Hey diddle, diddle, the kitty and the fiddle, and those little piggy’s off to market bare a whole lot more importance in your little one’s world than just mere entertainment value!
Here, some of the benefits to get nursery rhyming and the reason why toddlers should know 4 nursery rhymes…
1) It’s great for socialising!
For a long time educators have noted how young children use nursery rhymes to initiate and engage with peers in a social environment. Through nursery rhymes, toddlers can explore different roles, from black sheep and sleeping bunnies to dancing monkeys, by singing the songs while a peer performs the actions. As well as the social friendships, they learn turn taking!
2) Nursery rhymes help toddlers express themselves
Toddlers can also express their ideas with actions along the songs. Toddler favourites that lend themselves to expression include “Five little Monkeys,” as toddlers can perform the song then jump from the balancing beam, and “Wind the bobbin up”. They are simple, repetitive and easy and fun actions for younglings to follow.
3) Nursery rhymes build confidence!
Nursery rhymes can help toddlers gain confidence to explore their emerging expressive language and some non-verbal communication skills through expression, physical actions, role play, peer involvement, socialising, fun and more.
4) Nursery rhymes help littlies learn to read
According to Mem Fox, Australian author of the classic children’s book ‘Possum Magic’, “experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.” Ready, steady, spaghetti, go!
5) As well as language development
Incy, wincy spider and row, row, row your boat have more in common than water! Their rhyme makes them linguistic gold. “Rhyming skills make it easier for children to learn about sequences of letters and especially about sequences shared by words which also rhyme,” wrote Morag Maclean in her research titles ‘Nursery Rhymes’, published in the Journal of Child Language, 1989.
It also enhances phonological sensitivity (rhyme and phoneme detection) in general, which in turn enhances reading. There is a powerful and lasting connection between the children’s early knowledge of nursery rhymes and aspects of their linguistic development later on.”
6) Parent child bonding
Children love to show their singing and dancing skills to their favourite people – mummy, daddy, brothers, sisters, grandparents and aunts and uncles. So let them – and join in too!
Sing your toddler’s favourite nursery rhymes, perform the actions and take turns with your toddler. Great props could include nursery rhyme books and pictures, puppets, finger puppets, felt boards and instruments.