Nursery Rhymes – Not Just Child’s Play

Nursery Rhymes photo

Nursery rhymes have been around for centuries delivering intrigue and poetic nature. The short tales also have educational and developmental benefits. The memorable verses stick with young children through adulthood. As kids grow out of listening to lullabies, nursery rhymes are fun and catchy. Parents and teachers can teach toddlers and preschoolers lessons and develop skills. The tradition runs deep and is why some people call daycare centers “nursery schools.”

The historical and whimsical words trace back to earlier times in Europe. Sometimes, the verses are referred to as “Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes.” An imaginary author, Mother Goose, started penning French fairy tales. Later, a link to the famous author Charles Perrault was discovered. Perrault wrote versions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding Hood. Mother Goose then wrote British nursery rhymes, which are now known across the globe.

Soon after, the beloved verses that many of us know and love went to print. The nursery rhyme, Polly, Put The Kettle On, was published in England in 1797. The historical and whimsical verses started catching on and then circulating. Many of the jingles were written anonymously or passed down through time. Many familiar with nursery rhymes may not realize how far they go back in history. The premise of the quick and catchy ditties was to offer lessons. Adults have used these tales to teach young children history, behavior, and morals.

Now that you have a broad overview of their start, here are some benefits of nursery rhymes:

Helps Children Learn How to Read: As preschoolers listen to and begin to recite the verses, they learn and develop. The sounds of the syllables teach young children pronunciation. Nursery rhymes help develop language skills paving the way to attain reading abilities. Children will take on an appreciation for poetry and classic literature at an early age.

Builds Memory and Retention Skills: The repetition and flow of nursery rhymes work a young child’s brain. Preschoolers memorize their favorite tales because they’re fun to hear and recite. As an adult, you can probably hear a nursery rhyme title and still have it memorized.

Assists in Identifying Developmental Lags: Parents and teachers can identify speech impediments in children at a young age. Also, you may notice auditory issues or cognitive delays that can be addressed early. There may be a learning lag if one child in a group struggles more than others with nursery rhymes.

Passes Down Family Traditions: Parents often recite verses they learned from older relatives. Since nursery rhymes go back centuries, it may be a long-standing family tradition. The fun tales can then be passed down to the next generation.

Teaches History and Math: The nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock teaches young children counting. Pat-a-Cake teaches preschoolers math, and London Bridge teaches a history lesson. Lessons from Mother Goose is an activity book with 37 nursery rhymes. You can tell children the tale behind each verse. Teach kids about Humpty Dumpty with this downloadable PDF that includes activities.

Can Be Dramatized: Children can act out the nursery rhymes with fingerplays. Dramatization adds liveliness to the words and develops motor skills. Teachers or parents can create ways of acting out the nursery rhyme. Young children will be engaged both cognitively and physically.

Builds Confidence: Preschoolers in a group setting will grow to be confident as they learn nursery rhymes. Social and emotional skills also develop when participating with others. If a child’s nervous, the verses are a great ice breaker. Adults can facilitate and get everyone to join in on the fun.

Nursery rhymes provide lively entertainment and are a valuable educational tool. Young children learn and develop through fun, interactive lessons. Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes have been carried on for many generations. The benefits are timeless and fun for adults to recite.