Once your child start singing a nursery rhyme, no matter how silly the story it tells sounds, the entire house will start humming along.
Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself memorising the lyrics on Mary’s little lamb, because these songs are designed for much more than a good time.
Will nursery rhymes help my child read and develop their language? Yes, and the reasons are:
• Short and with lots of repetition, these little songs give the child a second and third time to be aware of – and remember – what they just heard.
• The more the child listens, the more they’ll pay attention to the individual units of sounds which make up words.
• As they sing, the sounds will jump at them, which isn’t something that happens during normal speech (it would have been really weird otherwise, with people yelling at each other mid-sentence for no reason).
• By introducing your child to sound patterns, their brain receives input and categorises what’s being heard, which is a step towards understanding how letters represent sounds.
• Rhymes will help your child’s brain segment words into syllables, hearing similarities between words with the same sounds.
• The sensitivity to sound eventually teaches them to think about their sequence in whole words, then turning words into sentences, which is the skill needed to learn how to read and spell.
• These stories help kids love reading, as they introduce them to the idea of following a narrative from beginning to end, no matter how long or short.
• Kids often sing together in a group, which makes them feel like they’re part of a
social circle, connecting with other kids.
Do you remember your favourite childhood rhymes?
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