‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder what you are’ I am sure we all sang this line rather than reading it. We sang these nursery rhymes over and over again and never really got bored of them. From Generation to Generation these Nursery Rhymes are sung by teachers and parents to their kids. Ever wondered why they do so? Or what is the importance of these rhymes on a child’s life?
From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to interact. Music not only provides joy but also helps in the areas of child development like intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy.
Children of all ages express themselves through music. Even at an early age, children sway, bounce, or move their hands in response to music they hear. Older children dance to the music of their choice and use music as a medium to form friendships and express feelings. Infants understand the melody of a song long before they understand the words. They often try to mimic sounds and move their hands to the music as soon as they are physically able. Toddlers too love to dance and move to music. Repetition of words in the Rhyme encourages a toddler to use of words and memorize the song. Preschoolers enjoy singing; they aren’t self-conscious about their ability, all they want is to let their voices roar. Most school-age children are intrigued by songs that involve counting, spelling, or remembering a sequence of events. Such songs are effective during this child developmental stage.
Rhymes also help children to learn to play with words. They hear different sounds in the word. By hearing these different sounds they learn how sounds combine together to form a word. Studies have shown that children who enjoy music, singing and rhyming on a regular basis tend to learn to speak more easily .They have more words to express themselves, are more confident and creative. They also learn Reading and spelling easily at school. Songs and rhymes have a hugely positive impact on a child’s language and literacy development. Children love rhyme, rhythm and repetition. These three things found in songs and rhymes can naturally help to boost a child’s language and literacy skills.
Every parent should know the most important reason to sing and rhyme with their child is that a child loves nothing more than the sound of their parent’s voice. A baby will be easily calmed by their parent’s voice no matter how good or a bad singer they are. So every parent should take some time of their day to sing and rhyme with their child.
brighthorizons. (2010). http://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2010-music-and-children-rhythm-meets-child-development/. Retrieved 2016, from brighthorizons.com.
dailyrecord. (2012, july 23). http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/special-features/the-big-read/helpful-stuff/importance-of-songs-and-rhymes-in-the-early-years-1151443#quqzLszK38BytFZJ.97. Retrieved 2016, from dailyrecord.co.uk.
[Contributed by Roma Prabhudesai, undergraduate student of psychology, during her internship.]