Jack Be Nimble
- Change Jack to the Child's name. For example, "Shelly be nimble, Shelly be quick. Shelly jump over the candlestick." Then let her jump over the candle. You can also add words. "Shelly jump over the red candlestick." or "Shelly jump over two candlesticks."
Little Boy Blue
- This is a great one to teach prepositions. He's under the haystack fast asleep. or He's behind the haystack fast asleep. You can use on top of, in front of, beside. Have a picture of Little Boy Blue and the haystack so that when you recite the words and use a different preposition, the child can put little boy blue where he belongs. If you are working on colors, you can recite Little Boy Red/Yellow/Green. If you're working on pronouns, you can recite Little Girl Blue, she's somewhere around the haystack
This Little Piggy Went to Market
- It's OK to change the words using different animals and different nouns/verbs. Put some choices on a board and let the child choose. For example,This little sheep went to school, This little sheep stayed home, This little sheep ate cake and ice cream, This little sheep had none, This little sheep cried/laughed/yelled 'baa-baa-baa' all the way home.
1,2 Buckle/Tie My Shoe and 1,2,3,4,5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive
- If you're working on numbers, 1,2 Buckle/Tie My Shoe and 1,2,3,4,5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive, are wonderful. Have the numbers and point to them as you say them.
Polly Put the Kettle On
- Ask the child what his/her favorite food is, then change the name, cooking utensil, and food. For example, Lenora put the pan on, Lenora put the pan on, Lenora put the pan on and we'll all have pizza. You can also change the food item name in Peas porridge hot.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, by Eric Carle
- Cut out foam animals in the appropriate colors to go with the animals in the rhyme. The children can use them as visual and tactile cues. The children who already know their names and the rhyme can pick them out of a box to change the order of the animals in the rhyme.
Bingo, (B-I-N-G-O) Variations
- Replace Bingo with children's names to teach the spelling of their names.
use letter flash cards as an aid.
- Replace Bingo with animals and teach the spelling of cat, horse, cow, etc.
- To teach addresses sing: There was a mailman had a letter going to my house-o. 24 Sunset St, 24 Sunset St. 24 Sunset St and that is where I live-o.
Jack and Jill
- Using rhymes that are meaningful and can be matched with movements can be incorporated into co-treatment sessions with OT, PT, and SLPs. Set up a rug covered ramp, connected to a tire swing with a big blue ball inside it, a rope hanging down over it, and a soft "blob" to jump in. We sing, as we encourage them to go through the motions and sing along with us…
Jack and Jill, went up the hill (the child walks up the ramp and climbs up onto the ball)
to fetch a pail of water (the child holds onto the rope)
Jack fell down (the child jumps onto the blob)
and broke his crown
(touch the child's head to help with the meaning)
and Jill came tumbling after (the child rolls out of the blob).
The movements and nursery rhymes are repeated many times. The activities work on OT issues as well as various language issues and can be very motivating.
Little Miss Muffet
- Props: Huge spider (large flat spider out of construction paper), bowl and spoon, chair for Miss Muffett
Recite the rhyme, as the children act it out. After several repetitions, the children usually join in reciting the rhyme.
Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey. (child sitting on chair pretending to eat with spoon and bowl)
And along came a spider and sat down beside her (another child carries spider towards Miss Muffet and stands beside her with the spider)
And frightened Miss Muffet away. (child playing Miss Muffet runs away).
- This rhyme can also be used to teach pronouns and prepositions by replacing (on her/his tuffet, under a bridge, beside a tree and sat down beside can be changed to sat in front of, next to) You can change the attributes big hairy spider, little blue spider
- Little Mr. Muffet sat on his tuffet eating his curds and whey.
- Along came a spider and sat down beside him And frightened Mr. Muffet away.