1st Edition

Supporting Early Learning through Rhymes and Stories

By Sarah Cousins, Hilary Minns Copyright 2024
    160 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    160 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book shows how adults can bring rhymes and stories to life with young children and support children’s early steps in communication and literacy. Focusing on the use of rhythm, rhyme and repetition in nursery rhymes and traditional tales from around the world, it provides a wealth of practical ideas for using rhymes and stories one-on-one, in small groups or with whole classes.

    Drawing from the culmination of their many years of combined experience, the two authors link the theoretical understanding of language and communication with the practical use of rhymes and oral storytelling in the classroom, nursery and at home. Early chapters (or Part I) provide a rationale for using rhyme, rhythm and repetition to inspire children to play with words and develop a love of language, building a foundation for literacy learning. Part II consists of ten lively chapters featuring original and re-imagined traditional fairy tales, containing:

    • Accompanying rhymes to use with children
    • Key themes including friendship, kindness, compassion and generosity
    • Follow-up activities activities for extending children’s vocabulary, building their confidence and developing critical thinking
    • Suggestions of using voices, facial expressions, gestures, props and puppets to enrich children’s emotional, imaginative and intellectual experience

    This delightful and practical book will be valuable reading for all adults wanting to support young children’s creative learning through enjoyable and valuable experiences.

    Part I Theoretical and pedagogical perspectives

    Chapter 1 The power of rhymes and stories and your role in bringing them to life

    Chapter 2 The importance of rhymes and stories for children's learning and development

    Chapter 3 The art of reciting rhymes and telling stories

    Part II Rhymes and stories

    Chapter 1 Boots and shoes

    Chapter 2 Baking bread

    Chapter 3 Growing things

    Chapter 4 Crocodiles and monkeys

    Chapter 5 Hungry little mice

    Chapter 6 Wind and sun

    Chapter 7 Precious toys and playthings

    Chapter 8 Water for life

    Chapter 9 Cats and kittens

    Chapter 10 Lots of billy goats



    Sarah Cousins (EdD) is an experienced early years teacher, leader, consultant and lecturer. She held various leadership roles at universities, including the University of Warwick. Sarah has published on love in early years, emotional and social learning in early years, mathematics anxiety and adult learning in Higher Education.

    Hilary Minns (PhD) was an early years teacher and headteacher of a primary school in the Midlands before becoming a lecturer at the University of Warwick. Her publications include works on young children's emergent literacy learning in a variety of historical, social and cultural settings.