Babies love repetition and nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce babies to music and rhythms. Babycentre has an article on the site about why repetition is important. There are so many to choose from but the following are my top five nursery rhymes for babies. You can sing along by yourself or add instruments such as rattles. As the baby gets older they can take over the instrument playing themselves.

Beth playing along to nursery rhymes

Best Nursery Rhymes for babies

Round and Round The Garden

Round and round the garden
Like a teddy bear
One step, two step
Tickle you under there!

When to sing – this is a great nursery rhymes to sign when baby is having a nappy change.

Actions to use – trace your finger tips across babies tummy as you sing the first two lines. Then walk fingers up chest to eventually give them a little tickle on the neck or under their arms.

This Little Piggy

This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed at home
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none
And this little piggy went
Wee, Wee, Wee, all the way home

When to sing – this is best sung when baby isn’t wearing any socks.

Actions to use – pretend each toe is a little piggy, play with each toe as you sing that line. When you get to last piggy, run your fingers up your baby’s body and give a little tickle.

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.

When to sing – one of the best nursery rhymes for babies, sung as a lullaby at nap or bed time.

Actions to use – clench and open your hand repeatedly to symbolise a star over your babies eyes.

Old MacDonald had a Farm

Old MacDonald had a farm
And on his farm he had a cow
With a moo moo here
And a moo moo there
Here a moo, there a moo
Everywhere a moo moo
Old MacDonald had a farm

…..repeat lyrics exchanging farm animals and their sounds.

When to sing – a lively nursery rhyme best sang when baby is active. Babies love the animal noises.

Actions to use – use different actions for each animal on the farm. With cows use your hands to sign antlers above your head, with pigs sign a snout and with chicken use your arms to sign wings.

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses,
And all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

When to sing – another nursery rhyme to sing at play time.

Actions to use – put baby on your knees and bounce them up and down, with a big bounce during Humpty Dumpty’s fall.

If your baby responds to nursery rhymes at home, it may be worth exploring Rhyme Time at your local library.



The Pramshed

Across the country local libraries hold weekly events for little ones called Rhyme Time. We often go to our local library’s session when we don’t have any other plans with friends.

Beth enjoying the instruments at Rhyme Time

During the session there are nursery rhymes, simple stories, songs and finger rhymes. They are usually free and last about 30 minutes, depending on your area. The age limit they allow may be different depending on council but Rhyme Time is usually suitable for up to and including three-year olds. Both of my two daughters (2 years old and 9 months old) seem to enjoy and get a lot from the session.

Rhyme time is a great way to introduce your child to utilising a local library, whilst enjoying learning popular nursery rhymes. Repeating nursery rhymes have proven to be great for language development. They have a consistent rhythm which helps hold the child’s attention. The repetition makes it easy for them to learn a variety of words, which is good for their speech development. It is also a nice way of introducing babies and toddlers to their local library and encourages them to pick up and read books.

Favourite rhymes at our library include Old MacDonald, Zoom Zoom Zoom, Five Little Ducks and The Hokey Cokey!

Just as a warning Rhyme Time is usually a ticketed event (ours is always full) so you need to get there on time and get a ticket from a member of staff.