Nursery Rhymes For Preschoolers: Benefits And Importance

‘Humpty-Dumpty’ and ‘Ding, dong bell’, are popular nursery rhymes for preschoolers that have entranced generations of children. Here’s how rhymes benefit the little ones.

By Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj  • 4 min read

Nursery Rhymes For Preschoolers: Benefits And Importance

Who doesn’t love nursery rhymes? But, do we ever realise their benefits? In her book, ‘Reading Magic’, Fox M states that, “Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”

Apart from moulding them into good readers, nursery rhymes benefit children in many ways. But, before we list out the benefits, let us see when to initiate them into nursery rhymes.

Nursery school rhymes: when to begin

By the age of two, your child is ready to learn some rhymes, vocalize them and move her body in response to rhythmic sounds. It’s the perfect time for you to refresh your memory of nursery rhymes for kindergarten and sing or recite them to your child.

To begin with, you can go through our assortment of animal rhymes for kids.

25 Short Animal Poems for Kids

Now let’s move on to listing some benefits of nursery rhymes for preschoolers. 

Benefits of reading nursery rhymes to your child

It is essential for parents to understand the importance of nursery rhymes for kindergarten. Not just reading skills, but nursery rhymes also offer a host of benefits for preschoolers. Here are some key benefits.

  1. Language development: Rhymes offer a lot of scope to hone the preschooler’s pronunciation skills. From phonic practice (vowels, consonants and diphthongs) to learning to speak with correct pitch, rhythm and intonation, rhymes and jingles benefit children a lot. Apart from this, it also helps build their vocabulary. By repetition and recitation children learn the syntax of language as well. All this learning happens the fun way! It is an unconscious learning.
  2. Cognitive development: Rhymes may appear to be simple. But, they aid in the cognitive development of preschoolers. The basic skill they pick up is memory and recall. For ages, this has been the method of learning rhymes. It serves as the first step in building children’s memory power. Most nursery rhymes are narrative in nature. They involve sequencing and coherence. Children learn to comprehend the gist of the rhyme when they repeatedly listen to it. Thus, their comprehension skills too are developed. Many rhymes for kindergarten (One, two, buckle my shoe) involve numbers and counting. Thus, mathematical skills are also developed.
  3. Physical development: Depicting actions for the rhymes, jumping and hopping while singing the rhymes for preschoolers ensures that they attain their movement milestones and develops their motor skills. It also strengthens their muscles, joints and bones, and provides tiny tots with enough physical exercise.
  4. Social and emotional development: The interaction with family members, teachers and other children while reciting the rhymes grooms preschoolers socially and emotionally. They learn to emote as they sing along and recite. They learn to associate words with emotions. Also, social skills are developed while acting out nursery rhymes and when standing in a circle to recite them.

Other benefits of nursery school rhymes include inculcating in preschoolers a love of books and reading, and enhancing their creativity and imagination.

Best nursery rhyme apps for your preschool child

Listening to nursery rhymes offers a fun-filled learning experience to your child.

Amusingly, in today’s gadget-driven world, even toddlers have learnt to point at the smartphone and demand that parents play their favourite nursery rhymes. Therefore, it is best that you keep yourself updated on where to access the best nursery rhymes for preschoolers. Here is a link to a list of the best mobile apps for nursery school rhymes that you can download on your device.

Best Mobile Apps for Nursery Rhymes

With so many benefits, why don’t you begin by singing nursery school rhymes as lullabies to your little ones and go on to engage in fantasy play with them. You can also sing nursery rhymes during long drives, walks and hikes.

So, welcome to the world of ‘Goosey goosey gander’ and ‘Little Miss Muffet’…!

About the author:

Written by Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj, PhD (Eng & Edu) on 4 August 2017; updated on 11 January 2021

The author is an educationist, language specialist and writer. In a career spanning over two decades, she has taught from preschool to B-School and trained teachers, master trainers and software professionals. She is also a former member of curriculum and syllabus development committees (Govt of Tamil Nadu). Her passion for the written word matches her enthusiasm for entertaining little kids by breaking out into nursery rhymes.  

Looking for fun ways to keep your preschooler engaged during the pandemic? Check out Little Learners at Home, a home learning programme specifically designed for 3 to 5 year olds by our team of experts.

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