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World Nursery Rhyme Week 2023

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

Five Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day

It's World Nursery Rhyme Week! Check out this unedited video of me sharing an example of how to share a much loved nursery song. On many occasions I have noted educators and music teachers introducing a song with a lot of "blah blah blah, now we are going to do this with that song."

Developing early language and building on young children's intrinsic sense of curiosity can so easily be done with playful sounds relating to the topic. Watch the video as I rethink my approach! What changes did I make?

Yes! I used the topic (duck)'s sound as a clue - brilliant for non-verbal and children who speak English as an additional language. Sound play lets them in. Notice how I repeat certain phrases:

Repeated quacks.

It's a duck! Duck!

Shall we put it in the pond? Put it in the pond?

One little duck. One little duck QUACK!

Repeating the anchor word (duck) and associated words, reminds our children how it sounds, and together with the visual resources, ignites their imagination, and encourages creative expansion of the same topic.

In my view, most of the fun and subsequent learning is unlocked before the song is even sung. Imagine you are telling a story. You are unravelling its heart with snippets of sound, visuals and questions. Always ask questions! "Shall we put it in the pond? Shall we put it in the pond?" In my head, I am waiting for a child's response... nursery songs, rhymes and chants belong to the children, not you! "Is that a good place to put (duck) there? There?"

Now for the return of the ducklings... grab anything that makes a loud sound (spoons, boxes, the floor, wall, your tummy). Counting together is a fabulous way to spontaneously immerse numbers in music. I won't call it maths as I am not using maths as an excuse to do music!

For those who want to have a try, here is a link to the real song. Think about what you might do to introduce the song - long before you play it.

And if you would like to enjoy an animated version to this delightful nursery song head over to our Youtube Channel here.

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