My Journey as a Mother

12 Nursery Rhymes for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Have you ever thought why every child enjoys nursery rhymes and cherish watching them frequently?

Being the doting mother that I am, I spend most of my time with my toddler observing everything she watches. Today the Internet is filled with nursery rhymes. As a new parent, one has to catch up with the trend.

As my toddler began to recite these nursery rhymes slowly, I started noticing a few patterns. I understood what made the nursery rhymes exciting and addictive for toddlers and preschoolers. It has a creative edge that we miss to see.

I learned to enjoy the process by watching the rhyme and singing it along with her. There are thousands of nursery rhyme channels out there. I have listed only 12 Nursery Rhymes for Toddlers and Preschoolers from our favorite channels.

What’s Interesting About Nursery Rhymes?

We did not learn the nursery rhymes in our days on the TV. Our only source of learning was at the school. Today’s kids spend about 1/4th of their day watching TV or playing on mobiles. The online markets understand kids, which reflects in the creativity in today’s nursery rhymes.

Toddlers and Preschoolers watching nursery rhymes on the television in a room | Premium Vector
Image Courtesy: Freepik

Nursery rhymes for toddlers and preschoolers are entertaining to watch and they creatively engage kids. All the characters, the screenplay, the humor, and the action sequences are just an excellent way to keep them occupied. 

This lockdown made me realize the importance of spending time with kids. I realized that quality time comes only with the quantity time we spend with our kids. We are around each other the whole day.

As a parent, I watch her as I run the errands around the house. It is not spending quality time, right? For me, it is about spending some dedicated one-on-one time with each other.

Watching Nursery Rhymes with Kids

As a parent, you will get easily tuned into it. I have personal favorites after I have started watching nursery rhymes with my daughter. It is one of her primary activities and I spend time by watching it with her.

A toddler at home can do this to you. My mind is stuck with tunes of these rhymes all day long. At times, I end up humming these as I cook. I enjoy watching these nursery rhymes with my preschooler.

Be aware of some annoying channels which use nursery rhymes to attract children. Some of the channels create a lot of mess using slimes or use inappropriate actions in the videos with nursery rhymes running in the background.

There are some channels my daughter enjoys to watch, which I do not fancy(rhymes with slimes). While I think about the mess that comes with slimes, she thinks they liberate her! Oh, yes, slimes are not allowed inside the house, at the moment!

There is an exhaustive list of Kindergarten nursery rhymes that toddlers and preschoolers watch today.

Our kids have a list of Nursery rhymes that never go out of fashion, right? Have you noticed children recite songs or rhymes while playing games?

Screen Time for Kids

As an overprotective parent, I agree with you about the factor of the screen time. We cannot grow today’s children without any screen time either.

As parents, it is vital to keep an eye on what they are watching. When my daughter was about 6-months old, I decided not to include screen time until 3-years. 

Honestly, I really thought it was easy to engage kids as they grow! My daughter showed me what’s it like to be in her terrible twos. I cannot imagine the shift as she turns 3 next week.

Around 1.5-years, I introduced screen time to my daughter. She enjoyed watching tamil nursery rhymes on Youtube. I felt my scheduled 15-minutes was a good start.

Until 1.5-years, I managed to weave stories and songs for her as and when requested. She never complained, but listened with keen interest.

We continue our stories session now before nap time and bedtime. Her stories are compelling; I can vouch on that!

Let us get into the list of nursery rhymes that toddlers and preschoolers enjoy singing, dancing, and performing the action sequences.

I have included two detailed articles on skill development in toddlers in the upcoming sections. These skills are basis to developement in babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

Kids learn better when they relate to things on their own. The links to all rhymes frequently watched in our household is given here. You can enjoy the rhymes with them.

Nursery Rhymes Categories for Toddlers and Preschoolers

The nursery rhymes are listed into SIX categories. I have listed activities for toddlers and preschoolers along with the nursery rhymes. They love singing these songs during their playtime too. 

  1. Shapes and Colors
  2. Alphabets and Numbers
  3. Our Body 
  4. Human Family and Animal Family
  5. Counting
  6. Expressing Emotions

Similarly, I have provided a list of skill developments gained while performing various activities. The basic developmental skills are classified into the following:

  1. Cognitive Development
  2. Social and Emotional Development
  3. Speech and Language Development
  4. Fine Motor Skill Development
  5. Gross Motor Skill Development

Here is a list of 12 rhymes that are trending with toddlers:

SECTION 1: SHAPES AND COLORS

SONG 1: What Shape is this?

