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Uncle Goose Nursery Rhyme Blocks

Using Nursery Rhyme Blocks to Develop Critical Thinking and Storytelling Skills

“Oh, mother dear, we sadly fear that we have lost our mittens.”

Wait a minute! What’s happening?
Who said that? What’s the context?

Well, let’s back up a bit.

It was a kitten. A little itty-bitty kitten said that.

This tiny kitten, as well as two other kittens, had lost their mittens. They were crying, and one of the kittens was explaining what happened to their mom.

There’s a lot of drama packed in this short narrative, isn’t there? First, there’s loss and grief. The kittens are crying. And one kitten sums it up by using words like “sadly” and “fear.”

Oh, dear! How do those kittens get emotional relief? What’s the denouement?

This is where the kittens’ mom comes in with the answer.

“Oh dear, don’t fear my kittens,
come in and have some pie.”

And there you have it. In four simple lines, we have all the elements of a story. We have an arc with a beginning, a middle, and an end. We have rising and falling action. We have characters, an inciting incident, and strong emotions. 

Uncle Goose Nursery Rhyme Blocks


You can find this entire story on one Uncle Goose Nursery Rhyme block. The block is like a mini-puzzle for cracking the code of story. One side begins the story. Another side has the middle of the story. And two slides tell the ending.

(There are also two sides with illustrations from the story. The drawings help with context.)

Since four of the six sides have words, children have to read all the way through. Then, they can use their critical thinking and storytelling skills to puzzle out the order of the narrative.

Where does the story of three little kittens begin? Where does it end? What’s in the middle?

In this post, we started en medias res. That means, we started in the middle of the story with:

“Oh, mother dear, we sadly fear that we have lost our mittens.”

Nursery Rhyme Blocks


Starting in the middle can be a great way to engage curiosity. It inspires readers to want to know what happened before.

A block is not like a book. If a child picks up the block in the middle of the story, they'll need to use critical thinking skills to puzzle out what came before. 

An especially curious and creative child may want to know what the kittens were doing when they lost their mittens. How did they lose them?

Were the kittens fighting crime? Were the mittens stolen by a villain? What kind of mittens are they? Are they magical? Do the mittens have special powers?

A child may even wish to imagine and discuss their version of the mitten-loss backstory. This happens rather a lot! Children can get invested in developing richer details for characters they care about.

Nursery Rhyme blocks can help children discover vital elements of storytelling. They help with both reading and critical thinking skills. And of course, they can engage the imagination!

You can get a set of 28 Uncle Goose Nursery Rhyme Blocks or a set of 9 Uncle Goose Nursery Rhyme Favorites

Now, what do you think the backstory to the three little kittens is? How on earth did they lose their mittens?

Ask a child today! Let them delight you with their answers! 

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