The enduring power of rhymes – with bonus counting boost
There are so many rhymes that introduce numeracy and counting, and best of all they feature things like fingers and toes as a visual way of showing children what 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 look like with props that can never be lost! (Unless covered by socks – but then you’ve got an exciting reveal!)
Try singing Five Cheeky Monkeys, Once I Caught a Fish Alive or Five Speckled Frogs with your little one. You can help them count with their fingers or you might like to use blocks and each time you sing a verse count the blocks and then take one away. You can reinforce this when you are out and about by counting how many bikes, dogs or cars you see with your child.
Nursery rhymes often feature body parts and for very little ones this is a great way of teaching them the different names of parts of their body. Try singing, Heads and Shoulders, Hokey Pokey or If You’re Happy and You Know It. As you sing about knees, toes and eyes gently tap or point these out on your child’s body. You can reinforce this during bath time, when you wash their face or tummy talk about what you are doing: “We are going to wash your ears now, and then your hair.”
If you don’t know any nursery rhymes, try visiting a First 5 Forever family program at State Library or your local library as a great way of learning new songs and connecting in with other families. If you can’t make it into the library in person there are lots of great resources online. Check out the Rhyme Time sessions available on the First 5 Forever Watch page or have a look at the Sunshine Coast Libraries Rhymes with Ryan.
These activities don’t cost anything and can be done anywhere at any time. Boost your little ones learning and development by singing songs, sharing stories, playing and talking every day.