My daughter loves nursery rhymes. Once she learned them, she would say them non-stop. So, of course, since I’m working on interest led/child directed activities, we had to do a theme for nursery rhymes. In searching for activities, I came across a ton of really fun activities that she and her friends would enjoy, so we had to a have a party. 🙂
I typed up nursery rhymes for each station — the goal being to say them as we did them. I left that up to the parents, since none of the kids can read. I also put directions for the stations, so the parents could do whatever the child was most interested in without needing to get an explanation from me.
3 Little Kittens
We started in the front yard. I made construction paper mittens that I laminated. I hid one. As the kids arrived, I handed them their mitten, and they had to go search for the other mitten.
Once they had all found their mittens, we said the rhyme and proceeded to the pie area.
3 Blind Mice
But while walking to the pies, they had to hold a mom’s hand and close their eyes and say the 3 blind mice rhyme.
I set up a small table with a couple cutting boards and sandwich baggies with two balls of dough (I just bought already made pie crust and rolled it up. No need for extra work on my part, right?!) 🙂
They patted them flat and put them in a cupcake holder. For the ones who knew how to make their letter, I had them do the rhyme and change the letter to their own (i.e. Mark it with an “C” and put it in the oven for Colin and me.) They then added some cinnamon and sugar that I had premixed in a little bowl
(Supplies: balls of dough, cinnamon/sugar mixture, rolling pins (if you have them, I didn’t), muffin tins, and blackberries/blueberries.)
Sing a Song of Sixpence
They made a second one and added some frozen blackberries.
Have wipes ready — and make sure you do this where you wont’ mind blackberry fingers/juice to get all over.
(Note the mittens on the side…)
Hickory Dickory Dock
We went to the kitchen table, and they made their own mouse out of a pear, craisins, raisins and almonds. I don’t have a lot of memories from my childhood — because I have a terrible memory — but I do remember my mom making these for a party we had. The kids liked them too.
Give them a hard boiled egg to drop. Let them peel it and slice it with an egg slicer. The plan was to have them make egg salad. But their grubby hands and abysmal peeling skills nixed that idea. 🙂 So you might just want to have some pre-made to actually eat.
After the food, we went and each kid dropped an egg of a wall and watched it explode. (Note: it would have been smart of me to have them drop it on a tarp. Easier to clean up.) I pointed out how different the egg was than the hard boiled one. I probably could’ve bought two dozen and let them drop as many as they wanted. They enjoyed it (I didn’t get any pictures of it. 🙁 )
After this, they were on their own to explore and do what they wanted at the other stations.
Jack Be Nimble
I put out three candlesticks. A tall one, medium one and tea light. They jumped to their heart’s content.
Baa Baa Black Sheep
This was a cute idea in theory, but the young kids (2 year olds) could not do it well and the older ones (3-4 year olds) didn’t have the necessary patience. Although, I’m still not sure it wasn’t just because the table and seats were in the hot sun. 🙂 I mention it, only as an option if you’re doing this with older kids or have more time. It could also be a good take home activity.
(Supplies: yarn, sheep cutout, two black clothespins)
Set up a little table with a bowl of eggshells I’d saved for them to glue to a piece of paper.
Also some bricks, blocks, horses, “knights” and plastic eggs so they could re-enact it.
Little Boy Blue
A sensory bin for the little ones, but they all liked it.
(Supplies: fake grass, horns, cow, sheep, popcorn, straw, little boy blue)
Little Bo Peep
I hid sheep all over the yard.
Mary Mary Quite Contrary
In a little pseudo garden, I put some silver bells, girl plastic dolls, and shells.
Hey Diddle Diddle
A had loved acting this out with props, so I had put it all out there for the kids. But, I completely forgot about it. Fortunately, A’s cousin stayed longer, so we did it, and he enjoyed it. So not a complete waste of set up time.
(Supplies: a cat [Tigger], a fiddle [I used a drumstick to just mimic a fiddle], cow, moon [paper plate], dog, dish, and spoon)
Little Miss Muffet
Creating a spider web on a piece of a blue paper using a marble and white paint in a tray. The kids had to roll it around. It was a little difficult for the young ones, but they did okay. And my friend, who was a former Montessori preschool teacher, said a few marbles would have worked better. Next time! (The tray with the higher sides was much easier for the little ones to use.
Jack and Jill
There was a jug full of water and plastic cups. They had to climb up the hill (the slide) and get some water and then pretend fall (slide) down. Then they had to bandage their head.
Lesson Learned: When children are part of making food that is supposed to be eaten, have a version that’s ready to go, just in case their version is inedible. 🙂
I finally figured out how to download a pdf!! Yahoo! So, here’s a pdf of the nursery rhymes and directions.
A number of ideas came from Preschool Plan-It — they have tons more ideas for each of the ones we did, plus more rhymes I didn’t use!
You can find the other Tot School activities we’ve done here.
Here’s my Pinterest board for more ideas: Nursery Rhymes Theme (Toddler/Preschool/K)