Your child will learn and act out a popular nursery rhyme that teaches spatial concepts and positional words.
Download and print picture cards (available through the Download Resources link)
Start by introducing each item or picture to your child, asking him if he knows what it is or telling him what it is if he does not know. Talk about how the moon is up high in the sky at night when it’s dark outside. Then tell your child you are going to tell him a funny rhyme called “Hey, Diddle, Diddle.” See if he can repeat the name of the rhyme with you.
Recite the nursery rhyme and use the props to demonstrate the actions as you chant them.
Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed,
to see such sport,
and the dish ran away with the spoon.
Ask your child questions to familiarize him with the nursery rhyme and expand his understanding of the vocabulary words, such as cow, jump, moon, over, under, next to, behind, on top, cat, fiddle, dog, laugh, ran, dish, and spoon. Hold up each item or picture card when discussing the word. For example:
“Have you ever seen a moon at night?”
“What does a cow say?”
“How high can you jump?”
“Can you show me how you laugh?”
“A dish running—isn’t that silly?”
And so on.
Remember that it takes many repetitions for children to learn new rhymes and songs. You can expect that the first several times you do this activity, you may be the only one reciting the rhyme. If you encourage your child to say it with you, eventually he will learn it. Another way to help toddlers participate in the rhyme is to pause at the end of each line and encourage them to fill in the last word (e.g., “The cow jumped over the ____” or “The dish ran away with the ____.”).