It's rhyme time!

World Nursery Rhyme Week

All rhymes from traditional nursery rhymes to modern action rhymes play an important part in early childhood development. When children are about 2-3 years old they start to become aware of rhyme and enjoy listening to and joining in with nursery rhymes and songs.

Nursery rhymes are packed with the 3 R’s: rhyme, rhythm and repetition. They play a vital role in helping children develop key speech, language and communication skills. They also support the development of social, physical and emotional skills. It’s never too early to introduce children to rhyme, rhythm and repetition!

Reciting or singing nursery rhymes is an effective and fun way of raising children’s awareness of rhyme.

Nursery rhymes such as Incy Wincy Spider also have easy actions to support the story and children enjoy joining in with – download FREE resources here.

Rhyme, rhythm and repetition are the start point of developing skills for a lifetime of literacy. The Early Years curriculum highlights rhyme and repetition as important building blocks for developing early literacy skills.

Using rhyme and repetition in songs, stories and nursery rhymes helps develop children’s vocabulary. The rhyme and rhythm help make words more memorable which helps children learn new words. Hearing words repeated in the context of a story or song help link the understanding of words to objects, pictures and actions.

They also enjoy the rhyming words (‘rat’ and ‘mat’) and alliterative phrases (‘pitter patter, chitter chatter’) they hear in familiar shared stories.

The use of rhyme, rhythm and repetition helps children to join in with repeated refrains and to anticipate and join in with key phrases in rhymes and stories. This is a stepping stone to being able to create their own rhyming string or stories.

First children learn to recognise rhyme and then they gradually develop the harder skill of generating rhyming words. Some children will pick up the concept of rhyme very quickly and others will need more practise and take much longer to develop this skill.

Typically by 4 to 5 years children are able to:

  • enjoy and imitate rhyme
  • recognise when a familiar nursery rhyme is changed – you can encourage sound play by inventing new rhymes with the children
  • identify a word that does not rhyme – the odd one out – bat cat dog

We hope you enjoy celebrating World Nursery Rhyme Week and we also hope you enjoy the benefits of rhyme, repetition and rhythm with your children each and every day.

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