20+ nursery rhymes and songs for preschoolers

We often hear about how important nursery rhymes are for kids’ development – and in this post you’ll find 20 of them ready for you to sing with your own little one.

But why do they matter? Some of them seem totally out of touch with the world we live in now.

One reason’s that they’re great for early literacy development. Songs and nursery rhymes are a perfect fun way for your child to develop their language skills – without even realising.

Benefits of nursery rhymes (and songs):

  • They help your child begin to appreciate the rhythm and flow of language.
  • Through them,  your child is introduced to features of language like alliteration and rhyme.
  • Understanding how rhyme works is part of phonological awareness (the ability to segment words) which is an essential pre-reading skill.
  • They introduce simple story structure (beginning, middle, end).
  • A wide knowledge of songs, rhymes and stories builds your child’s vocabulary.
  • They help children learn to discriminate between different sounds and build an ear for language.

And many more positive benefits – social, mathematical, emotional – that you can read more about in this post if you would like to.

So reciting rhymes and singing songs with your child has many, many benefits for them – and it’s fun for both of you.

Here’re 20 to get you started. All with words and many with videos linked for you to enjoy.

Incy wincy spider

Incy Wincy spider climber up the water spout,

Down came the rain and washed the spider out.

Out came the sunshine and dried up all the rain.

And Incy Wincy spider climbed up the spout again.

 

5 Little Ducks

A good one for counting to 5 (and back to 0).

 

5 little ducks went swimming one day over the hills and far away.

Mummy duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,”

But only 4 little ducks came back.

 

4 little ducks went swimming one day over the hills and far away.

Mummy duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,”

But only 3 little ducks came back.

 

3 little ducks went swimming one day over the hills and far away.

Mummy duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,”

But only 2 little ducks came back.

 

2 little ducks went swimming one day over the hills and far away.

Mummy duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,”

But only 1 little duck came back.

 

1 little duck went swimming one day over the hills and far away.

Mummy duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,”

But no little ducks came back.

 

Mummy duck went swimming one day over the hills and far away.

Mummy duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack,”

And all of the 5  little ducks came back.

 

 

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printable homeschool planner
Planning to homeschool? Check out our planner here.

One Little Speckled Frog

5 little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log,

Eating some most delicious bugs, yum, yum.

One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool.

Now there are 4 speckled frogs. 1,2,3,4.

 

4 little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log,

Eating some most delicious bugs, yum, yum.

One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool.

Now there are 3 speckled frogs. 1,2,3.

 

3 little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log,

Eating some most delicious bugs, yum, yum.

One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool.

Now there are 2 speckled frogs. 1,2.

 

2 little speckled frogs sat on a speckled log,

Eating some most delicious bugs, yum, yum.

One jumped into the pool, where it was nice and cool.

Now there is 1 speckled frog. 1.

 

1 little speckled frog sat on a speckled log,

Eating some most delicious bugs, yum, yum.

He jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool.

Now there are no speckled frogs.

 

 

nursery rhymes preschool
nursery rhymes and songs lyrics

Ten Green Bottles

(Another great song for practising counting – especially backwards counting – from 10.)

10 green bottles hanging on the wall.

10 green bottles hanging on the wall.

And if 1 green bottle should accidentally fall,

There’d be 9 green bottles hanging on the wall.

9 green bottles hanging on the wall.

9 green bottles hanging on the wall.

And if 1 green bottle should accidentally fall,

There’d be 8 green bottles hanging on the wall.

8 green bottles hanging on the wall.

8 green bottles hanging on the wall.

And if 1 green bottle should accidentally fall,

There’d be 7 green bottles hanging on the wall.

7 green bottles hanging on the wall…

(And so on until…)

1 green bottle hanging on the wall.

1 green bottle hanging on the wall.

And if 1 green bottle should accidentally fall,

There’d be no green bottles hanging on the wall.

 

The Wheels on the Bus

The wheels on the bus go round and round,

Round and round,

Round and round.

The wheels on the bus go round and round,

All day long.

The wipers on the bus go wish, swish, swish,
Swish, swish, swish,
Swish, swish, swish.
The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish,
All day long.

The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep,
Beep, beep, beep,
Beep, beep, beep.
The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep,
All day long.

