Math Nursery Rhymes

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Math nursery rhymes can be a fun and engaging way to introduce mathematical concepts to preschoolers. Here are some ways in which math nursery rhymes can help preschoolers:

  1. Counting and Number Recognition: Nursery rhymes often involve counting objects or characters, such as “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” or “Five Little Ducks.” By saying these rhymes, preschoolers learn to count and recognize numbers in a playful way.
  2. Numerical Order: Rhymes like “This Old Man” or “Ten in the Bed” involve counting down or up, which helps preschoolers understand numerical order and sequencing.
  3. Basic Operations: Math nursery rhymes can introduce basic arithmetic operations. For example, “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” can be used to demonstrate subtraction as each monkey falls off the bed.
  4. Problem Solving and Critical Thinking: Some nursery rhymes contain puzzles or challenges that encourage critical thinking. Rhymes like “Hickory Dickory Dock” with its clock and mouse can prompt discussions about cause and effect or problem-solving strategies.
  5. Memory and Cognitive Skills: Reciting nursery rhymes helps improve memory skills as preschoolers try to remember the words and actions. The repetition and rhythm in rhymes also contribute to cognitive development.

By incorporating math nursery rhymes into their learning activities, preschoolers can develop early math skills in an enjoyable and memorable way. The rhymes provide a foundation for future mathematical concepts and help create a positive attitude towards math from an early age.

Download Printable Math Nursery Rhymes

You can download the math rhymes to print in either full color or black and white. Or, view the all of the rhymes below, organized by categories:

  • Counting to 5
  • Counting to 10
  • Simple Subtraction
  • Ordinal Numbers

Download: Full Color Math Rhymes

Download: Black & White Math Rhymes

Counting to 5 Rhymes

Here is the Beehive

Here is the beehive, 
Where are the bees? 
Hidden away where nobody sees. 
Watch and you’ll see them come out of the hive:
One…two…three…four…five! 
Buzz!

Five Piggies

“It’s time for my piggies to go to bed.”
The great big mother piggy said.
“So I will count them first to see
If all my piggies came back to me.
One little piggy, two little piggies, three little piggies dear
Four little piggies, five little piggies
Yes, they’re all here!”

Counting to 10 Rhymes

1 2 3 4 5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive

Get a nursery rhyme pack here

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 the right.

1 2 Buckle My Shoe

One, two,
Buckle my shoe;
Three, four,
Knock at the door;
Five, six,
Pick up sticks;
Seven, eight,
Lay them straight:
Nine, ten,
A big fat hen;
Eleven, twelve,
Dig and delve;
Thirteen, fourteen,
Maids a-courting;
Fifteen, sixteen,
Maids in the kitchen;
Seventeen, eighteen,
Maids a-waiting
Nineteen, twenty,
My plate’s empty

Ants Go Marching

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah.
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah.
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb.
And they all go marching down,
To the ground, to get out of the rain.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

[Repeat the rhyme by changing the numbers:
Two – tie her shoe
Three – Climb a tree
Four – Shut the door
Five – Take a dive
Six – Pick up sticks
Seven – Pray to heaven
Eight – Check the gate
Nine – Check the time
Ten – Say “The End!”]

This Old Man

This old man, he played one,
He played knick-knack on my thumb;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick-knack on my shoe;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick-knack on my door;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick-knack on my hive;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played six,
He played knick-knack on my sticks;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played seven,
He played knick-knack up in heaven;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played eight,
He played knick-knack on my gate;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played nine,
He played knick-knack on my spine;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played ten,
He played knick-knack once again;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give a dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

Simple Subtraction: Math Nursery Rhymes

Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree

Five little monkeys swinging in a tree
Teasing Mr Crocodile
‘You can’t catch me! No, you can’t catch me!’
Along came Mr. Crocodile
As quiet as can be…
SNAP!
Then there were…
Four little monkeys swinging in a tree

[Continue the rhyme with numbers 4, 3, 2…]

One little monkeys swinging in a tree
Teasing Mr Crocodile
‘You can’t catch me! No, you can’t catch me!’
Along came Mr. Crocodile
As quiet as can be…
SNAP!
Then there were…
NO little monkeys swinging from a tree…oh no!

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped his head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

[Continue the rhyme with numbers 4, 3, 2…]

One little monkey jumping on the bed,
She fell off and bumped her head,
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said,
“Put those monkeys right to bed!”

