Prep: 10 Minutes / Activity Time: 5 Minutes

When children memorize and recite nursery rhymes, it helps develop their phonological awareness skills. In this activity, you can provide a set of index cards that will help your child complete the rhyming parts of a familiar nursery rhyme.

  • index cards
  • glue
  • pictures: shoe, door, pile of sticks, sticks in a straight line, big fat hen
  • Optional: Refresh your nursery rhyme memory with the book Big Fat Hen


Step 1: Locate pictures of the rhyming words in the nursery rhyme, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (see rhyme below).  You will need these pictures: shoe, door, pile of sticks, sticks in a straight line, big fat hen. You can draw the pictures, find clip art pictures on your computer, or search magazines.  

Step 2:  If desired, glue the pictures onto index cards. 

Step 3:  Practice the nursery rhyme in advance, placing emphasis on the rhyming words.

1, 2 . . . Buckle my shoe

3, 4 . . . Shut the door

5, 6 . . . Pick up sticks

7, 8 . . . Lay them straight

9, 10 . . . A big fat hen


Step 1:  First, recite the nursery rhyme with your child. You may want to act out each verse.

Step 2:  After your child is familiar with the rhyme, place the rhyming picture cards on the table or floor in front of him.

Step 3:  Say the rhyme again, pausing before each rhyming word (i.e., shoe, door, sticks, straight, hen). Ask your child to complete the rhyme by picking up the rhyming word card and saying the rhyming word.  

Reduce the number of choices. Place just two rhyming word cards in front of your child at a time. 

Ask your child to say the entire nursery rhyme by himself