CHANNELCocomelon

If there is one song that helps children learn many shapes, it is this one. Apart from the basic shapes such as Circle, Triangle, Square, and Rectangle, children learn polygons. They learn from Pentagon to Octagon in this song, and you can include Star, crescent, and Semi-circle too. 

How we Play:

Allow children to identify some shapes with things around the house. Kids spot them better when they have a cardboard sample. For instance, I ask her about the shape of a book. She defines it as a rectangle. It will take lots of repetitions for children to identify, so let them go at their own pace.

Shape Roll & Color Math Activity for learning shapes nursery rhyme for toddlers and preschoolers
Image Courtesy: Google

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • Books
  • Color Pouches
  • Small boxes of various shapes and sizes
  • Coins of various shapes
  • Toys
  • Various forms made out of chart or cardboard
  • Anything safe that explains shapes
  • Coloring with crayons

ACTIVITIES:

  • Sorting Shapes
  • Identifying Shapes
  • Coloring Shapes
  • Colors of shapes
  • Number of shapes

SKILL:

  • Cognitive Development
  • Speech and Language Development 
  • Fine Motor Skills

SONG 2: The Balloon Song

CHANNELToddler World TV

The Balloon Song (for learning colors) nursery rhyme for toddlers and preschoolers

Kids love colors. Imagine enjoying colors, but not being able to express them or ask for them. I started my daughter in primary colors, and she grasped them quickly. Children love to identify colors since it gives them something to talk about often. 

How we play:

We talk about colors everywhere. We stop to see a flower or a leaf while we take a walk. We name the colors in our dresses. We talk about all vegetables and fruits and their colors. Since color is everywhere, the conversations are never-ending. It is a great conversation starter with kids.

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • Fruits and Veggies
  • Nature
  • Dresses
  • Color of all toys
  • Shapes and Colors
  • Coloring
  • Stop and Identify a color during a walk.
  • Crayons and coloring
  • Pom Poms

ACTIVITIES:

  • Identify colors
  • Find Hidden Colors 
  • Group Pom Poms of the same colors 
  • Sort colors.

SKILL

  • Speech and Language Development
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Identification and Sorting
  • Improves Vocabulary and Speaking Skills

BONUS: Start teaching them colors early; it will do wonders for their vocabulary and imagination.

SECTION 2: ALPHABETS AND NUMBERS

SONG 3: The Alphabet Song

CHANNELDave and Ava

Toddlers enjoy discovering more details for every alphabet with this song. It is available in different versions throughout the Internet.

Children are not perplexed about seeing different things each time. Instead, they choose the latest one they see. They learn to relate to the objects in their surroundings and add them to their vocabulary.

Educational Plastic Alphabets & Numbers Set
Image Courtesty: Google

How we Play:

It is best to use the items in the house for the same version. We might not have every article, but relating to things around the house helps children learn better.

As a parent, I enjoyed this task. For example, we identified around 15 things(Apple to Zipper) for the alphabet song in our house. 

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • The Alphabet Board
  • Rearranging the Alphabets
  • Using Pasta to make alphabets
  • Chalk and a blackboard
  • Pom poms

ACTIVITIES

  • Trace the Alphabet
  • Arrange Sequentially. 
  • Remember the order.

SKILL

  • Cognitive Development 
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Identification of Alphabets and Related Items. 
  • Learn new words. 
  • Improves writing skills
  • Improves Memory

SONG 4: 1,2,3,4,5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive

This song has a story within the rhyme. It teaches numbers through fishing, thereby introducing a game to the kids. It is a great way to teach numbers to kids. Kids learn to identify numbers using fingers.

How we play

Use clips and a long rope to engage children for at least 10 minutes. Some might go on for about 30 minutes with this song. 

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • Fish toys
  • Clips and a Rope
  • Balloons and Clips
  • Pom Poms to make a fish
  • Count using fingers

ACTIVITIES

  • Counting numbers with any toy 
  • Arranging them according to figures
  • Count with Fingers

SKILL

  • Independent Play
  • Counting
  • Sorting. 
  • Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Improves Logic – Cognitive Development
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Fine Motor Skills.

