Welcome to Bookbug's Song and Rhyme Library

Why we made our Song and Rhyme Library

Bookbug aims to help every child in Scotland develop a lifelong love of books and reading, and to encourage families to talk, read, sing and rhyme together. All of these things can help support children’s overall development – especially their language and communication skills. Children naturally love music. Singing, and joining in with music also helps them in key areas including: literacy, numeracy, motor skills, vocabulary, and social skills. Most importantly – singing is fun!

There are CDs in each of the Bookbug Bags but families told us that they can’t always remember the tune, words and actions to songs. It can also be hard to know how to start singing and rhyming with young babies and children. We came up with the idea of filming songs and rhymes for our website to help support families feel more confident to sing and rhyme with their baby or child.

We hope these videos help you:

  • Learn a new song or rhyme or remember a forgotten favourite.
  • Give you new ideas about how you can adapt songs and rhymes to suit your family. 
  • Inspire you to spend more time singing and rhyming.

How to use these videos

There is no right or wrong way to use these videos. You may want to watch the video a few times to learn the words, tune or actions. Try different songs and rhymes and see which ones your child enjoys. There are also songs and rhymes to suit different moods or times of the day, such as bedtime, play times and even meal times.

For each video, there are suggestions on how you could adapt the song or rhyme and the actions and movements depending on your child’s age.

If you’re a practitioner working with families, you may want to download this document to share with them

Tips for singing and rhyming

  • Sing or say the rhyme clearly and slowly – give children a chance to join in.
  • Add an action or movement. This can be simple like wiggling fingers or gently bouncing, or more active like walking in a circle or doing big actions.
  • Try some songs and rhymes while you and your child are face to face. Your child will love seeing what you’re doing! Face to face interaction also helps support social and emotional development. 
  • Children’s voices are still developing and they will find it easier to sing along to songs that are pitched a bit higher than where most adults sing. Try to sing in the same pitch as if you were using a baby talk voice. Watch this video clip for more information: http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/what-should-we-sing-with-young-children
  • Make up your own words or add your own verses to a familiar song or rhyme. Children love to giggle so have fun – the sillier the better! 
  • If you’re not confident with singing, you can hum. This is also a great way to help calm and soothe a child to sleep. 
  • Children love repetition! You can mix it up by doing songs or rhymes louder and quieter or faster and slower.

How songs and rhymes support learning

  • Songs and rhymes help children hear the individual sounds which make up words. This is important because children learn how sounds combine to form words. This helps them learn to speak and read.
  • Rhyming words are important. Being able to hear and say rhymes helps to support a child’s reading development.
  • Songs and rhymes with actions help children to develop their fine and gross motor skills. This is an important part of learning. 
  • Try using songs and rhymes throughout the day as a way to establishing routines. Gentle tickling rhymes like ‘This Little Piggy’ are good at changing time or ‘Five Little Ducks’ for bath time. 
  • Most importantly – songs and rhymes are fun! Children naturally love joining in and songs and rhymes are more likely to get their attention than a speaking voice.


Sharing songs and rhymes with children with additional support needs

Adding multi-sensory elements to songs and rhymes can make them even more engaging to children, particularly those with sensory impairments, learning difficulties or other additional needs. Find ways to bring songs and rhymes to life with sensory elements in our resource for families and practitioners.

For more information and tips on singing with children, watch these videos: