10 Classic Counting Rhymes for Young Children (2022)

Singing is a fantastic way to spend time together with young children and also a great method of helping them learn. I have previously shared my favourite Classic Nursery Rhymes to sing with Babies and Toddlers and now I’m going to share my favourite Counting Rhymes.

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These rhymes are great for singing together and learning to count – from counting forwards to 10, to skip counting in 2’s and also going backwards the foundations of these rhymes will help young children become familiar with numbers in a fun and memorable way.

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Classic Counting Rhymes to Sing Together

Here are some of our favourite counting rhymes to sing together.

Check out our playlist on YouTube below featuring all 10 of our favourite songs to watch, listen and learn with your child and continue reading to find the lyrics below plus crafts and activities to do alongside each rhyme.

One, Two, Three, Four, Five Once I Caught a Fish Alive…..

This is still a favourite of my kids and I remember it fondly from my own childhood.

One two three four five once I caught a fish alive,
six seven eight nine ten then I let him go again,
why did you let him go because he bit my finger so,
which finger did he bite.
This little finger on my right!

Ten Fat Sausages

It’s a fun and classic rhyme don’t forget a POP and a BANG. You could adapt this to count back in 1’s however I like to add in the counting in 2’s as this will help young children to start to recognise the skip counting patterns that they will find in times tables later on.

Ten fat sausages, sizzling in a pan, one went pop and the other went bang!

Eight fat sausages, sizzling in a pan, one went pop and the other went bang!

Six fat sausages, sizzling in a pan, one went pop and the other went bang!

Four fat sausages, sizzling in a pan, one went pop and the other went bang!

Two fat Sausages, sizzling in a pan, one went pop and the other went bang!

No fat sausages sizzling in a pan

Five Little Ducks

My two loved this song especially when we go quack, quackT also loved using the book from Red Ted Art and creating her own 5 Little Ducks to go with the rhyme. This Rhyme counts backward but unlike Ten Fat Sausages it does it in sequence.

Five little ducks went swimming one day.
Over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck Said Quack Quack Quack Quack!
But only four little ducks came back!

Four little ducks went swimming one day.
Over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck Said Quack Quack Quack Quack!
But only three little ducks came back!

Three little ducks went swimming one day.
Over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck Said Quack Quack Quack Quack!
But only two little ducks came back!

Two little ducks went swimming one day.
Over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck Said Quack Quack Quack Quack!
But only one little duck came back!

One little duck went swimming one day.
Over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck Said Quack Quack Quack Quack!
But only no little ducks came back!

No little ducks went swimming one day.
Over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck Said Quack Quack Quack Quack!
And all five little ducks came back!

Five Little Peas in a Pod

I can’t remember this one from my childhood but both J and T loved to sing this when we went to the Book Start group at the local library to sing. It’s fun and much like the sausage, the POP makes all of the little ones giggle.

Five little peas in a peapod pressed,
one grew, two, grew so did all the rest.
They grew and they grew and did not stop.
Until one day the pod went POP!
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As well as singing along with these rhymes we have put together a list of our favourite counting and number books ideal to read together with toddlers and preschoolers to work on number recognition and more.

Hickory Dickory Dock

This is a great rhyme that I remember fondly from my own childhood and was one that I sang to the children very early on. It was a great changing mat song to keep them happy whilst they got dressed in the morning. I had only learnt 1 verse as a child but we now have 4 verses to it!

Check out our Counting Nursery Rhymes and Songs for Kids Playlist to hear a different version of this song above.

Hickory dickory dock,
the mouse ran up the clock,
the clock struck one,
the mouse ran down,
hickory dickory dock.
TICK TOCK TICK TOCK

Hickory dickory dock,
the mouse ran up the clock,
the clock struck two,
the mouse went WOO,
hickory dickory dock.
TICK TOCK TICK TOCK

Hickory dickory dock,
the mouse ran up the clock,
the clock struck three,
the mouse went WEEEEEE,
hickory dickory dock.
TICK TOCK TICK TOCK

Hickory dickory dock,
the mouse ran up the clock,
the clock struck four,
the mouse said "NO MORE",
hickory dickory dock.
TICK TOCK TICK TOCK

Five Little Speckled Frogs

So out of all of them – this was probably my eldest’s favourite song especially as since he was a toddler he’s had a little thing about frogs. We even made our own Little Speckled Frogsto play with whilst we sing the rhyme. It’s also a fun song to add some gross motor movement to and get kids moving around and is another of our favourite songs to get kids moving with.

