"The Cat and the Fiddle" Activities

by Sarah Freeman
Stuffed cows can help children recreate the nursery rhyme.

Stuffed cows can help children recreate the nursery rhyme.

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"Hey Diddle Diddle," also known as "The Cat and the Fiddle," is a nursery rhyme many children have read to them as they grow. You can use this six-line poem as the basis for learning activities, either in the classroom or at home. Youngsters will not only memorize the nursery rhyme themselves, but they can also use it to practice an array of important skills.


Use the six-line "The Cat and the Fiddle" to introduce children to rhymes. Teach youngsters about what a rhyme is, and ask them to underline the rhyming words of the poem. Or read the poem aloud and ask the children to clap each time they hear a word that rhymes with another. Create a printout with the rhyming letters of each word missing for the children to fill in. For example, print the word "moon" and "spoon" and "m_ _ _" and "sp_ _ _."


Re-create the nursery rhyme by leading children in a "The Cat and the Fiddle" craft. Give each student a plastic spoon, small paper plate and black and white pictures of a cat, fiddle, dog, cow and moon. After coloring in each character, make a hole punch at the top of the papers and tie pieces of yarn through the holes. Tie a thread around the spoon, too, then hang all the pieces from a wire hanger to help the children create their own mobile.


Children can practice putting information in order through sequencing activities. Create some printouts of all the characters and objects of the poem -- a cat, fiddle, cow, moon, dog, dish and spoon -- and ask children to color them in. Then direct the youngsters to match up the character with the prop. Provide a pocket chart or magnets that children can use to display the characters in the order they appear in the nursery rhyme. Stick puppets or stuffed animals can also be used by the youngsters to act out the sequence of the nursery rhyme.


A live performance is a creative and entertaining way for children to memorize and bring to life the imaginative "The Cat and the Fiddle." Assign each youngster a line from the play to memorize. Help kids create a costume for their role, such as cat ears and a cutout fiddle, or a small moon that can stand on the floor and cow spots. Assist children in memorizing their lines to later recite when they put on a performance of the nursery rhyme.

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