Most of us associate nursery rhymes with singing, but their bouncy rhythms are also great for reading aloud. It’s a wonderful, fun way to encourage your child’s early language development. Some rhymes are for dancing or are full of action, others are a perfect excuse for some snuggle time with your child.
You may not know that we have lots of books of nursery rhymes – some containing a single rhyme, some with a whole collection – available from your local library. Here are a few you might like to look at.
Ladybird Touch-and-Feel Books
There are several books in this range, but I have picked out two,
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Baa Baa Black Sheep, both illustrated by Natalie Marshall. Each book has five rhymes, one to every double-page spread, with each illustration having a tactile component. After each rhyme, there is a question. In Twinkle you can ask your children to make silly noises and in Black Sheep you and your child can count together.
Animal Rhymes – Tony Ross
Each rhyme in this sturdy board book has its own illustrated tab, so you and your child can enjoy guessing what the next rhyme will be. A great book for little hands. Even better for new parents, there is a QR code on the back cover giving you free access to audio versions of the rhymes. Great if you don’t know the tunes – you and your children can learn them together.
Five Little Monkeys – Zita Newcome
This bumper book of action and counting rhymes shows a diverse range of children. They, along with some additional illustrations, demonstrate the actions and activities that can be done in conjunction with the songs. A great way to tire the children out, but it might be a good idea to try some gentler songs just before bed time.
My Favourite Bedtime Rhymes – Sanja Rescek & Hannah Wood
With it’s lovely soft, squishy cover this board book is perfect for bedtime. It features lots of songs on the themes of bed and night time. Some are lots of silly fun, but most are gentle and soothing.
This fabulous illustrator has produced lots of board books illustrating nursery rhymes. Her books are much loved for the diversity of children represented. Whether it is the ethnicity of a child or something that marks them as physically different, you are likely to find them in one of Annie’s books. Some, such as Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, even have simple sign language incorporated.
I’m Ready… to Sing! – Sonia Esplugas
Do you sometimes struggle to remember all the verses in some of the very long nursery rhymes? This book from Ladybird prints them out in full. An essential aid to tired mums and dads.