This activity is great for developing speech and hearing in young children. Simple rhymes help kids to pronounce words by building phonemic awareness through repeating difficult sound groups. The activity also encourages kids to become good listeners, as the rhymes often have a narrative, meaning children must keep listening to hear the whole story!
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The earliest nursery rhymes date from around the 14th Century. The first printed collection was Tommy Thumb's Song Book, printed around 1744. Although they are great for learning language, they’re often related to scary subjects, such as the plague!
About the activity
Sing a nursery rhyme to your child, such as ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ or ‘Humpty Dumpty’. Repeat the song adding in clapping and smiling with your child.
There are lots of fun nursery rhymes that can be sung in two parts (e.g. ‘Row, Row Row Your Boat’; ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’). Infants at the speaking stage can be given their own line or lines to say once they’re familiar with the rhymes.
Teaching your child when to sung their part in the rhyme is great for building social skills – such as turn-taking in conservation and listening.