Don't forget Baa Baa Black Sheep! This is such a simple rhyme – and it has lasted the ages for good reason. Listen carefully to the patterns (or rhythms) made by the words.
In Baa Baa Black Sheep, you could replace the first words with “walk walk walk walk running running walk”.
It allows children to hear very simple rhythmic patterns that they themselves can master in their movement.
Children respond to this – it is often one of the first nursery rhymes we hear children clapping.
As the rhyme progresses, the patterns become slightly more complex (“one for the master” becomes "Walkrunning Walk walk, walk, running, walk”), but they never deviate from these two very simple rhythms.
In music terms, these are crotchets and quavers. For children, we use walk and running and it makes perfect to sense to them as they make sense of the world through their whole bodies.
Nursery rhymes have a very important role to play in our children’s development!