Storytime with Karen – Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes provide bite-sized learning opportunities for young children to learn key developmental skills and are a powerful learning source in early literacy. Benefits for toddlers include learning new words, expanding their vocabulary, enhancing their auditory senses and promoting creativity. They also enable children to become interested in the rhythm and patterns of language. Repetition of rhymes and stories is good for the brain, teaching how language works and building memory capabilities. Because verses are made up of patterns, they are easy first memorisation pieces. Research has found that when a child knows eight or more nursery rhymes by heart at the age of four, that they are usually one of the best at reading and spelling in their class by the age of eight!

Humpty Dumpty (Image: pixabay)



Think Big!

written by Kes Gray, illustrated by Nathan Reed.

Humpty Dumpty and his nursery rhyme friends are talking about what they want to be when they grow up. Humpty wants to be a boiled egg, but his friends encourage him to think bigger. Their suggestions include an artist, detective, footballer, firefighter and doctor. Filled with many much loved nursery rhyme characters from Baa Baa Black Sheep to Wee Willie Winkie this is an engaging and fun picture book. The illustrations are bright, bold and very colourful and the message is ‘believe and you can achieve’. Will Humpty think big and reach for the stars?

Bonnie and Ben Rhyme Again

written by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek.

Brother and sister, Ben and Bonnie, have a passion for nursery rhymes. On a walk with their friend, Skinny Doug, they rhyme their way through the day. A small hill inspires Jack and Jill, some sheep inspire Little Bo Peep, a hairy black spider inspires Little Miss Muffet and so on. This book reminds grown ups of the classic nursery rhymes of childhood and is always popular with the grandparents who come along to Storytime. The simple and repetitive text is perfect for young children and fun to read out loud. The bright and colourful illustrations build on the story and include an appearance of the green sheep. 


Hickory Dickory Dash

written by Tony Wilson, illustrated by Laura Wood.

This picture book was selected for National Simultaneous Storytime in 2018. It is an adaptation of the classic nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock. The clock is ticking and poor mother mouse can’t find her two missing babies. The tension builds as she searches frantically for them. Can she find them before the sneaky cat pounces? The children really liked this entertaining story told in rhyme. Their favourite part was when the cat stood on the dirty nappy. The illustrations are bold and portray the cat as the villain complete with pointy, sharp fangs and eyepatch. 

Nursery Rhymes

Humpty Dumpty

Hickory Dickory Dock

Crafty Idea

Make a clock and a mouse and act out Hickory Dickory Dock.

You will need:

  • A4 brown card stock
  • White card stock
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Double-sided tape
  • Split pin
  • Clothes peg
  • Glue stick


  • Make a clock face and colour it in (Or print a clock colour-in sheet).
  • Make some clock hands and attach them and the clock face to the brown card using a split pin. 
  • Draw a mouse on the white card stock and colour in.
  • Stick the mouse to the clothes peg using double-sided tape.
  • Glue the lyrics of Hickory Dickory Dock to the brown card underneath the clock.
  • Sing the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock! When you have finished you can peg your mouse to the clock.

Did You Know?

The most popular nursery rhyme for babies is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star