Nursery rhymes are more than just fun stories to recite with your kids. Aside from being a great source of entertainment, nursery rhymes shape your child’s mind and improve their cognitive and coordination skills in ways that are relevant to modern social interactions.
Where did nursery rhymes originate?
Just like fairy tales, nursery rhymes were originally not meant for children. In their early years, they were used for quick and effective communication of messages. These messages would usually have to do with current events. London Bridge, anyone?
As they have aged, people have given nursery rhymes a more whimsical purpose, used for play and fun. Their serious past has quickly been forgotten, and people have decided to incorporate them into children’s education.
How do they improve cognitive skills?
Nursery rhymes are short rhymes. Even though the wording can be silly, they still convey a message. When you read children’s books and sing nursery rhymes to kids, it helps them pick up and latch on to these messages, linking them with appropriate body language and tone of voice. Theatrical renditions of your favorite nursery rhymes can help your children learn social cues.
After saying the nursery rhyme, you can even have your child repeat back to you what you just recited, or ask them what they think the rhyme meant and how the characters in the rhymes felt. This activity combines a fun back-and-forth with crucial development.
How do nursery rhymes shape social skills?
Nursery rhymes shape positive social skills as well. Whether in a group setting or one-on-one, nursery rhymes will help children become more comfortable with social interactions. This is where they will learn lots of patterned behavior and can figure out how to adequately respond to different situations.
Try making a game out of the nursery rhyme and have your child wait their turn to speak a line, directed by different cues. This can help them when it comes to social interactions later in life.
How do they build coordination?
Coordination is a hard one, but all it takes is practice! With nursery rhymes, it’s easy to make up fun little dances and hand movements that your kids can practice.
Putting movement and repetition together is key to helping children gain coordination and balance. When they get more and more coordinated, you can even try adding in new moves, or let them improvise.
What you do with nursery rhymes is all up to you. But it is useful to remember that even playtime is valuable for development. In moments of fun and laughter, nursery rhymes shape our children for key milestones and success in the future!