Why are nursery rhymes important?

There are some fantastic articles available online which explain the importance of nursery rhymes in early childhood development and we have included some links below as well as links to resources, further reading and scholarly articles.

Please note: Music Bugs Ltd and World Nursery Rhyme Week take no responsibility for the content contained within the following external links. 

Online Articles

Rhymers are readers – the importance of nursery rhymes PDF (KBYUTV.org)

When children hear nursery rhymes, they hear the sounds vowels and consonants make. They learn how to put these sounds together to make words …. (read more)

How nursery rhymes can help children learn (Wales Online)

Are you like the one in four UK adults who are unable to remember a whole nursery rhyme? Have you ever wondered …. (read more)

The benefit of rhymes (Bookstart)

It is not difficult to identify the relevance of rhymes to Bookstart’s mission to promote the enjoyment of stories and books among young children …. (read more)

Importance of songs and rhymes in the Early Years (Daily Record)

Using songs, rhymes and picture books is a great way to help your child develop their language and communication skills. It’s never too early or too late …. (read more)

The surprising meaning and benefits of nursery rhymes (pbs.org)

When you sing nursery rhymes to your children, you may be telling the same poems and tales that, in some form, were told by firelight …. (read more)

Nursery Rhymes: Not just for babies! (Reading Rockets)

There’s a reason we learn nursery rhymes as young children. They help us develop an ear for …. (read more)

Nursery Rhymes – benefits for school-age children (kidspot.com.au)

Nursery rhymes may seem more appropriate for toddlers and pre-schoolers than school-aged children, but they can be a useful tool …. (read more)

Songs and rhymes as a springboard to literacy (earlychildhoodnews.com)

Music is an integral part of a quality early childhood curriculum. It plays a role in setting the tone of the classroom, developing skills and concepts, helping (read more)

Scholarly Articles

Ellis, N & Large, B (1987). ‘The development of reading: As you seek you shall find’. British Journal of Pyschology 1, 329 -342.

Bradley, L (1988). ‘Rhyme recognition and reading and spelling in young children’. In R L Masland & M R Masland (eds.), Pre-school prevention of reading failure’. Parkton, MD: York Press.

Bradley, L & Bryant, P E (1983). ‘Categorising sounds and learning to read- A casual connection’. Nature, 301, 419-421.

Goswami, U (1986) ‘Children’s use of analogy in learning to read: A developmental study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 42, 73-83.

Goswami,U (1988) ‘Children’s use of analogy in learning to spell’. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 6, 21-34.

MacLean, M. Bryant, P E & Bradley, L (1987) ‘Rhymes, nursery rhymes and reading in childhood’. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 33, 255-282.

Bryant, P E, MacLean, M, Bradley, L L & Crossland, J (1990). ‘Rhyme and Alliteration, Phoneme Detection, and Learning to Read’. Developmental Psychology, 26, 3, 429-438.

Anderson, P. F. (2005). The mother goose pages. Retrieved from www-personal.umich.edu/~pfa/dreamhouse/nursery/reading.html

Kenney, S. (2005). Nursery rhymes: Foundations for learning. General Music Today, 19 (1), 28–31.

Monro, F. (Senior Speech-Language Pathologist). Nursery rhymes, songs and early language development. Interior Health Authority.

Neuman, S. B. (2004). Learning from poems & rhymes. Scholastic Parent & Child, 12 (3), 32.

Adams, M., Foorman, B., Lundberg, I., and Beeler, T. (2002) Phonemic Awareness in Young Children. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Baltimore, MD.

Begley, S. “How to Build a Baby’s Brain.” Newsweek. Special Edition 1997, 28-32.

Campbell, Donald (1992) 100 Ways to Improve Your Teaching Using Your Voice and Music. Tucson: Zyphyr Press, 1992.

Jensen, Eric (1998) Teaching with the Brain in Mind. ASCD, Alexandria, VA.

Mobbs, D. Neuron, Dec. 4, 2003; vol 40: pp 1041-1048. .

Nash, M. “Fertile Minds.” Time, February 1997, 48-56.

Ramey, Craig T. and Sharon L. (1999) Right From Birth. Goddard Press, NY.

Schiller, P. “Brain Research and Its Implications in Early Childhood Programs.” July/August 2002, Child Care Information Exchange.

Schiller, P. (1999) Start Smart: Building Brain Power in the Early Years. Gryphon House, Beltsville, MD.

Schiller, P. “Turning Knowledge Into Practice,” March/April 1999, Child Care Information Exchange.

Sousa, Dr. David A. (2000) How the Brain Learns. Corwin Press. Thousand Oaks, CA.

Further Reading