There is something inexplicably sentimental about nursery rhymes. All of us have some precious memories that include a nursery rhyme. Some of us remember sitting on a parentʼs lap, listening contentedly to the sound of their voice, or waiting in excited anticipation for the last line of the verse so that you could finally release the giggle that was building up. If you allow your mind to wander back to your childhood, you probably have a few memories yourself that involve Baby Rhymes.
The Emotional Connection
Think for a minute about one particular memory of a nursery rhyme. There is a powerful emotional connection that we have with that moment that has lasted for decades. What is so special and so powerful about nursery rhymes that they have the astounding ability to make a lifelong impact on a child? The moments that we remember are not just “common instances”, such as going to school or eating lunch. These memories are attached to emotions that can still be felt today.
Quite often as a child, nursery rhymes were shared with us by adults or older siblings who were very close to us. These miniature stories were told to us in an entertaining and whimsical way that caught our attention and held it. They were often repeated by others until we grew to know them by heart. It is in this last step of the process that the true memories were made and the connection and attachment were formed.
How The Connection Is Made
You see, when a child first hears a nursery rhyme, it is just a short story to them. It may be entertaining, and they are intrigued by the events in the story, especially the surprise endings that many nursery rhymes have, but it is still just a story.
Throughout your childʼs early, formative years, if you introduce them to Baby Rhymes repeatedly, they will begin to learn them for themselves. They will slowly pick up on a line or two until, one day, they have learned the entire thing by heart.
You see, stories are just stories until they are committed to memory and can be retold. Then, they belong to the teller. Just as you have an intimate connection with those Children Rhymes moments from you own childhood, and can still remember every word of Jack and Jill and Little Miss Muffet, when your child is able to recite a nursery rhyme for themselves, it becomes their own treasured
memory. That memory will bring them joy for an entire lifetime.
The Perfect First Stories
Every child loves a story, and they will listen with rapt attention or as long as their little minds can hold that attention. While the attention span of a fiveyear-old may be long enough to enjoy an entire book, the attention span of a two-year-old can barely make it through the first two pages. This is what makes Little Kids songs the perfect first stories for even the youngest “readers-to-be”.
There is no denying the mountain of evidence behind reading to your child. It can make them smarter, help with language development, creativity, and lengthen attention span. As a child learns to listen to a story, they begin to understand that there will be a beginning, a middle, and an end. They just donʼt always have the attention span to make it to the end which is what makes nursery rhymes so great. They are short, interesting, and fun, making them easy for even toddlers to listen to all the way through.
While they may not realize it yet, they have just learned an essential skill that has far-reaching effects. They have learned that stories can entertain and surprise you if you listen until the end. At this early age, English Rhymes like Pop Goes The Weasel are ideal and can hold their attention span until the very end while also rewarding the child for their enduring focus with a surprise ending that no child can resist.
Creates A Love Of Books
A love for nursery rhymes fosters a love for books. Children Music teach kids to love stories and a fondness for stories will give your child a passion for books. Nursery rhymes are a unique type of literary work and, therefore, have a unique draw that other types of stories donʼt have.
Nursery rhymes come in a wide array of styles, but they are most often fun, silly, and unexpected. They donʼt have to make sense, and that is part of their particular allure to kids. Kids just want to be silly sometimes, and nursery rhymes indulge them. Before they can fully grasp the world of stories and books, they must first learn to create stories themselves. Nursery rhymes encourage creativity because the stories they tell donʼt have to make sense. They give children confidence in creating and telling stories that are simply meant to entertain and enjoy.
This creates the foundation on which to build a love for books. Nursery rhymes are also unique in the fact that many of them have been around for decades and are still being enjoyed by children. There is something timeless about them that touches children of all walks of life and even from different eras of history.
