This week at SISD we celebrated World Nursery Rhyme Week. Nursery rhymes aren’t just songs that we never seem to forget even well into adulthood; they are actually incredibly beneficial to children, fostering creativity, cognitive development, and physical skills.
Nursery rhymes aid in literacy and language development
Firstly, nursery rhymes are beneficial for literacy and language development. Studies have shown that knowing eight nursery rhymes by age four correlates with better reading skills by age eight. Additionally, they enhance phonological awareness and the rhythm and patterns of the songs make them easy to memorize and recognise linguistic patterns. This is why at SISD we chose to pair this week with a “buddy reading” initiative. During this, older students came down and read stories and sang nursery rhymes with the younger students.
Nursery rhymes are beneficial to children’s physical development
On top of verbal skills, nursery rhymes can enhance children’s physical development. When children act out the songs it encourages the development of their fine and gross motor skills and aids with balance and coordination. Additionally, the physical activity can be very beneficial to energetic children.
Nursery rhymes help children with numeracy
Maths and numeracy can often appear very abstract for children. Placing it within the context of their world, or a song, can aid them in their understanding. Indeed, nursery rhymes centered around counting can familiarise children with numbers, introduce them to concepts of scale, size and order and turn numbers and math into something that exists outside the classroom too.
Nursery rhymes and play-based learning
Play-based learning is a central concept in the IB and one we wholeheartedly believe in here at SISD. Nursery rhymes go hand in hand with it. Indeed, learning songs fosters creativity in children and leads to open-ended play. It allows children to express themselves, use the characters they sing about in their role-playing and even start thinking about rhymes of their own.
This week at SISD, we challenged our Early Years students to learn one new nursery rhyme every day and, not only did they succeed, they had a blast doing it.