The moment you think about starting methodical learning activities for your toddler, I am sure you tend to think of Nursery Rhymes among many other things. Apart from the fact that Nursery Rhymes are immense fun, they serve a larger role in laying your toddlers learning foundation. Rhymes are the first lines that your toddler will learn to memorize without any pressure of performance. But there are several other benefits that makes rhymes very important for a toddlers growth & development.
Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
- Language development – spoken & comprehension: They are the first full sentences that your child will learn to understand and speak in that particular language.
- Vocabulary: Rhymes are the best way to get your child to learn new words and their context of usage
- Motor Skills: When learned with actions, it helps improve hand co-ordination in line with the words being spoken.
- Helps in early memorizing skills: Rhymes are a fun way to get your child to memorize things. I often build up my own versions of my sons favorite rhymes with his favorite rhythms to help him learn better.
- Social Development: Rhymes are mostly practices in groups in school. This encourages your child to be aware of her surroundings and also helps develop skills like synchronization and co-ordination.
5 Nursery Rhymes that you may consider starting with
Five Little Babies
Currently this rhyme song is most sought after among kids. With an extremely catchy rhythm and easy to relate with action words, this one helps your toddler develop his vocabulary and introduces him to numbers with a ‘one less then what’ concept.
Kids easily get hooked on to this one because this song talks about relations that a child has learned to understand in the earliest stages of her life. In this song they enjoy calling out to their Papa, Mumma, Sister and Brother. They also get a basic introduction to etiquettes and social behavior.
Wheels On the Bus go Round and Round
This one takes toddlers on a bus ride while introducing them to opposites such as fast/slow, up/down, big/small etc.
Old McDonald Had a Farm
All the three kids in my house hold, were evidently fond of animals even through their transition from infants to toddlers. This should be evident from the fact that we make atleast 4 visits to the zoo every years since my eldest son was born. This song takes kids on a trip to a farm telling them about all domestic and pet animals.
And the old time favorites
I need not say much about these evergreen rhymes. They hold the advantage of being short, easy to memorize and unparalleled fun. Sing them with your kids with dramatized movements of your head and hands, and you will know what I mean.
Help Your Kid Enjoy Their Rhyme(s) Experience
Start Slow and Steady
Introducing rhymes to your kid is like introducing solids. Take it slow and let the context sink in for your child. I started singing rhymes to my son when he was 8 months old. I started with ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ and for almost a week I did not sing any other song to him. By the end of the week my son started rocking his head as soon as I started the rhyme. This sought of routine helps the child register new things in their mind better.
Maintain a routine
As we all know that kids are feel most comfortable when they are in familiar surroundings. This is the reason we try and set feeding routines, sleeping routines etc for our children. To enable your child to enjoy their rhyme experience, try and maintain a fixed time and place routine. This will ensure less distraction and quick learning.
Context to Reference
When Nik turned 2 we had the opportunity to visit my paternal grandparents ancestral house in a village in Uttar Pradesh. And later I realized that the trip could not have come at a better time. This because Nik had now learned ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ with actions, now in the village sky he could actually see so many stars. Also He had begun to enjoy the farm animals from ‘Old McDonald’s’ farm.
Encourage child – exhume confidence to induce confidence
Ofcourse rhymes are fun, but kids enjoy them so much because never ever has there been a parent sung a ‘Humpty Dumpty’ with a frown all along. There are expressions, there is voice modulation and there is a happy feeling associated with the rhymes. This does a lot of good to boost your kids confidence
In the process of learning and singing the rhymes a child’s brain is working hard on his cognitive, sensory and motor skills. It is imperative for us that our kid gets his full doze of nutrition. There are also some micro-nutrients which are not available in a child’s diet.