13 Timeless Nursery Rhymes Every Child Should Know And Why


Nursery rhymes are not just child’s play. Oh, they may seem like simple children songs and kids’ rhymes, but they can be so much more than that to your child. There is a reason every preschool teacher, childcare center, and childhood professional uses and recommends including nursery rhymes as a part of your child’s everyday activities. It is because they know that truly priceless gifts sometimes come in very tiny (and sometimes silly) packages.

Tiny Package, Big GIft

Nursery rhymes have been around for ages and have stood the test of time. Generation after generation has passed down their favorite nursery rhymes to their children. These classic kids’ rhymes possess much more than the ability to entertain even the tiniest of tots. In their own way, nursery rhymes have the ability to help kids deal with their fears and also learn important moral lessons.

If Miss Muffet Could Do It…

It is no coincidence that so many nursery rhymes deal with common childhood issues and anxieties. Little Miss Muffet was scared of spiders. The Three Little Kittens lost their mittens, and Little Bo Peep lost her sheep. These are serious issues to kids. Nursery rhymes give kids a safe, make-believe world in which to explore their feelings and fears and process them.

Teaching Lessons That Kids Can Understand

Some nursery rhymes are small stories complete with characters, plots, suspense, and endings. These bite-sized stories are perfect for little minds to absorb. Even toddlers can understand them and they are great for short attention spans. They are able to see their beloved characters face problems and find solutions.

The beauty of nursery rhymes is that the solutions to the problems are not always obvious and sometimes, they don’t even make sense, leaving your child’s imagination to find creative solutions of their own.

Stories That Come Alive – Literally

Nursery rhymes aren’t just stories that are told. They are stories that are lived. So many of these children songs have accompanying actions that bring them to life for kids. They are no longer just kids’ rhymes but become plays that children act out repeatedly.

A World Of Nonsense

It’s actually very important that children are allowed to be silly and have fun. So much of the world does not make sense to them yet, and they need time to imagine and create every day. Nursery rhymes give them the space to do just that. They are pure, senseless fun.

Top Nursery Rhyme Every Child Should Know

Each one of these carefully selected nursery rhymes can do much more than entertain your child for a while. They teach essential childhood skills or lessons and introduce common childhood issues and problems. They teach morals and values and the art of creative fun.

  • Head Shoulders knees and toes – It teaches Kids about various Body parts.
  • Old McDonald Had A Farm- Kids need to connect with nature and animals. Old McDonald gets kids thinking and learning about all of the different animals and helps them to realize that animals live in various habitats.
  • One Two Buckle My Shoe- For many young children, this is their first attempt at counting. It teaches them numbers, rhymes, and rhythms.
  • Rain, Rain Go Away- This precious nursery rhyme still comes to mind every time that it rains. It reminds kids that it’s okay to feel sad and to express feelings.
  • Three Little Kittens- Kids lose things. A lot! But the three little kittens FOUND their mittens, too, giving this favorite kids’ rhyme the perfect happy ending kids crave. It is also one of those mini-stories that can hold the attention of even a toddler.
  • Humpty Dumpty- The beauty of this nursery rhyme is that it is an impossible, imaginary problem with unending solutions. It teaches problem-solving in the most basic and clever way.
  • Little Miss Muffet- Miss Muffet brings those hidden fears to the surface and helps kids deal with them and face them in a healthy way.
  • Hey Diddle Diddle- Bringing elements together that would otherwise not even be associated, Hey Diddle Diddle helps kids be creative and has one of the catchiest tunes in the children songs world.
  • Little Boy Blue- Actions have consequences, and Little Boy Blue had responsibilities just like kids do. He watched sheep. It reminds kids that they are valuable and that the part that they play in life is an important one.
  • I’m A Little Tea Pot- This action nursery rhyme is pure fun and helps with coordination, especially the version that has a second verse where kids have to switch their handle and spout.
  • The Wheels On The Bus- Kids learn most things through much repetition. This song repeats but also adds new elements for each verse, making it even more challenging and fun.
  • Pat-A-Cake Baker’s Man- Among children songs, this is one that is at the top of the list for kids to know. It offers a unique opportunity for them to interact with other younger kids and babies. Every baby loves to play pat-a-cake, and once a toddler learns it, they will want to play it with every baby they meet.
  • Row, Row, Row Your Boat- The song itself paints a beautiful picture of a quiet, flowing brook and reminds us that life should be easy and calm. But it also opens up a whole world of music to children once they hear it sang as a round. For many children, it begins a lifelong love of singing together.

So the next time your child breaks out in song and dance when they hear their favorite nursery rhyme, you might just want to jump in and sing along. Remember, while nursery rhymes are so much fun, they are not only fun. These are valuable, learning moments that teach your child all about life. So float along, (together) gently down the stream.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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