Creative ways to use Nursery Rhymes for Listening and Dancing

Rhyme through song and dance 

Certain people say that nursery rhymes and listening to music and dancing are important to preschool children. However, few actually explain the real reasons. One benefit is obvious, of course. When you watch children listening, singing and dancing to music and see them bounce around, you know they are having fun! But the purpose of listening, singing and dancing to nursery rhymes with preschool age children is much more important than that.  Furthermore, song, dance, and rhyme incorporate listening and speaking which are the foundation for early literacy development.  Listening and speaking precede reading

nursery rhymes

Having fun listening, singing, and dancing!

and writing. Listening for rhyme supports the ability to discriminate sounds in words and later change words by changing the beginning sounds.  For example, bang, rang, clang all rhyme – but have different meanings based the beginning sounds of each word.  

In addition, research has identified three types of learners:  auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. There is a way to support all three types of learners with music and dance and develop early literacy too!

Auditory learners hear rhyme

At first, auditory learners benefit from hearing the rhyme first before they see the words. Therefore, hearing nursery rhymes teach preschool children phonological awareness. Phonological awareness, the ability to manipulate oral language,  is a precursor to phonemic awareness and beginning reading. Hearing the ending sounds in rhyme when they sing and dance is very important. Beginning sounds and syllables are also heard in the rhythm of the song. That way, when letters and words are introduced, it makes it easier for the children to learn letter-sound connections. This letter-sound connection is a basic foundation for early literacy.


Humpty Dumpty is back together again!


It’s Your Turn:

Rhyme, Song, and Dance

  • Listen to music
  • Sing & Dance
  • Listen to beginning sounds and rhyme
  • Change word meaning with beginning sounds and rhyme

Auditory Learners

  • Listen to nursery rhymes
  • Develop phonological awareness (the ability to manipulate oral language)
  • Listen to ending sounds in rhymes
  • Develop early literacy

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