Five Little Blue Birds

Five little blue birds, hopping by my door.
One went to build a nest, and then there were four.

Four little blue birds singing lustily.
One got out of tune, and then there were three.

Three little blue birds, and what should one do,
But go in search of dinner, leaving only two.

Two little blue birds singing for fun,
One flew away, and then there was one.

One little blue bird sitting in the sun
He took a little nap, and then there was none.

Five Little Chickadees

Five little chickadees, sitting by a door,
One flew away, and then there were four.
Chickadees, chickadees, happy and gay,
Chickadees, chickadees, fly away.

Four little chickadees, sitting in a tree,
One flew away, and then there were three.
Chickadees, chickadees, happy and gay,
Chickadees, chickadees, fly away.

Three little chickadees, looking at you,
One flew away, and then there were two.
Chickadees, chickadees, happy and gay,
Chickadees, chickadees, fly away.

Two little chickadees, sitting in the sun,
One flew away, and then there was one.
Chickadees, chickadees, happy and gay,
Chickadees, chickadees, fly away.

One little chickadee, sitting all alone,
That one flew away, and then there was none.
Chickadees, chickadees, happy and gay,
Chickadees, chickadees, fly away.

Five Little Snowmen

Five little snowmen standing in a line:
One, Two, Three, Four, Five,
So fine!
Melt in the sunshine with a sigh,
We’ll see you next year,
Bye Bye!

Four little snowmen standing in a line:
One, Two, Three, Four,
So fine!
Melt in the sunshine with a sigh,
We’ll see you next year,
Bye Bye!

Three little snowmen standing in a line:
One, Two, Three,
So fine!
Melt in the sunshine with a sigh,
We’ll see you next year,
Bye Bye!

Two little snowmen standing in a line:
One, Two,
So fine!
Melt in the sunshine with a sigh,
We’ll see you next year,
Bye Bye!

One little snowman standing in a line:
One,
So fine!
Melt in the sunshine with a sigh,
We’ll see you next year,
Bye Bye!

Ten in the Bed

There were ten in the bed
And the little one said,
“Roll over! Roll over!”
So they all rolled over and one fell out!

There were nine in the bed
And the little one said,
“Roll over! Roll over!”
So they all rolled over and one fell out!

[Continue with numbers 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2]

There was one in the bed
And the little one said,
“Alone at last! Good Night!”

Five Green Frogs

FIVE little speckled frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs.
Yum Yum!

One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool,
Then there were FOUR green, speckled frogs,
Glug Glug.

[Continue with numbers 4, 3, 2]

ONE little speckled frog
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs
Yum Yum!

He jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool,
Then there were NO green, speckled frogs,
Glug Glug.

Five Little Ducks

Five Little Ducks went out to play, over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck said, “Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack,” but only four little ducks came back.

Four little ducks went out to play, over the hills and far away
Mother Duck said, “Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack,” but only three little ducks came back.

[Continue with numbers 4, 3, 2, 1, down to “but no little ducks came waddling back.”]

Sad mother duck went out one day, over the hills and far away
Mother Duck said, “Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack,” and five little ducks came waddling back.

Ordinal Numbers: Math Nursery Rhymes

Five Little Fishes

Five little fishes swimming in a pool.
The first one said,
The pool is cool.
The second one said,
The pool is deep.
The third one said,
I want to sleep.
The fourth one said,
Let’s dive and dip.
The fifth one said.
I spy a ship.
The boat comes, and a line goes kerplash.
Away the five little fishies dash!

Five Little Tadpoles

Five little tadpoles swimming near the shore.
The first one said, “Let’s swim some more.”
The second one said, “Let’s rest awhile.”
The third one said, “Swimming makes me smile.”
The fourth one said, “My legs are growing long.”
The fifth one said, “I’m getting very strong.”
Five little tadpoles will soon be frogs.
They’ll jump from the water and sit on logs.

Five Little Pumpkins

Get a free Five Little Pumpkins printable book here

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, “Oh, my, it’s getting late!”
The second one said, “There are spooks in the air!”
The third one said, “But we don’t care!”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run!”
The fifth one said, “It’s only Halloween fun!”
Then HOOOOO went the wind,
And OUT went the light! [Clap on “out”]
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

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