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Riding along

Nursery rhyme

Riding along

What to do with this activity?

Repetitive rhythmical rhymes and games are fun. They help your child recognise the familiar and learn to expect the next bit. Sit your child on edge of your knees, either facing you or facing away, with your hands holding them safely under the arms. Bump your child on your knee with the rhythm of the words.

This is the way the lady rides, the lady rides, the lady rides.  
This is the way the lady rides. 
(Up and down on your knees, but slowly)
This is the way the gentleman rides, the gentleman rides, the gentleman rides.
This is the way the gentleman rides. 
(Bump up and down a bit faster) 
This is the way the jockey rides, the jockey rides, the jockey rides.  
And this is the way the jockey falls. 
(Bump up and down really fast and, still holding them safely, let them fall through your legs at the end)

You could substitute names of people you know for "lady" and "gentleman" if those terms seems old-fashioned. This game results in lots of giggles and shouts of “again”. Here's a Spanish version of the game.


  • Why am I doing this?

    One of the ways children learn is through play. A child who is playing is refining learning skills that continue to develop during childhood and beyond. "Pretend play" is important for developing your child's language skills. Children make up their own games, but playing games with others helps their concentration and social skills. Play can also help to show what children know and understand.

  • How can I do more?

    Spending time playing with your child is a great way of helping them learn. Games like "Simon says" and "One, two, three red lights" are great fun. There are lots of activities you can do like playing card games or board games when you can have a quiet time together. Your child can learn the rules by watching a dry run first. Then you can play for real. An important thing to learn is that you don't always win. It can be good for young children to win, to give them confidence but learning to lose is important too. There will be many times in life when you don't win and learning to cope with that is a good life skill you can teach your child too. 

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