Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nursery Rhymes: Creating a Solid Foundation

These days, it seems that reciting nursery rhymes is a little less commonplace than it has been in the past. This is unfortunate, since learning nursery rhymes has many early-literacy benefits for young children.

First, nursery rhymes expand children’s vocabulary by exposing them to a variety of words that are not used in everyday conversation. What a great, easy way to build your child’s vocabulary!

Through nursery rhymes, children also hear rhyming words, which helps develop phonological awareness. Research shows that children who know rhymes find it easier to learn to read because they are better able to break down the sounds in words.

In addition, most nursery rhymes follow a clear sequence of events. This helps your child start to develop narrative skills and learn the way in which most stories are organized.

Finally, nursery rhymes are so easy to repeat that they can, often times, be some of a child’s first sentences. Even when children are struggling to string together words to form a sentence, they can repeat a nursery rhyme that they've heard often enough to memorize.

If you’re just starting to introduce nursery rhymes to your children, start with shorter ones, like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” or “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.” Make sure to be animated to hold your children’s interest. When your children start to learn the rhymes, let them help by stopping to allow them to fill in a word or line. Best of all, since nursery rhymes are recited, you can say them anytime and anywhere—in the car, at the store, while cooking, or before bed. Use your imagination and have fun!

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