Mother Goose still rocks in the world of preschoolers. The sing-song flow of the these classic children's poems appeal to young children who love to recite them over and over. Nursery rhymes are also an excellent way to teach children the concept of rhyming. Rhyming helps them develop phonemic awareness, which is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate the spoken word, according to education expert and author P.M. Cunningham, in an excerpt from his book "Phonics They Use: Words for Reading and Writing." Share the same beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes you learned as a child with your own little one through engaging, age-appropriate activities.
Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes
Introduce your child to the Mother Goose nursery rhymes that you listened to growing up. You can find many versions of the Mother Goose books to read to your child. For children ages 4 and older, "The Real Mother Goose," by Blanche Fisher Wright, includes hundreds of Mother Goose nursery rhymes, including the most well-known, such as "Hickory Dickory Dock," "Humpty Dumpty," and "Jack and Jill Went Up the Hill." You might also want to check out "Best Mother Goose Ever," by Richard Scarry, which features 50 popular Mother Goose nursery rhymes, each featuring the animal illustrations that Richard Scarry's books are known for.
Mother Goose Crafts
Help your child work on arts and crafts projects based on her favorite Mother Goose characters. For example, your child can make lamb stick figure puppets to represent "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Cut out a lamb shape from construction paper, and have your child cover the entire body party with cotton balls. She can use black crayon or marker to color in the face. Use nontoxic school glue to paste pop sticks to the back of the lamps to make them stick puppets. You can also help your child make a paper Mary stick puppet as well. Help your preschooler make a paper plate goose to represent Mother Goose. Cut out a semicircle from the center of the plate so that half of the plate center remains and the top half of the rim resembles a long neck. Cut the end of the rim into a triangle shape for the beak. Give your child white feathers to glue all over the plate except the very end, where she can draw on an eye and and color the beak end orange.
Mother Goose Playtime
Engage your preschooler and her friends in simple games related to some of the Mother Goose nursery rhymes. For example, for the poem, "Baa Baa Black Sheep," set out three brown paper bags. Fill one with cotton balls, and fill the other two with scraps of paper. Puff the bags out so they look identical. Have the kids recite the line, "Baa baa black sheep have you any wool?" to which you reply, "yes sir, yes sir, three bags full." The children are then to take turns guessing which bag has the "wool," or cotton balls. For another game hide pictures of sheep around the room or your backyard. Recite "Little Bo Peep," and have the kids race to find as many sheep as they can.
Write Your Own Rhyme
Encourage your preschooler to come up with her own rhymes. It can be just two simple lines. Help her come up with words that have a simple rhyme such as cat and hat. If she is having trouble coming up with an idea for a poem, give her prompts such as her favorite animal, what she ate for breakfast and her favorite thing to do. Write down the poem your child comes up with and underline the rhyming words, unless she is at a writing level where she can write it down herself.