1. Nursery rhymes are a great way into learning early phonic skills (the ability to hear, identify and manipulate letter sounds).
Most schools use phonics as one of the main ways to teach reading. See more on this in future Reading Power articles.
2. Nursery rhymes give children practice in pitch, volume as well as in language rhythm.
Think about how your voice sounds when you ask a question or when you retell an event to friends – children need to learn these language variations.
3. Nursery rhymes expand your child’s imagination.
Nursery rhymes allow you to take your child to an imaginary world where blackbirds are baked in pies and vinegar and brown paper are a remedy for a cracked head! They transport children to a world of fantasy and play and can really develop your child’s visualisation skills through the use of actions.
4. Nursery rhymes follow a clear sequence of events.
Although short, nursery rhymes often tell a story and contain a beginning, middle and end. Whilst this may be a compact way of storytelling, these will be some of the first stories your child will be able to follow and understand. An engagement with a sequence of events will be a skill they need when reading.
5. Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat, so they become some of a child’s first sentences