Nursery Rhyme Fun with Kings & Things
Did you know that Old King Cole dates back to 1708? That’s over 300 years ago, and that means a lot of fiddling for his fiddlers three!
“Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and a merry old sole was he.
He called for his pipe and he called for his bowl
And he called for his fiddlers three.”
No one knows who King Cole really was but there are lots of theories. Of most interest to children is the theory of Sir Walter Scott (poet, writer, and historian) that King Cole was based on the Irish king Cumhall who was the father of the giant Finn McCool!
There is a king in Sing a Song of Sixpence as well. A sixpence is a British coin, no longer in use, so it makes ‘sense’ that the king is in the counting house counting out his money! One theory about this rhyme is that the King represents the day, the queen is the night, and the four and twenty blackbirds are the 24 hours in a day.
Extend the fun! Ask your child, “If you had a counting house, what would you count?” See if you can find lots of something to count in your house or yard. Bring in math concepts by separating what you count into piles of ten, and then count by tens! Make a pile of four and a pile of twenty and count them (add them) together to make 24. If you have Cheerios or Goldfish crackers, then you can eat them when you’re finished – but most of all, have fun counting together!