Action Rhymes

Action Rhymes

Some Action Rhymes are just traditional nursery rhymes that have actions. They then become exciting games for your toddler. Here we give you some nursery rhyme lyrics that can be used in this way.

First up is this most popular nursery rhyme game. The action for winding the bobbin is; moving hands in front of your body in a clockwise circular motion . Each hand chases the other. When you get to the second verse of winding it back again you just reverse the direction.

The rest of the actions are obvious.


Wind the bobbin up
Wind the bobbin up
Pull pull clap clap clap

Wind it back again
Wind it back again
Pull pull clap clap clap

Point to the ceiling
Point to the floor
Point to the window
Point to the door

Clap, your hands together 1, 2, 3
And put your hands upon your knees.


This is a brilliant action rhyme for toddler exercise. Just touch the parts mentioned in the song. It is not a classic nursery rhyme but more in the vein of preschool songs or early childhood activities.

Hea…d, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Hea…d, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Hea…d, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

You might remember that when you were a kid you used to miss out a word each time you repeated the song. I just sing the whole thing to little ones. But remembering to hum in place of words keeps it interesting for older children.

This next toddler song is a great rainy day activity (or any time really).


The wheels on the bus go round and round
Round and round, round and round
The wheels on the bus go round and round
All day long (US version: All through the town)

And here are the other verses….
2. The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish.
3. The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep.
4. The doors on the bus go open and shut, open and shut, open and shut.
5. The children on the bus jump up and down, up and down, up and down.
6. The babies on the bus go waa waa waa, waa waa waa, waa waa waa.
7. The mummies on the bus sing I love you, yes I do, I love you.
8. The daddies on the bus go nod, nod, nod.


O..pen and shut them,
O..pen and shut them,
Give a little clap,
O..pen and shut them,
O..pen and shut them,
Put.. them in your lap,
Roll them, roll them, roll them
Roll.. them like this,
Shake them, shake them, shake them,
Blow.. a little kiss.


Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,
Bakers man,
Bake me a cake,
As fast as you can,
Pat it and pick it and mark it with ‘B’,
And put it in the oven for baby and me.

Actions: Face your toddler and show her how to hold up their hands in front of them with their palms facing you. Then clap and a pat your child’s hand in a steady rhythm throughout the nursery rhyme.


One, Two, Three, Four, Five
Once I caught a fish alive
Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten
Then I let it go again

Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right


This spider is known as Itsy Bitsy Spider in the USA

Incy Wincy Spider climbed the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
So Incy Wincy Spider climbed up the spout again

When he knows these action rhymes your toddler will be able to tell you which one he wants even before he learns to talk!

Do you forget nursery rhymes when you need them the most?

Would you like some ‘on the spot’ toddler entertainment activity cards? These handy cards remind you of activities and nursery rhymes that can be done wherever you and toddler are.

You can get a FREE download of these fantastic activity cards.

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