if I do

He's sure to cry!

Nursery Rhymes Help a Child Develop Phonological Awareness

Develop What?

One of the benefits of chanting nursery rhymes with a child is to improve the child's phonological awareness. That's just a fancy way of saying that nursery rhymes help a child to hear the distinctions in the sounds of our language. The slow sing-song quality of a nursery rhyme with its simple rhythm and its simple rhyme emphasize these elements in the language as a whole.

Being aware of the beginning sounds of words and of the end sounds of words and of the vowels that go in the middle helps a child make sense of how words are put together. This focus on sound later translates to a focus on the letters that make that sound. The whole process leads to recognizing words as they sit on a page.

Reading, then, is not something that just magically happens. It is a process that starts with listening to the sounds that make up our language. A baby begins to become attuned to those particular sounds of language from the moment hearing develops, while she is still in the womb. Though at birth, a baby is capable of learning any language of the world, this capacity for language diminishes if she does not hear certain sounds.

Infancy is a time when the baby absorbs the sounds she hears around her. By one year old the baby already distinguishes the sounds that are particular to her own language and starts to weed out the sounds her own language doesn't include. A Chinese baby, for instance, starts to weed out our English sounds r and l. American babies have a harder time distinguishing the guttural sounds in German or the ways r is used in French.

What does all this have to do with nursery rhymes? Well, nursery rhymes focus on sounds. These sounds are what a child will use later on to build words and to recognize subtle distinctions she will need to notice in learning to read. It's all very simple, really, but as people fluent in our own language, we tend to take for granted that children will find the sounds of letters obvious. On the contrary, we need to give our children a rich environment of sounds while they are very young and as they grow.

This exposure doesn't depend on the meaning of nursery rhymes particularly. It is the sounds contained in them that are so important.

Little Boy Blue

Using a Nursery Rhyme to Build Reading Skills

Having said that, you can play with a nursery rhyme to help an older child develop his reading skills. While reading Little Boy Blue, pause and ask your little one questions such as these:

What does the horn sound like?

What happens to the animals when the boy blows his horn?

Why do you think the boy is so tired?

For an older child:

Who is the speaker?

Do you think he/she has woken the boy before?

What do you think happened that time?

Questions of this type are not meant as a quiz or to put pressure on the child in a schoolish way. Rather they should be asked in a spirit of fun, without pushing, and may not even be answered.

Nursery Rhymes: Are They Outdated? - What's Your Opinion About Nursery Rhymes?

Do You Think It Is Important to Teach Children Nursery Rhymes?

This Nursery Rhyme Plate Would Look Cute on the Nursery Wall!

Little Boy Blue Collector Plate - Nice Memory of the Nursery Rhyme

Little Boy Blue, John McClelland collector plate
Little Boy Blue, John McClelland collector plate

This would make a nice gift for grandma or an early childhood teacher.


Do You Like Kate Greenaway's Vintage Mother Goose Illustrations?

Mother Goose: Originally Published in 1881 - Lovely Illustrations by Kate Greenaway!

What Do You Remember About This Nursery Rhyme? - Little Boy Blue

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      6 years ago

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