The Role of Nursery Rhymes

I’ve spent all week in phonological/phonemic awareness “land”.  And I told you in the beginning I had something exciting to share with you.  Well hang on; because today I want to recap a few things and talk about the role of nursery rhymes…and reveal my SURPRISE!

Did you know that reciting and learning nursery rhymes with your child can actually help him develop the foundational skills he needs to begin reading?

Why?  Because reading research has long shown that nursery rhymes help to develop phonological and phonemic awareness in young children.  In other words, nursery rhymes (and other kinds of rhyming texts such as Dr. Seuss, poetry, and music) can help kids develop an ear for the sounds and manipulation of those sounds within words.  Just ask any Kindermusik teacher!

Here is a great quote from that Yopp & Yopp article I’ve been referring to all week: 

“…songs, chants, and word-sound games are ideally suited toward developing young children’s sensitivity to the sound structure of language.  Word play, nursery or Dr. Seuss rhymes, and general exposure to storybooks contribute to phonemic awareness.”

Supporting Phonemic Awareness Development in the Classroom by Yopp & Yopp (The Reading Teacher; Vol. 54, No. 2)

When I learned about the benefit of nursery rhymes a few years ago, I decided it was time to start reading some to ALuv.  As I began reading, I was extremely uncomfortable and quite disturbed with the messages many of them sent to my sweet, innocent baby.  I was reading about boughs breaking and babies falling out of trees, an old woman whipping all her kids and sending them to bed, Jack falling down and cracking open his head!

I felt a strong calling to do something about it.  And I did.  I’ve been selling my Christian Nursery Rhyme adaptations ever since.  They’ve been used for birthdays, baby showers, and teachers’ gifts.   But just recently, I created a 2nd edition, adding 5 more rhymes and colored illustrations.  And I’d like to share it with you!

I will be sharing my FREE Ebook (really, it’s just a PDF File) tomorrow as well as a companion PDF file, showing you step-by-step how to assemble one for yourself.  I hope you will enjoy it with your own child and use it to bless others.

For those of you who would like to read more about the role of nursery rhymes,

  • Here is an online article that I think does a great job of giving reasons to teach nursery rhymes as well as some activities to try.
  • Reading Rockets also has an online article about nursery rhymes and poetry and their correlation with early reading.

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