Some of the barriers that may be encountered by children living with a disability include:

  • delayed speech
  • speech that is hard to understand
  • problems with comprehension
  • difficulties with concentration and engagement

Studies have shown that there is a strong relationship between musical perception and processing language. “Singing appears to have a positive effect on language development, speech, and comprehension. The brain behaves similarly when one is either reading out loud or singing” (Trollinger, 2010).

Being unable to communicate and participate impacts on a child’s overall development and wellbeing. At Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre, we are passionate about supporting people of all ages with communication difficulties to participate in activities and be treated equally.

For children, we offer a host of resources to aid communication. Our Nursery Rhymes to Sing See and Sign are free to download.  These rhymes are an indispensable resource if you are working with young children, or have children of your own who may be experiencing communication difficulties. Nursery Rhymes to Sing See and Sign uses visual supports and other communication strategies  and is suitable for all young children. The resource includes:

  • a picture song board using Picture Communication Symbols
    Five Cheeky Monkeys - picture song board

    Five Cheeky Monkeys – picture song board

  • a Key Word Sign (previously known as Makaton) poster for each Nursery Rhyme
  • a song lyrics sheet highlighting the key signs also available for each song
  • There are 14 Nursery Rhymes on offer including:
  • Old MacDonald had a farm
  • Wheels on the bus
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep
  • Hey Diddle Diddle
  • Miss Polly had a Dolly
  • Five Little Ducks

There is also a helpful handout available that explains why these visual supports should be used with all children and how they can be used effectively to promote language development in children with communication difficulties.

You can also create Key Word Sign customised boards to create your own nursery rhymes or other resources that will suit your individual needs. KWSA App (for iPad only) is available to download on iTunes for $39.99. The app contains videos and drawings of 700 words in the Australian vocabulary. For more Key Word Sign resources please see the Scope Shop.

The picture illustrations that appear on the Nursery Rhymes to Sing See and Sign resources are Picture Communication Symbols copyright 1981-2007 by Mayer-Johnson LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission. .

Scope also thanks The Jack Brockhoff Foundation for this initiative and hey dee ho music for the partnership.

Five Cheeky Monkeys - Key Word Sign images for nursery rhyme

Five Cheeky Monkeys – Key Word Sign Board