Ask a Storytime Ninja: Nursery Rhymes!

We all know nursery rhymes are important to share with little ones. What if you’re uncomfortable doing it though? The ninjas gave some insightful answers this week.


Also, if you haven’t read Mel’s blog post all about nursery rhymes, and her research process (which is amazing) then check it out!


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The Question:


How do you incorporate/introduce nursery rhymes in story time? Particularly when they’re not theme related. I want to increase the nursery rhyme vocabulary of my story time kids, but I’m not sure how to make it fit.


The Answers:


Alyssa says:

Nursery Rhyme of the Day (or something more catchy and clever)!  Make it a part of your Storytime routine, just like the opening and closing songs.  As Andrea said, you don’t have to lock yourself into a strict theme during the program.


Andrea says:

Although I love themes in storytime in terms of planning, try not to get so stuck on them that you feel trapped. The kids won’t notice or care if a rhyme or a book doesn’t follow a particular theme, so don’t fret; throw a nursery rhyme in wherever your heart desires! I usually say, “All right, let’s get out our bouncing legs” (while sitting) and then bust out a nursery rhyme or two. That way, the kids are getting to move (at least a little bit), as well as hear the rhythm of the rhymes and the cadence of the language.
You can also make a nursery rhyme cube, like this one. The kids will love rolling the “die” and chanting or singing whichever rhyme it lands on. Time and supplies permitting, you can make multiple cubes with different nursery rhymes on each to keep it fresh each time you use them. Again, if you make reciting nursery rhymes a game, the kids won’t notice that they didn’t follow a particular theme up the hill; the fun (and learning) will come tumbling after.


Natalie says:

You don’t have to make your songs theme related to your program. I never have. I will incorporate a themed finger play or action rhyme, but we have a musical CD with songs on it. You can always start with Itsy Bitsy Spider as part of the beginning of your program and incorporate the others in each. I wouldn’t do more than three or four in one program though.

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