Teaching can and can’t to kindergarten kids

preschool kid hiding eyes

Thanks to Silvy Jocic for this idea that she used for teaching can and can’t to kindergarten kids. Since Silvy has a group of fast learners, she told them to invent a rhyme about what they can and can’t do. Although Silvy’s idea is excellent because it allows kids to personalize their rhyme, many kindergarten kids learning English are not advanced enough to make up their own. Therefore, you might want to create one yourself.

Make up a can and can’t rhyme

First, here is an example of a can and can’t rhyme that might work for kindergarten kids. I chose skiing since I live in the mountains and the preschool kids can ski around here! On the other hand, you might be in the plains, so adapt your version to your pupils. Either way, if you say your rhyme with plenty of emphasis and rhythm, it’ll sound catchy and be easier to learn.

I can jump, and I can ski,

I can count to three,

But I can’t swim, and I can’t drive.

And I can’t climb a tree.

Rhyme ideas for kindergarten beginners

Here are further ideas for rhymes:

I can jump, and I can clap,

I can do a poo,

But I can’t drive, and I can’t fly,

How about you?

Mime and rhyme!

Have kids mime as they say the rhyme. Naturally, they will fall about laughing with doing a poo! However, I understand if you think that topic is inappropriate in your kindergarten classroom! If so, try this one:

I can jump, and I can clap,

I can eat and drink,

But I can’t drive, and I can’t fly.

What do you think?


I can jump, and I can clap,

I can sing too,

But I can’t drive, and I can’t fly.

How about you?


I can hear, and I can see,

I can touch my nose,

But I can’t see you in the dark,

Or when my eyes I close.

Or, using you can instead of I can:

You can hear, and you can see,

You can touch your toes,

But you can’t see me in the dark,

And you can’t touch my nose!

(Kids try to touch their partner’s nose)


Keep it up!

Expect your kindergarten kids to learn the rhyme over time, so include it in every lesson. Initially, have kids doing the mimes while you say the verse. Then, gradually coax them to join in.


Lesson plan on can and can’t

Here is a lesson plan for primary school kids for more ideas on teaching can and can’t. In addition, you’ll find ideas from this lesson plan for can and sports. your kindergarten kids too.


Great teaching resources

To get a ton of ideas for teaching kindergarten kids in one handy book, check out the paperback or the instant PDF download.


1 thought on “Teaching can and can’t to kindergarten kids”

  1. We visit Spanish-speaking parents weekly in their home sharing ways for them to interact with their young children, infant, toddler, preschooler. We continue weekly visits through the child’s 3rd grade year of school.

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