Bookbug Detective: Songs and rhymes for little ones

Parent and child, Image by Paul Watt
Category: Bookbug

The Bookbug Detective is here to help you with any questions you have about books and reading for your little one. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions so far. The Detective has selected a question to answer below. If you'd like some book recommendations or advice send the Bookbug Detective an email, or post your question in the comments below!

I’d like to do more songs and rhymes with my 1-year-old daughter but I don’t know many. Which ones would you recommend and how would I learn them? Claire

It’s great that you’re keen to sing and rhyme with your little one. It’s so good for children to have early exposure to songs and rhymes as it will help immensely with their literacy and language development. And more importantly, they’re lots of fun, which will boost their excitement about language and their desire to read and write.

The first thing I’d suggest (and I’m obviously biased) is to go along to your local Bookbug Session.

The first thing I’d suggest (and I’m obviously biased) is to go along to your local Bookbug Session. These are friendly story, song and rhyme sessions that are run in libraries and other community venues. They’re also absolutely free. You can find out where your nearest session is on our website. If you’re a bit nervous about going along for the first time, why not go and chat to a Session Leader before the session starts? They're helpful and informative, and they’ll tell you a bit more about what to expect. Bookbug Sessions would be a great way for you and your daughter to learn lots of songs and rhymes together.

There are also lots of lovely nursery song and rhyme books and CDs available from libraries, bookshops and second hand shops. I’ve made a few recommendations below:

YouTube is a great way to learn the words and tunes to songs you’re not familiar with. You can also listen to our Bookbug Baby CD, Pirate CD and other songs and rhymes online.

You could also try fitting songs and rhymes into your daily routine. This can be a great way to calm children at potentially stressful times. Here are some examples:



Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Ally Bally

Rock-a-bye Baby

Illustration by Cate James



Jelly on a Plate

Pop a Little Pancake

Bananas Unite!


On the move

The Wheels on the Bus

Rickety Rickety Rockety Horse

Big Red Bus



Five Little Ducks

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

One, Two, Three, Four, Five


You can make up silly rhymes of your own too, or sing along to your favourite tunes on the radio. I hope this helps. 

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Catch up on the previous Bookbug Detective blogs for advice on everything from sitting still for stories to reading with children of different ages.