Most everyone was taught a nursery rhyme when they were a child. If you weren’t taught nursery rhymes, you have probably heard at least one nursery rhyme in your lifetime. Many people may not understand the importance of nursery rhymes and may think they are a waste of time. Nursery rhymes actually help to improve your child’s language skills.
Start reading nursery rhymes to your child when they are a baby; three months is a good age to start. Reciting nursery rhymes to your baby will help them understand the grammatical structure of language and learn to read. Several studies have been done on nursery rhymes that have proven that nursery rhyme activities really do help children understand the language.
The song-like rhythmic patterns found in nursery rhymes will draw the attention of a child to the structure of the language. It is important to participate in nursery rhyme activities because it will help your child develop an awareness of the syllables and sounds that make up the words you are reading to them. During your time reading nursery rhymes to your children, sing or clap along with the rhyme. Clapping will help the syllables stand out better and your child will be able to easily identify them.
Nursery rhyme activities also allow children to develop language skills by making them more aware of different words used in their language. They will be able to distinguish between words that sound alike and the different meanings each word has. For example, reading nursery rhymes with the word “cat” will help them associate the word to “hat”, but they will know they are completely different things.
Reciting nursery rhymes on a regular basis will help your child learn the rhythms of speech and intonation. Nursery rhymes help your child make up the grammatical structure of their language and they will learn how to place an emphasis on certain words or phrases. As a parent, you can teach your child how to emphasize different parts of sentences. For example, the nursery rhyme “Itsy Bitsy Spider” reads “the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout” and later “down came the rain and washed the spider out.” By placing an emphasis on the last two or three words of the sentences, your child will begin to recognize speech patterns and language structure. They will quickly learn that emphasis is used in every day language. For example, we place emphasis on the end of a question and we also place emphasis on a sentence where we are excited. Even pausing between sentences is another form of emphasis. Have your child pick out conversations where people are placing emphasis on certain sentences. This can be a great activity to do as a family.
Nursery rhyme activities also teach your child how to say consonant sounds clearly. For example, the nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” has the letter “d” repeated several times. When your child reads this rhyme aloud, they will need to make the appropriate sound for the letter “d”, causing their brain to use different tongue movements to place an emphasis on different parts of the words. It helps your child learn how to properly enunciate and become more fluent in their speaking skills. If your child has speaking problems, nursery rhymes are a great way to help them pronounce sounds they have trouble with.
Nursery rhymes are a great way to teach your child necessary cognitive skills, but it is a great way to spend some time with your child. Nursery rhymes are fun to read together and they can be enjoyed by practically everyone who reads them.