SECTION 3: OUR BODY

SONG 5: Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes

CHANNELCocomelon

It is an excellent song to start with the parts of the body. The best cue about nursery rhymes is introducing different versions of the same song for toddlers and preschoolers to learn more. There are similar songs that add other parts of the body. It is a playschool version which children would enjoy watching.

How we play

We sing from a slower version to the faster version. As the speed increased, my daughter started laughing at the confusion.

Slowly, she realized that she must go along with the tune from slow to fast. Children laugh as they rush to finish. Toddlers could get puzzled at the speed of the rhyme.

Pin on KM Classroom from Pinterest to learn body parts nursery rhyme for toddlers and preschoolers
Image Courtesy: Pinterest

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • A toy to identify the parts of the body
  • Stand in front of the Mirror and perform the movements.

ACTIVITIES

  • Slow Dance
  • Fast Dance
  • Slow to fast dance, vice-versa.

SKILL

  • Hand-Eye Coordination
  • Identify body parts
  • Improves Memory
  • Increases speed
  • Gross Motor Skill Development
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Social and Emotional Development

BONUS: Perform the song with your child; it is more of a warm-up exercise.

SECTION 4: HUMAN FAMILY AND ANIMAL FAMILY

SONG 6: Finger Family & BABY SHARK

CHANNELCOCOMELON / PINKFONG

Introducing family through this song is the easiest way, I’ll give you that. It is easy to include extended family members as an exciting way to help them learn more. 

Baby Shark Show | Kids in Melbourne
Baby Shark nursery rhyme for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Image Courtesy: Google

Another version of this nursery rhyme includes animals and their babies loved by toddlers and preschoolers. Children find it compelling to watch since they love animals.

How We Play

Finger Family – We use the Daddy, Mommy, Brother, Sister, and Baby Finger version. We love to use the monkey version.

Animal Family – BABY SHARK. Every version of the same song! Kids love this. You can make a video of your child performing this song. When I made the wrong moves, my daughter stopped dancing and taught me how to do it.

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • Use fingers to identify each member.
  • Animal Hand Puppets
  • Pictures of animals in books
  • Animal Toys
  • If you are a good artist, then you are good to go with your art.
  • In case you are like me, go ahead and print them.

ACTIVITIES

  • Use fingers to identify each member or animal puppets.
  • Group Toys into families.

SKILL

  • Identification of similar animals
  • Grouping animals
  • Dancing improves gross motor skills.
  • Children learn to teach others. 
  • Cognitive Development
  • Speech and Language Development.

SONG 7: Old Mac Donald Had a Farm

CHANNELCocomelon

Is there a kid who doesn’t love this song? Every kid adores this one. Investing in an animal pack can go a long way. Toddlers love to play with animals for a long time. Making the sounds of animals is an exciting way to learn this song.

How We Play

I sing along with her. I say the animal, and she enacts the sound. We exchange and play.

Animal Toy 64 Pack Mini Wild Plastic Animals Models Toys Kit
Image Courtesy: Google

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • Animal Toys
  • Pictures of Animals
  • Flashcards of Animals

ACTIVITIES

  • Use Animals to make sounds
  • Act like you are the animal and make the sound.

SKILL

  • Identification and Logic 
  • Cognitive Skills
  • Speech and Language Development 
  • Social and Emotional Development 
  • Fine Motor Skills

SECTION 5: COUNTING

SONG 8: 5 Little Monkeys

CHANNELCocomelon

Every child loves this song. There are many versions of the 5 little animals song. Right from Dinosaurs to Penguins, your toddler can learn it with the animal of their choice. It helps them learn how to count and also introduces them to more animals.

five little monkeys for nursery rhyme for toddlers and preschoolers
Image Courtesy: Google

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • Animal Toys
  • Pictures of Animals
  • Flashcards of Animals

ACTIVITIES

  • Use Animals to make sounds
  • Act like you are the animal and make the sound.

SKILL

  • Identification
  • Motor Skills 
  • Logic 
  • Cognitive Skills 
  • Speech and Language Development 
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Fine Motor Skills

SONG 9: 10 Little Ducklings / 10 Little Dinosaurs

CHANNELCocomelon / Super Simple Songs

It is another new rhyme for kids to learn numbers. It teaches them to learn numbers in reverse order too.

