World Nursery Rhyme Week                           10th to the 14th of November 2014

World Nursery Rhyme Week is in its second year. We had such fun last year during our Baby English classes that I thought this year I would share some of our ideas on the blog.


The aim of Nursery Rhyme Week is to promote and celebrate the importance of nursery rhymes. They play such an important role in early childhood development by helping children to master key skills such as language and communication as well as social, physical and emotional skills. That includes children learning English as a foreign language too!


The Founders of World Nursery Week Music Bugs over in the UK pick 5 well-known rhymes and encourage us to "sing them, recite them, play them, watch them, colour them in and dance to them".


The 5 rhymes for World Nursery Rhyme Week 2014 are:


Oranges and Lemons
Old King Cole
Five Currant Buns
Hey Diddle Diddle
I hear Thunder

So, what are Nursery Rhymes?

Simply put, nursery rhymes are traditional poems or songs for young children. In the UK, most nursery rhymes date from the 16th-18th centuries. These rhymes have been passed from generation to generation through the oral tradition of singing to children and they often serve as an oral record of important political and historical events. They usually have simple and sometimes silly and nonsensical vocabulary and catchy rhymes which makes them quick to learn and to sing along with.

Why use them with Young English learners?

Listening to and reciting nursery rhymes help young children to develop early language and communication skills. It enhances early reading skills and phonemic awarenesss. Nursery rhymes contain a wide range of subjects and notions such as names of body parts, the names of animals, the weather, names of food, describing feelings and emotions, prepositional vocabulary, numbers, words that rhyme, different tenses and much, much more. This can help English learners to widen their English vocabulary, improve on their English pronunciation and to hear and assimilate different tenses naturally. Young English learners love to sing, move and dance and nursery rhymes are often accompanied with actions which makes it all the more fun and motivating.

I will be using these nursery rhymes with young English learners aged between eight months (yes, it's never too early) and six years. I shall share some of the activities that we will be doing here on the blog. I am also working with the wonderful Mary at Story Massage UK with ideas on how to use massage with nursery rhymes. We shall also be sharing nursery rhymes from around the world. I can't wait to get started.

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