The doors on the bus go open and shut,
Open and shut,
Open and shut.
The doors on the bus go open and shut,
All day long.

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Baa baa black sheep,

Have you any wool?

Yes sir, yes sir, 3 bags full.

One for the master,

And one for the dame,

And one for the little boy,

Who lives down the lane.

 

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle little star,

How I wonder what you are.

 

The A B C song

(A great way to help kids learn alphabetical order and the names of the letters.)

A B C D E F G

H I J K 

L M N O P

Q R S T U V

W X Y and Z

Now I know my A B C

Next time won’t you sing with me?

 

Old McDonald Had a Farm

Old McDonald had a farm,

E I E I O

And on that farm he had a dog,

E I E I O

With a woof-woof here 

And a woof-woof there

Here a woof, there a woof,

Everywhere a woof-woof.

Old McDonald had a farm,

E I E I O

 

Old McDonald had a farm,

E I E I O

And on that farm he had a sheep,

E I E I O

With a baa-baa here 

And a baa-baa there

Here a baa, there a baa,

Everywhere a baa-baa.

Old McDonald had a farm,

E I E I O

 

Old McDonald had a farm,

E I E I O

And on that farm he had a cow,

E I E I O

With a moo-moo here 

And a moo-moo there

Here a moo, there a moo,

Everywhere a moo-moo.

Old McDonald had a farm,

E I E I O

 

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the kings horses,

And all the king’s men,

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

 

If You’re Happy and You Know It

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands,

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands,

If you’re happy and you know and you really want to show it,

Happy and you know, it clap your hands.

 

If you’re happy and you know it stamp your feet,

If you’re happy and you know it stamp your feet,

If you’re happy and you know and you really want to show it,

Happy and you know, it stamp your feet.

 

If you’re happy and you know it turn around,

If you’re happy and you know it turn around,

If you’re happy and you know and you really want to show it,

Happy and you know, it turn around.

 

If you’re happy and you know it do all three,

If you’re happy and you know it do all three,

If you’re happy and you know and you really want to show it,

Happy and you know, it do all three.

 

There Were 10 in the Bed

There were 10 in the bed and the little one said,

Roll over, roll over!

So they all rolled over and one fell out.

 

There were 9 in the bed and the little one said,

Roll over, roll over!

So they all rolled over and one fell out.

 

There were 8 in the bed and the little one said,

Roll over, roll over!

So they all rolled over and one fell out.

(And so on until…)

 

There was 1 in the bed and the little one said,

“Goodnight!”

 

Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Heads, shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes.

Heads, shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes.

And eyes and ears and mouth and nose,

Heads, shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes.

 

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.

Life is like a dream.

 

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.

If you see a crocodile, 

Don’t forget to scream.

 

Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream.

If you see a big giraffe,

Don’t forget to laugh.

 

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

1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive.

6,7,8,9,10 then I let it go again.

Why did you let it go?

Because it bit my finger so.

Which finger did it bite?

This little finger on my right.

Three Blind Mice

3 blind mice, 3 blind mice,

See how they run, see how they run.

They all ran after the farmer’s wife,

Who chopped off their tails with a carving knife.

Did you ever see such a thing in your life,

As 3 blind mice?

5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell down and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell down and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell down and bumped her head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed! 

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell down and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

One little monkey jumping on the bed,
He fell down and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
Put those monkeys into bed!

Hickory Dickory Dock

Hickory dickory dock

The mouse ran up the clock,

The clock struck one,

The mouse ran down.

Hickory dickory dock.

 

Hey Diddle Diddle

Hey, diddle diddle,

The cat and the fiddle.

The cow jumped over the moon.

The little dog laughed.

To see such fun,

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

 

Pat-A-Cake, Pat-A-Cake, Baker’s Man

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man,

Bake me a cake as fast as you can.

Pat it and prick it and mark it with B,

And put it in the over for baby and me.

 

 

If you enjoyed these nursery rhymes and rhyming songs…

…make rhyme and song time part of your bedtime routine. Or sing songs together in the car – no one else can hear you in there!

It’s such an easy way to help your child build the skills they need for learning – and you’ll both love it.

Related: 5 essential pre-reading skills your preschool child needs for reading success

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