Rhymes for Year1

These Rhymes are excellent for encouraging speaking and listening. Easily learned by heart, they make a very useful support to the development of memory and of comprehension when reading short texts. Children can perform these Poems or Rhymes, or they can simply read, learn and enjoy them.

Supporting documents for set
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A Ship came from China

A ship came from China with a cargo of tea, All laden with presents for you and for me... This is a 4 lined rhyme with rhyming couplets. Children can replace the noun and verb in lines 3 and 4 to create their own version.

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As I was going out one day

As I was going out one day
My head fell off and rolled away.....
A nonsense rhyme told in seven lines that will surely make the children laugh.

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Bags for shopping, bags for walking,
Bags to hold a mobile for talking....
This rhyme takes the form of a list poem, with repetition occurring at the start of each line. Containing dozens of reasons to use a bag, this is an excellent one for children to add their own ideas

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Bear was Afraid

Bear was afraid,
sitting in the dark.
Heard a scary noise,
a short, deep bark....
There are 16 short lines to this rhyme, with opportunities for simple actions to aid in learning this. The lines 'Bear was afraid' and 'Bear hid his eyes' each crop up twice, capturing Bear's reaction to his discomfort!

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Bold the Bad

Bold the bad, Bold the beast,
Bold the cat who loves a feast....
These two lines begin each verse, though the second verse shows a contrast in the the cat's behaviour. Children could reflect this in their tone and volume as they recite.

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Bold the Thief

Once there was a cat called Bold who was a terrible thief...
This takes the form of a short story in five sentences about all the things Bold stole. Children could add their own ideas to the list of items he stole.

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Bold the Thief Rap

Bold was a cat, a ginger cat;
A prowling, growling, yowling cat...
This is a rhyme in six verses and the first verse appears three times like a chorus. It is a catchy and rhythmic rap is based on the previous story, Bold the Thief.

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Boris the Bat Rap

Boris the bat, he’s the coolest guy,
when night-time comes, just watch him fly....
This is a rap told in four verses with the first and last being the same. There are lots of examples of words rhyming with 'guy', an excellent use of phonics in context. The third verse containing a different rhyming scheme.

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Can you Walk on Tip-Toe?

Can you walk on tip-toe
As softly as a cat?....
This rhyme contains similes and repetition at the start of each of the three verses, giving children the option of creating their own 'Can you...?' with accompanying actions.

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Clap your Hands

Clap your hands, clap your hands,
Clap them just like me...
A simple and effective rhyme containing five verses each with two lines. With the recurring rhyming patterns of each second line and repetition in each verse, children can again add their own ideas and actions following the pattern.

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I had five stones
I threw them on the floor
One rolled away
Then there were four...
Each verse describes how the little boy loses one stone at a time.This rhyme also reinforces the concept of subtracting one each time. Use stones (or something softer!) to demonstrate as the children recite the rhyme

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When I was sick and lay-a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head....
A classic rhyme by Robert Louis Stevenson in four verses in rhyming couplets. Children will see how the child, who is ill in bed, uses his imagination with the help of his bed covers and available toys.

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Favourite T-Shirt

My favourite T-shirt is:
My rainbow coloured shirt...

There are seven short verses beginning with the same first line and after learning, children could replace the second line with their own ideas. Alternately, each child could recite a verse until all have announced their favourite shirt,

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Hurry up, Sally!

Hurry up, Sally!
Don’t be so slow.
Come on, Sally!
We’re waiting to go...
There are 16 lines.The first line repeats 3 more times and as the rhyme continues, children can reflect the sense of growing impatience as they recite.

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Hush-a-bye Baby

Hush-a-bye, baby, on the tree top, When the wind blows, the cradle will rock....
This is the traditional four line rhyme in rhyming couplets. Children enjoy adding actions to this all-time favourite. Perhaps they can discuss what places count as safe for sleeping babies!

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Hush Little Baby

Hush little baby, don't say a word,
Papa's going to buy you a mockingbird....
This is a traditional rhyme with 16 lines of rhyming couplets and repetition.

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I had a Little Brother

I had a little brother
His name was Tiny Tim
We put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim...
This rhyme is told from a child's perspective about what actually happened to his baby brother. The rhyming pattern continues in this way and there are elements of repetition later on.

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I Hate Mornings!

I hate mornings,
getting out of bed.
I like snuggling in,
like a sleepy-head!
The rhyme told in 16 line, continues with this pattern of what the child hates and likes. Very appealing to children and easy to add their own likes and dislikes.

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I Hear Thunder

I hear thunder,
I hear thunder.
Hark don’t you?
Hark don’t you?...
Children can use the well-known tune of Frere Jacques to aid with this rhyme in three verses. Almost every line is repeated, matching that well-known song.

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I really want to be a Cat

I really want to be a cat,
what’s so very wrong with that?...
These first two lines reappear at the end, after three other verses, written in rhyming couplets. After the first reading, children could try to guess who or what wishes they were a cat!

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If You're Happy

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands...
This all-time favourite comprises three verses, although children could create their own ideas and actions to compose more.

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Incy Wincy Spider

Incey wincey spider
Climbed up the
water spout.
Down came the rain
And washed the
spider out..
Here is the traditional rhyme about the spider, which can be enhanced with finger actions. The rhyme is an excellent addition to any topic work on spiders.

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The Jack-in-the-box jumps up like this
He makes me laugh as he waggles his head....
Written in four lines, this fun rhyme includes suggested actions. A good addition to any topic work on toys.

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Jelly on a Plate

Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate,
Wibble wobble, wibble wobble,
Jelly on a plate...
There are three additional, lesser- known verses added to this rhyme, with onomatopoeia in each. This will get children thinking about words to describe sounds that different objects make.

