Funny Nursery Rhymes
This section of our website is dedicated solely to funny nursery rhymes that will leave your little ones in fits of giggles! If you’re stuck for ways to entertain your child and make them laugh, this is the place for you; we have a large collection of wonderfully silly, funny nursery rhymes which will amuse and delight children of all ages.
In other parts of this site, we’ve discussed the educational benefits of reciting nursery rhymes to your kids; however, the laughter induced by these poems and songs can be just as important. A sense of humour isn’t something we are born with – it’s actually a quality that we develop during childhood. The ability to recognise funny situations and behaviour is hugely beneficial for children; it can help them to be more playful and creative, and can encourage them to look at things from a different perspective. It also ensures that they don’t take trivial problems too seriously, and are able to have a chuckle when things go a bit wrong. This is an important coping skill which will be of great use to them as they grow up.
The simple act of giggling at a silly character in a nursery rhyme can also promote spontaneity and a more positive outlook. Children who are able to laugh easily are less likely to become worriers as they get older, or get upset over everyday issues. There are even some physical health benefits to chuckling at funny nursery rhymes; little ones who laugh often tend to have stronger immune systems and are therefore less prone to colds and bugs.
And whilst all kinds of nursery rhymes can be used to bond with your family, nothing quite rivals having a giggle with your child over a particularly amusing poem or song. It’s one of the simplest ways to create happy memories and bring some fun into your daily lives. Even if it’s been ‘one of those days’ and both you and your little ones are feeling a bit cranky, a short, funny nursery rhyme can help to diffuse tension – it’s hard to stay cross when you see your child smiling and laughing! Enjoying a silly joke together can help to nurture emotional connections, as it triggers positive feelings and a sense of bonding.
There are many variations on funny nursery rhymes, but they all have a few features in common; they typically include lots of alliteration and, of course, rhyming. For infants and toddlers, the musical quality of the words and the repetition of certain sounds is often enough to cause fits of laughter. However, children in this age group– that is, those aged three and under, have been shown to be especially partial to physical humour, particularly when it is combined with the element of surprise (such as a ‘peek-a-boo’) at some point. Acting out certain parts of the nursery rhymes is a great way to incorporate some physical comedy – you could, for example, clap and tap a table surface as you sing ‘Pat a cake, pat a cake, baker’s man’, or play ‘peek-a-boo’ whilst reciting ‘Pop goes the weasel’.
If you have a lot of toys lying around, you could also use these as part of your ‘performance’; a stuffed sheep toy could be used for ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’, or stuffed cat toy for ‘Three Little Kittens’. However, you don’t have to spend money buying new toys for this; get creative and use whatever ‘props’ you happen to have to hand in your home, whether it’s a spoon and a dish for ‘Hey Diddle, Diddle’, or a boiled egg with a smiley face drawn on it for ‘Humpty Dumpty’!
For children aged four and up, incongruity between sounds and pictures tends to bring on shrieks of laughter – so for instance, when singing ‘Old McDonald’, if you say the cow goes ‘baa’ and the sheep goes ‘moo’, your child will most likely find this very funny. This is also another opportunity to teach them, as they can correct you when you mix up the sounds and animals. On a similar note, perhaps one of the biggest draws of funny nursery rhymes is that they often have an element of nonsensicalness about them; an old woman living inside of a shoe, or in the case of ‘Hey Diddle, Diddle’ there’s a spoon and a dish running away together, and farmyard animals jumping over the moon! This is exactly the type of tale that children love; silly, fun and a little bit strange!