What is it about nursery rhymes that is so helpful to kids?
A recent study has revealed half of millennial parents can’t recite many popular nursery rhymes all the way through!
A tenth of millennial mums and dads do not sing lullabies at all to their little ones – because they have a ‘terrible’ singing voice or feel awkward.
Yet despite this, 83% agree the bedtime routine is a key bonding experienced for parent and baby.
So there’s a disconnect somewhere!
I was speaking on BBC Radio Suffolk recently about a new study by Ofsted that suggests that ‘old fashioned’ nursery rhymes are no longer being sung to children – leaving them badly prepared for school.
Today toddlers have technology but they have little interaction with parents singing, dancing, moving and reciting nursery rhymes.
The downside to iPads & tablets is that children are passive. They are watching, listening or looking at a cartoon, or another child, singing, moving or dancing rather than actively engaging themselves.
Nursery rhymes are fabulous fun as they are often short and have a great deal of repetition. Repetition offers a growing child the opportunity to tune into words a second and third time and helps them remember what they have just heard.
Repetition offers certainty, predictability and familiarity, as a young child knows what’s coming next which is empowering to them. They enjoy singing the words and they enjoy the bouncy rhythm & they learn about cadence, rhyme & vocabulary.
Parents build memories that last a life time with their child, as well as bonding naturally with them in a relaxing and fun way singing or saying nursery rhymes together.
They develop a child’s motor skills for example with the actions to Incy Wincy Spider and their muscle strength.
They learn a love of reading as nursery rhymes open the door to a love of books. Nursery rhymes are also the perfect first stories for a young child as they are short in length so perfect for short attention spans.
Toddlers learn social skills and join in with their peers having fun with language. Nursery rhymes are often sung as a group activity, so your baby or child begins to feel part of a social circle that enjoys singing or reciting together. This will help your child connect to other children.
Lots of studies show that ‘Rhymers’ become better readers because the wider your child’s vocabulary the better they do at school because of their better grasp of language. When rhythm and movement are combined, your child’s brain is very stimulated and your child is likely to remember both the movement and the rhyme more efficiently and effectively.
Children who enjoy nursey rhymes have better concentration, listening skills & comprehension skills because the secret to a child’s success is in the interaction between you and your child.
Children who sing nursery rhymes are also tapping into tradition.
Why is singing nursery rhymes and songs important:
- Children learn new words
- They develop their non-verbal communications skills
- They learn early maths skills
- They understand how words are formed
- They enable a child to copy actions
- They boost a child’s language, communication and literacy skills
- They help develop your child’s social, skills
- Your child learn s about different beats and rhythms
- Nursery Rhymes provide the opportunity for children to value language and become confident learners.
- They also create a close relationship between you and your child,
So have fun singing & acting out nursery rhymes and songs as this will be infectious to your children. Just relax – don’t fret about whether you have a good singing voice – just enjoy this special time in your child’s life.