Teaching Songs and Rhymes

Teaching songs and rhymes is important to pre-primary children for various reasons. Many child experts believe that children who are able to sing a good number of rhyme songs become good readers and spellers in later years.


Rhymes and songs also help children improve their oral language skills and phonemic awareness. Moreover, rhymes give children practice in pitch, volume as well as in language rhythm. They also expand your child’s imagination. Most importantly, rhymes are easy to repeat, so they become some of a child’s first sentences. In addition, nursery rhymes are fun and help improve a child’s vocabulary.

Three steps for teaching songs and rhymes to pre-primers

1. Pre-activity or warm up

  • To introduce a new song, find the time when the children are joyful and relaxed.
  • Choose a song you want to introduce.
  • Make a plan for its presentation with suitable pictures, posters and story books.
  • Talk about the picture or the previous song or tell a story about the song to make them ready for listening to its lyrics and tune.

2.  Listening and singing

  • Listening comes before singing or speaking. So, let the children listen to the song.
  • You can play the song from a CD or DVD or sing it to them.
  • It is good to introduce the audio form first, and then its video.
  • Don’t ask the children to sing along the lines when the children listen to the song for the first
    time. Yet, they can if they want to.
  • Encourage them to remember the lyrics and the tune. So play the same song over and over.
  • For the lyrics – let them repeat the lyrics after you.
  • For the tune – let them listen to the song again and again or teach them humming.
  • Start at the beginning and help them learn it chunk by chunk. Dance around and be silly while you learn. Keep it fun. Use a cartoon character or puppet as well.
  • Let them sing with you or repeat after the CD.
  • After the children are able to sing, then introduce some hand motions (actions) or dance.
  • Add instruments – bells, rattles, shakers, tambourines, rain sticks or a pipe whistle, guitar, etc.
  • Get your child rocking, marching, rolling, tapping, clapping, and moving to the beat.
  • Let them sing in groups or individually with some actions.

3. Post-activity

  • Tell them to sing the song to their parents.
  • Speed up the tune (fast, slow) for the practice of speech organs.
  • Change the lyrics for fun, creativity and language learning.
  • Use the same rhyme or song with different pictures (visual literacy).

Why songs and rhymes?

• … for capturing inspiring young minds and engaging them with vocabulary and language skills.
• …for contributing to a child’s spatial development when used with music and movement.
• …for making lessons fun, entertaining and soothing.
• …for developing reading and social skills.
• …for social and emotional development.
• …for physical development (muscle skills, balance and co-ordination).


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