rating button
Nursery rhymes | ABCs and nursery rhymes | Birmingham City Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check out the latest advice, service disruptions, information and support about Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest updates

Nursery rhymes

Nursery Rhymes (also known as Mother Goose rhymes) are a collection of traditional songs passed on from adults to very young children. Consisting of bright, simple tunes and short verses, nursery rhymes and lullabies are usually a child's first introduction to the rhythm of speech and language.

The majority of the traditional nursery rhymes sung today were invented in the 18th and 19th centuries. Comical rhymes, nonsense verse and riddles appear widely in chapbooks, the earliest books published specifically for children.

Many have speculated on the origins of nursery rhymes, sometimes attributing them to political events or historical figures. It is far more likely that some rhymes started life as early ballads and poems that were merged or adapted to become singing games for children. Many nursery rhymes still promote early learning, introducing basic concepts such as numbers and the alphabet.