Nursery Rhymes

My girls requested that we do a week of Nursery Rhymes when school started.  I love how they are excited about learning.  I actually think they just wanted me to read them the books that we used to read over and over when they were little.  They hear me read them to little brother and I think they wanted in on the action.  So I tried to figure out ways to have them play and learn using the nursery rhymes books and toys we had on hand.

I think the only things I had to buy for the unit were crepe paper and contact paper.  But most everything we had I already had from my teaching days or just their regular toys.

We started off with Humpty Dumpty.  I had these little file folders from when I taught first grade.  I had the girls choose a color of egg from our old Easter egg supply.  I glued the eyes on and drew a smile with Sharpie.  The girls helped lace the black pipe cleaner into the tiny holes that were on the eggs already.  Then I had them build a wall using our Duplo blocks.  We practiced reciting the rhyme and talked about how to change your voice to match what is happening in the story.  I think they did a great job and I will always treasure videos of their little voices.  

We also did Mary Had a Little Lamb that day.  The girls were practicing their scissor skills so I made this contact paper sheep from an idea I found on Pinterest.  Bear practiced following directions (only put cotton balls IN the lamb body) while the girls practiced using scissors.  But I knew the girls would want to do it to so I made them a couple of tiny lambs to do when they finished their cutting activity.


The next day we worked on following directions.  I made these little cupcake math pages from and idea I saw on Pinterest.  I’m almost positive the idea came from  The girls had to complete their cupcake by putting the correct number of decorations.  We did this for the Pat a Cake Pat a Cake rhyme.  The girls LOVED this since they were making fake junk food!

I had a sensory bin for Bear with Little Miss Muffet while the girls worked on their cupcakes.  For this simple set up I used plain white rice.  I turned over three bowls to make tuffets and placed the Little People girls I had on top.  I then used half of an Easter egg as the bowl with rice (curds and whey) and I had these spider rings from the Dollar Tree.  I just cut the ring part off and had cute little spiders for this activity.  I made sure to have 3 tuffets and all the things so when the girls finished, they were able to join Bear at the sensory bin.  That seems to be our routine – they love to play with him so they always join the sensory bin fun (or whatever activity) I have set up for the little guy.  It is a JOY to homeschool kiddos who are so close in age and just enjoy each other.

Three Little Kittens was our next inspiration nursery rhyme.  I had the girls do some much needed fine motor skill practice by using clothes pins and mittens on some twine I had from a random craft.  Do you see London’s tongue? I just love seeing her concentrate with her tell tale tongue.  

That day we also had some Itsy Bitsy Spider fun.  This was the most loved activity of the week…and also took the most prep.  I had to buy white crepe paper because apparently all I had were crazy colors and I just wanted it to look more like a spider web…I guess.  While the kids slept I taped it to the wall and our dining room table and chairs.  I had to make sure some of the webs were high so the girls would need to crawl under and some of them were low so they would need to go over them.  I also used a few of those Dollar Tree spider rings and taped them to a few random pieces of the web.  

I wasn’t sure how hard or easy this obstacle course would be for the kids.  Once I saw that they were able to maneuver it fairly well, I added the extra difficulty of making it through the course by the time we finished singing the song.  That added just enough pressure to keep them going through it several times so they could master it.  Needles to say, the LOVED it.

We did a little non-standard measurement practice with the spider lines and snap cubes.  As the girls worked on it I asked them questions so were were able to use vocabulary such as longest, shortest, and had them predict if the number of cubes would be more or less for the lines based on what they had from measuring the first line.  There is a lot of learning that happens just through discussion and questioning during an activity.  That is why I like to have Bear using a sensory bin nearby.  It gives him something to do so I can focus on guiding them through the correct language as they work.

And finally, we had a day where we sorted pictures from different nursery rhymes – this was a bulletin board set from my teaching days.  I wrote the names of the nursery rhymes represented on sticky notes.  I showed them how even if they can’t read all the words, they can look at the beginning letters and how many words on each sticky note to help them figure out what each one says.  They seemed to do well without much guidance after that.  Then they just picked up random pictures from my set and placed them in piles for each rhyme.

We also finished the day with some outdoor time (like always) and found a playground that had a hill near it.  So we brought some pails so they could run up and act out Jack and Jill.  None of my kids like grass on them so no one rolled down the hill…but that’s ok with me.  It was a fun week that was created from their request.  Again, part of the fun of homeschool is you can shape your days and weeks to match the interests of your own children.