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Late, Late

Late, late,
late for school.
Teacher’s cross
I feel a fool!...
Each section of the rhyme begins with 'late, late,' and comprises 16 short lines, sure to make children giggle. During the first reading out loud, encourage children to complete every fourth line, perhaps leading to a discussion about their own experiences.

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Little Miss Muffet

Little Miss Muffet
sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds
and whey...
A traditional nursery rhyme in eight lines. Children may be interested to learn the definition of a 'tuffet' (and compare to a modern equivalent) as well as 'curds and whey'.

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Miss Polly

Miss Polly had a dolly
who was sick, sick, sick....
There are 16 lines to this rhyme, with alternating lines rhyming and the word at the end of every second line repeating. Children could be encouraged to create actions for these.

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New Shoes

New shoes new shoes
Red and pink and blue shoes....
There are four verses about different types of new shoes, with the penultimate words of each line rhyming, just before the word 'shoes' reappears each time.
Some simple actions could accompany each line.

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Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I’ve been up to London to look at the queen...
This traditional nursery rhyme contains three more verses, with a rhyming couplet pattern.Two children, or two groups of children, could recite this together as dialogue.

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Old shirt,
New shirt,
Spotted red
And blue shirt....
There are four verses like this, with the catchy rhythmic pattern. Children could create a shape poem to match their ideas of different shirt types.

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There was a boy who lay in bed,
he really was a sleepy-head!
The rhyme tells the story of a lazy boy who eventually learnt his lesson about getting up. There is repetition in each line until the boy breaks his habit and so the pattern is changed. Children will enjoy relating to this rhyme.

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Slippery, silvery, slinky snake
Slithering over the sand....
There are eight lines to this rhyme with clear examples of alliteration. A good introduction to this poetic device to encourage children to think of their own.

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Something came in at the window,
Something came in at the door....
There are two verses with alternate lines rhyming. This rhyme could generate lots of discussion from children as to what this 'something' is.

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Sometimes I Feel Afraid

Sometimes I feel afraid …
Oh no! There’s a repulsive, repugnant and utterly horrible spider!...
These first two lines are repeated over again but with different creatures.. A good speaking and listening challenge to practise and pronounce this advanced vocabulary.

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Teddy Bear

Teddy bear, teddy bear
Play with me.
Teddy bear, teddy bear
Happy as can be.....
There are four verses following this pattern, with the second and fourth lines changing each time.

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Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear

Teddy bear, teddy bear
cuddly as can be.
Teddy bear, teddy bear
a friend to me....
As this rhyme mirrors the pattern of the previous rhyme, Teddy Bear, children could add these verses to the former to build up the length of this. Invite children to act out with their own teddies.

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The Beehive

Here is the beehive.
Where are the bees?...
Told in eight lines, with alternately rhyming lines, this is helpful for children who need a little extra practice with counting.

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The Big Old Key

There’s a big old key that was lying on the ground;
There’s a big old key I am lucky to have found...
There are two verses each with four lines and each line begins in this way.

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The Dark Wood

In the dark, dark wood, there was a dark, dark house,
And in that dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room...
There are six lines to this rhyme, which follow this pattern until the end. Upon the first read aloud, children could guess what is actually in the box. Ideal for Hallowe'en and children could add extra lines in the style of the rhyme.

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The Jumblies

They went to sea in a Sieve, they did,
In a Sieve they went to sea...

A well-loved nonsense poem in six verses by Edward Lear. Each verse ends with the the same 4 lines, enabling children to learn this fun and challenging rhyme.

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The Lamplighter

My tea is nearly ready
And the sun has left the sky;
It’s time to take the window
To see Leerie going by...

This is a rhyme from ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ by Robert Louis Stevenson. There are three verses that follow this rhyming pattern, recounting the child's admiration of the lamplighter.

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The Ostrich

Here is the ostrich straight and tall,
Nodding his head above us all....

There are six pairs of rhyming couplets about various animals, including suggested actions for each one.

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The Quangle Wangle's Hat

On the top of the Crumpetty Tree
The Quangle Wangle sat,
But his face you could not see,
On account of his Beaver Hat....

There are six delightful verses in this Edward Lear poem. Children will be delighted by the creatures' strange requests of the Quangle Wangle.

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Three Little Monkeys

Three little monkeys
were jumping on the bed,
One fell off and
bumped her head;

Each of these three verses has a repetitive wording and rhyming pattern. The last line of each is a little different, with the aim that children take away a lesson about safety!

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Today I Saw a Little Worm

Today I saw a little worm
Wriggling on his belly....

A short rhyme with four lines by Spike Milligan which children will love repeating to everyone.

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!...
There are four verses each with four lines adapted from original version by Lewis Carroll. This is an excellent addition to any topic work on nocturnal creatures.

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Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star!
How I wonder what you are!

Here is the much-loved traditional nursery rhyme.

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Up and Down

Up and down, up and down,
All the way to London town....

There are three rhyming pairs like this with various well-known places mentioned. Children could be encouraged to compose their own simple lines to include places they have visited.

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Who Stole the Cookie?

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
Jack stole the cookie from the cookie jar...
Excellent for developing rhythm and concentration. This is a fun rhyme to chant in a circle so each child has a chance to deny thieving! The last person could come up with an admission or an excuse!

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Windy Nights

Whenever the moon and stars are set,
Whenever the moon is high...
A verse taken from Robert Louis Stevenson's work. There are six lines in the verse: the first four alternate rhyme and the last two are rhyming couplets. The rhythm reflects the galloping horse which helps with reciting.