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Why Teach Nursery Rhymes?

Parents might remember some of their earliest memories included learning nursery rhymes, which is why some parents might be asking why teach nursery rhymes? Some parents are forgoing these classics entirely focusing on new and more current versions of stories.

Nursery rhymes have been around in some form and fashion for centuries, being passed down from generation to generation. In the past few decades some of these classic nursery rhymes have been transcribed into books, movies and sing-a-longs for children. Many parents might remember learning these nursery rhymes even before they started kindergarten. Most nursery rhymes are great teaching tools for all young children. However, some new parents are beginning to think that nursery rhymes are a waste of time, thus creating the nursery rhyme debate. Keep reading to learn the pros and cons about why teach nursery rhymes.

Pros of nursery rhymes:

There are many advantages to teaching your child nursery rhymes, which is why many child care professional and child development researchers still encourage parents to teach their child classic nursery rhymes. The first of the benefits of teaching your children nursery rhymes is that it is a shared learning experience between parent and child. If you learned these classic tales as a child, it is a fun experience to be able to relearn and teach these to your own children. Another pro to nursery rhymes is that they are fun. They are also stories that will teach your child a lesson and more about the development of the English language. Most nursery rhymes come with a moral attached or some kind of new knowledge to be learned. This is why many parents have confidence that nursery rhymes are an effective way of teaching their child essential developmental skills, vocabulary as well as fine and gross motor skills.

Another factor and benefit to teaching your children about nursery rhymes is that it opens up your child's mind to new forms of writing like poetry. Poetry and rhyming have been found to increase the ability to remember and memory expansion in both children and adults. Overall, the act of learning nursery rhymes is a fun and interactive bonding experience between a parent and their child. Also, the methods of teaching a child nursery rhymes can easily become a group activity. If you have several small children at home, nursery rhymes are a great way they can learn to speak and interact together while having a fun time singing and rhyming along to silly rhymes. 

Cons of nursery rhymes:

Some nursery rhymes are becoming a lost art or a loss source of education for young children. Some parents opt to not teach nursery rhymes to their children for a few different reasons. ​One of these reasons could be according to the hundred-years battle that reveals the true meaning behind some of the most common nursery rhymes we know today. Humpty Dumpty for example is actually a reference to a failed security blockage during the English Civil War. Other supposed originations for nursery rhymes like Ring Around the Rosy was supposedly from the time of the plague, which references the swollen cysts that caused so many to get sick and die during that. Some parents may not like the real meaning behind these nursery rhymes and may refuse to teach them to their child.

In addition, there might be a much more basic or simple explanation as to why parents opt out of teaching their child nursery rhymes. Parents of many young children know that young children love repetition and may wish to see the same video or read the same book over and over for weeks on end. Because of this habitual desire, some parents do not wish to focus their children's time on learning only nursery rhymes when there are so many other programs to teach their child to read, learn developmental skills and to expand his or her vocabulary at a young age. Because of the advances being made in this vein for young children, many parents may feel it is unnecessary to focus on teaching their child nursery rhymes. For parents who are more interested in going with a structured form of teaching their child to read, nursery rhymes might be more of a time waster. However, it is never a bad idea to try out various teaching methods to find what works best for your child as all children tend to learn in different ways. 

How to teach nursery rhymes:

After the debate of why teach nursery rhymes, you have still found yourself thinking nursery rhymes are a worthy lesson for young children, there are dozens of nursery rhymes that are available for young children to learn. There are also a variety of ways to teach these nursery rhymes to children. Trying different tactics to help your child learn is a great way to ensure repetition and the likelihood that your child will be able to retain the information for their benefit.  Some of these ways vary from books to videos, DVDs and other similar methods. Most children will enjoy experiencing the nursery rhymes in different ways, so don't be afraid to read to them and allow them to watch nursery rhymes on TV or on DVD. Find what method of teaching works best for your child, but remember that repetition is key when trying to help you child remember the lessons taught by nursery rhymes.