Unlike your newest slow cooker or high-tech blender, children do not come with an instruction manual. First-time parents are navigating through their offspring’s childhood almost blindly, making mistakes and having plenty of triumphs along the way.
But what parents can rely on are creative and fun ways to teach their little ones all about the world around them. And nursery rhymes featuring food are not only a great way to teach them about eating a healthy, nutritious diet, they can also explain some of the confusing things that happen in their little lives. Here are a few of our favorite rhymes and some lessons that can be derived from them.
Little Miss Muffet
Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet
Eating her curds and whey
Along came a spider
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
Lesson: Not only is this a great chance to explain what curds and whey are (or possibly find out for yourself), it is a great way to teach kids a thing or two about strangers. Use this little rhyme to tell you kids to always be wary of strangers who speak to them when their parents aren’t around, and tell them to get away as fast as they can if that stranger makes them feel unsafe.
I'm a little teapot
Short and stout
Here is my handle
Here is my spout
When I get all steamed up
Hear me shout
Just tip me over and pour me out!
Lesson: Aside from teaching the kids how tea works, this rhyme can be used as a warning to kids who are curious and like to touch things. They should always use the “safe” part of the teapot like the handle and not the other parts which could burn them.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the King's men
Could not put Humpty together again.
Lesson: If you have a little adventurer on your hands, use this rhyme to warn them about the consequences of climbing too high (in the literal sense, not the spiritual or metaphorical sense).
Little Jack Horner
Little Jack Horner sat in the corner
Eating his Christmas pie,
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum
And said "What a good boy am I!"
Lesson: This is an excellent example of poor table manners.