The Importance of Nursery Rhymes

Nursery Rhymes are excellent for young children for exposure to many literary devices!  You will hear plenty of metaphors, similes, and examples of alliteration.  Children love the natural rhythm of the nursery rhymes and as always, their time with you!  

Nursery rhymes start to develop phonological awareness skills.  Phonological awareness skills include .  This is a progression of skills starting with word awareness.  This is the ability to separate words into sentences.  Children must be able to hear and know when one word ends and another starts.  When we speak and words are strung together in a sentence, all the sounds blend together.  As experienced English speakers, we are not aware that we can do this easily, but as young children still learning vocabulary and developing these auditory skills, it is acquired through repeated exposure to hearing the same words in different sentences.  

As your child has exposure to the repetition of these nursery rhymes, he or she will start to notice the natural rhythm that occurs.  This is syllabication.   Every vowel sound is one syllable. Children will start to hear and distinguish this important rhythm to our language, counting these syllables and feeling the beat!  This is training for reading multisyllabic words since these words are broken up one syllable at a time to ‘sound it out!’

Rhyming is a common phonological skill in all nursery rhymes. Rhyming occurs when the vowel and every sound after the vowel are the same in two or more words.  Children should start to develop rhyming in the preschool years.  They will begin by recognizing when simple 2-3 sound words rhyme.  From there, they will begin to come up with their own rhymes. As they become more comfortable with this skill, the complexity of the words they rhyme will increase!  They will even start to rhyme 2 syllable words together! 

As your child’s skills improve, he or she will be able to move into more complex skills including phonemic awareness skills.  

After repeated exposure, your child will start to memorize these nursery rhymes and they should!  This memorization is excellent to start to develop auditory memory skills and comprehension! They will feel like readers as they recite short nursery rhymes that they have learned.  They are working on the ability to sequence and remember words and sounds in words as well!