Nursery rhymes are so fun! Preschoolers LOVE reciting them, and there are many benefits to language and reading development (see below). As an early childhood educator, I feel very strongly about nursery rhymes, so I will be posting a nursery rhyme frequently with a fun activity to go along with it. When I taught preschool, we learned a new one each week, and I put them all into an individual book for each child. The kids loved looking through them and reciting them over and over.
Teach your child the nursery rhyme Little Bo Peep. Find an outline of a sheep on the internet and write your child’s name on it. Then “hide” it in your house (with 4-year-olds, they still need to be able to see it so taping it onto the wall at eye-level is a great idea). Have your child recite the nursery rhyme over and over as she hunts for the sheep. For more fun, have your child “hide” it and do it again. My kids could play this game over and over. There is something that is so intriguing about hiding it themselves and finding it. This is also a great way to work on name recognition. You could also have your children decorate their sheep.
Little Bo Peep
Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep
And doesn’t know where to find them.
Leave them alone, and they’ll come home
Dragging their tails behind them.
Here are some benefits of learning nursery rhymes:
1. Nursery rhymes increase children’s vocabulary. They are introduced to new words and phrases.
2. Nursery rhymes expand children’s imaginations. Think about it–a mother who lives in a shoe? an egg on a wall? How fun!
3. Because children are memorizing the rhymes, they are building a foundation for speaking and listening, as well as for reading.
4. Children who learn to hear and recognize rhyming are better readers. Rhyming is a pre-reading skill.