As children, we have been reciting the same poems and singing the same songs for centuries. Credit is often given to the fictional Mother Goose, but originally, these tales were a way to pass on oral traditions in a time when passing stories generation to generation was done more commonly by mouth than it was written down. These stories were actually not meant for children at all originally! They often had a darker theme and many times spun shirt takes of political turmoil, disease, and despair. However, the centuries made these into kinder, family friendly baby rhymes for small ones.
Besides being a part of living history, reciting nursery rhymes have a surprising amount of benefits for young children. These tales serve as one children’s first introduction to phonics. This gives children an amazing head starts in reading comprehension that they carry onto their school years. Studies have shown that children who know eight nursery rhymes by age 4 were overall the best spellers and readers, both when reading to themselves and out loud with their phonics by third grade. Baby rhymes also teach kids how stories work. They all have a very clear beginning, middle, and end that happen in sequence. This will assist them greatly when they first start reading actual books.
Nursery rhymes are great group activities as well and teach young children how to be in a group setting in a fun way. Singing together allow all kids, even the shy and quiet ones and equal opportunity to build confidence by singing dancing and performing because they are easily memorized and repeatable. Kids can find unique ways to perform these tales for their peers and build self-esteem in the process.
Kids learn to be creative. These rhymes often have silly nonsensical lines like birds in pies, weasels that pop and babies on trees. This helps kids think in creative ways as they imagine the crazy scenarios they are singing about. With all these benefits, you may want to take your little ones to the library as soon as possible and pick up some nursery rhyme books as soon as possible. We have a lot to thank Mother Goose for all these years later!