The Importance of Nursery RhymesFriday, May 1st is Mother Goose Day. Most of us probably remember reading from some version of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes while growing up. I often read nursery rhymes to my babies from a board book we had in our home library. I have very fond memories of chanting Hickory Dickory Dock, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Humpty Dumpty, and Jack and Jill to my little ones. When I was reading these rhymes to my kids, I mistakenly thought I was just reading a bed time story. Little did I know that I was actually laying a foundation for reading in their lives. Today Red Apple Reading would like to remind parents why the simple nursery rhyme is so important.

One reason nursery rhymes are important is because…well, they rhyme. Before a child learns to read, she must understand that words are made up of different sounds; and the manipulation of these sounds creates words. Hearing rhymes helps our little ones develop an ear for words with similar sounds. Such as “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jumped over the candle stick”. Learning to recognize words with the same ending sound will ultimately help your child learn to read!

Nursery rhymes are easy for children to memorize. The short rhythmic nature of nursery rhymes makes them simple and fun to repeat. These short passages committed to memory help children feel they know the story and can “read” it for themselves while turning pages. This type of practicing instills a love of literacy at a young age.

Another advantage that the sing-song rhythm of nursery rhymes offers is the boost it gives to little one’s brains. When children hear the pleasant rhythms of these stories, it actually helps their cognitive development!

Last, but certainly not least, nursery rhymes are fun! Children love hearing these stories over and over and they lend themselves easily to fun play. How many times have you done the finger play, The Itsy Bitsy Spider with a small child; or bounced a little one upon your knee while chanting, Ride a Little Horsie amid giggles and squeals? These amusing interactions help children develop vocabulary, and connect nursery rhymes (thus reading) with fun!

In honor of the beloved Mother Goose, get out your book of nursery rhymes and read them with your children. These classic verses will create a firm literary foundation for your child and provide fond memories for you and your little ones in the future!