Five little speckled frogs, sat on a speckled log,
eating some most delicious grubs! YUM YUM!
One jumped into the pool,
where it was nice and cool,
now there are four green speckled frogs.
GLUB GLUB!

Four little speckled frogs,
sat on a speckled log,
eating some most delicious grubs! YUM YUM!
One jumped into the pool,
where it was nice and cool,
now there are three green speckled frogs.
GLUB GLUB!

Three little speckled frogs,
sat on a speckled log,
eating some most delicious grubs! YUM YUM!
One jumped into the pool,
where it was nice and cool,
now there are two green speckled frogs.
GLUB GULB!

Two little speckled frogs,
sat on a speckled log,
eating some most delicious grubs! YUM YUM!
One jumped into the pool,
where it was nice and cool,
now there is one green speckled frog.
GLUB GLUB!

One little speckled frog,
sat on a speckled log,
eating some most delicous grubs! YUM YUM!
He jumped into the pool,
where it was nice and cool,
now there are no green speckled frogs.
GLUB GLUB!

Discover how to make your own Five Little Speckled Frog Puppets for use when singing this Rhyme.

Find some fun Frog Books to read together after you have sung this rhyme

One Two Buckle my Shoe

When my kids were young I had to hunt out my nursery rhyme book to remember all of the words to this one but once I had them memorised it was something that I could sing time and time again. We all loved the rhyming words in it as well as counting along.

One Two, buckle my shoe!
Three four, knock at the door!
Five six, picking up sticks!
Seven eight, don't be late!
Nine ten, let's say it again!

Five little men in a flying saucer

As this song includes counting backwardsand left and right (or at least the version that we sing does) it’s a fantastic song for when you want to introduce a little mathematics into the day! But do remember if you are sitting opposite the children when you say left you want to look right and when you say right you want to look left as they are seeing you as a mirror and don’t understand your and my left and right!

Five little men in a flying saucer,
went round the earth one day.
They looked left and right
but they didn't like the sight
and one man flew away.

Four little men in a flying saucer,
went round the earth one day.
They looked left and right
but they didn't like the sight
and one man flew away.

Three little men in a flying saucer,
went round the earth one day.
They looked left and right
but they didn't like the sight
and one man flew away.

Two little men in a flying saucer,
went round the earth one day.
They looked left and right
but they didn't like the sight
and one man flew away.

One little man in a flying saucer,
went round the earth one day.
He looked left and right
but he didn't like the sight
and he flew right away.

Make your own Five Little Men In Their Flying Saucers to use whilst you sing this popular children’s rhyme.

Zoom Zoom Zoom!

Another space-themed song and perhaps my favourite newer song from when the kids were babies. I loved singing this one and they loved having it sung to them and then singing it with me as they got older.

Zoom zoom zoom we’re going to the moon,
zoom zoom zoom we’ll get there very soon,
five, four, three, two, one, blast off!
If you want to join my trip
hop aboard my rocket ship,
zoom zoom zoom were going to the moon.

Make your own rocket to fly around the earth.

Five Little Monkeys

This is such a fun counting rhyme for kids and shhhhh but you may have found us jumping on the bed and using our toy phone to call the doctor a time or two as silly fun like that is really good.

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed,
one fell off and banged his head!
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
"NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!"

Four little monkeys jumping on the bed,
one fell off and banged his head!
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
"NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!"

Three little monkeys jumping on the bed,
one fell off and banged his head!
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
"NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!".

Two little monkeys jumping on the bed,
one fell off and banged his head!
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
"NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!".

One little monkey jumping on the bed,
she fell off and banged her head!
Mamma called the doctor and the doctor said
"NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!".

Use the cute 5 Little Monkey Puppets shown above to play with whilst you sing this fun number rhyme perfect for circle time or rhyme time as well as using at home with the kids.

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Make a Paper Plate Monkey and wear as a face mask as you sing this rhyme especially if you are the Mamma

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Author

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Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.

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