Did you know that scientific research has proven that one of the best indicators of how well children will learn to read is their ability to recite nursery rhymes. Although this is true, fewer and fewer children begin school having heard nursery rhymes, let alone being able to recite them.
Think about it: The only information that people hold in their memory, with word-for-word accuracy, from childhood are songs and rhymes.
Human brains are uniquely wired to learn through music and rhyming with little to no effort because the rhythms of sound have such a profound effect on understanding. Children develop expressive and fluent oral language, hear and distinguish sounds, and understand concepts about print much earlier than their visual systems are able to track and read printed words.
Therefore – It is vital to expose children to well known rhymes and songs as early as possible and regularly. This repeated exposure will accelerate oral language development and naturally build phonemic awareness, supporting our efforts in class through the Read Write Inc. phonics programme.
Prolonged rich and varied experiences with oral language will help your child to reach their potential as readers, writers, speakers, and thinkers!
Nursery rhymes introduce young listeners to story structure in its most basic form. There’s a context, there’s a problem and there’s a resolution. Nursery rhymes also introduce children to a host of characters who are likely to reappear throughout their school lives. To enjoy Ahlberg’s delightful Each Peach Pear Plum you need to get nursery rhyme references.
Nursery rhymes also greatly enrich young children’s vocabularies and supply some early lessons in the ways our language works. Jack Sprat is lean; when we read this rhyme to children, we have to explain that word. And children add another word to their developing vocabularies. When a child asks, “What does it mean — Molly my sister and I fell out?”, you explain that “fell out” is an expression we don’t use much anymore. It used to mean “had an argument”. And children get a glimpse of how words and expressions work in English.
Then, too, nursery rhymes encourage thinking skills. Particularly entertaining are the riddle rhymes like Little Nancy Etticoat or Hick-A-More, Hack-A-More. Children like the challenge of a riddle.
Finally, the nursery rhymes provide short, simple texts. While their uncontrolled vocabulary may occasionally make them tough to decode, their unrelenting rhythm makes them perfect for emerging readers who are developing their concepts of what a word is.
Click here for some nursery rhymes to learn with your child.
Click here for Youtube link to video nursery rhymes.
For older children, here are a list of Rhymes with featured rimes, word endings following the vowel, that are common letter strings in words, can they think of other words with the same rime?