Today marks the start of World Nursery Rhyme Week (7-11 November).
Here at Aston Childcare we love reading nursery rhymes. One of our all time favourites is Incy Wincy Spider which is evident from its well worn spine! We also have a lovely copy of Row Row Row Your Boat complete with sound button. We also have a fantastic book and CD by Roger Priddy which has 22 nursery rhymes – Hey Diddle Diddle, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Hickory Dickory Dock, Little Jack Horner, The Queen of Hearts, Little Bo Beep, Little Miss Muffet, This Little Piggy, Rock-A-Bye-Baby, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, Old Mother Hubbard, Pat a Cake, Yankee Doodle, Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Sing a Song of Sixpence, Pussy Cat, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Three Little Kittens, There was an Old Woman and finally, Goosey Goosey Gander.
Here are just ten reasons why nursery rhymes are so great for children’s learning –
- Young children are naturally ‘wired’ for sound and rhythm. Besides providing enjoyment, singing nursery rhymes play an important role in language and literacy development. Toddlers begin to experiment with grammatical ‘rules’ and various rhyming patterns when they sing – skills that will prove useful when learning to read.
- Singing nursery rhymes can help children to develop emergent literacy skills. Many are repetitive which can support the development of memory and kickstart the practice of listening and speaking.
- Nursery Rhymes provide great practice with one to one word correspondence and early reading. Children tend to memorise rhymes fairly easily so many of them become successful at “reading” them.
- Singing nursery rhymes and other songs help children remember basic facts such as the order of letters in the alphabet, partly because songs tap into fundamental systems in our brains that are sensitive to melody and beat.
- Singing songs and rhymes are a critical component of ‘literacy disposition’ – the desire to read. Children find singing activities really enjoyable which helps disposition development because ultimately, disposition grows from positive experiences.
- Nursery rhymes are portable – they don’t need to be ‘plugged in’! They can be enjoyed at any time and anywhere. Sing them in the playground, at dinner time, bath time and when children are getting ready for bed. Children love rhymes – they cannot resist joining in.
- Rhymers are readers. “If a child knows 8 nursery rhymes by heart by the time they are 4 years old, they are usually among the best readers and spellers in their class by the time they are 8”. M. Fox, Reading Magic.
- Nursery rhymes are sophisticated literary devices. Think of the alliteration in ‘Goosey, Goosey Gander’ or the onomatopoeia in ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ and rhyme in ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’.
- Nursery rhymes are a powerful learning source in early literacy. They enable children to become interested in the rhythm and patterns of language.
- Nursery rhymes include 3 key elements: repetition, rhythm and rhyme – making them valuable language teaching tools.