Rhyme Challenge

Get singing, get rhyming, get talking, get reading…

The Rhyme Challenge is a fun way to introduce children and families to rhymes. Rhymes may be new to families or forgotten, and they require help to build up confidence to have a go themselves.

Young children learn best through seeing someone they know well doing things, and through repetition.

Rhymes can be shared almost anywhere – in the car or bus, the bath, in the supermarket. You can use rhymes during less popular activities to encourage children, for example, tidy up time, nappy changing, going to bed.

Latest news

Bradford Libraries is challenging under fives to take up the Rhyme Challenge again this year. Toddler groups, pre-schools, nurseries and children's centres are kicking off the challenge which involves parents and children learning five rhymes together.

The aim is for up to 4,000 children from Bradford to take part in the challenge once it is completed in March next year. The challenge will take place in libraries in the new year.

Come and join us and learn new rhymes with your child. If you complete this exciting 5 rhyme challenge in your library Bookstart Bear will be on hand to present your child with a beautiful certificate.

The challenge takes place over four sessions. One session will include a Tiny Signers or Jo Jingles taster! The challenge dates are:

Menston Library – 10.30am on Sat 7 & 21 Jan, 4 & 18 Feb
Burley Library – 2.30pm on Mon 9, 16, 23 & 30 Jan
Shipley Library – (pre-school) 10am on Weds 11, 18, 25 Jan & 1 Feb
Shipley Library – (babies) 10.45am on Weds 11, 18, 25 Jan & 1 Feb
Idle Library – 2pm on Mon 16, 23, 30 Jan & 6 Feb
Wyke Library – 2pm on Tues 17, 24, 31 Jan & 7 Feb
Wyke Library – 10am on Fri 20, 27 Jan & 3, 10 Feb
Bingley Library – 10.30am on Tues 24, 31 Jan & 7, 14 Feb
Baildon Library – 2.30pm on Thurs 26 Jan & 2, 9, 16 Feb
Clayton Library – 10am on Thurs 2, 9, 16 Feb & 2 Mar
Great Horton Library – 11am on Thurs 9, 16, 23 Feb & 2 Mar
Ilkley Library – 10.30am on Sat 4, 11, 18 Feb & 4 Mar
Holme Wood Library – 10am on Mon 6, 13, 27 Feb & 6 Mar
Eccleshill Library – 2pm on Mon 13, 27 Feb & 6, 13 Mar
Thornton Library – 2.45pm on Tues 14, 28 Feb & 7, 14 Mar
Keighley Library – 11am on Sat 25 Feb & 4, 11, 18 Mar
Silsden Library – 10.30am on Tues 28 Feb & 7, 14, 21 Mar
City Library – 10am on Weds 1, 8, 15, 22 Mar

Parents wanting to take part in the challenge can contact Bradford Libraries Early Years Development Officer on 01274 433684 to find out how to get involved.

Staff working with the children will also be in with a chance to win one of the Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Awards. Last year awards were given for best practice in libraries, toddler groups, children's centres and nurseries along with a special individual award. Parkland Children's Centre held a special Mini Music Makers to start the challenge with a visit from Bookstart Bear.

For more details contact your local library.

Many libraries run regular Rhyme Times, you can join in and have fun with other families.

This year's rhymes are available from the links on this page.

The benefits of rhymes…

  • Rhymes are often repetitive and make the words easier to learn, especially when they are sung. 
  • They are a fun way for a child to acquire language skills and great building blocks for future learning. 
  • Most rhymes involve some physical interaction, which adds fun, surprise and anticipation. 
  • They give children a sense of story with a beginning, middle and end and an awareness of sounds. 
  • Rhymes introduce numbers, colours, shapes, animals, parts of the body etc. 
  • Help develop concentration and listening skills. 
  • They help parents to overcome feeling shy or awkward when talking to very young children. 
  • Help parents and carers realise how important they are as their child’s first teacher. 
  • Sharing rhymes help bonding and togetherness between children and parents and carers.

Hints and tips

  • You can use the Challenge in the best way for your families. You may introduce a new rhyme each week, and include stories or other rhymes. Or you may want to learn a couple each week. 
  • If you have a small group split the pack and use the resources again. 
  • You may include some simple musical instruments or shakers. 
  • A props bag in is a great way for the children to take it in turns to choose additional rhymes to sing. 
  • Rhymes with actions can make everyone feel more like joining in, and keeps the children’s attention. 
  • Create a Rhyme Challenge notice board, with rhyme of the week, craft ideas, vote for your favourite rhymes etc 
  • Add a rhyme to any information or newsletters sent home. 
  • Play the rhymes on a music system to remind everyone of the tune – there are several versions of some rhymes. 
  • Invite the parents and children to add in extra verses – for example ‘wheels on the bus’ 
  • It is important not to embarrass any parents who feel they cannot sing the rhymes, talking them through is great too. 
  • Bring a group down to your local library and join all the children. You can take home rhyme books and board books. 
  • Finally have fun and don’t forget to celebrate the end of the Challenge with a party or event.

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