Ding Dong Bell


Ding Dong Bell
Ding, dong, bell,
Pussy’s in the well.
Who put her in?
Little Johnny Thin.
Who pulled her out?
Little Tommy Stout.
What a naughty boy was that,
To drown a pussy cat?

“Ding Dong Bell” is a classic children’s song with a calming, cheerful melody and is full of great,
simple rhymes.

After having fun singing with your child and, most likely, having a conversation about how we don’t
drown cats, this song provides an excellent opportunity to play with rhymes. As rhymes are one of
the best ways to develop children’s ability to distinguish the small sounds that make up words – an
essential skills for learning how to read – we want to practice with rhymes as often as possible!

To get started, sing the song at least one time through. On the next time through, stop every couple
of lines to highlight the words that rhyme. In this song they are, of course, bell/well, in/Thin,
out/Stout, and that/cat. Talk about how the words sound the same at the end and see if you can
think of even more rhyming words. For example, bell/well… tell? smell? yell? The concept might not
be sinking in at this point, so it’s time to move on to some games for practice!

You’ll probably need to plan this ahead of time, but try to find some objects or pictures of objects
around the house that rhyme with each other. For example, get a spoon and a picture of a moon, or a
chair and some hair, or a bug and a mug, or a sock and a lock. With your child, go over the names of
all the objects, then put them all together in a pile and see if they can pick out the things that are
rhyming matches.

The purpose of getting kids proficient at identifying rhymes is to help them hear the small
differences in words which will help them learn how to read. If they know “dog” and “log” are almost
the same except for the first sound, then when they eventually learn the letters and the sounds they
correspond to, reading will be easier. For example, if they already learned how to spell “dog” and
someone asks them to read “log”, they can sound out the “l” sound, but the rest is easy because it’s
just like “dog”, which they can already spell, and ⅔ of the word was a cinch!

Next, try this rhyming version of the game “I Spy”. To start, choose a set of pictures, or the room
you’re in, or a set of objects on the table. Then try to get your child to find a rhyming word. You’ll say,
for example, “I spy something that rhymes with ‘men’,” and hopefully your child will pick up the ‘pen’!
Or “I spy something that rhymes with ‘sandy,” and hopefully your child will pick up the picture of

Or better yet since rhyming is all about the sounds, you don’t have to use real words to gain the
early-reading skills benefits. Try using made-up words which makes things silly and fun (and
honestly, is easier for you because you don’t have to think up real rhymes for each word). For
example, “I spy something the rhymes with schmaper,” which, of course, will lead your child to the
‘paper’. Or say, “blarpet” to rhyme with “carpet” or “lindow” to rhyme with “window”.

If your child struggles with any of these activities, give them little clues or just try another word. Keep
it upbeat, and you will undoubtedly have a silly, learning-filled afternoon of blun and plaughter .

See the YouTube version of Ding Dong Bell.

Who Doesn't Love Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary Had a Little Lamb

    Lyrics Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow; And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. It followed her to school one day, which was against the rules; It made the children laugh and play, to see a lamb at school. And so the teacher…

The Learning Lessons with the Mulberry Bush

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

Lyrics Here we go round the mulberry bush Here we go ‘round the mulberry bush The mulberry bush, the mulberry bush Here we go ‘round the mulberry bush So early in the morning This is the way we wash our face Wash our face, wash our face This is the way we wash our…

Let's all sing Ants go Marching One by One

Ants Go Marching One by One

Lyrics The 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,…

Rain Rain Go Away - Please

Rain, Rain Go Away

    Lyrics Rain, rain, go away, Come again another day, Little Johnny wants to play, Rain, rain, go away No one likes being stuck inside on a rainy day, but don’t let a few raindrops ruin the fun! Use the classic song, “Rain, Rain, Go Away” to create fun opportunities…

You Have to Enjoy the Weasel with Learning

Pop Goes the Weasel

Lyrics Half a pound of tuppenny rice, Half a pound of treacle. That’s the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel. Up and down the City road, In and out the Eagle, That’s the way the money goes, Pop! goes the weasel. Pop goes the Weasel is a perennial classic that…