“Twinkle, twinkle little star”, “ABC’s”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider” these are just some of the most commonly used nursery rhyme songs at home and in school. These are also the songs that we have been singing for over many years. Be it Mommy, Daddy or even grandma and grandpa, they know all these songs. Which means, these nursery rhymes tend to stick with us even as we grow older – most of us remember all of these songs!
Music such as nursery rhymes can help benefit a child’s learning and development. Studies have shown that children who learn nursery rhymes and songs can reap language, learning and social benefits!
In Bridging the Gap, we make sure that we begin and end class with nursery rhymes. From asking the children to sit down, to cleaning up the toys they used and even for coloring pictures, we always sing songs for the children. This is not to distract them but it’s a good way to motivate them and to make an activity more fun. Based on our experience, singing songs helps also with transition from one activity to another.
Children have been singing same nursery rhymes over and over again, but how is it really beneficial to our children?
- Helps in language and communication development
Teaching our children nursery rhymes is an important part of their language development because nursery rhymes are child’s first experience with words. It helps them to learn to speak faster as it aids them to learn and understand different speech sounds which is important for later reading development. Children learn sounds by listening to people speaking around them the moment they are born. What they hear, is what they learn. This helps them to tune in into their environment.
- Helps in increasing their vocabulary words
Children develop in their own pace. Their ability to get and use new vocabulary words differ. Singing nursery rhymes is a great way to introduce and teach new words and how these words are put together. Through repetition, it is a good opportunity for children to say words and practice their pronunciation. The advantage is, children love songs which are full of alike sounds or rhymes, and this will reinforce them use the words more.
- Helps in enhancing social skills
Singing nursery rhymes can be a great way in enhancing our children’s social skills. How? Just by singing together with an adult or with peers is already an opportunity for them to interact and relate with others. Singing these nursery rhymes can also be done with musical instruments. Assign one instrument to each child, sing and play songs together and this is a good way for them to feel that, “Hey! I am making sounds with my friends!” and this will make them feel that they are part of a group. Make it more fun by singing a part of a nursery rhyme, and let then guess or finish the line in the song!
- Helps in developing cognitive skills (attention and listening skills)
Nursery Rhymes helps in improving memory, concentration, listening and attention skills. These are essential skills that underpin language development. It is very difficult to read aloud story to small child or toddlers. They tend to have short attention span, and if you’re going to read a story to them, we can’t expect them to sit down and listen to you for too long. This is why nursery rhymes is special as you can incorporate music with it. You can use different musical instruments or even a puppet making it more capturing for them. It will make them want to listen and pay attention to you.