Nursery rhymes are one of the first ways many children are exposed to language and words. The number of benefits from singing nursery rhymes to children is mind blowing! They are amazing literacy tools that will help your child develop a range of life long skills. There is a reason that from children to adults, we all remember the nursery rhymes we heard when we were little.
Let’s have a quick look at all the things your child will learn when they listen to and sing along to nursery rhymes.
1 – Develop language and literacy skills
This might be obvious – but think about how many things your child is learning while you sing a simple song! Rhythm, rhyming, words that sound similar, counting and names of objects are just a few! Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star for example. Everyone knows the tune, the words and the rhyme. It’s a short and sweet song that every child loves – and as they become older and more skilful, you can change the words to other variations!
2 – Learn communication skills
The language used in songs and nursery rhymes can help children learn vocal skills. They will learn correct pronunciation and context of words. It is a great way to help speech development in a fun and repetitive way.
3 – Can encourage physical activity
Some nursery rhymes have physical actions that are linked to the words. Think of Itsy Bitsy Spider for example. The child can crawl their hand up the water pipe, then wiggle their fingers for the rain and wave wide to show the sun coming back out. This will encourage your child to think about the words and WHY we do the actions that are matched to the words.
4 – Improves cognitive skills
Learning, and then recalling, nursery rhymes takes a huge effort! The tune, the pace, the words, the actions – there are so many things that your child is drawing on when they sing. It improves memory, language skills and concentration. Amazing what learning a 10 second song will achieve!
5 – Improves creative development and imagination
When your child listens to, and also when they sing, nursery rhymes, they are painting pictures in their head. Singing ‘where is thumbkin’ for example, your child is going to be inclined to imagine your fingers as people! Or when singing Humpty Dumpty, in their mind they will see him tumbling off the wall in their mind. This is a great way to improve imagination and creativity.
6 – Social Interaction Skills
When you read or sing nursery rhymes to your child, essentially, you are retelling them a story. The way the nursery rhymes have a sing-song nature, the way the words rhyme and the rhythm, the storyline, and your re-enactment of the voices, all ensure that children pay attention to you. This will help them learn how to listen and respond accordingly.