nursery rhymes

Space Activities #3: Nursery Rhymes and Language Learning for Kids

Today’s play-of-the-day, nursery rhymes language learning for kids, is inspired by the photos the space probe Juno is sending back of Jupiter’s moons. Since there are 4 of them, would kids on Jupiter have to add a few words?

nursery rhymes language learningHey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon, and the moon, and the moon, and the moon.

The little dog laughed to see such sport and
The dish ran away with the fork, and the knife, and the cup, and the spoon.

Nursery rhymes are special packages of language. They are based on repetition and words that rhyme. Learning any language is a huge challenge for children and takes years. Listening to and saying nursery rhymes helps the brain connect to the patterns and the rhythm that are part of a language.

The ideas in a nursery rhymes are often quite silly. Who has ever heard of a cow jumping over the moon? These bits of nonsense capture attention and encourage really listening. What else might happen? When we read about dishes running away with spoons kids create pictures in their mind. This is called visualizing and is a valuable thinking and information processing strategy.

Do you remember any nursery rhymes? Besides Hey Diddle Diddle, there’s Jack and Jill, Little Boy Blue, Little Bo Peep, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Hickory Dickory Dock, Humpty Dumpty, Jack Be Nimble, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and dozens more. There are many Mother Goose books and resources on line too. Choose a few and share them with your child. You can change the names of the characters, such as Jack and Jill to the name of your child and a brother, sister, or friend to make it more personal.

space activities for kidsWhile not as old as space, nursery rhymes have been around for hundreds of years. Maybe it’s time for some newer ones.

Jack and Jill went to space,
To check on other planets.
They found some rocks and moons and rings,
And plenty of very hot gases.

What ones can you and your child add for nursery rhymes language learning?

Nursery Rhymes Are Not Obselete!

While nursery rhymes are not as popular as they once were, they are not obsolete. Although the hidden messages are lost in time, nursery rhymes can still help with building brain connections and kindergarten readiness. There are two in particular that relate to Easter: Hot Cross Buns and Humpty Dumpty.

nursery rhymes for fun and learningOne of the most important features about nursery rhymes is the way they use language. Often, kids can remember and repeat them after hearing them only a few times because the sounds and the rhythm follow a pattern. The patterns and the rhyming words provide clues which brains use to help memory.

Nursery rhymes also encourage the development of listening skills. The difference between them and everyday language, captures children’s attention. They concentrate on the words and patterns they hear because they are somewhat unusual. Rhyming words sound almost the same, except for small variations. In order to hear these slight changes, kids need to listen closely.

Some of the words are also out of the ordinary. Not many children are familiar with meadows, like Little Boy Blue, or the word fetch in Jack and Jill. Nursery rhymes add to vocabulary. Besides the language features, nursery rhymes help for learning letters, numbers, colors, and more.

There are often actions that go with the words, like Ring Around The Rosie, adding the dimension of physical activity too. This nursery rhyme is no fun with just one person. There is a social element as kids sing it together and coordinate their movements to make a circle that goes round and round. The fun part is the falling down, but even very young children will soon wait for the end of the verse before falling. Patience is another challenging skill to learn. Nursery rhymes have been a part of childhood for hundreds of years. Does your child have a favorite one?

Kindergarten Readiness Fun & Learning Time with Nursery Rhymes

Nursery rhymes are an educational resource that’s been supplying fun and learning for almost 5 centuries! Yesterday, on FB I read a post that it was Mother Goose’s birthday. That sounded interesting so I checked on-line. A quick search on Google had some fascinating references to possible origins of Mother Goose in different places of the world. Like the nursery rhymes themselves, there were many variations. But whether it really is Mother Goose’s birthday or not, nursery rhymes make a fun play-of-the-day.

A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket...
A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket…

Nursery rhymes connect kids to language. Often, kids can remember and repeat them after hearing them only a few times because the sounds and the rhythm follow a pattern. The patterns give clues to help brains remember.

Nursery rhymes are also a tool to help develop listening skills. Because they are quite different from ordinary, regular speaking, they capture attention. When hearing them, kids will often turn their eyes to watch the speaker carefully and we can almost see their ears tuning it as well.

Some of the words in nursery rhymes are quite unusual. Even though we do not use such expressions as “in the meadow”, like the sheep in Little Boy Blue, they add to the vocabulary that kids know.

While children will not be able to rhyme words themselves until about the age of four or five years old, they need to hear lots and lots of words that are similar so they practice listening for the slight variations in words. Cat, fat, rat, sat, and mat all sound almost the same, except for a slight difference. Being able to hear those differences requires multiple exposure and stimulation.

For some fun and learning with your child, share some nursery rhymes and connect with generations of others. What ones do you remember?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Memory Skills #9

Can kindergarten readiness override political correctness? My answer is Yes, that’s acceptable. Kids are not permanently damaged by having fun with nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes are another tool for developing both memory skills and readiness for kindergarten. The patterns, the rhyming words and the rhythm all combine to make them memorable. You can sing them, … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Memory Skills #9