Why are nursery rhymes useful in the lives of young children today?

Young children just cannot get enough of Nursery Rhymes

As well as being fun, nursery rhymes, lullabies, limericks, ditties and counting rhymes form a key part of their introduction to the rhythm of language and literacy. Every culture has nursery rhymes and many are hundreds of years old and nearly always nonsensical and purely fun.

Children are powerfully drawn towards the short and repetitive rhythmic phrases of nursery rhymes and they powerfully arouses children’s natural curiosity about language at a time of rapid development.  Learning nursery rhymes has advantages that go beyond those of listening to stories. They help children to detect syllables, rhymes, and phonemes and have a positive effect on their early language and literacy skills. They also encourage listening skills, memory-building skills and play a role in developing a sense of humour and distinguishing fantasy from reality.  Counting rhymes are really helpful for learning basic number skills; One Two Buckle My Shoe…..Five Little Ducks…Five Little Speckled Frogs and so on (and on, and on…).

Singing along to nursery rhymes presents opportunities for children’s social and physical development by providing fun actions such as clapping, skipping, dancing, marching and jumping which make Humpty Dumpty and the The Grand Old Duke of York firm favourites. The actions and singing help to increase vocabulary and verbal skills, reinforce their knowledge and understanding of their world and most importantly give them the confidence to become active lifelong learners.

In case you’ve forgotten (and do be sure to march along)

The Grand Old Duke of York

He had ten thousand men

He marched them up to the top of the hill

And he marched them down again

And when they were up, they were up

And when they were down, they were down

And when they were only half way up, they were neither up nor down!

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