The importance of nursery rhymes in childhood education certainly can’t be understated, as they have amazing benefits for helping kids develop and grow.

This post will take you through some of the best benefits of nursery rhymes for children, showing you why teaching your kids these special rhymes is extremely important and worthwhile! From enhancing individual development to keeping them happy and entertained, singing nursery rhymes is so beneficial in many ways! 

To see where the wonderful rhymes came from, take a look at our post on the history of nursery rhymes, taking you right back to the beginning of these well known-songs!

Importance of Nursery Rhymes

Why are nursery rhymes important for babies and kids? Here’s a few things nursery rhymes do to benefit your little one! (Click on each title to navigate to that particular section:)

Boost Early Language Development

Some children start hearing nursery rhymes as soon as they are born, since certain songs are often used to lull babies to sleep. But when children reach toddler age, hearing the different songs frequently can help boost their early language development! Hearing the songs out loud helps children store up information and develop their understanding of language. This is a huge part of nursery rhymes’ educational value, as it gives little ones a head start with learning language before they enter the classroom!

dad reading to his son
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Help Your Child Become a Better Reader

The pronunciation and sounds that children hear when being recited nursery rhymes are hugely beneficial for helping them become better readers when they reach school age. They can understand how sounds and words are formed when hearing them out loud, which means they’ll have a head start when they begin reading independently!

Top tip: To improve your child’s reading skills even more when they’re a little older, you can sit with your child and show them the rhyme written down as they sing it out loud. They’ll be able to connect the words they’re pronouncing with the words written on the page, helping them become more familiar with how to read and interpret words!

Improve Your Child’s Motor Skills and Coordination

Since nursery rhymes sometimes come with actions and movements that children can perform while hearing or reciting the song, they are hugely beneficial for developing their motor skills and coordination! Children can learn how to put movements to words, developing their sense of rhythm as well as understand how to locate things. For example, Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes is a brilliant learning tool for helping children find their different body parts and confidently assert where they are!

Top tip: Even if some nursery rhymes aren’t accompanied by well-known movements, you and your child can create your own movements while you get familiar with the songs! As well as improving their motor skills and coordination for a wider range of rhymes, this can also be a great way to spend quality time with your little one and keep them entertained for longer!

benefits of nursery rhymes for children

Pictured above: a volunteer from Children Read (Atlanta book donation organization) reads a fun story to the eager audience

Build Social Skills Early on in Life

Nursery rhymes are sung in kindergarten as well as at home! In nursery, your child will be reciting, singing and acting out the songs with the other children in their class, making this an activity they can all enjoy together. This helps your child learn how to socialize with other kids and connect with others, building their social skills from a young age!

This helps even more when you sing nursery rhymes with your little one at home, as they become more familiar with the rhymes and feel more confident when singing them with others at kindergarten! 

Top tip: If your little one has recently learned a new rhyme, or has a brand new favorite, getting them to sing to other family members or discuss the rhymes with them is a great way to help them be sociable with other people besides their parents! You could also encourage your little one to sing rhymes with friends when they come over, helping them be more comfortable with socializing with children similar to their own age!

Develop Their Communication Skills

Children singing nursery rhymes really helps develop their communication skills! Especially in toddlers, they learn how to pronounce and communicate the words in the song with practice, helping them get across a story to a listener. They also learn to communicate using their bodies when reciting rhymes that are accompanied by gestures, such as Two Little Dicky Birds! This is particularly important for toddlers to learn at their age, as it greatly prepares them for life in elementary school!

Top tip: Asking questions during the rhymes can really help your child become more comfortable with communicating, as they can explain and show their knowledge of what they’re singing! For example, you could ask them what their favorite rhyme is, or ask about their favorite nursery rhyme character. 

Enhance Individual Development

Children develop very quickly in their early years, and listening to music from a young age can help children’s brains respond to different tones! In this sense, the rhythm of nursery rhymes and the element of singing is fantastic for brain development and a very beneficial way of helping them grow. 

This is also when singing nursery rhymes at home can really help your child, as they are able to individually listen to the rhymes and learn how to recite them in a different environment, away from peers! It can help them pick up on the words they might not know, as well as be more familiar with communicating on an individual level. 

woman reading nursery rhymes to a child in bed
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Certain Rhymes Help Enhance Math Skills

Certain nursery rhymes are created with the intention of helping children learn basic math skills, which are greatly important for helping prepare them for school! The rhyme One, Two, Buckle My Shoe is a simple rhyme that helps children remember number order and is a fun way for them to get familiar with numbers! 

Top tip: To slowly get your child familiar with numbers, you could recite One, Two, Buckle My Shoe up to number 10, to practice the first 10 numbers in the rhyme. A great way to get your child more comfortable with numbers is singing the rhyme to a certain point, then getting them to go through the numbers without the rhyme! Then, when your child becomes more confident, you could carry on with the rest of the rhyme that goes all the way to number 20!

Improves Parent-Child Bond

If you’re looking to spend more quality time with your child, singing nursery rhymes to or with your child is a fantastic way to improve the parent-child bond between you! Your child will get all the benefits of nursery rhymes, along with a happier and more connected relationship with their parent(s).

Being gifted a nursery rhyme book for a baby shower can be quite common (check out this post on what to write in a baby shower book for inspiration) and these books can form the staple of your daily parent-child reading diet.

It can be made into a fun routine and an experience you both share together! Your child will no doubt be delighted to come home from nursery to share with you the rhyme they learned that day, and you can even help your child learn new rhymes they can share with their peers. It’s a brilliant way to enjoy more time with your little one!

Improves Their Recall and Memorization Skills

Since nursery rhymes are repetitive and often quite short, regularly reciting the rhymes with your child is a great way to improve their memory skills! They’ll be able to recall the rhymes the more they get familiar with them, which teaches them how to remember the order of certain words and discover which parts of the words create the rhyming pattern. This is a fantastic skill to prepare them for school, since they will become more comfortable with following words in a sentence and also be able to remember the rhymes when they are spoken in class!

Keeps Them Entertained and Happy!

Even beyond the benefits for learning and growth, nursery rhymes are simply fun to sing! The enjoyable tunes will always keep your little one entertained and happy, letting them happily sing along with some of their favorites. If you’re looking for a great way to spend time with your little one, away from their devices, singing nursery rhymes together is a brilliant way to keep them cheery!