The vocabulary of nursery rhymes is appealing to children as it is often the first place that they hear words like “kettle” and “candlestick”. This intrigue with words opens wide the door for books, and once children realize that their beloved nursery rhymes also exist in books, they are even more endeared. The stage is set for longer stories such as The Princess and The Pea and Rapunzel which are perfect for preschoolers.
Nursery Rhymes Help Kids Learn To Read
Not only do nursery rhymes teach kids sequencing by helping them to recognize that stories have a beginning, middle, and end, they can also help kids with some very early skills that will be needed later on for learning to read.
Many nursery rhymes are poems written in typical poetry style. They rhyme (hence the name nursery rhymes) and can help kids to learn to recognize rhymes and patterns. Learning to rhyme is an important prerequisite to learning to read. Rhyming helps kids to hear “word families”. Word families are sets of words that start with different letters but end with the same sounds. For instance, the words “big” and “pig” are part of the same word family as are the words “hen” and “men”.
Children who are learning how to read are often taught word families and recognizing two rhyming words when you hear them can make learning to read much faster and easier. Once a child can read the word “hat”, it is much easier to read the word “sat”, too. Teaching rhyming can give kids an advantage when it comes time to learn how to read.
The Purpose Of Nursery Rhymes
At the heart of nursery rhymes lies one of the real purposes behind them. Because they donʼt really make sense, they are considered, by children, to be just silly, nonsense, fun stories when, in fact, they can be much more. Nursery rhymes help kids to be brave. These ageless poems are full of drama and problems that children often face.
They subtly introduce issues in a safe and fun environment, allowing the child to deal with hidden fears and unknowns of the big, wide world in a very positive way. Jack and Jill fall down, Miss Muffet is scared of spiders, and the three little kittens lost their mittens. Now, as adults, we may forget how devastating falling down, seeing a spider, or losing your mitten can all be to a three-year-old. Seeing their favorite nursery rhyme characters face these issues and live to tell about it can give a threeyear-old the confidence to face them, too, although that fear of spiders may take a bit longer to overcome.
Somehow, those brilliant nursery rhyme authors of so long ago had some things
figured out. They knew that kids just need a safe place to explore their emotions and process them and it will help them to adjust and adapt to the world around them. Who knew that Little Bo Peep had that much influence?
Making Nursery Rhymes A Part of Your Childʼs Life
Nursery rhymes can be a vital part of your childʼs life. They create fond memories that will stay with your child their whole life long. There is an emotional attachment to nursery rhymes that many adults still feel today when they hear a nursery rhyme that they learned as a child. Nursery rhymes lay the foundation for learning to read and create a love for stories and storytelling.
Nursery rhymes foster a love for books and teach valuable skills that will be needed later when your child learns to read. Lastly, they establish a safe and fun environment where kids can deal with tough issues in a positive way which will give them confidence and help them to overcome their fears.
Baby Rhymes should be a natural and playful part of your childʼs world. There are some practical and simple ways to incorporate nursery rhymes into your childʼs everyday life. Introduce your child to a variety of nursery rhymes through books, videos, and apps. Watch your child and listen to them as they talk about the nursery rhymes that they have been exposed to and discover some of your childʼs favorites. Recite a nursery rhyme several times throughout the day at times when the atmosphere is fun and laid back. It is best with younger kids to just choose one at a time to focus on. They learn slowly and need many days to process information sometimes. Choosing one nursery rhyme to focus on each week will ensure that your child enjoys the process and doesnʼt feel overwhelmed.
Giving your child Easy coloring pages with their favorite nursery rhyme characters on them can be very exciting to them. Allow them to color the pages any way they want to, and them hang the pages on the refrigerator or in a place that your child will see them often.
When you are reciting a nursery rhyme with your child, pause in the middle or leave out words in order to give your child an opportunity to fill in the blanks. This builds confidence and improves memory.
Not only can your child learn stories from nursery rhymes, but they can also learn educational concepts as well. Choosing nursery rhymes that teach concepts such as colors, counting, and the alphabet can be a fun and simple way for your child to learn these concepts.