Ten Little Duckies - Kids Songs - Baby Rhymes Cocomelon
Image Courtesy: Google

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • Animal Toys
  • Pictures of Animals
  • Flashcards of Animals

ACTIVITIES

  • Use Animals to make sounds
  • Act like you are the animal and make the sound.

SKILL

  • Identification
  • Motor Skills
  • Logic 
  • Cognitive Skills
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Fine Motor Skills

SECTION 6: EXPRESSING EMOTIONS

SONG 10: If You are Happy and You Know

Play is a therapeutic process for everyone. Apart from the attractive tune, toddlers and preschoolers love this nursery rhyme for the various play activities. Let them shout Hooray, let them bend down to touch their feet, let them turn around, this is a happy song even for adults!

Just perform this with your child, and you are going to have a happy moment together! Here’s a Printable to help you.

If You're Happy and You Know It" nursery rhyme for toddlers and preschoolers.  It is a popular repetitive
Image Courtesy: Pinterest

ACTIVITIES

  • Dance
  • Action Sequence
  • Hand-Eye coordination.

SKILL

  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Cognitive Development
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Social and Emotional Development.

SONG 11: London Bridge is Falling Down

CHANNEL: Cocomelon

One of Lakki’s latest favorite rhyme is about the London Bridge. She sings it as she stacks just about anything. It is nice to see how children learn to relate songs with the things they do.

Every kid gets upset when their blocks fall down. This rhyme encourages them to build on repeat until they get it right. There is throwing and crying when their blocks fall, but kids outgrow the drama as they grow.

London Bridge is Falling Down | CoComelon Nursery Rhymes for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Image Courtesy: Google

How we play

She plays by stacking boxes one on top of the other. She pushes them down and sees them fall. As she grows, the number of boxes she stacks has also started to grow.

Since she is currently learning the art of balancing things, we find a finishing touch in every one of her models. I must agree there is a lot of crying and throwing when something falls halfway. Slowly, there is an understanding that she can build it all over again.

You can let your toddler use any of the following items:

  • Cubes, Square or Rectangle Boxes
  • Coins (Both Big and Small) – Parental Guidance required
  • Rainbow Wooden Play or any wooden play toys 
  • Oranges or Tomatoes (Real fruits to play with to learn the art of balancing.)
  • Books
  • Bottles
  • Building Blocks

ACTIVITIES:

  • Stacking
  • Toys falling down
  • Rebuilding with toys
  • Arranging taller blocks
  • Ascending and Descending order

SKILL

  • Stacking develops early language
  • Fine motor skills. 
  • Speech and Language Development
  • Gross Motor Skills.

BONUS: Toddlers love to sing rhymes during their playtime. Rhymes help in independent playing too.

SONG 12: The Wheels on the Bus

CHANNELCocomelon

The kids enjoy this song by learning everything about travel. What happens within the bus during the entire trip- what the horn does, the door, the wipers, just about everything.

They also learn how parents react to a crying baby on the bus. They love to make sounds and relate to emotions that come with it. It is easier for children to perform this action song on request. They love it so much.

How we play

I just start the song, and she goes on with it, I perform actions or say the line from the song, and she is supposed to continue from there. That’s how interesting it gets.

ACTIVITIES

  • Act like you are in a bus,
  • Include toys and make the sounds of the bus

SKILLS

  • Speech and Language Development
  • Social and Emotional Development
  • Cognitive Development.
The Wheels on the Bus: Sing Along with Me!: Amazon.co.uk: Nosy ...
Image Courtesy: Google

The songs listed here are not in any specific order. What truly matters is how they enjoy these rhymes! It is in the learning that their creativity develops. Let them blossom in their pace. Repetition is the key!

Some could be slow,
Some could be fast,
But know one thing,
They are progressing,
Every Day!

Appreciate them,
Never Compare!
Spend time together,
Big chunks of time,
They grow too quickly!

What are your toddler’s favorite Nursery Rhymes?
What was your favorite? I would love to know if you still have any favorite nursery rhymes.
Share them with me, and we can share a moment of our childhood!

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