Nursery rhymes have been around for hundreds of years and in spite of the fact that the world has witnessed a lot of changes and many traditions have been discarded, nursery rhymes seem like they are here to stay forever because they’ve stayed with us through the years.
Several scientific studies that have been carried out on the benefit of nursery rhymes for toddlers have continued to show that nursery rhymes can help to promote learning and literacy in children.
The report of one of such studies carried out by researchers at MacMaster University and published on Science Daily revealed that children benefit from nursery rhymes before they can even walk and talk.
The study carried out on one year-old baby revealed that babies who participated in interactive music classes showed earlier and more sophisticated brain responses to music, communicated better and even smiled better.
Nursery rhymes are very important for toddlers and here are 15 different reasons why:
#1. It Boosts Early Language Development
You may think – what’s the point? My child is too young to understand what I’m saying but your child’s brain is storing up all of the information and using it to learn and develop their language and communication skills.
There have been several reports from parents who read nursery rhymes to their kids for several years before they could even speak and when they started speaking they could remember and kept repeating bits and pieces of the nursery rhymes that were sung to them as babies.
#2. It Equips Your Child to Be a Better Reader
Your child can hear the pronunciation and sounds in the nursery rhymes, and it helps them develop stronger vocabulary, writing, comprehension, and social conversational skills.
#3. It Helps to Improve Motor Skills and Coordination
Nursery rhymes like “My head, my shoulders, my knees, my toes” and similar rhymes that require your child to demonstrate, dance or sing-along, can also help to improve coordination and motor skills.
#4. It Helps Your Toddler Build Social Skills Early in Life
Your child will have fun reciting, singing, and demonstrating with other kids and it helps them learn how to socialize and develop connections with others.
#5. It Helps to Teach Your Kids How to Act
When you act out rhymes or read rhymes with picture demonstrations to your child, it can open the door to creativity and teach them artistic skills like acting, dancing, singing, and so many others.
#6. It Helps Them Develop Cognitive Skills
Nursery rhymes can also help to improve your child’s cognitive skills especially sharpening their memory, concentration, reasoning skills and spatial intelligence.
#7. It Helps to Promote Excitement
Have you ever seen the look on your child’s face and how excited and happy the get when you’re reading nursery rhymes with them? Kids love that stuff and it can be a very good way to keep them happy and improve their moods especially when they are being cranky or throwing tantrums.
#8. It Teaches Them Teamwork
Your toddler would also learn how to work as a team with others from a young age because they have to sing along and match the pace of other kids when singing nursery rhymes in crèche or kindergarten.
#9. It’s a Perfect Way to Bond with Your Child
Singing Nursery rhymes with your child is also a perfect bonding activity. It helps you spend time with your kid and helps your toddler get to know you better.
#10. It Improves Your Child’s Perceptional Abilities
Nursery rhymes improve your child’s sensitivity to different tunes and sounds which they do not often notice in daily vocabularies used by their family or the people that they communicate with daily.
Your child will also be able to notice the similarities between phrases and words, and think about the sequences of sounds of words that are said in the poem.
All of these help to improve your child’s perceptive abilities.
#11. It Improves Your Child’s Attention
Children have to focus and concentrate when learning and singing rhymes and this can be a very great way to teach them how to concentrate.
#12. It Can Create an Avenue for Storytelling
Nursery rhymes introduce your child to the concept of story-telling. Your toddler may be too young to understand the vocabularies in a storybook but the words in nursery rhymes are simple enough for them to understand so if you think that your child is still too young for bedtime stories, why not try bedtime rhymes?
#13. It Helps to Develop Your Child’s Numerical and Mathematical Skills
Children start learning numeracy skills as soon as they are born and it often happens through everyday activities and play.
Some poems can teach your child to count their fingers and toes describe the sizes of objects (big and small) or learn about distance (near and far), depth (deep and wide), speed (fast and slow) and order (first, second, last), etc.
#14. It Can Help to Calm Your Toddler
A recent study carried out in the University of Montreal revealed that toddlers remained calm for much longer when nursery rhymes and songs were sung to them compared with when they were spoken to.
Toddlers are attracted to the rhythms and patterns in the songs and also, the rhythms match the natural speed of their heartbeat, which helps to calm them down.
#15. It Establishes Arousal and Emotional Regulation
Your toddler is yet to develop the proper mechanism for regulating their feelings and emotions, which is why they cry so much as a way to communicate their feelings and let you know that they need you to help them change the way that they are feeling.
As your baby grows, they’ll begin to develop brain connections that will help them to understand and regulate their emotions but until then, you can use nursery rhymes and soft lullabies to soothe them or provide comfort when they are upset or afraid.
Nursery rhymes are a very great way to regulate arousal and control their emotions.