Nursery Rhymes – are these antiques a thing of the past?

Surely, with how the world we live in is changing, and with all of our technological advances, something as old fashioned as nursery rhymes should be a thing of the past?  Toddlers now have access to televisions, Ipads, cell phones and YouTube, and some even know how to operate these on their own…..so should nursery rhymes (which have been around for centuries) be given the boot?

Well, the answer to this is NO!  Nursery Rhymes are here to stay!  These little songs and rhymes have many benefits for your little one, so here are some really great reasons as to why your child should know them, and why they most definitely should be used as part of a child’s daily development:

1. Cognitive development

  • Repetition of rhymes and stories is good for the brain, teaching how language works and building memory capabilities.
  • Because these verses are made up of patterns, they are an easy first step to promoting auditory memory, rhythm and rhyme.

2. Speech

  • Nursery rhymes are important for language and speech development.
  • They help children develop auditory skills such as discriminating between sounds.
  • Rhymes help children articulate words because they are given the opportunity to practice saying them over and over without fear of criticism.
  • The mouth and tongue muscles are developed too.

3. Reading

  • Nursery rhyme knowledge provides an excellent foundation for later reading and writing.
  • They are a great introduction to stories since many contain a beginning, middle, and end, which is part of learning how to sequence.
  • Nursery rhymes can promote reading and may pave the way for a love of reading books.

4. Language development

  • Nursery rhymes increase vocabulary.
  • They help children grasp and comprehend language.
  • They are a good introduction to poetry.
  • They promote spelling skills.
  • They introduce concepts like rhyming words and alliteration.

5. Creativity

  • Nursery rhymes expand a child’s imagination and promote dramatization if they try to act them out.

6. Numeracy skills

  • Nursery rhymes are full of patterns, sequencing, numbers, and counting.
  • They also discuss size, weight and other important numeracy concepts.

7. Physical development through movement and rhythm

  • Many nursery rhymes involve movement, so there is the opportunity to work on coordination, such as Ring a Ring o’ Rosies.
  • Finger rhymes work on fine motor development, such as Incy Wincy spider.

8. Social and emotional

  • Nursery rhymes develop humour and can be such fun!
  • They can provide something in common between multiple generations (a good way to bond with grandparents or when meeting new people!) or they can be used as something familiar in uncomfortable situations.

So when you think you just can’t take another round of singing `Twinkle Twinkle little star’, or you are sick to death of asking `Baa Baa Black Sheep’ if he has any wool, remember the many benefits of these sometimes seemingly silly songs, and just keep on singing!!

Contributed by Victoria Bruigom 

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