How Children Can Benefit From Nursery Rhymes

Published: 05th July 2010
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Parents, teachers and child caretakers commonly use nursery rhymes to soothe or entertain children. However, there's much more to nursery rhymes than calming and playful words or melodies. Nursery rhymes can actually enhance the development of cognitive skills, verbal and physical skills in children.



To understand the benefits of nursery rhymes, it first helps to recognise the different elements of a nursery rhyme, as well as to comprehend the role of each element. For instance, the rhyming format of nursery rhymes makes it easier for children to pick out the words that rhyme - which can ultimately lead to other significant developments. In fact, studies have shown that children who have trouble with rhyming words also commonly have trouble reading - so nursery rhymes can actually help enhance your child's reading skills, even if he or she isn't reading just yet. Rhythm is another important component of nursery rhymes, as it helps children exercise their auditory memory skills, and helps with the verbal pronunciation of words. However, remember that rhythm, rhyme, and the sounds in speech can be demonstrated even to very young children who don't know what the words mean yet.



While most nursery rhymes help children develop good listening skills and a broader vocabulary, some might also teach them motor and coordination skills. If, for instance, your child engages in clapping, finger play, or other types of movement while reciting nursery rhymes, their coordination, balance, and movement skills are likely to improve. Nursery rhymes are also an effective way to boost a child's confidence, as he or she might recite the rhymes with - or in front of - other children and adults. What's more, they'll feel more confident when they've memorised a nursery rhyme and can recite it all on their own.



Last but not least, you can always alter nursery rhymes as children get older, in order to maintain an appropriate level of education and interest. For instance, while younger children might enjoy silly voices and actions with nursery rhymes, older children could benefit from acting out a nursery rhyme, or adding dance moves. You can even turn many nursery rhymes into skill-developing games.



So, while nursery rhymes offer an effective way to soothe or entertain a child, remember that they're also highly valuable with regard to verbal, physical, and cognitive development in young children.

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