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Why Nursery Rhymes Really Matter

Have you ever thought why these old fashioned, known to everybody nursery rhymes that lost their magic with us, adults, long ago are loved, enjoyed and remembered by many generations of children? Because they are a real treasure from many points of view: linguistic, historical, educational and entertaining. There is literally nothing in children`s literature and music that comes close to these unique pieces of literature. So what appeals in nursery rhymes to children?
 
· The variety of subject matter and mood in nursery rhymes: animals, insects, holidays, counting, people, farms etc., etc. Nursery rhymes can be a game, a finger play, a riddle or a tongue twister.
· The rhyme itself, definitely, makes them easy to remember.
· Fascinating memorable characters to tackle your imagination.
· Musical quality. They can be read and sung again and again.
· Unexplainable entertaining silliness loved only by children. Children can laugh at the mere sound of some words in them
· Simplicity of the language and sentence structure.
· Action aspect of the rhymes. There is always something happening in them.
· Their brevity that makes them acceptable even by very young kids.

As parents and childcarers it`s important to pass along this valuable resource to our children. Let`s take the time and share our favourite rhymes with our children and let them have fun along with teaching them a lot of skills:

· Language skills. They teach vocabulary and speech patterns
· Maths skills. An easy way to learn counting to ten with a fun song where everything rhymes.
· Listening skills. The only way to learn a rhyme for young children is to be all ears.
· Literature skills. Nursery rhymes introduce classical literature to children
· Creative skills. A rhyme can inspire children to draw, paint or create a rhyme of their own
· Motor skills. They can move to a rhyme.
· Music skills. They provide a fun way to learn a song.
· Social skills. Children involved into playing with a rhyme together develop communication and cooperation skills.
· Thinking skills. They teach sequence and order.
· Self-esteem and confidence. Children gain pride and satisfaction while they learn with the rhymes whatever the activity is.

You can maximize the learning/teaching aspect:

· Learn the movement / finger play activity based on a rhyme with your children.
· Present the rhymes in connection with something: day of the week, weather, vegetables, animals, insects, etc.
· Do a project basing on a rhyme. You can ask children to colour/draw/paint a character from the rhyme. It may be even more interesting when groups of kids are asked to illustrate different episodes from the same rhyme then you can put them together and discuss what can be next in the verse.
· Play with the rhyme. Children are asked to finish the rhyme. You can also involve all children present to repeat different lines of the rhyme.
· Sing a rhyme. Fun for everyone to memorise the rhymes set to music.
· Play a game with a rhyme. Prepare the pictures describing a rhyme and ask children to put them in the right order and retell them to you. Discuss the picture describing a rhyme. Mix pictures from different rhymes and ask kids to sort them – which rhyme they belong to and in what order. Teamwork is encouraged.
· Perform a rhyme. You may discover an actor/actress in your children
· Organise a trivia night/day “all about the rhymes” with children and grown ups involved. A good idea for a party too.
· Play rhymes on simple musical instruments.
· Create a snack with basic ingredients based on the rhyme. Spiders or stars are ideal for this sort of activities.
· Play charades. Children act the rhyme without words and others have to guess the rhyme.
· Create a calendar together illustrating each month.
· Create a book together with nursery rhymes and use children`s illustrations.
· Don`t be afraid to return to the same rhymes from time to time. Children like returning to familiar loved activities no matter how many times.
We recommend the following compilations of nursery rhymes:

100 FAVOURITE NURSERY RHYMES & SONGS
100 FAVOURITE ACTIVITY SONGS AND RHYMES
50 GREAT NURSERY RHYMES
50 GREAT NURSERY RHYMES VOL. 2
HUMPTY DUMPTY
HUMPTY DUMPTY (AGERANGE UP TO 6 YEARS)
LOVE TO SING NURSERY RHYMES
OLD MACDONALD
POP GOES THE WEASEL
SONGS FOR KIDS (VOLUME 1)
SONGS FOR KIDS (VOLUME 2)
TWINKLE TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR
WHEELS ON THE BUS

 

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