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Why Teach Your Child Nursery Rhymes?

February 04, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 138

You want your child to be a good talker, right?

Before a child can be an excellent talker, they need to be able to remember sounds, words, phrases and sentences. Nursery Rhymes are a fabulous and fun way to help your child develop these skills.

Sing or say some of these rhymes to your baby every day. From the time he is quite small, he will show that he recognises and enjoys the familiar patterns of sound and rhythm. Add simple actions that he will learn to anticipate.

As he grows, repeat the same nursery rhymes many times and continue to add new ones to the repertoire. Recorded versions can be useful to help develop memory for words and tunes, but most recorded songs and rhymes are much too fast for young children developing their auditory memory and language skills. So, as often as possible, sing or say them yourself.

Sing and say the Nursery Rhymes slowly, exaggerating the rhyme and rhythm, with actions where possible. Make the words clear and, when your baby is old enough, encourage him to join in or fill in some of the words. Have lots of fun interacting with your baby with these rhymes and songs, as this sharing will be a crucial link in their speech and language development.

Research into language development has shown the crucial importance of helping your baby to develop good listening and remembering skills.

As a Speech Pathologist I see many children who have not developed good auditory processing skills (the ability to make sense of sound) and auditory memory skills (remembering exact sounds and words and sentences). This may be for a variety of reasons, including intermittent hearing loss.

These children find it hard to follow instructions. They often don't seem to remember what they are told. Sometimes they have trouble speaking clearly. Their grammar may be incorrect or they may have difficulty talking in complex sentences. Then they can find that telling well-structured stories is too hard. Getting their message across to people who don't know them well can be difficult.

Invariably I find that they cannot tell me Nursery Rhymes, or when they do the words are a bit 'fudged'. It is important for them to get the words right, and in the right order.

Children need endless opportunities to practise language with you. They need to hear lots of words and sentences and they need to hear the same ones repeated many times.

They also need to understand rhyme, so that they can sort and store words in their brain and to manipulate sounds in a way that will help them to learn to read later. Of course, Nursery Rhymes are full of rhymes and plays on words, as well as a great range of vocabulary and endless variations of sentence structure. And toddlers love the silliness.

Actions have been shown, in research, to stimulate speech and language. Nursery Rhymes and action songs provide wonderful opportunities to team words with actions. You can make up your own actions, appropriate to your child's age. Babies will join in the actions long before they can say the words - and so they are then learning about successfully interacting in communication with you!

So show your child how to have great fun with words by sharing Nursery Rhymes, books and stories. Sing them, say them, do the actions! You will be setting your child up for a life time of great communication.

Discover more about how to deal with this issue at

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Nursery Rhymes


Auditory Memory


Sentence Structure


Language Development

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