The importance of nursery rhymes in early childhood.
Nursery rhymes provide bite-sized learning opportunities for young children to develop key developmental skills and can often be the trigger for hours of creative and open-ended play. They are a powerful learning source in early literacy and enable children to become interested in the rhythm and patterns of language. Consider the alliteration in “A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea” and rhyme in “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. Many nursery rhymes are also repetitive which can support the development of memory.
Nursery rhymes provide other key benefits such as:
Rhymes are fantastic vocabulary boosters. They often feature a rhythmic pattern and simple repetitive phrases that young children find easy to remember and repeat. In order to develop their phonological awareness, children need to be repeatedly exposed to spoken language and nursery rhymes provide the perfect way to do this.
Counting songs (e.g “Five Currant Buns”) help to develop a familiarity with number sounds and words in a way that is fun and interesting to a young child. Songs such as ‘When Goldilocks Went To The House Of The Bears’ also introduce the concept of scale, size and order. Familiarity with counting songs provides the foundation for crucial mathematical skills and awareness.
The act of singing a rhyme or engaging with it physically, encourages children to express themselves in a creative way and to find their own personal ‘voice'. Role play opportunities present themselves with different characters and events within the rhyme that children can respond to either individually or as a group.