"Action rhymes" are just what they sound like--simple rhymes that have actions to accompany them. You know all those little hand gestures you've probably done as the "itsy bitsy spider climbs up the water spout"? Well, those are the kind of actions I'm talking about. Sometimes they require only your fingers or hands (like for the itsy bitsy spider), and other times they require more of your body.
One of my favorite places to find action rhymes is Highlights High Five, which is a fun and educational magazine for children ages 2 to 6. We have a subscription, and my four-year-old and six-year-old both love it.
The magazine publishes one action rhyme every issue, so a few weeks ago I pulled out about 10 back issues and opened each of them up to the action rhyme page. I read through all the rhymes, one by one, as my girls acted them out. On this particular occasion, the girls didn't even look at the illustrations, and it was so much fun to see them interpret the words on their own. And boy did they have a fabulous time!
The only mistake I made was doing all this just before bedtime. The girls were completely enthralled during the activity, but they continued bouncing around the house--including on their bed--for quite a while afterward as we tried (without success) to settle them down.
I was actually lucky enough to have one of my action rhymes published in the February 2011 issue of the magazine, so I wanted to share it with you here. Thanks, High Five, for allowing me to post the whole rhyme, illustrations and all...
Babybug (for toddlers), Ladybug (for children ages 3 to 6), and Turtle (for preschoolers) are a few more magazines that often publish action rhymes. I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones I'm most familiar with.
Do you have a favorite place to find action rhymes? Or a favorite way to incorporate this kind of poem into children's lives? I would love to know!