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By Jean Evansearly years consultant and author.

Enjoy a cow jumping over the moon, meet a pussy cat who visits the queen and ride a horse to Banbury Cross with these favourite nursery rhymes

illustration of children

1 Hey Diddle Diddle

Enhance a favourite rhyme with the use of exciting props

Creative Development

Developing Imagination and Imaginative Play

Development matters: begin to make-believe by pretending (22-36 months); play cooperatively as part of a group to act out a narrative (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: use their imagination in art and design, music, dance, imaginative and role-play and stories.

What you need

Group size: four children.

Soft toy cat, cow and dog; laminated card images of a fiddle and a moon; plastic dish and spoon; downloaded ‘Puppet show’ Activity sheet; crayons; child scissors; glue; clean lolly sticks.

What to do

Invite individual children to hold the toys, images and the dish and spoon. Say the rhyme ‘Hey Diddle Diddle’ together, and encourage the children to operate the props at the relevant time.

Give each child a copy of the photocopiable sheet and explain to them how to create stick puppets (following the instructions on the sheet). Let the children use the puppets to re-enact the rhyme with the whole group.


Prepare and laminate the puppets for the children.


Invite the children to make up their own rhymes or stories with the props or stick puppets.

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